John Rhea left Princeton (Univ.) with Dr. John Witherspoon, and went into the Revolutionary War. He was color bearer at the Battle of Brandywine , Sept. 11th, 1777, and held on to his staff after his flag was shot away. He was at King's Mountain Oct 7th, 1780, and the sword he wielded there I placed in the State Historical Museum in Nashville, Nov. 1944. Rev. Nicholas Long (Cousin Nick Long) loaned me this LATIN letter from Rev. Joseph Rhea to his son John when I was State Historian of the NSDAR, and I had it photographed. I afterward gave it to Mr. Steward when I was in Richmond, 1915, and he reproduced it in the Virginia Historical Magazine, tho did not mention where he got it.
Anne Rhea Bachman (Mrs.Charles R.)
I am copying the data from the "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography", volume 23, pages 423-424: A handwritten extract of letter in Latin, from Rev. Joseph Rhea to "Mr. John Rhea, in Gen. Washington's Army. 19th April, 1777."
"O, son dear to me-
I am well in body but anxious in mind. The people on the Holston are again afflicted by the Barbarians. I hear that those below the hills are mostly sapine within their fortifications. I think they are going to have a spring harvest. Faith concerning them will be, they will not be able to live in that quarter.
I have sold my farm, and exactly on the fifth of June, I must relinquish . If the Holstonians do not send wagons for my family about that time, I will preceed, God willing, to Virginia and conduct them myself. One year with them; I now have no place in which to put my family. I do not despair, but I now think I sold over hastily. But nothing in this world is done in vain, nothing by chance fortune, but all things by the good omnipotent Ruler. I beg (you) to write to me. Counsel and take care of your brother Matthew. The mother and others at home are very well. I wrote you by Captain Thompson. This letter goes by Captain Boyer from Virginia and from the home of Chiliaribe McAllister and most beloved in his name.
Live both of you mindful of the future and that it is becoming that you behave yourselves. Flee women and wine, these you know have been the destruction of many. Live sober and secure the love of all, especially the captains (officers?). I hope God will surely guide me. I have done wrong (made a grave mistake) in selling the farm so hastily; but I trust the Governor of the whole world will return me to a good end. That God will be with you and will be to you a defense prays a most loving father."
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