May 5, 2008

Konrad Kramm, (later known as Coonrad; Conrad; Kramp and Crump): Hessian soldier

Ok I think this will do for now. Enjoy reading. I think this is the best story so far.

During the American Revolutionary War, about 1/4th of the British forces who fought in America were German soldiers. King George III of England (who himself was of the House of Hanover and therefore German royalty), paid 150,000 English pounds for 30,067 German mercenaries, who were under the command of the Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen. The men themselves came from different areas of Germany, but the majority were from the state of Hesse, and eventually all of them became known as Hessians.
These soldiers were not mercenaries as we think of the term today. The officers were probably career soldiers, but the main body of troops were mostly conscripts; debtors, small-time criminals and everyday men who were forced into service. Pay was low and sometimes consisted only of the food that the soldier ate. England paid the same amount for a German soldier that she did for a British soldier, but the pay for a German soldier went into the coffers of the local royalty which had hired out the man.
On August 15th, 1776, the first contingent of Hessian soldiers, some 18,000 strong, arrived in the New World via Staten Island. Although they were generally not professional soldiers and contained their fair share of characters, Hessian Units were noted for their fine discipline, military prowness and almost inhumane feats. Keep in mind that the Revolutionary War was fought with propaganda as well as firearms. The Hessians were reputed to be incredable fighting machines (whether warrented or not), and the colonists, themselves ill-clothed, ill-armed, ill-discplined and brimming with local prejudices and jealousies, held them in awe.
Hessian soldiers played an important part in the entire war.
Their first engagement was the Battle of Brookland, also called the Battle of Long Island, on August the 27th. Nine Thousand Hessians joined with 21,000 of the King's men and fought 11,000 troops (which was about a third) of the Continental army in what became the largest battle of the war.
It was also notable on several other accounts.
It was the first battle that the new U.S. Army ever fought and the first major battle of the war. The British captured New York City and held it til the end of the Revolution! So close did General Washington come to losing all of his soldiers on the island that his only hope of survival, (and that looked impossible!), was a full retreat.
Then the British, probably waiting for Washington to do the inevitable and surrender, paused the attack. A thick fog fell over the island. The rest of N.Y. was as clear as a bell, but because of the fog on Long Island, neither the Britsh army nor her navy could see General Washington's troops, who by this time numbered only 9,000, cross the river and make good their escape.
It took 13 hours to remove all of the troops and their ammunition, supplies and equipment. About 30 minutes after the last of it reached the far shore, the fog lifted.
General Washington was considered a hero for this miraculous escape, but morale in the fledgling country nose-dived and entire companies of soldiers deserted.
The Battle of Trenton
General Washington retreated through New Jersey. In December he crossed the Delaware River and entered Pennsylvania. It was a bitterly cold winter, and the British pulled back to N.Y.City, leaving Hessians to guard various areas.
Three quarters of the American Army was gone due to illness and desertion. General Washington expected to lose alot of his remaining soldiers at the end of the year because their enlistment was up. In desperation, he decided to attack the Hessians garrisoned at Tenton, N.J. What happened next is depicted in the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware during a terrible snow storm, on Christmas. He divided the troops into 3 sections. One section was unable to cross the Delaware. Another arrived after the battle was over. Washington's group surprised the Hessians early on the morning of the 26th, and after a brief fight, took about 900 prisoners, along with weapons, ammo and greatly needed supplies.
The unexpected victory made the Americans realize that the Hessians were human, after all, which greatly helped morale.
The Americans actively tried to convince the Hessian soldiers to stop fighting for the British, or, even better, to fight for the Americans. It is said that they offered a land grant to Hessians who deserted. They pointed out that the Americas had a large population of Germans and that the Hessians would fit right in.
In a seemingly unrelated matter, the young Hessian soldiers were quite impressed with the American custom of 'bundling'. Winters in the new world were quite cold, and homes were hard to heat. In New England, a bucket of water placed next to the fire during the evening could be frozen solid by morning. Bundling was a manner of courtship in which the couple, fully clothed, would lie down in bed under the covers and have an oppurtunity to talk and get to know one another. Sometimes a board was placed between the two, and sometimes the female was placed in a 'chastity bag'. Often the girl's parents stayed in the room. Soldiers figured that any country that encouraged this sort of courtship couldn't be all bad!
The Siege of Charleston
At the end of 1779, the British decided to take the war into the southern colonies.
Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen was left in command of N.Y., while Sir Henry Clinton and Gen. Cornwallis met Lord Rawdon in Savannah. They marched on Charleston and laid siege to the city in March of 1780. American General Benjamin Lincoln (unlike General Washington), was unable to pull off any miracles, and ended up surrendering unconditionally. On the 12th of May, 1780, he led his 5,000 troops out of the city and into the hands of their British captors.
For the Americans, it was the biggest loss of troops in the entire war. It left the Carolina's without a Continental Army, and things looked very bleak indeed for the young country.
After the surrender the higher American officers were eventually traded for British P.O.W.s and the rest of the American army was kept a good while in Charleston harbor on prison ships. Conditions on the ships were not the best, and there was alot of sickness.
When the war was over, 17,300 Hessians returned to Germany. Roughly 1,200 had been killed in action. 6,300 died from accidents or sickness, and about 5,000 remained in North America, where they made new lives for themselves.
The British government paid Germany for the loss of the troops that didn't make it back to the Fatherland.
What does this have to do with the Crumps in North Carolina?
Konrad Kramm was born in Hess, Germany, and arrived in America in 1776 as a Hessian soldier; a Grenadier, to be exact. On Dec. 26th, 1776, he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Trenton, N.J. At a later date he was exchanged, and went with the British to Georgia. At Ebenezer, G.A., he deserted his army and went to an American camp a Purysburg. There he obtained a permit to go from GA to Mecklenburg, N.C., which he did, arriving there in the spring of 1779. (The present day city of Charlotte is in Mecklenburg County). On the muster roll of April, 1779, he is listed as a deserter.
Early in 1780 he enlisted with the colonials as a substitute for one John Burger (Barger). He was in Colonel Alexander Lillington's regiment and served under Captain Gabriel Enoch. Pvt. Kramm was at the siege of Charleston and was one of the 5,000 troops who surrended to the British on May 12th, 1780. Taken to N.Y. as a prisoner, tradition says that he escaped after a while and traveled through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and finally North Carolina, reaching Mecklenburg right before Christmas in 1781. The Files of German Military Men show him as being arrested and returned to Regt. in May, 1780, and being released from arrest in Nov. 1780.
By the early 1800s Conrad Crump (as he eventually became known), was raising a family in Burke (now Caldwell) County. He applied for his Revolutionary War pension in 1832, at the age of 79, and was allotted $46.66 per year.

More on the Crump Family

I am adding stories bit by bit. I have ran across many. Some are a bit confusing.

When Conrad Crump applied for his Revolutionary War pension in 1832, he listed his age as 79. That would mean he was born in 1753.
Oma Clark, in a book on the Crump family which was, I believe, informally published around 2001 or 2002, says that one of her in-laws married a German woman who was born in the same area as Conrad Crump. This in-law researched the Crump Family and eventually hired a professional genealogist by the name of Erich Botte (spelled with a .. over the o), to continue the research.
Searching through church records, they couldn't find a Conrad Crump (Kramm) who was born in 1753. They did, however, find a Johann Conradt Kramm who was born in Burguffeln on March 20, 1757.
The following information comes from Oma Clark:
Family names were entered into the Church Books the way they sounded to the person who was doing the writting. Therefore, Kramm, Kramme, Kram, Cramm, Cramme and Gram are all the same family. Conradt was the old way of spelling Conrad (which is also spelled Konrad).
Johann Conradt Kramm was born 20 Mar 1757 at about 2 p.m. in Burguffeln, and christened 25 Mar 1757 in Burguffeln. "Die Eintragungen in den Militarunterlagen bzw. in den Unterlagen des Hessischen Staatsarchivs in Marburg beruhen offensichtlich auf eined Hor-order Ubertragungsfehler." In short, he went with the Hessian Soldiers to America.
His father was Johann Henrich Kramm, a farmer and a magistrate, b. 1722 in Burguffeln, d. 1794 (age 72 years, 5 months and 13 days), in Burguffeln.
His mother was Martha Elisabeth Hold (also spelled Holden), b. 1727 in Westuffeln, d. after 1770 in ?. She was born out of wedlock to the Hold (Holden) family.
His Godfather was Johann Conradt Butterweck, from Westuffeln, who was the brother-in-law of Johann Heinrich Kramm.
Everything that I have in this family tree for the ancestry of Johann Henrich Kramm and his wife, Martha Elisabeth Holden Kramm, comes from Oma Clark.

This family is WAY TO CLOSE!!!

So I know I have not posted in a while. I have not had a lot of time to put into my ancestry. Lately I came accross some new family info. While imputting it into the ancestry web site I came accross a few stories. I thought I would share just in case someone else happens to be looking for the same people. This is making my record research rather difficult as I now have to figure out who is who. At least someone has already figured out the connections between people!
Enjoy! it gets confusing I promise.

Rebecca Crump (1834-1906), was the daughter of Lewis Crump (1784-1845).
She married Cicero McAmy Prestwood, who was a grandson of Mavil Clark (1767-1836). A great-granddaughter of Mavil Clark, Jane Mahuldah Clark (1847-1928), married David Crump (1850-1930), who was a great-nephew of Lewis Crump (1784-1845).
The Crump and Clark families inter-married on a number of different occasions.

Elizabeth (called Betsey) Setzer (b. 1790-99), daughter of Adam Setzer (1758-1843) and Elizabeth Arney, had a child, Mary Matilda Setzer (1817-1906), before she--Elizabeth-- married Lewis Crump. This Mary Matilda was raised by her grandparents Adam and Elizabeth Setzer and was always considered to be a Setzer. According to the Bastardry Bonds of N.C., John Boone, a sheriff in Burke County, N.C., was her father. Elizabeth (Betsy) Setzer and John Boone never married.
Elizabeth (Betsy)Setzer's brother, Jacob Setzer (1783-1861), married John Boone's sister, Jemima Boone. They did not appear to have any children of their own, but it's possible that they kept their niece, Mary Matilda Setzer (1817-1906), when she was young.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Setzer and her husband Lewis Crump had a daughter named Mary. She married Alfred Cannon. Do not confuse this Mary Crump with her half sister Mary Matilda Setzer (1817-1906), who married Madison Estes.
Adam Setzer (1758-1843) and Elizabeth Arney had a son, David Setzer (1797-1866), who married Polly Winkler. They had a daughter named Mary Matilda Setzer (1834-1911). This Mary Matilda Setzer (1834-1911) married Daniel Crump Jr. (1831-1906), and is often confused with her cousin Mary Matilda Setzer Estes (1817-1906).
Elizabeth (Betsy) Setzer Crump (b.1790-99), and David Setzer (1797-1866), had a sister, Susan Setzer, who married Daniel Crump Sr. (1797-1879). Daniel Crump Sr. was both the brother of Elizabeth's husband Lewis Crump, and the father of Daniel Crump Jr (1831-1906), who married Mary Matilda Setzer (1834-1911), daughter of David Setzer and Polly Winkler