Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ezekiel H. Teel - Reporting for Duty

While doing a bit of research on the ancestor of my friend and neighbor, I found his name (Stephen Flanagan) contained in a letter supporting another man's application for a Revolutionary War pension, at  The amount of rich detail found here clarifies family relationships, as well as military service.  Middle-school students might be surprised at the experiences of a 13-year-old in 1782.

I have transcribed the letter below, exactly as written:

1 May 1834

Dear Sir,

     The additional facts which can be gathered in the case of Ezekiel H. Teel, are as follows: - The family bible of his mother shows that he was born in 1769: - The battle of the Hyder Ally was fought in 1782, consequently at that time he was 13 years of age: - a boy of that age may render efficient Services on board an armed vessel.
     Mr. Price (a brother-in-law of Stephen Girard) says, that when boys, Teel was always considered the older of the two, but from the family records it does appear that Mr. Price is two years older than Teel. –
     I have frequently heard the late Capt. Stephen Flanagan say, that Teal was in that action, and I have often heard him remark, that at that time, Teel was distinguished, as an adventurous and Courageous boy.

Thos. D. Grover(?) Groves(?)

Hon. I. (or J.) B. Sutherland

A postscript is torn away from the original paper.

(Note:  The battle referred to is known as The Battle of Delaware Bay, or the Battle of Cape May, fought in early April of 1782.  The Hyder Ally was an American privateer sloop, named for Hyder Ali, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore on the Indian subcontinent, and a British enemy.  The Americans were victorious over a superior British force.)