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Mike Watson: The Gilmer Brothers of Adair Co., KY/War of 1812

A taste of Monday Morning History--When the War of 1812 erupted with Great Britain early in the nineteenth century, Kentucky and Tennessee provided more soldiers than the other United States combined. Many men from South Central Kentucky volunteered to go forth and whip those British behinds. Adair County was not to be outdone and provided most of the men for three companies. The Gilmer name is extinct in Adair today, but once was well-known and its members numerous. James Gilmer, who lived to old age in Iowa, and two brothers, participated in the War. --MIKE WATSON
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By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

James Gilmer--listed in Kentucky Adjutant General's Report incorrectly as Gilman, private, Captain Shirley's Company; born 1 November 1784, likely in Rockbridge County, Virginia, a son of Captain James Gilmer and Ann Hill; married Elizabeth "Betsey" Allen 14 December 1813 in Adair County. Gilmer resided at Glasgow, Jefferson County, Iowa, aged 66 in November 1850, and aged 70 in April 1855 according to bounty land documents. James Gilmer married Patsey Gilmer in Adair County 11 August 1812, attest James G. Gilmer, Sr. and James G. Gilmer, Jr.


His original discharge is included in his pension file: "This is to certify that Jas Gilmer served seven tours of duty in the 7th R[egiment] Ky Inf'y commencing on the 23rd of August 1812 & ending on the 23rd March 1813. [Dated] 3rd June 1813, Jno. W. Shirley, Cap't 7th R K Inf'y" and on reverse: "James Gilmer served for Campbell Gilmer who was draughted--Jno. W. Shirley." [Note to researchers: This is Not the same man as James Gilmore, private, Capt. William Spratt's Company, KY Militia.]


James Gilmer's brothers:

Alexander Gilmer, also Gilmore, private, Captain Butler's Company; born 30 June 1794 in Lincoln or Green County, son of Captain James Gilmer and Ann Hill; married Jane Walker. "Elexander Gilmoor" resided Adair County in 1810 census. Some records have "James Alexander" even though his older brother was James.

Campbell Gilmer, private, Captain Shirley's Company--not listed in Adjutant General's Report--and Orderly Sergeant, Captain Paxton's Company; born 1793, likely in Lincoln County, son of Captain James Gilmer and Ann Hill; aged 57 years in an 1850 document, resident of Washington township, Lee County, Iowa; first married Cassander Jones, later married Martha Taylor; resided in Lee County, Iowa in 1841; physician. In his 1850 application for bounty land based upon service in War of 1812, he stated he "was taken sick while in the service at New Orleans and did not return home at the same time the balance of said company returned...that he left the residence of his mother on the 28th of June 1818, about 2 miles from Columbia Adair [County] Kentucky, that he left a number of papers in a desk at said place at the time he came away and since that time said house has been burned... That he was elected second sergeant at the time he entered the service in said company and was afterward made orderly sergeant..."


This story was posted on 2018-01-08 09:55:58
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