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Subject: [SAR-TALK] Patriot Pendleton Isbell (Sr)
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 23:07:40 EDT

Greetings Compatriots,

Capt. Pendleton Isbell (Sr.) was born in Virginia on 6 Feb 1757.
He enlisted on 7 October 1775, for one year, as a private, in Captain Robert
Ballard's Company, First Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel James
Read. He re-enlisted 7 September 1776, for three years. General Washington
disbanded his original "Commander-in-Chief's Guard" and on 30 April 1777, he
issued circular letters to the colonels of the various Virginia regiments
of infantry attached to the main army at Morristown, requesting that four
men from their respective commands be immediately furnished him for the
re-organization of his Guard. He expressly insisted that none but native born
soldiers be furnished him. The circular reads as follows:

I want to form a company for my Guard. In doing this I wish to be
extremely cautious, because it is more than probable that, in the course of
the campaign, my baggage, papers, and other matters of great public import
may be committed to the sole care of these men. This being premised, in
order to impress you with proper attention in the choice, I have to request
that you will immediately furnish me with four men of your regiment; and, as
it is my farther wish that this company should look well and be nearly of
a size, I desire that none of the men may exceed in stature five feed ten
inches, nor fall short of five feet nine inches, sober, young, active, and
well made. When I recommend care in your choice I would be understood to
mean men of good character in the regiment, that possess the pride of
appearing clean and soldierlike. I am satisfied there can be no absolute security
for the fidelity of this class of people, but yet I think it most likely
to be found in those who have family connections in the country. You will
therefore send me none but natives, and men of some property, if you have
them. I must insist that, in making this choice, you give no intimation of
my preference of natives, as I do not want to create any invidious
distinction between them and the foreigners.

I am, yours, &c,

Go Washington"

The Commander-in-Chief's Guard was thus reorganized on 1 May 1777 and
consisted of a Lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals, one fifer and
forty-seven privates under the command of Captain Caleb Gibbs.
(I recently found the sword of Caleb Gibbs on display in a museum in

Application was made to the Clothier-General for uniforms all made
the same size and a color of blue and buff (the same as Washington wore),
and a small round hat or cocked one. Also each was supplied a musket from
the commissary of stores.

Pendleton Isbell was chosen among the four by Col. Read and was
transferred to the Commander-in-Chief's Guard on 1 May 1777. He participated
in various reconnoiters, served as body guard to Washington, guarded his
baggage, and participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and
possibly others. He spent the arduous winter of 1777-1778 at the Valley Forge
Encampment and was among the first to be drilled and trained by Baron von
Steuben. He re-enlisted and furloughed one hundred and ten days, 18 January
1779, and left the command to return south on 1 February 1780. He went to
Wilkes County, North Carolina where an uncle resided. Perhaps because of
his military experience and training he was made a Captain of a company of
"mountain men" from Wilkes County and on 7 October 1780 participated in the
decisive Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.

On 1 Jan 1782 he married Sarah Henderson in Wilkes County, North
Carolina and now leaves thousands of descendants. Pendleton Isbell died on
March 1829 in Pendleton District, South Carolina (near Fair Play, in now
Oconee County, SC) and was buried in the Isbell family cemetery. That
cemetery was destroyed by the Army Corps of Engineers during the construction of
Lake Hartwell back in the late 1950's. I personally installed the
replacement tombstone in his honor on the hilltop above the SC Welcome Center on
Interstate-85 (at the SC-GA line) nearly 20 years ago. He along with 3 of the
Cleveland brothers (brothers of Col. Benjamin Cleveland) will be honored
in a ceremony there on July 3rd, 2009.

Pendleton Isbell is a true patriot of the American Revolution and I
am proud to claim him as my 4th great grandfather.

Respectfully Yours,

James C. (Jim) Parker, Ph. D.
Historian (& Past President)
Lyman Hall Chapter, GASSAR
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