Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Researching Patrick Cragun Opens Up Interesting History

Major General John Sullivan Patrick Cragun (Craguner - Creagan???) seems to have arrived in Tennessee about 1779 or 1780.

It has been fascinating to learn about that era in Tennessee. General John Sullivan led the final crushing of the feisty Indians. Those battles on their own are interesting. General Sullivan went into Tennessee to fight the Iriquois Indians and their British agents with four brigades totalling 1500 soldiers.

Later, in December of 1779 brave pioneers left their homes to seek their own fortunes in Tennessee. Many came through South Carolina which  had an important network of early roads, including the ancient Great Indian Warrior Path. Some came by river, in 1779 Colone John Donelson led a 30 boat flotilla that launched the famous river migration to Tennessee. He had been there  previously, but his family came with him in this flotilla. 

Years earlier the area had been surveyed in preparation for settlement. The land was choice, the ground was fertile, perfect for farming which is what Patrick Cragun did for his remaining life.

They arrived and settled in what was to become Sullivan County, named after General John Sullivan. His story is also interesing. His bitterness toward England is understandable, as his families Irish Castles had been leveled to rubble by the British invasions. His father was an Irish Exile.

John Sullivan led an in your face attack on Fort William and Mary, where he and some selected associates, through fire and muskets tore down the Royal Flag and carried barrells of powder and muskets away. This British reaction was that it was so humiliating there was no turning back to a war with the Colonials.

The Irish had good reason to despise British rule. Ireland had been pillage and raped, their people murdered by the thousands. It was no wonder the Irish immigrants were key to the American Revolution. Those most vigorous in the rebellion agains England were the Irish. John Sullivan being just one of them. Patrick Cragun possibly another.

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