Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Our grandfather crossed the Deleware and fought with George Washington!–David Jackson


     David Jackson, 1730 to 1811, my fifth great grandfather, emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1762. He and his wife Elizabeth Reed, came with their four children, one a newborn. They left Derry, Ireland, a place besieged with war and conflicts for years, and came to America, where he joined in war again to protect his new country! Courageous and brave was this Irishman! He actually fought in the Revolutionary War under George Washington and was wounded in the Battle of Trenton. 
    David was the half brother of Andrew Bennett Jackson who was the father of our Seventh President, Andrew Jackson, making that President my first cousin, six generations removed! David’s daughter Mary was my fourth great grandmother and married Robert Fulton Hogue/Hogg my fourth great grandfather.  Robert Hogue had emigrated from Scotland with fighting for religious freedom a background in his own family. 

Washington Crossing the Delaware is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. It commemorates General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on the night of December 25–26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War.

      Our Grandfather David Jackson, must have been on one of those boats with George Washington, crossing the Delaware on Christmas night in 1776! Don’t you think he would rather have been at home with his wife and four children warm in front of a fire! Instead…look at this story I found on ancestry.com:
“In 1776 the Revolutionary War began, and ended in 1784.Some time during the first year of the war David Jackson entered the service of the Colonies under General Washington, and was in the battle of Trenton December 25, 1776, in which he lost a hand. The particulars are as follows :Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River in the night, when the river was running full of ice. The attack wasmade upon the British very early in the morning in the midst of a blinding snow storm. Quinton Anderson, James Ewing and David Jackson were comrades. In the midst of the battle, theywere standing together. James Ewing was very much down in spirit, and said, he felt that he would be shot before night. David Jackson and Q. Anderson were talking to him and trying to cheer him up. But, while they were talking, a cannon ball came along, killing James Ewing, and struck David Jackson’s gun and broke it in two pieces, and cut his wrist nearly off.  He immediately wrapped his lacerated and bleeding wrist with his pocket handkerchief, picked up the barrel of his gun, and leaving the stock, he walked to an oxcart loaded with wounded men,,mounted it, and with one hand drove it three miles to a place of safety. This circumstance ended his soldier life, but he often held up the stump wrist to his grandsons and said: “Boys,never disgrace the flag of your country! Never!”—from “The Genealogy of the Jackson Family -1890” by Hugh Parks Jackson

Battle of Trenton by Charles McBarron from Wikipedia

“The Battle of Trenton took place on December 26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, after General George Washington‘s crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey. The hazardous crossing in adverse weather made it possible for Washington to lead the main body of the Continental Army against Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton. After a brief battle, nearly the entire Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans. The battle significantly boosted the Continental Army’s flagging morale, and inspired reenlistments.

The Continental Army had previously suffered several defeats in New York and had been forced to retreat through New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Morale in the army was low; to end the year on a positive note, George Washington—Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army—devised a plan to cross the Delaware River on Christmas night and surround the Hessian garrison.
Because the river was icy and the weather severe, the crossing proved dangerous. Two detachments were unable to cross the river, leaving Washington and the 2,400 men under his command alone in the assault. The army marched 9 miles (14 km) south to Trenton. The Hessians had lowered their guard, thinking they were safe from the American army, and had no long-distance outposts or patrols. After having a Christmas feast, they fell asleep. Washington’s forces caught them off guard and, after a short but fierce resistance, most of the Hessians surrendered. Almost two thirds of the 1,500-man garrison was captured, and only a few troops escaped across Assunpink Creek.
Despite the battle’s small numbers, the American victory inspired rebels in the colonies. With the success of the revolution in doubt a week earlier, the army had seemed on the verge of collapse. The dramatic victory inspired soldiers to serve longer and attracted new recruits to the rank” –from The Battle of Trenton, Wikipedia
Again, I stand amazed and humbled by the history in my own family, I would love to hear some of yours. 
Until we meet again, I am wishing you always and only the best, Helen

Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

7 thoughts on “Our grandfather crossed the Deleware and fought with George Washington!–David Jackson

  1. I am distantly related to David Jackson through his grand daughter Rachel Jackson. She was the grandmother of my grandmother Estella Cherry Kyle. I was aware of some of the history and was looking through the internet about the Battle of Trenton and ran across this.


  2. How cool!I think I actually have your great, great grandmother in my family tree! Is Rachel the daughter of Robert Jackson? Then that would make me her first cousin, and perhaps yours as well, just all those generations removed! Are you on ancestry.com by any chance? Just thought we could consult each others trees! Either way, I am glad to know you are out there, and thanks for finding me! Hope to talk to you again soon. I’ll try to email you directly so you’ll have mine also! Thanks for leaving a comment, Helen


  3. Hi There. Rachel was the sixth child of Robert Jackson (who himself was the child of David and Elizabeth Jackson). Robert married Elizabeth McCorkle who was an orphan having lost her whole family. Her father and one brother were killed in the Revolutionary War, another brother lost in an accident, and her mother died from disease. Elizabeth had 10 children with Robert.

    A small mistake on my part: Rachel Jackson was the Great Grandmother of my Grandmother.

    But with regard to the battle of Trenton: There were 2 battles. The one in which David Jackson lost his left hand was not on December 26, 1776 but rather the second battle of Trenton which occurred on January 2, 1777. Historical records show only a few casualties on December 26. There were a few that fell in the snow during the march from exposure to the cold, and only a few others whose names are known. But the second battle had many more casualties, the number is disputed but David Jackson’s name and the fact that he lost his hand from a cannon ball is listed in the History of Chester County Pennsylvannia with Genealogical and Biographical….

    So sorry if you are disappointed but our David Jackson may not have crossed the Deleware River with George Washington after all.


  4. Well thanks for writing back cousin Andrew ! What a sad but interesting story about Elizabeth McCorkle. Thanks for sharing it. I guess I’ll have to research this battle business a little more, and not believe everything I’m told! LOL Thanks for the reference of the chester County Pennsylvania History. Of course, he may still have crossed with George Washington, even if he didn’t lose his hand until January 2. Afterall, think aobut it. The Jacksons must have been a family of means, education, as Joseph Jackson was a medical doctor, and Robert’s first cousin became the President of the United States! You can look at their family portraits and see that they had means. More than likely the Jacksons and the Washingtons knew each other and went into battle together to some extent.. It was a small population relatively, back then, and as it turns out, George Washington’s half brother Augustine, Jr. married my great, great aunt, Anne Aylett. I’m just saying, just like today, the politicians and the “gentlemen” tended to band together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: What Famous People in History Knew the Delaware River?

  6. I tried to thank you for including my blog in your related materials, but I nor my husbannd could get your “prove you are not a robot” to work! The same thing happened when I tried to send a note by “contact us”. Hope you get this and discover that not a lot of people hae tried to contact you but were unable to!


  7. Pingback: Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #45 | Heart of a Southern Woman

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