Speaker tells of Gloucester’s contribution to Revolutionary War

Peter J. Teagle - Posted on Feb 06, 2019 - 02:09 PM

The Revolutionary War and its impact on Gloucester County was the topic of the Jan. 26 meeting of the Gloucester Historical Society, which was held at the Abingdon Episcopal Church Parish House, White Marsh.

Gloucester High School teacher, historian, author and Revolutionary War reenactor Michael Cecere discussed the Gloucester colonials’ response to the growing clouds of war. 

In early 1776, Virginia fielded two regiments of “regulars,” or formally trained soldiers, who were supported by militia groups and even a small number of irregular minutemen. As Virginia did not declare independence from Britain until May of that year, the Old Dominion was more or less spared the large-scale military actions going on in the northern colonies early in the war.

The regular regiments Virginia did have were stationed near Great Bridge in Chesapeake, Cecere said, though after the oldest of the 13 colonies declared independence that would change.

“The fourth Virginia Convention required six regiments to be raised for two-year contracts,” the speaker explained, “and the 7th Virginia was told to muster in Gloucester Court House.”

These regiments were comprised of 10 companies of 68 men with additional officers, Cecere said, and counties across Virginia were expected to supply companies of fighting men. Troops were raised from Gloucester, Botetourt, Albemarle, Halifax, Cumberland, Essex, and King and Queen counties, among others.

As Mathews did not yet exist as a county, still some 15 years away from being created by the Virginia General Assembly, the 7th Virginia was expected to defend all of what is now Gloucester and Mathews. 

Around the same time that Virginia officially declared her secession from Great Britain and cast her lot with those in revolt against the crown, the 7th Virginia became embroiled in what is now referred to as the Battle of Cricket Hill.