Sam was born in Orange County, Virginia, his family later moved to
Amherst County up on the Blue Ridge at Montebello, Va.
He and his brother enlisted in the Continental Army under their mothers
family name of Hawkins. Enlisting under another name was quite common
among hill folks of the time. (Independent cusses to the end). If they
were losing a battle or just tired of taking orders from anyone out of
their family. They felt free to walk-off and go home to the hills. If
complications arose they could claim it was a different man and
different names. Mountaineers, then as now, were not dummies!
Sam was severely wounded at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina,
receiving seventeen bayonet wounds to the torso, preventing him from
being able to go with his regiment on their march to Virginia after the
victory in South Carolina.
After remaining in South Carolina healing from wounds, he walked to
North Carolina and rejoined his comrades in the Battle of Kings Mountain
and the subsequent march to Virginia and the battles of Northern
Again wounded he was discharged and returned to the Blue Ridge! Nothing
seems to be known of him until a letter from a regimental officer was
later found and, to be brief, "Visited with Private Hawkins
(Fitzgerald); at his cabin on the the Blue Ridge. He was in very bad
shape, covered with scars and surrounded by half-naked and hungry
grandchildren! What can be done to aid Fitzgerald/Hawkins? It seems,
that considering his loyal & faithful service, and the wounds he
suffered in that service to his country that he well deserves it!"
As a result, Private Hawkins/Fitzgerald was awarded a Pension of $07.00
per month. Later increased to $09.00 per month! We found no record of a
land grant! However $9.00 a month at that time was a tidy sum!
He is buried in the New Providence Cemetery along-side his wife.
Thus goes the persistent family rumor that Samuel Hawkins Fitzgerald was
a Colonel on the staff of General George Washington. Samuel Hawkins
Fitzgerald was a private, likely illiterate and assigned as a
shoe-maker! He shed his blood more than once never- the-less! I am proud
he is my grand-dad!
Further Information would be welcome