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Subject: Re: John Ward Birge & John W. Birge
Date: 4 Jul 2005 09:47:36 -0600

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Hi Scott, I believe they are one in the same.

Listed in the "History and Antiquities of the Name and Family of Kilbourn, by Payne Kenyon Kilbourne, A. M.", John W. was a Brig. General and second in command, in the "Patriot War", Canada, in 1837. In another couple of sources, "The Patriot War of 1837" The Battle of the Wndmill; On the St. Lawrence River, approximately 2 km. east of Prescott, ON. "General" John Ward Birge:

This windmill structure was constructed in the 1830's as a grist mill for grinding grain. In November of 1838, it was the site of the Battle of the Windmill, fought between approximately 200 insurgents from the United States sympathetic to the 1837 Rebellions in Canada and local militia and British soldiers.

The Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada happened because of the political, religious, economic and social problems which had arisen with the administration of a control group called the Family Compact. The time was referred to as the "Dirty 30's".

With the defeat of the rebels, many rebel leaders such as William Lyon Mackenzie, escaped to the United States and found support for their goal of an independent, democratic and republican Canada.

A secret para-military Hunter (or Patriot) Lodge was formed, unknown to the U.S. Government. This Lodge was a band of mis-guided band of idealists who were convinced that the Mackenzie and Papineau Rebellions of the previous year had failed because the Canadian population had not organized themselves properly against the imperialistic British and their toadies in the Family Compact and Chateau Clique. The Hunters were convinced that many would flock to them and that Canada would become a sister republic of the United States. The New York Hunters, led by "General" John Ward Birge, assembled at the Lake Ontario port of Sacket's Harbour for an attack on Fort Wellington, Prescott. The British had been alerted to their activities and the reconstruction of Fort Wellington was authorized.

The Battle

On November 12th, two schooners approached Prescott with the Americans. They attempted to land at Prescott Wharf. However, the customs inspector, Alpheus Jones, sounded the alarm. The two schooners took off and one ran aground at Windmill Point. With the defection of General Birge who claimed sickness and retired to the American shore with 100 men, command now fell to Nils Von Schoultz, a Swedish-Pole, 31 years of age. He envisaged a quick victory but he would soon find out differently for he had stumbled into a hotbed of Loyalism. He could not have found a more unfriendly population.

John Ward Birge married Charlotte James in either Albany, New York or Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY (filed marriage license in Albany on 26 Jul 1831. Married in Cazenovia on July 7, 1832). Charlotte is the daughter of Capt. John James of Manlius, Onondaga County, NY. The New York Hunter Lodge was in Onondega County where John Ward Birge became the "General" of the group.

Charlotte A. James, born May 25, 1809, in Manlius, New York; baptized July 14, 1811 (Records of Christ Church, Manlius, NY); died July 31, 1864, in St. Louis, MO; married July 7, 1832 in Cazenovia, NY, to Dr. John Ward Birge of Cazenovia, NY. They lived in Utica, NY; New Orleans, LA and St. Louis, MO. No issue.

Edgar County, Illinois -- Civil War, 66th Infantry - History and Roster

This is file extracted from "The History of Edgar County, Illinois.",
published in 1879 by Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Co. of Chicago.


An organization, known as "Birge's Sharp Shooters," was commenced at Benton Barracks, Mo., in September 1861, by John W. Birge, and eight companies collected, which was afterward known as "Western Sharp Shooters."

In the 1870 US Census, we find Physician John W. Birge:
1870 US Census, 2nd Ward, Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas:

Birge, John W 63 CT Physician
Maria47 NY
Helen M. 18 NY

Jerry ...

Any other sources, thoughts on John Ward Birge, welcomed.

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