Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Patrick McCann (1748-?)
MSA SC 3520-17344

Biography:

Patrick McCann was born in 1748, in Ireland. [1] In early 1776, at age 28, McCann enlisted as a private in Edward Veazey's Seventh Independent Company. [2] He was five feet, seven and half inches tall. Many of those in the Seventh Independent Company were recruited from Kent, Cecil, and Queen Anne counties, and were in their twenties. [3] The average age was about twenty-five, but soldiers born in the thirteen colonies were slightly younger than those from foreign countries. [4]

The independent companies, early in the war, had a different role than William Smallwood's First Maryland Regiment. They had the role of securing the Chesapeake Bay's shoreline from British attack. Smallwood's men, on the other hand, were raised as full-time Maryland soldiers as part of the Continental Army, and were divided between Annapolis and Baltimore. The Seventh Independent Company was stationed in Kent County's Chestertown and on Kent Island in Queen Anne County. [5] During this time, Veazey was uneasy that his company did not receive "arms nor ammunition" until June. [6]

While the independent companies were originally intended to defend Maryland, three of them accompanied the First Maryland Regiment when it marched to New York in July 1776. The transfer of the independent companies to the Continental Army showed that Maryland was more than willing to do its part to recruit the men needed for the revolutionary cause. [7] The independent companies and the First Maryland Regiment arrived in New York in early August, with the Battle of Brooklyn set between the Continental Army and the British Army, joined by their Hessian allies.

McCann served with his company at the Battle of Brooklyn in late August 1776. Along with the companies of Daniel Bowie and Peter Adams, which suffered heavy casualties, sixty-eight percent of Veazey's company were killed or captured. Specifically, Captain Veazey was killed while Second Lieutenant Samuel Turbett Wright and Third Lieutenant Edward De Coursey were captured. [8] As a result of Veazey's death, First Lieutenant William Harrison took charge of the company. After the battle, only 36 men remained out of the original force of over 100. [9] The loss of life confirmed the assessment of the British Parliament's Annual Register which described how "almost a whole regiment from Maryland…of young men from the best families in the country was cut to pieces" even as the battle brought the men of the Maryland 400 together. [10]

The Battle of Brooklyn, the first large-scale battle of the war, fits into the larger context of the Revolutionary War. If the Maryland Line had not stood and fought the British, enabling the rest of the Continental Army to escape, then the Continental Army would been decimated, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War. This heroic stand gave the regiment the nickname of the Old Line and those who made the stand in the battle are remembered as the Maryland 400.

By the spring of 1777, the command of the Seventh Independent Company was uncertain since Wright and De Coursey were prisoners, Veazey had been killed, and Harrison had resigned. [11] As a result, the company, among with the other independent companies, became part of the Second Maryland Regiment.

McCann survived the Battle of Brooklyn and likely in early 1777 he reenlisted in the Fourth Maryland Regiment as a private for a three year term. This was different than the enlistments of fellow soldiers, from the Seventh Independent Company, who mainly joined the Second Maryland Regiment. He served until July, the last time his name appears on the muster rolls. [12] It is not known whether he deserted or was discharged.

On August 22, 1779, McCann enlisted in the Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment, often called the "Rawlings Regiment" after its commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Moses Rawlings. [13] The reason for the gap in McCann's military service, between 1777 and 1779, cannot be ascertained.

By the time McCann joined its ranks, the regiment was stationed at Fort Pitt (site of present-day Pittsburg) and patrolled the then-western frontier. [15] In this capacity, McCann likely participated in assaults on pro-British indigenous groups such as the Mingo (part of the Iroquois) and Muncy nations on the upper Alleghany River, as part of the "Brodhead campaign." After this campaign, most of the regiment was stationed as subsidary forts at Holliday's Cove and Wheeling, on the Ohio River, where they spent a severe winter (1779-1780). [16] In the following year, the regiment continued its patrolling duties until it was disbanded, due to orders from the Continental Congress and George Washington, on January 1, 1781. [17] The day McCann was discharged from the regiment cannot be determined. [18] McCann's life after the Revolutionary War is not known.

- Burkely Hermann, Maryland Society of the Sons of American Revolution Research Fellow, 2016.

Notes

[1] Descriptions of men in Capt. Edward Veazey’s Independent Comp, 1776, Maryland State Papers, Revolutionary Papers, MdHR 19970-15-36/01 [MSA S997-15-36, 1/7/3/13].

[2] Descriptions of men in Capt. Edward Veazey’s Independent Comp.

[3] Mark Andrew Tacyn, “'To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 24-25, 97; Descriptions of men in Capt. Edward Veazey’s Independent Comp.

[4] For more information, see "Demographics in the First Maryland Regiment" on the Finding the Maryland 400 research blog.

[5] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 4; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 245, 272, 547, Tacyn, 33-34.

[6] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 318, 468; Tacyn, 37, 39.

[7] Arthur Alexander, "How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continental Quotas." Maryland Historical Magazine 42, no. 3 (1947), 187-188, 196.

[8] "Mortuary Notice," Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3.

[9] Revolutionary War Rolls, NARA M246, p. 92, From Fold3.com; Tacyn, 98.

[10] Tacyn, 4.

[11] List of Regular Officers by Chamberlaine, December 1776, Maryland State Papers, Red Books, MdHR 4573, Liber 12, p. 66 [MSA S989-17, 1/6/4/5].

[12] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 302.

[13] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 145, 616; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 119; “From George Washington to Henry Laurens, 21 August 1778,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified October 5, 2016; “From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Moses Rawlings, 7 March 1779,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified October 5, 2016; Bounty Land Warrant information relating to Moses Rawlings, Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters, last updated June 9, 2013. Accessed November 15, 2016. Other officers in the regiment included ensign Elijah Evans and Captain Adamson Tannehill.

[14] Tucker F. Hentz, "Unit History of the Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment (1776–1781): Insights from the Service Record of Capt. Adamson Tannehill," Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, 2007, p. 1-2; Pension of William Blackwell, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number B. L. Wt. 1861-300, Roll 256. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Jacob Casey, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number S. 42114, Roll 493. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John How, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number W. 10113, Roll 1339. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Josiah Hoskinson, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number S. 41649, Roll 1332. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Francis Moore, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number W. 14620, Roll 1754. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John Lazer, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number S. 40,075, Roll 1535. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Peter Hains, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number S. 38,008, Roll 1154. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[15] Hentz, 36-38; Pension of Kinsey Harrison, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number W. 9053, Roll 1205. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Samuel McAtee, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Pension number S. 36,087, Roll 1662. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[16] Hentz, 38-39.

[17] Hentz, 39-42, 44; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 47, 70.

[18] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 350, 351; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 83, 84.
 

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