Our 5th Great Grandfather, Richard Samuel Wood was a veteran of the War of 1812, fighting against the British and their Native American allies in the Battle of the Thames in 1813. He was mustered on August 30th, 1813 at Newport, Kentucky and served in Captain Mason Singleton's Company, Colonel George Trotter's First Regiment from Kentucky.
For those of you who need a refresher on the War of 1812, The Battle of the Thames occured when British troops had occupied Detroit until the US Navy gained control of Lake Erie, leaving them without supplies. The British and their Native American allies, The Shawnee, were forced to retreat north, up the Thames River to Moraviantown. The American forces, under the command of William Henry Harrison (our future president), drove off the British and defeated the Shawnee, which in the ensuing battle their leader, Tecumseh, was killed.
Richard Wood was born in 1781 in Amherst County, Virginia where he grew up on the banks of the James River. It was here that Richard met and married 5th Great Grandmother, Celia Gregory in 1803.
In 1800 there were only two states west of the Appalachians — Kentucky and Tennessee. Early starters in the The Great MIgration west, in 1806, Richard and Celia moved to Prestonville, Gallatin County, Kentucky located on the south bank of the Ohio River. Here they farmed and had ten children, including our 4th great grandmother, Sarah who was born in 1808. (Sarah went on to marry Matthias Williams)
In 1818, the moved once again westward to what was then the American Frontier Ridge Prairie, Madison County, Illinois, just NE of St Louis. Soon after the move, three of their children, Martha, Elizabeth and Richard all died from billious fever. Then, in November of 1819, Celia also died of billious fever, leaving Richard with 7 children to raise. Sarah, was just 11 years old at the time.
In the 1820 Federal Census, Richard Wood, now a widower, was living in Ridge Prairie, Madison County, Illinos, located just NE of St Louis. He was living between Isaac Conley and the widow of his brother Rev. John Conley, Hester "Hessie" Conley.
The following year, on January 1, 1821, widower Richard married his widowed next door neighbor, Hessie Conley.
In March 1826, Richard and Hessie moved about 80 miles south, to Morgan County, Illinois in March, 1826. Here, they raised their families over the next 40 years, where his 2nd wife, Hessie, died in September, 1861. Our War of 1812 veteran, Richard Wood, died June 20th, 1865, at the age of 84.