THE COGAR FAMILY

 

 

A Few Genealogical Notes

 

 

Incorporating

 

“ONE FAMILY’S EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY”

by Sarah Coger

 

 

            Being a compilation and roughly chronological arrangement of Historical Documents, Family Stories, Legends, Myths, and possibly some Outright Lies, concerning the travels and development of that branch of the family named Koger, Coger, or Cogar, which left Auggen, Germany, about 1730, for America, and which migrated through Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kansas, to settle in Northwest Arkansas in the years immediately following the War Between the States.

 

 

 

Arranged, from several sources, by

 

Steve and Sarah Coger

 

Revised

September 1994, November 1997

 


 

PLEASE NOTE:  These ‘notes’ are an ongoing work, and subject to additions, deletions, and corrections.

 

            If the reader sees any errors, or the need for any corrections or annotations at all, of any kind, please contact the compiler at the address given below. 

 

            If any reader has any family information at all that could be added to the notes, please contact me.

 

            If any reader has any material or information that could clear up any of the questions presented in the “Questions and Controversies” section, please contact me.

 

            The reader who wishes to use any part of the document, written by this compiler, in any way, in a family history that will be freely shared with other researchers, is granted that right without exception. 

 

            No rights are granted to anyone wishing to sell parts of the family history, at any price. However, those individual letters from other persons and specific Koger documents quoted herein are still the property of the authors quoted, and those authors should be contacted for those rights.

 

 

                                                                                    Steve Coger

                                                                                    P. O. Box 64

                                                                                    Danville, Arkansas  72833-0064


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Preface To The First Edition...............................................................................................

Preface To The Second Edition...........................................................................................

Preface to One Family's Eyewitness to America..................................................................

A Summary Of The Generations.........................................................................................

The Coger Family: A Summary...........................................................................................

Questions And Controversies..............................................................................................

Auggen..............................................................................................................................

Claus Koger.......................................................................................................................

Dietrich Koger...................................................................................................................

Claus Koger.......................................................................................................................

Joss Koger.........................................................................................................................

The Generation Of The Emigrants.......................................................................................

Jacob Koger......................................................................................................................

Peter Coger.......................................................................................................................

William Coger....................................................................................................................

John Coger........................................................................................................................

Andrew Jackson Coger......................................................................................................

Asa Coger.........................................................................................................................

 


Preface To The First Edition

 

 

            The information contained herein was gathered from several sources:  Marvin V. Koger of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Julia Parks America Hill’s History of Henry County, Virginia, were the major sources for the information on Jacob Koger; letters written by Peter Coger, kept on file in the National Archives, provided the information on his generation; all information on land grants and other public records on Peter and William Coger was provided by James Brooks Koger of Miami, Florida: family records kept by Miss Lillie Squires, great-granddaughter of John and Sarah Coger, provided much of the information on William, John, and Asa Coger and their families; a narrative written by Inez Coger Hinds provided much information on John, Asa, and Damon Coger;  information provided by Miss Emma Cogar of Seminole, Florida, Paul C. Koger of Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Genealogical Records Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints helped greatly in tying together loose ends.

 

            In addition, the 1993 revision of this work contains much of a 1989 paper written by Sarah Coger, oldest child of the original compiler, concerning the service of the various generations in the wars in which the developing nation participated.

 

            This document is an ongoing work, and any other pertinent information uncovered in the future will be sent as it becomes available.

 

 

                                                                                                Steve Coger

                                                                                                Danville, Arkansas

                                                                                                April, 1974/January 1993


Preface To The Second Edition

 

 

            From a literal point of view, any attempt to write a biography of a human being, or of a human family, is, from the start, doomed to failure.  Every human is so diverse, so variable, so inconstant in nature, that any written summarization of his life must be inherently inadequate.  In life, there is no one whose story can be abstracted in four pages, or forty pages, or four hundred pages.

 

            It is fairly safe to assume that every man and woman named in these notes was, at times, good, and kind, and conscientious.  The same individual, at other times, being human, may have had moments of intense selfishness and spite.  All named here had moments when they took pleasure in and gave thanks for a beautiful sunset, or a soft rain, or fragrant spring flowers.  They all, too, had moments when they spoke harshly to a friend, when they cursed an enemy, when they thought themselves too busy to stop to tell their children that they loved them, when they let the cares and fears of the day overcome the joys that they should have held to be more important, and more lasting.  All had moments when they hurried too much, neglecting to slow down enough to take delight in their blessings, until at last they discovered that it was too late, that suddenly those wondrous blessings were lost and gone forever.  All, at times, knew fear; fear of an unexpected noise in the night; fear of a threatening storm in tornado season; fear for a child, late in getting home; fear of wars and rumors of wars; all our ancestors knew great and small fears, every day of their lives.  All of them knew the despair of losing loved ones to disease, disaster, and death.  All of them, intimately or distantly, knew war.  All of them knew love, and raised children.  Some were wealthy, though most had to work from day to day to survive.  Some had indoor plumbing, though most were well familiar with cool walks in the moonlight.  Some could read and write, though most, back through the centuries, could not.

 

            In short, no one of our ancestors was absolutely perfect, and no one was absolutely imperfect.  No one was all good, and no one all bad.  All of them were just people, not so much different from people today.  If we could be given the chance and the time to meet them, to know them at an age between the immature folly of youth and the hardened gruffness of age, to get to know their joys and fears, their despairs and delights, I feel that we would care deeply for them, as lost parents, as found friends.

 

            In a very real sense, this is the ultimate wish of the family genealogist:  to know his ancestors as friends, to speak with them, to learn from them, to show them that the family, perhaps, turned out all right, and, in addition, to let them know that we have not forgotten.

 

                                                                                                Stephan Coger

Danville, Arkansas

April 1980


Preface To One Family’s Eyewitness To America

 

By

Sarah Coger

 

            It isn’t surprising, in Arkansas, to find families with a history in this country going back over two hundred years.  Many native Arkansas families are the descendants of pioneers who came to this state before it became a state, or even a territory.

 

            What is even more surprising, to me, is that so few people are interested in knowing about their history.  In a country with such complete historical records, reaching back long before 1776, and with libraries in every county which contain so much information about history, it seems odd that so few people want to know what their ancestors, even what their grandparents and parents, did with their lives.

 

            Two families combine to make a child.  This means four grand-parent families, eight great-grand-parent families, sixteen great-great-grandparent families, and so on.  A family which had been in this country for two hundred years might involve as many as two hundred and fifty six different family names.  With such a wealth of human time and experience in the background, practically any family who had been in this country for some time would have some history involving the development of the country itself.

 

            My family came to America in 1728, from the wine-making village of Auggen, in the Southwest Germany.  According to family tradition they were trying to escape civil troubles resulting from growth of the group called the Huguenots.

 

            Since that time members of my family have served in Indian Wars before the revolution, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Second World War.

 

            My family’s history has been traced back as far as the year 1572, with the birth of Claus Koger, who was Vogt, or Magistrate, of a village called Weil am Rhine, in Southwest Germany, near, and sometimes within, the French border.

 

            His son Dietrich Koger, born in 1608, moved to the village of Auggen where he was Vogt, too.

 

            Dietrich’s son, also named Claus Koger, born in 1637, in Auggen, and raised six children. 

 

            His son, Josias Koger, born in 1674, was the father of the generation of emigrants who first came to America, including his sons Jacob Coger, born in 1710, and Nicholaus, who fought Indians on the new continent and made a home in America.

 

            Jacob’s son, Peter Coger, born in 1753, served at Point Pleasant, and fought in the battles of Vincennes and Yorktown. 

 

            His son William Coger, born in 1782, served in the War of 1812. 

 

            His son John Coger, born in 1804, was the father of a family split by the Civil War, including ten sons, several of whom, including Asa Coger, born in 1829, fought at Gettysburg, and served as prisoners of war. 

 

            His son Damon Coger, born in 1865, was the father of Max Coger, born in 1905, who served in the South Pacific campaign during World War Two, and who was my grandfather.

 

            This Paper is intended to serve as a review of the efforts of the members of one American family, my family, in the creation and growth of one country, my country, America.


Bibliography

 (to One Family’s Eyewitness to History)

 

 

Delury, George E., WORLD ALMANAC BOOK OF THE     STRANGE # 2, New American Library, 1978.

 

“Gettysburg,” FUNK AND WAGNALLS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, Inc., Vol. 11.

 

“Guadalcanal,” FUNK AND WAGNALLS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, Inc., Vol. 12.

 

Koger, James B., “KOGERS; THE HISTORY OF THE FAMILY OF JACOB KOGER, Miami, Florida, Privately Published, 1976.

 

Lancaster, Bruce and J.H. Plumb, THE AMERICAN HERITAGE BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION, New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1958.

 

Nevins, Allan and Henry Steele Commager, THE POCKET HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, New York, Pocket Books, Inc., 1943.

 

Wallechinsky, David and Irving Wallace, THE PEOPLE’S        ALMANAC, Garden City, New York, Doubleday and             Company, 1975.

 

Wallechinsky, David and Irving Wallace, THE PEOPLE’S        ALMANAC #2, New York, Bantam Books, Inc., 1978.

 

“War of 1812,” FUNK AND WAGNALLS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, Inc., Vol. 24.

 

“Yorktown,” FUNK AND WAGNALLS ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, Inc., Vol. 25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Although Sarah Coger’s paper was extensively footnoted and thoroughly annotated, those footnotes have no value in this “Coger Family: A Few Genealogical Notes” and have been deleted.

 

The reader should not assume that the lack of footnotes in this work imply plagiarism in the original research paper, which had all quotes and references completely cited and acknowledged.


A Summary Of The Generations

 

 

 

The Koger/Coger/Cogar Family

 

A Summary

 

            For such a relatively small family, the Cogers are blessed with an abundance of family historians.  Any Coger family member, newly interested in his genealogy, will invariably be surprised and pleased by the large number of researchers who have preceded him, and by the wealth of historical material which they have already uncovered.

 

            At this time, the recorded history of the family can be traced, with some accuracy, to Weil am Rhine, in Southwest Germany, in the last third of the Sixteenth Century.

 

            Claus Koger was born in that region of Southwest Germany in about 1572, and served as Vogt, or Magistrate, in that village.

 

            Dietrich Koger, Claus Koger’s son, was born in 1608, and moved, during his youth, to Auggen, Germany, where he, too, served as Vogt.

 

            Claus Koger, son of Dietrich, was born in 1637 at Auggen, and there raised his family of six children.

 

            Joss Koger was born in Auggen in 1674, and was the last generation of our ancestors to live, and die, in Auggen.

 

            Jacob Koger and Nicholaus Koger, sons of Joss, came to America between 1728 and 1732, landing in Philadelphia, and living for a while in Pennsylvania before moving on into Virginia to settle and raise their families.

 

            Peter Coger was born about 1753, and was raised in Rockingham County, Virginia.  He served as a soldier in the Revolution, and his story is preserved in three letters which he dictated, late in his life, to obtain a government pension for his service.

 

            William Coger was born about 1782, eldest son of Peter Coger. He was raised in what is now West Virginia.  Family records state that he married Elizabeth Kingerly (Kingary), and that they raised eight children.

 

            John Coger was born in 1804, and lived in Franklin, Braxton, and Webster Counties, Western Virginia.  He married a local girl named Sarah Sands, and they raised a large family.  After the Civil War, he and his wife Sarah Jane Sands Coger, and several of his sons and their families, moved away from Virginia forever, moving first to Kansas, and later to Arkansas.

 

            Andrew Jackson Coger, son of John and Sarah Coger, was born in 1834.  He served as Quarter Sergeant in the Confederate Army.  After the Civil War, his parents and several of his brothers and their families, moved first to Kansas, and later to Northwest Arkansas. Andrew Jackson Coger died in 1906.

 

            Walter Franklin Cogar, son of Andrew Jackson and Tobitha Jane, was born in Braxton County, West Virginia, in 1877. He married, and they were the parents of children.

 

            Truman Frankin Cogar was born in Braxton County, West Virginia, in 1910 and died in 1991.  He was a railroader.  He married Flora Ethel Turner (1913-1997) of Exchange, West Virginia. He had four sons, Herbert (1930), Richard (1934), Demi Dale (1937), Francis (1941), and one daughter, Eunice (1935-1974).


Koger

Family Crest

 

 

            The Shield of the Koger family “Coat of Arms” or “Code of Identification” is at an angle and it is a reddish yellow or golden in color.

 

            The Charges are in silver and are three in number.  They are blades, or that portion of the plow that turns the earth, and they point downward.  They are staggered in the shield.  They are called “Kogs”.  It is from this that the family name has originated.  They also indicate that the Kogers of generations ago were mainly farmers or tillers of the soil by occupation.

 

            The Helmet is steel gray and is lined with a blue green border and it is topped with crimson.  It rests on the extreme upper right hand corner of the shield.

 

            The Wreath is four in number and is an alternation of gold and blue.

 

            The Crest itself is two “Kogs” or blades as in the arms, one on top of the other, one facing downward and the other inverted and pointing upward.

 

            The Wantling is a variation of purple and dark blue.

 

            The Ribbon bears no motto and changes with its folds from a dark to a light blue.

 

            The Name Koger appears below the ribbon and shows no change or variation in the spelling of the name, from its origin to the present generation.

 

            The Coat of Arms is German it its conception.  It has been documented and recorded in several books on German heraldry.  It has now been handed down in the family for many generations.

 

            It had more usage in previous times in Germany than it does in America.  It was displayed by the family on their farm gates and over the doors of their home to identify the fact that Kogers lived there.  Thus the term Code of Identification.


 


Questions And Controversies

 

 

            The Koger/Coger/Cogar family is blessed in many ways, not the least of which is the relative abundance of family historians.

 

            Almost every branch of the family has one or more of its own chroniclers eagerly searching out the details of that branch’s specific history.

 

            This fact, combined with the relative rarity of the Coger family name, compared, say, to more widespread names such as Smith, Brown, or Jones, has been a major benefit to tracing the twists and turns of the family since it came to this continent.

 

            However, the family history is not completely without argument or controversy.  Several factors, including contradictory oral traditions from different branches of the family, combined with the loss of many early records during the Civil War, create questions and controversies within the research.

 

            Two major questions trouble Coger and Cogar researchers in this branch of the family.

 

            I. The Identity of the Patriarch: Jacob or Nicholaus

 

            The most important question concerns which of the Koger brother immigrants, Hans Jacob Koger or his brother Hans Nicholaus Koger, is the patriarch of most of the West Virginia and Arkansas Cogers/Cogars.

 

Hans Nicholaus Koger

 

            One branch of the Cogar clan in Virginia and West Virginia states that without question we descend from Hans Nicholas Koger, who was killed by Indians as he was building a log house on the “Lower Page Bottoms,” in Orange County, Virginia, in the mid-Eighteenth Century, leaving several orphan children to be raised by others.

 

            According to this view, Hans Nicholas Koger had six children, of which the youngest was our ancestor Peter. After the death of Nicholaus, according to this idea, these children were raised by a man named Godfrey Hambleton (or Hamilton).  Peter then served in the Revolutionary War, and later had children who led directly to the West Virginia family.

 

            This theory also cites as further proof of our descent from Hans Nicholaus family tradition that:

 

            “My great-great-grandfather Jacob Coger told his family that his grandmother Coger’s (Peter Coger’s mother’s) name was Elizabeth, and that he named Aunt Elizabeth (his daughter) for her. My great-grandfather recorded the family data and it was given to me.”

 

            This would seem to indicate that Peter Coger, the Revolutionary War veteran, was the son of Hans Nicholaus and Elizabeth Wilheut Koger, rather than Hans Jacob Koger and Lucinda Crum.

 

Hans Jacob Koger

 

            However, many other Cogar and Koger family researchers, including James B. Koger, Okey Cogar, Louise and Karl Koger, and others, question how Nicholaus could possibly have fathered Peter when Nicholaus died in 1743 and Peter was not born, by his own statement, until 1753.

 

            In the Church Book of John Casper Stoever, of the “Codorus Creek Church,” are listed the births of the children of Jacob Koger’s brother Nicholaus, Called Hans Nicholaus in the book:

 

                                    John (Hans) Koger                   b. September 3, 1736

                                    Ann Elizabeth Koger                 b. December 2, 1728

                                    John Michael Koger                 b. March 10, 1740

                                    John Jacob Koger                    b. September 4, 1741

                                    Anna Catharina Koger  b. May 17, 1743

 

            There is no listing for a son named Peter Koger.  The supporters of the Hans Nicholaus theory agree with this list of five children, but also adds the name of Peter, listing his birth date as 1753.  This presents other researchers with a problem, because the records, as stated above, clearly state that Hans Nicholaus was killed ten years before, in 1743.

 

            Records show that Hans Jacob Koger and his brother-in-law Adam Miller were appointed as guardians of Michael Koger, son of Hans Nicholaus Koger, following Nicholaus’ death.  In 1753, Jacob Koger made a report to the Court of Orange County stating that he had traveled twice to Pennsylvania since his brother’s death to settle the estate. He also states that he had paid to the widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Koger, her part of her husband’s estate, “that being her dower.”  On the same day, he entered into an agreement with a Thomas Macredie to pay b. 59.12.3 by June 1, 1754, to the orphans of Nicholas Koger as their part of their father’s estate. 

 

            According to the late Okey Cogar of Morgantown, West Virginia, West Virginia University professor and Cogar family historian, it took Jacob this ten year period just to settle the estate.  The records then appear to indicate that, for reasons not fully understood today, Michael and the other children of Nicholaus began to spell their name Cowger.  Nicholaus’ daughter Catharina Koger/Coger/ Cowger is possibly the one listed in the wills of Godfrey Hamilton, shown in the following section on William Coger, Jacob’s grandson.

 

 

            In a letter dated April 1, 1980, Okey Cogar wrote in a letter to Steve Coger:

 

     “I might interject some of my findings and thoughts at this point. There is a county in the South Branch Valley of West Virginia which has many Cowgers. This county is Pendleton, once part of Augusta County, Virginia.

     “The first Cowger of record in the county was John. Then there was a Jacob and a George Cowger. I have land grants that were granted to John and Jacob Coger but this land later was owned by John and Jacob Cowger.

     “I never could locate a Michael Cowger of this generation in Pendleton County, but George was very prominent and acquired a lot of property. George was married to Hanna Haas, spinster daughter of Peter Haas, a famous Indian fighter in west Virginia history.

     “Peter gave George and Hanna some property in Augusta, later Pendleton, County. They later sold this property and the deed was drawn in the name of George Couger or George Cowger but when they appeared before the Court in Staunton the clerk of the court validated the deed as follows—`Before the Honorable Court this day did appear Michael Coger and his wife Hanna who declare the above to be their work...’ signed by the clerk and members of the court.

     “So regardless of what George Cowger called himself the court knew him by his true name. They had made him a ward of Adam Miller in 1755.

     “In my honest opinion based on 25 years of research, the above is the story of the sons of Nicholaus Koger. They were orphaned and Jacob had named his children in the same manner and there had to be some way to differentiate between them.”

     “(Many of these) documents are missing as Rockingham records were burned during the Civil War. Damn Yankees.”

 

            II. The Father of John: William or Peter

 

            The group supporting Hans Nicholaus also argues that the father of our ancestor John Coger who was born about 1804 in Braxton County, Virginia, was not William Coger the War of 1812 veteran, as stated clearly in the family records of Lillie Squires, of Gem, West Virginia, but was in fact Peter Coger, the Revolutionary War veteran.  The source for this idea is unknown.

 

            In several letters to Arlis and Steve Coger in the 1970’s, Miss Lillie Squires, the great-granddaughter of John Coger states:

 

     “...Our mother talked a lot about her folks. She had a good memory. I looked in my scrap box, I found some clippings you might be interested in. I found where I had wrote names of my mother’s five generations.

     “I had said to her tell me back as far as you can. Grandpa John (John Milton Coger, Asa’s brother) Coger’s father’s name was John Coger—his wife was Sarah Jane Sands. His father was William Coger—and the same people would be Asa Coger’s parents and grandparents.

     “I will send you Uncle Jackson and Grandpa’s obituaries. They are brothers of (your) Asa Coger that went west.

     “My sister says she remembers Cell, Neal, and Asa went West.  She thought there was a Coger woman that married a John Edwards. Eliza Coger, wife of J. N. Coger, this would be Newt Coger, he might be a nephew or a brother (Newt was Jackson Newton Coger, son of James and Grandson of John-DSC).

     “Mattie my sister will soon be 89, she said Cell Coger was the one she thought left with Luther Skinner. One of the Cogers that went west married Asa Stump’s sister (This was Marcellus-DSC). He went to visit them once.

     “...I think Grandpa’s old generations are from Webster County, West Virginia.  He went back there a lot.  He did like to hunt.”

                                                                                         Lillie Squires

                                                                                         Gem, Braxton County

 

            Sampson Newton Miller, a teacher who married into the Cogar family, wrote:

 

     “William Coger married Betty Kingary, September 18, 1804, and moved to what is now Webster Springs (in Webster County, West Virginia). He lived there a short time and moved to Hacker Valley where he reared a large family of sons and daughters. His sons were John, who lived in Braxton several years and then moved to the state of Kansas in 1864, Tobias, William C., Benjamin, Tunis...”

 

                                                                                         Sampson Newton Miller

           

            Another family tradition is quoted by Inez Coger, grand-daughter of Asa, who tells that our first Coger ancestor to immigrate here was Jacques Cogare, a Huguenot. The phonetic similarity of Jacques to Jacob, pronounced Yockob, might be considered by some to be telling evidence, having survived as a family tradition for two centuries.

 

            Thus, one part of the family puts forth the opinion that the descent is this:

 

 CLAUS KOGER begat

            DIETRICH KOGER begat

                        CLAUS KOGER begat

                                    JOSS KOGER begat

                                                HANS NICHOLAUS KOGER begat

                                                            PETER COGER begat

                                                                        JOHN COGER begat

                                                                                    A.J. COGER begat

                                                                                                WALTER COGAR begat

                                                                                                            TRUMAN COGAR

 

            The opinion of this author, Stephan Coger, and of many others of the Coger, Cogar, and Koger families at this time and based on the information available is this:

 

CLAUS KOGER begat

            DIETRICH KOGER begat

                        CLAUS KOGER begat

                                    JOSS KOGER begat

                                                HANS JACOB KOGER begat

                                                            PETER COGER begat

                                                                        WILLIAM COGER begat

                                                                                    JOHN COGER begat

                                                                                                A.J. COGER begat

                                                                                                            WALTER COGAR                                                                                                                                          begat

                                                                                                            TRUMAN COGAR

 

            These notes, in the absence at this time of documentation to validate the first version of the lineage, will follow the second one listed above, which at this time appears to be more thoroughly researched and logical.

 

            It is very frustrating to a genealogist to have such unsolved questions, in a very real sense, it is the single most frustrating and heartbreaking aspect of any genealogists life search.

 

            It is of the greatest importance to all researchers, to get the ancestry right, not just to be correct, but because it seems to anyone who honors and reveres his family that it is of a deep and transcendent and spiritual value to honor the right people, whose lives led to our lives, and not to dishonor any of these, by inadvertent neglect or forgetting.

 

            We honor and revere all of these, and pray for a time when research will tell us the full truth of our ancestry.


Auggen

 

 

The Known German Generations

 

            Auggen, in the state of Baden, in southwest Germany, is a small village in the foothills of the Black Forest, ten miles east of the Rhine River.  It is about twenty-five miles north of Basel, Switzerland, and thirty-five miles south of Freiburg, Germany.  The earliest written records of the Koger/Coger family are found here.  The family played a prominent part in the early recorded history of this area in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.

 

            According to Coger family tradition, as written down by Inez Coger Hinds in a family history she wrote about thirty years ago,

 

     “the first Cogers to land in America migrated here from France in the Huguenot migration. The name of this first ancestor, according to this legend, was Jacques Cogare.”

 

            She was almost right.  The first Coger to immigrate here was Jacob, pronounced Yockob (phonetically similar, after two hundred years, to Jacques) Koger, and he came from a part of Southwest Germany which was from time to time claimed as French territory.

 

            With regard to the Huguenot story, we simply do not know.  The Huguenots were a French Protestant religious group, during the 1500’s and the 1600’s, influenced by the beliefs of John Calvin.

 

            These Huguenots were hated by the Roman Catholics, which included the Royal Court of France and most of the French people.  The Huguenots were the subject of many years of persecution, and several terrible massacres, including the “St. Bartholemew’s Day Massacre” of August 24, 1572.  After two centuries of persecution, the Edict of Nantes, which had conferred on the Huguenots freedom of religion and admission to public offices in 1598, was revoked by Louis XIV, and over one hundred thousand Huguenots were driven from their homeland.

 

            The earliest historical homeland of the Koger family though, was at this time across the river Rhine, ten miles into Germany from the French border.  We do not know whether the Huguenot troubles affected our ancestors’ decision, in 1728, to leave Germany forever.

 

 


Claus Koger

 

            Claus Koger was born about 1572, probably in the village of Weil am Rhine.  Little information has survived from his generation.  Extant records show that he married a Dorothy Jager, daughter of Dietrich Jager, Vogt at Bintzen.  Though we do not know the names of all of his children, we do know that his son Dietrich was born at Weil am Rhine on Shrove Tuesday, in 1608.  We also know that Claus Koger served as Vogt, a title analogous to Bailiff or Magistrate, of Weil am Rhine, and that he died there in an accident at the age of 58. 

 

            According to the Old Koger Family Book at Auggen, in an entry on page 39,

 

“Claus Koger, formerly Bailiff at Weyl,

drowned in the Meadows near Riehen,

58 years old.”

 

 


Dietrich Koger

 

            Dietrich Koger, son of Claus and Dorothy Jager Koger, moved from Weil am Rhine to Auggen in 1629, and married Maria Leininger on August 24 of that year.  Maria’s father, Hans Leininger, had served as Vogt, of Auggen from 1624 to 1629.  Dietrich and Maria had 6 children. Claus, named after his grandfather, was their third child, and was born in 1637.  Maria, according to the records, died “in childbed”, on April 30, 1643, and Dietrich married again, to Anna Hagin, daughter of the Vogt of Tannenkirch, George Hagin.  According to the new church book of the Parish Auggen, their “wedding dinner was held in Basel, because there was not enough safety in the country”.

 

            Dietrich Koger became Vogt of Auggen in 1629, and served for many years.  The book “Der Weinort Auggen” (The Winevillage Auggen) contains numerous references to Dietrich Koger, which are shown below, by the page number on which the statements are found.

 

54.  A continual supply of livestock could only be requisitioned gradually. Better established farmers, like Lenininger, Koger, Kuttler, and Klugermann, appeared to have possessed, with the aid of relatives in nearby Switzerland, supplies for emergency times where they could keep livestock besides corn, wine, and the like.

 

54.  The new magistrate in 1629 was the former Sergeant-at-arms, Dietrich Koger, a married son of a magistrate from Weil. He was an energetic man who began with an experienced hand to organize the greatly disrupted village affairs.

 

57.  The driving forces in rebuilding the village were the Magistrate Dietrich Koger and the Pastor Jeremias Gmelin. Dietrich Koger had grown up as the son of the Magistrate in Weil, in the hard school of the times.

 

66.  One episode should be mentioned which took place in our village in 1798 and must be seen as a symptom of that politically restless time: in the village some men were supposed to be taken to prison in Lorrach for poaching. Emissaries of the French revolutionary government used this to incite the residents against their Margrave who was at the time staying in Badenweiler. In the night before the telling of the poachers, the concerned persons and the dissatisfied militant persons of the place, with the Magistrate Dietrich Koger in the lead, assembled before the village hall, in order to go to Badenweiler with weapons in their hands, as they said, to speak with the Margrave.

 

68.  We learn on thing, that on September 15th of that year, a high official came unannounced to Auggen and removed the Magistrate Koger, the Sergeant-at-arms Kittler, and the entire village Court from their offices, and replaced them with new officials.

 

74.  While Neff was spouting a revolutionary tirade, Paul Moriz took Jacob Vohl’s weapon from the wall with the intention of shooting Neff. Vohl’s wife, who was a Koger before she married Vohl, could not restrain herself from saying some strong words so that Moriz threatened to shoot her. Had Dr. Elsasser not intervened, the results might have been disastrous.

 

104. Only from the mid-Seventeenth Century did the Magistrate affix a seal with his very own crest. Dietrich Koger was the first to do so. His seal we see in his epitaph on the west Cemetery Wall which shows the beginning of our village coat of arms: plough and vineknife.

 

112. The keeping of animals in alternating stalls was disadvantageous for animal maintenance; from a report by Magistrate Koger it was prevalent that young bulls had to be slaughtered because of disease, quite frequently.

 

26. Around 1650, the Auggener Vogt Dietrich Koger had on lease with Gutaner Meierhof some real estate.  Since he used the Gutnauer field and the        woodlands of the upper and lower part of the timber slide, Neuenburg was afraid that Koger could absorb this real estate for Auggen, so sought legal action to prevent Koger’s control. Finally, when the Auggen shepherds again grazed their animals in the Rhine Valley, Neuenburg returned to his former Austrian central government in Ensisheim.  Auggen asserted that the Margrave government likewise fitted in.  Neuenburg depended on his royal privilege.  The matter was brought to the attention of the Royal Notary, Dietschin, where it was thoroughly discussed.  However, they were unable to come to any agreement.

 

154. #30 Braurtsmatten:  For a long time it was government property and in the 17th Century it was managed as a holding by Magistrate Koger.  A part of this property is found today under the designation  “Roggenbacher Schlag” in the possession of the firm Krafft.

 

159. Koger emigrated from Weil in 1629.  (Dietrich)

 

196. In a large village fire in October 1727 the “Renkenhof” was a victim of the flames.  It was not rebuilt.  The feudal tenants at that time, the Magistrate Joss Muser and Martin Koger (a son of Dietrich Koger) used the location for a succession of house gardens, but soon were sold.

 

2201. When the Meierhof was destroyed in 1675, the property held in fee went to the Auggener families; Koger, Kuttler, Lenininger, and Muser.  In the last centuries before the secularization were given to the St. Blasisch Diocese of Krozingen yearly a total of 15 measures (150 liters) of rye, 6 measures of oats, and 4 measures of barley.  After the Secularization the sale of good of 242 Jucharten resulted through Christian Lenininger and Jos and Johann Kroger between 1825 and 1843.

 

244. Lowen the “Lion” was named in 1641.  The Innkeeper of the Lowen was the butcher Joss Kuttler, a grandson of the important Magistrate Kuttler.  The business, butcher shop, and inn were run by Kuttler as predecessor of the present Dreher-Hoflin House. The concession to the above was bestowed for the last time in 1701.  When Kuttler died in 1678, his son Joss inherited the business with the Inn.  Kuttler’s wife was Elizabeth Kurz.  After Joss Kuttler’s death she married in 1713 the butcher Martin Koger, a son of the Magistrate Dietrich Koger.  Their business was severely damaged by a fire in 1727, but was soon rebuilt.  In 1762 the property went to Martin Koger’s son who was likewise a butcher.  Because in the meantime several Inns appeared in the village, their Inn (Koger’s) went out of business.  Then Koger ran only a butcher’s shop.

 

253. Among the butchers, we meet three generations of Kogers.  One of them had      learned the profession and the French language in Lausanne, which was advantageous in the frequent “visits” of the French troops.

 

254. In 1710 Jos Koger was named Cooper.

 

257. A smith, Martin Koger, from 1802 carried on his business in the present Reinhard Zollinschen house behind the “Rebstock” (vine).

 

            According to the Auggen Church-book, “Dietrich Koger, the old Magistrate of Auggen, 80 years and nine months old, pretty weak but still getting around on his own, being of sound mind, able to get out of bed on his own, died peacefully on the morning of November 27, 1688.  Recorded down on Christmas by the Pastor, in his Ministry for 37 years on that day.  Jerimia”

 

A Memorial Epitaph on the wall in the cemetery at Auggen reads as follows:

 

 

HERE LIES BURIED

THE HONORABLE MR. DIETRICH KOGER

RESPECTED MAGISTRATE OF AUGGEN

HAD 6 CHILDREN IN HIS FIRST MARRIAGE

WITH MISS MARIA LEININGERIN

AND IN THE OTHER MARRIAGE

WITH MRS ANNA HAGIN, 12 CHILDREN

ALSO HE LIVED TO SEE

55 GRANDCHILDREN AND

12 GREAT GRANDCHILDREN

ON THE 27TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 1688

AT THE AGE 80 YEARS AND 9 MONTHS

IN CHRIST GENTLY BLESSED

HE PASSED AWAY TO GOD

 

 


Claus Koger

 

            Claus Koger, son of Dietrich, married Maria Kuttler, daughter of Jose Kuttler (who is described in the records as butcher, inn-keeper, and Orphan-judge in Auggen), on November 20, 1665.  Maria, who had been born on Mayday of 1646, was nineteen.

 

            Claus and Maria had six children; Dietrich and Joss, twins, born November 8, 1666; Maria, born July 17, 1669; Claus, born August 9, 1671; Joss, born August 8, 1674, and named after his brother who had died an infant on May 18, 1667; and Christoph, born December 10, 1678.

 

            A brief entry on page 41 of the Old Koger Family Book at Auggen states about Claus Koger;

 

“Born at Eastern (sic) 1637, was butcher, married 20 November 1665 Maria Kuttlerin at Auggen and had six children with her, he died, falling from nut tree, 14 September 1679.”

 

            From this, we learn both his occupation, butcher, and his manner of death, in a fall from a tree, at the age of 42. 

 

            Dietrich Koger, his father, outlived him, dying nine years later, on November 27, 1688.

 

 


Joss Koger

 

“In 1710, Jos Koger was named Cooper.”

 

            This entry, found on page 254 of the book “Der Weinort Auggen”, a written history of Auggen, published by the Borough of Auggen, indicates for us the importance that was placed on the “Cooper”, the wine cast maker, by the elders of that wine-making village.

 

            This Jos. Koger, the Cooper, or wine-barrel maker (an important position in a wine-making village like Auggen) represented the last of our Koger ancestors to be live his life in his German homeland.

 

            The name Jos, in other entries written Joss, is believed by many genealogists to be a contraction of the name Josias, which was popular at that time in that region of Germany, although Joss is also a popular German name, and one of his sons took the name Joseph in this country. 

 

            Many records exist from that time which will mention a man at one time as Jos or Joss, and at another as Josias.  As the existing records mention our ancestor as Jos or Joss, these notes will use that name.

 

            Our ancestor Joss Koger married Maria Catharina Gebhard, daughter of the Pastor of the nearby village of Feldburg, on February 22, 1701.  These were troubled times in Europe, and a family’s Church Records were often left incomplete as the family moved from village to village to seek sanctuary from the incessant fighting.  The records which do yet exist show these children for Maria and Joss:  Maria, born December 25, 1701, died May 8, 1703; Nicolaus, born February 21, 1704, died April 4, 1704; Joss, born March 14, 1705; and Bernhard, born November 15, 1706.  We must assume that Maria Gebhard Koger died, although the records do not list it, as the records next show Joss Koger marrying Anna Lowenbergen on April 23, 1709.  Two of their sons are mentioned in the records; Hans Jacob Koger, born July 24, 1710, and Nicholas Koger, born January 30, 1712.

 

            It is these two brothers who, between 1728 and 1732, came across the Atlantic to America.

 

            For whatever reason, whether due to religious persecution, continuing trouble from the French troops crossing the border, or trouble with the Margrave, the political head of the state of Baden, Jacob and Nicholas Koger left Germany and immigrated to the new land of America.

 

            Joss Koger, their father and the last German branch of our ancestry, died at Auggen on August 23, 1733.

 

            It is an interesting point to make that when Nicholas Koger was killed by Indians as he and Jacob were building a cabin on their Virginia land, his will listed among his worldly goods Coopering tools.  It seems likely that his father Joss had taught him his trade before the emigration.


The Generation Of The Emigrants

 

            Of Joss Koger’s children, we know that Bernhard remained in Germany, raised a family, and died, in Auggen, in 1755.  Joss Koger Jr. came to America about 1734, with the Reverend Peter Pury’s Colony, according to family tradition.  Joss used the name Joseph Koger after landing in Charleston, South Carolina.  Existing records state that a Nicklaus Koger and a Jacob Koger arrived in Philadelphia on August 17, 1732, aboard the “Pink, John and William, out from Rotterdam, last from Dover.”  However, tradition held among the Koger family genealogists of today states that Hans Jacob Koger came to Philadelphia on August 24, 1728 aboard the ship “Morton House”.  No European records have been found, possibly for the reasons mentioned above, concerning those that Koger tradition holds to be the rest of Jacob and Nicholas Koger’s brothers and sisters who traveled to America, Michael, Peter, and Barbara Koger.  Joss Koger, their father and the last German branch of our ancestry, died at Auggen on August 23, 1733.

 

            James B. Koger writes

 

     “...as to the professions of the generations, they varied; all of them probably worked in the vineyards, as this is the accepted thing today for most of the inhabitants to do.  “Old Claus was Magistrate at Weil.  His son Dietrich was Mayor at Auggen.  Some were innkeepers, and some were butchers.  They were definitely ‘upper class.’  They sent their children to school to learn to read and write.  They had homes, businesses, and cattle.

 

     “One German Koger asked me a question, “Why would your ancestor want to leave this beautiful country and go to America?”

 

     “My answer was ‘To live a new life, to own land, to be free.’  They could not conceive of a man having one thousand acres of land in his own name.”


Jacob Koger

 

            Large sections of the following section on Jacob Koger are taken verbatim from two Koger family histories written by James B. Koger of Coral Gables, Florida, and Marvin V. Koger, of Knoxville, Tennessee, which, in turn, draw heavily from Julia Parks America Hill’s “History of Henry County, Virginia.

 

            From 1700 to 1727, 50,000 Germans came to the colonies.  From 1727 to 1776, there were 30,000 who came into Pennsylvania alone.  Of these Germans, the historian Rupp says:

 

     “They were principally farmers.  They depended upon themselves, not upon others.  They wielded the mattock, the axe and the maul, and by the powers of brawny arms, rooted up the grubs, removed saplings, felled the majestic oaks, laid low the towering hickory, prostrated where they grew the walnut, poplar, chestnut, cleaved such as suited the purpose into rails for fences; preserved untiringly until the forest was changed into arable field.”

 

            Five Koger brothers and one sister came to America from Germany.  The sister was the first to come, as the wife of an Adam Miller, or Mueller.  Jacob Koger and his younger brother, Michael, came on the ship, Morton House, into Philadelphia from Germany in 1728.  The immigration record of the Morton House for that voyage states:

 

            “August 24, 1728, eighty Palatines with their families, about 200 persons, imported in the ship “Mortonhouse”, John Coultas, Master, last from Deal, whence the ship sailed June 15th, Col. Ree.III.327 255 persons were on board, 80 males above 16, 69 women and 56 children.  (Rupp).

 

The names of the 80 men above sixteen are given below:

(Names of the women and children were not given)

 

                        Geo Bechtell                                         Denius Dunckelberg

                        Johannes Bar                                        Joan A. Kohler

                        Johannes Roth                                      Jacob Brulasher

                        Uli Schurch                                           Philip Noldt

                        Vincent Stoufer                         Baltas Gerriger

                        Henrich Dielinger                                  Jacob Storm

                        Christ News Wanger                            Johan Scharch

                        Hans M. Dettmer                                  Johannes Christ

                        Johan Doderer                                      Hans Weldgrau

                        Christoffel Bencker                               Johannes Bolla

                        Johan Rorr                                           Michael Saipell

                        Hans Hauff                                           John J. Hack

                        Jacob Coger                                         Johan Huber

                        Johan Er                                               Felde Kille

                        John H. Raan                                        Johan Herer

                        Johans Kitsmiller                                   Rudolph Heller

                        Johan Jost Smith                                   Jonas Kohler

                        Johannes Naycommet                           Ury Schurgh

                        Henrich Eschelmann                              Johannes Morganstern

                        Johans Lagerhan                                   Kasper Heydrukee

                        Martin Vogelhutter                                Johannes Frankhauser

                        Hans Martin Miller                                Hans L. Miller

                        Johan P. Molich                                    Gottfried Henk

                        Christopher Sullenger                            Hans Jocob Miller

                        Peter Denekelberg                                Hens Erdt

                        Abram Wolff                                        Johannes Edesma

                        Frederic Loeder                                   Stephen Haltesbieller

                        Jacob Jost                                            Derick Oordt

                        Frans. Latshow                         Peter Mittelkau

                        Johan Hengst                                        Bernerd Henssel

                        Jacob Heidschuh                                  Johan Roth

                        Johannes Weygandy                             Johan C. Meng

                        Johan M. Ranck                                   Johan Stock

                        Michael Kohler                         Johannes Bar

                        Hans Frihm                                           Jacob Wissel

                        Philip Engert                                         Conrad Kerr

                        Hans Philip                                           Jacob Bruner

                        Martin Schaub                                      Hans Dielinger

                        George Schmidt

 

            It is believed that these names were signed by the clerk, who spelled the name “Coger,” rather than the Germanic “Koger”.

 

            All males on the ship above the age of sixteen either signed their names or made their mark to the following declaration:

 

     “We subscribers, natives, and late inhabitants of the Palatinate upon the Rhine and places adjacent, having transported ourselves and families into this Province of Pennsylvania, a colony subject of Great Britain, in hopes and expectation of finding a retreat and peaceable settlement therein, do solemnly promise and engage that we will be faithful and bear true allegiance to HIS MAJESTY, KING GEORGE THE SECOND, and his successors, Kings of Great Britain, and will be faithful to the proprietor of this province, and that we will demean ourselves peaceably to all His Majesty’s subjects, and strictly observe and conform to the laws of England and this Province to the utmost of our power and best of our understanding.”

 

            Four years later, Jacob Koger and Nickalous Koger were listed as coming from Germany into Philadelphia by the following notation:  October 17, 1732, on the ship “Pink”, John and William of Sunderland, Constable Tymperman, Master from Rotterdam, last from Dover, 61 men above sixteen, 109 women and children of both sexes and various ages.

 

            After 250 years, it is a family mystery why Jacob Koger is listed twice coming from Germany. Some Koger genealogists believe that he returned to the homeland to bring his brother Nickalous. Others state that the first Jacob Coger was a cousin from another village in Germany. Still others state that the 1728 listing is simply in error.

 

            At any rate, and by whatever path, Jacob and Nickalous were in America.

 

            The story is told by some of the descendants of Jacob Koger now living in Henry County, Virginia, that when Jacob came over from Germany he brought with him his younger brother, Michael.

 

            After they had been here a few years, their father Joss, who had remained in Germany, had a dream one night that he saw Michael climbing in a pear tree. In this dream his son fell, and in the fall an old limb was driven into his thigh.  He hung there on the limb until he died.

 

            The next letter Joss Koger received from Jacob in America related in detail the death of young Michael, just as his father had seen it in the dream.  Since there were 56 children on the ship “Mortonhouse” under sixteen years of age whose names were not given, Michael might well have been among them.

 

            It is known that Jacob had a son named Michael, and so the fact that Michael is a family name lends more credence to the old story.

 

            Joseph Koger, according to traditions of his branch of the family, came from Germany about 1734 through Charleston, South Carolina, with the Reverend Peter Pury’s Colony.  The immigration records of Charleston have been destroyed and his name does not appear in the Pury list, but the family history clearly has it that he came with Pury’s group.

 

            Peter Koger came into Philadelphia on October 28, 1738, among “Palatines imported in the bilander `Thistle’.  George Houston, Commander from Rotterdam, last from Cowes, 42 men, 36 boys, 64 women and girls.”

 

            So Barbara, Jacob, Michael, Nicholas, Joseph, and Peter Koger came to America from southwest Germany to found the Koger family here on this continent long before the land was known as the United States of America.

 

            The immigration records show that a great influx of settlers came from “the Palatinate on the Rhine.”  The Palatinate was the name of the area of Germany, which at that time included Baden and the village of Auggen.

 

            The family tradition tells that Jacob Koger’s (and his younger brother, Michael’s) passage was paid to this country by a man named Harmon, with the understanding that Jacob Koger would work for this Harmon for at least two years, without pay, so that Harmon would be repaid for the funds that he had advanced for the passage.  Apparently Jacob Koger lived up to this agreement.

 

            Family history tells that this Harmon was a physically powerful man, who could “lift 25 bushels of wheat at one time.”

 

            One tradition, quoted by Marvin Koger, states;

 

      “...There was a bully living outside of that neighborhood who took offence at Mr. Harmon and came over to demand a settlement of the trouble in the usual way—with fist and skull.  Mr. Harmon leisurely picked the man up and threw him over the garden fence.”

 

            During the indenture period, Jacob never had any real problems with his employer.  One story, though, tells how one time, when he and Harmon were driving Harmon’s oxcart to the mill, Jacob, at the reins, fell asleep in the hot sunlight, and the cattle left the road and gathered in a field under the shade of a tree.  Harmon, seeing what had happened, yelled to Jacob:  “Wake up there Yockob! Wake up!  (Yockob was the original pronunciation for Jacob)  Jacob was startled, but still managed to get the cattle back onto the road.  The story states that Jacob was careful not to get sleepy again.

 

            While still in Pennsylvania, about 1737, Jacob Koger married Lucinda Crum. They had a large family: Michael Koger, who was named for the little brother Jacob brought with him, became a Revolutionary War soldier.  Michael was born in 1740 in Pennsylvania but lived and married in Augusta County, Virginia; Henry Koger, who was born in Pennsylvania on October 15, 1743, and who later lived in Henry County, Virginia; John Koger, who was born in January of 1745 and died in Patrick County, Virginia, on February 18, 1835; Jacob Koger, Jr., who was a Revolutionary War soldier and who died in Franklin County, Virginia, on May 21, 1797; Peter Koger, also a soldier of the Franklin County, Virginia, born in 1753 and later a resident of Rockingham County, Virginia; Nichalous Koger, the youngest son, who moved westward to what is now Wayne County, Kentucky, and died on November 26, 1824 in Campbell County, Tennessee; Mary Koger, the one daughter, that married a Dr. Stone of Henry County, Virginia, and of whom we have no further record.  Family tradition says that there was another son named Joseph, who as is told below was killed by drowning in the spring of the Koger home in Henry County, Virginia.

 

           
            In the Church Book of John Casper Stoever, of the “Codorus Creek Church,” are listed the births of the children of Jacob Koger’s brother Nicholaus, Called Hans Nicholaus in the book:

 

                        John (Hans) Koger                   b. September 3, 1736

                        Ann Elizabeth Koger     b. December 2, 1728

                        John Michael Koger                 b. March 10, 1740

                        John Jacob Koger                    b. September 4, 1741

                        Anna Catharina Koger              b. May 17, 1743

 

            We don’t know how long Jacob and Nicholaus stayed in Pennsylvania, but eventually both moved into the area of Virginia where their sister Barbara and her husband Adam Mueller/Miller, by this time a respected county official, lived.

 

            We know that by 1740 Jacob and his brother Nicholaus had begun acquiring land in Virginia.

 

            In 1743, Nicholaus Koger was killed by Indians as he was building a log house on the “Lower Page Bottoms,” in Orange County, Virginia, and Jacob Koger was appointed as administrator of his estate.  Nicholaus was buried on the land, and Jacob Koger and his brother-in-law Adam Miller were appointed as guardians of Michael Koger, son of Nicholas Koger.

 

            It took Jacob ten years to settle this estate. On May 24th of 1753, Jacob Koger made a report to the Court of Orange County stating that he had traveled twice to Pennsylvania to settle the estate of his brother. He also states that he had paid to the widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Koger, her part of her husband’s estate, “that being her dower.”  On the same day, he entered into an agreement with Thomas Macredie to pay b. 59.12.3 by June 1, 1754, to the orphans of Nicholas Koger as their part of their father’s estate.

 

            The records appear to indicate that, for reasons not fully understood today, Michael and the other children of Nicholaus began to spell their name Cowger.  Nicholaus’ daughter Catharina Koger/Coger/Cowger is probably the one listed in the wills of Godfrey Hamilton, shown in the following section on William Coger, Jacob’s grandson.

 

            In a letter dated April 1, 1980, Okey Cogar writes to Steve Coger:

 

     “I might interject some of my findings and thoughts at this point. There is a county in the South Branch Valley of West Virginia which has many Cowgers. This county is Pendleton, once part of Augusta County, Virginia.

     “The first Cowger of record in the county was John. Then there was a Jacob and a George Cowger. I have land grants that were granted to John and Jacob Coger but this land later was owned by John and Jacob Cowger.

     “I never could locate a Michael Cowger of this generation in Pendleton County, but George was very prominent and acquired a lot of property. George was married to Hanna Haas, spinster daughter of Peter Haas, a famous Indian fighter in west Virginia history.

     “Peter gave George and Hanna some property in Augusta, later Pendleton, County. They later sold this property and the deed was drawn in the name of George Couger or George Cowger but when they appeared before the Court in Staunton the clerk of the court validated the deed as follows—`Before the Honorable Court this day did appear Michael Coger and his wife Hanna who declare the above to be their work...’ signed by the clerk and members of the court.

     “So regardless of what George Cowger called himself the court knew him by his true name. They had made him a ward of Adam Miller in 1755.

     “In my honest opinion based on 25 years of research, the above is the story of the sons of George Nichoulas Koger. They were orphaned and Jacob had named his children in the same manner and there had to be some way to differentiate between them.”

 

            Great numbers of the Pennsylvania Germans had worked their way down in the Virginia Counties, especially Augusta County.

 

            “When George Washington and others were surveying lands in that part of Virginia in April 1748, they were attended with a great number of people, men, women and children, who followed them through the woods—they would never speak English, but when spoken to, they all spoke German.”                                                                                                                                                        Spark’s Washington, Page 418.

 

            Although we are not sure exactly what year Jacob Koger and his wife and family left Pennsylvania and moved to Augusta County, Virginia, we do not know, but it was definitely after 1743, as their son Henry Koger was born in Pennsylvania; whether John Koger, their third son, was born there or in Virginia is not known.  But at least one old history of Virginia (Sparks, page 418), shows that Jacob Koger is definitely established in Augusta County by 1746. 

 

            At any rate, by 1746 Jacob Koger had moved to Augusta County, Virginia, into the house he and his brother Nicholaus built, about 25 miles outside of present-day Staunton on the Shenandoah River. The house became their family home and the move from Pennsylvania became permanent.

 

             From court records of May 1750, we see evidence of Jacob Koger’s religious, or, more accurately, his lack of religious make-up, which seems to have fit in very awkwardly with the “blue laws” of that time.  In those records, Jacob Koger was indicted for;

 

     “Jacob Koger for a breach of the Sabbath by driving hogs across the Blue Ridge on the Sabbath Day”. 

 

            The conclusion of the case appears on the court record in 1750:

 

     “Upon the presentment of the grand jury against the said, Jacob Koger, his excuse by his attorney being heard, it is considered by the court that he forfeit and pay to the Church warden of Augusta Parish, where the offence was committed, for the use of the poor of the said Parish, five shillings current money, and that he pay costs.

 

     “...Key V. Jacob Koger, on presentment of the grand jury for a breach of the Sabbath.  2nd Mch. 1750.”

 

     It appears that Jacob was not by himself as an offender of the prevailing religious sentiments.  The same grand jury, with a James Trimble as foreman, brought indictments against the following:

 

     “Col. Thomas Chew, a lawyer, and John Bremham, Deputy Sheriff, as common swearers.”

 

     “Valentine Sevier for swearing six profane oaths.  (This Valentine Sevier was the father of John Sevier, Governor of Tennessee.)

 

     “James Frame for a breach of the Sabbath in unnecessarily traveling ten miles.”

 

            Their courthouse was not like its modern counterparts, as the following report of the grand jury indicates, from May 21, 1748:

 

     “We find the court house to be 38’ 3” long and 18’ 3” wide in the clear, built with logs hewed on both sides, not laid close.  Some of the cracks between the logs are quite open, four or five inches wide, and four or five feet long, and some are stopped with chunks and clay, but not quite closed; two small holes are cut for windows, but no glass or shutters are attached to them, the inside not finished nor fitting for His Majesty’s judicature to sit.”

 

            In the spring court of Virginia on May 19, 1748, Jacob Koger was made overseer of the road in Augusta County, Virginia, to succeed Adam Miller, his brother-in-law.

 

     “May 19, 1748, Jacob Koger is hereby appointed overseer of the road in the room of Adam Miller (Koger family tradition states that this Adam Miller was the husband of Jacob’s sister Barbara Koger), and is ordered that because the said road to be cleared and kept in repair according to law.”

 

            This was not the only important public office that Jacob Koger was to fill.  On May 20, 1752, Jacob Koger was made constable of Augusta County, Virginia.

 

     “May 20, 1752, John Harmon is on his Moshion discharged from being Constable as soon as Jacob Koger is sworn into the said office for which purpose it is ordered that the said Harmon summon him before a justice of the county to be sworn according to law.”

 

            At that time, being a constable or deputy sheriff was not without its responsibilities and dangers, as some of the returns of this court show:

 

     “November 1752—Not executed on account of an axe.

Williams V. Bulger, John Lewis D.S..”

 

     “May 1753—William V. Bulger—Not executed by reason of a gun.

John Lewis D.S.”

 

     “November 1756—Not executed by reason the defendant outrode me so that I could not catch him.

Sampson Matthews D.S.”

 

     “Elliot V. Johnson—Not executed by the reason of the flux being in the house.

R. Breckenridge, D.S.”

 

     “February 1763—Reed V. Clendening, not executed by reason the fellow gave me heel play.

George Skillern D.S.”

 

            It is presumed that Jacob Koger would write or he could not have been made Constable.  The immigration record seems to imply that he could not sign his name; however, some subsequent deeds clearly show that he could.

 

            Whatever might be said of the piety of these people, it is apparent that they had very little charity or tolerance toward an offender of the law, as the following indicates:

 

     “Catherine Cole being presented by the grand jury for having a bastard child and refusing to pay her fine or give security for the same according to the law, it is ordered that she receive on her bare back at the public whipping post of the county, twenty lashes well laid on in lieu of this fine.  It is said to the sheriff that execution there of be done immediately.”

 

            On April 24, 1753, Jacob Koger was granted by the Governor of Virginia 930 acres of land at the Hawksbill of the Shenandoah River (this is one of the locations that Peter Coger was later to list as a birthplace).  This land grant is on file at the land office in Richmond, Virginia, and reads as follows:

 

     “Grant to Jacob Koger.  George the second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, defender of the faith, do to all of these whom presents shall come, Greetings, know ye, that for divers good causes and consideration and especially for an in consideration of the sum of forty schillings of good and lawful money, for our use paid and to our receiver general of our revenues in this colony and dominion of Virginia.  We have given, granted and confirmed and by thee presents by us, our heirs and successors, do give grant and confirm unto Jacob Koger, one certain tract or parcel of land, containing nine hundred and thirty acres, lying and being in the County of Augusta on the south side of the Shenandoah River, 530 acres, being a part of a tract of 2,000 acres formerly granted unto Richard Maudlin, Jr., by our letters of 1743 and 400 acres, the residue, never before granted.  With all woods, underwoods, swamps, marshes, lowground, meadows, feldings, and his due share of all veins, mines and quarries as well discovered and not discovered, within the boundaries aforesaid and being part of the quantity of nine hundred and thirty acres.  Of the land and the river waters and water courses, therein contained, together with the privileges of hunting, hawking, fishing, fowling and any other proper commodities and herdsmen, whatsoever, to the same or any part thereof, belonging on in all will appertaining, to have, hold, possess and every part thereof, with their and every appurtenances unto the said Jacob Koger, his heirs and assigns, former to have been held by us, our heirs, successors of our Manor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent.  In free and common society and not in Captive or by Knight’s service.  Yielding and praying upon us, our heirs and successors forever, every 50 acres of land and so proportionally, for a lesser or greater quantity than 50 acres, and rent fee of one schilling yearly to be paid, upon the feast of Saint Michael, the Arch Angel, also cultivating and improving these acres, part of every fifty of the tract above mentioned, within the year after the date of these presents, excepting for so much of the said land as hath already been cultivated and improved, according to the conditions of the said former patent.  Provided always that three years of the said rent fee, shall be anytime in arrears and unpaid, or if the said Jacob Koger, his heirs or assigns, do not within the space of three years, next coming after the date of these presents, cultivate and improve, three acres, next of any fifty of the tract above mentioned, except as is before excepted, then the estate hereby granted, shall cease deformed and thereafter it shall and may be lawful for us, our heirs and successors to grant the same land and provisions with the appurtances with, to such other persons or person as our heirs and successors, with.  Witness of our trusty and well beloved Robert Dinwiddie, Esq. our Governor and Commander in Chief of our said colony, the 24th day of April, 1753 and in the 27th year of our reign. 

Robert Dinwiddie.”

 

            So by 1753 Jacob Koger owned 930 acres of land in Augusta County, in what is now Rockingham County. The plot of his farm appears on the plot book of the county records.

 

            In 1762 Jacob Koger moved to Halifax County, Virginia, now Henry County. Court records state that on August 12, 1762, Jacob Koger of Halifax County gave his son Michael Koger of the County of Augusta, 455 acres of the above patent, lying on the Shenandoah River, for the sum of five shillings.  He retained the balance of 545 acres and appointed his son, Michael, as overseer of his lands.

 

            As Okey Cogar writes in a letter of April 1, 1980, the vagaries of the land grant law at that time required Jacob to split up his young family:

 

     “The land in Augusta (later Rockingham) County was originally purchased from Richard Mauldin in 1743 but a faulty deed was granted. The land was resurveyed in 1755 and granted to him in total by a crown patent.

 

     “Jacob was (in 1762) in Halifax territory, later Henry County, and had land surveyed there that year. He subsequently received a patent for the Henry county land and moved there.

 

     “Granted or patented land was not a gift in any manner.  Certain stipulations applied, the two most severe being a `quit-rent’ that had to be paid the Crown each year and the real back-breaker, which was the stipulation that so many new acres had to be put under cultivation each year. This latter is the reason that most grants were modest in size before the Revolution.  Only land speculators, such as the above-mentioned Mauldin, went for the large tracts and then they had to sell them rapidly or lose them.

 

     “Jacob’s 1000 acres in Augusta (later Rockingham) was a large grant, mostly bottomland. The grant in Henry County was 200 plus acres of hilly land. So old Jacob found himself with two land grants and great obligations in 1755.

 

     “By 1764, the two parcels of land being separated by 100 miles or more, Jacob had to divide his labor force or lose one of the properties. The Rockingham land was fertile and beautiful, but the Henry County land was tobacco land and worth a cash crop each year.

 

     “So, Jacob’s family was split.  His sons “Michael, Jacob Jr., and Peter remained on the land in Rockingham County and Jacob Sr. took John and Henry with him to the Henry County property.

 

     “Michael became quite prominent in Rockingham—a Judge, member of the Court, Captain of the Militia. He sold out in 1784 and moved to Kentucky where he acquired vast land holdings, many slaves, and died in 1801 a very wealthy man.

 

     “Young Jacob and Peter left Rockingham around 1784. the real documents are missing as Rockingham records were burned during the Civil War.  Damn Yankees.”

 

            While Jacob remained in Halifax County, the land changed counties three times. After Halifax it was in Pittsylvania, then in Patrick Henry County, and today straddles the Patrick and Henry County line, about 20 miles from the present city of Martinsville, close to the community of Sanville.  Here in this section of Virginia Jacob Koger built a home, acquired many acres of land, and lived the rest of his life.

 

            This land was rolling or hilly, a sandy, rocky soil, especially adapted to tobacco.

 

            He built his house over a spring and had a pump put down through the floor so that his family might get water without being exposed to the Indians.

 

            Family tradition relates that one of Jacob’s children, his son Joseph, while just a baby, drowned in that spring.

 

            He built a dam across the creek that became known as Koger Creek, and erected a grist mill.

 

 

The Indian Threat

 

            Among the many worries Jacob Koger and his family had to deal with in their Virginia home was the constant threat presented by the Indians.  The native American tribes of the area, sometimes on their own, sometimes under the influence of the French and English governments, resented and resisted the encroachment of the whites on their homelands.

 

            In a paper written for a gifted and talented program project in 1989, Sarah Coger writes:

 

     “Before the revolution, settlers had been slipping along river valleys, through the wild passes, across ranges, and into the trans-appalachian lands which had been legally closed to them by the British government.  With many others, Jacob and Nicholas Koger had moved into western Pennsylvania, with hundreds of other immigrants of German ancestry, collectively called the Pennsylvania Deutsche, (or, mistakenly, Pennsylvania Dutch) and from there into Virginia.  Others traveled on into what is now modern West Virginia, and into the area now known as Kentucky, guided there in increasing numbers by Daniel Boone via the newly-found Cumberland Gap, and by what grew to be called Boone’s Wilderness Road.

     “It was lucky for the white settlers that the Indians of North America were too few, their numbers already tremendously reduced by diseases brought from Europe by the earlier French, Spanish, and English explorers, and too much less advanced in weapons technology, to be a grave impediment to colonization.

     “However, the number of white casualties among the new immigrants gave evidence of the deadliness of the Indian attacks.

     “Jacob Koger had brought his younger brother Nicholaus to Philadelphia, on the ship “Pink, John and William”, out from Rotterdam, through Dover, landing in America on October 17, 1732.  Nicholaus Koger settled in Augusta County, Virginia, and fathered five children.

     “But, (as stated above) in 1743, while building a log cabin for a new home in the `Page Bottoms’ of Orange County, Nicholaus Koger was attacked and killed by Indians. 

     “In this way did the Koger family first learn intimately of the deadliness of the natives of this new land.”

 

            The loss of a brother was not the only cost the Koger family paid for their entry into the new land. In a Coger family history written by James B. Koger, the author states;

 

     “It is said that one night Jacob had a dream that the Indians had come and murdered his children.  He dreamed the same dream a second time, and then a third, until he was so frightened that he got his wife and children up and took them over the creek to a high knoll where they stayed until morning.

     “The following morning he discovered that his home had been plundered by the Indians and that a fine horse was gone.  He had paid one thousand acres of land for this animal.

     “Fortunately, the horse escaped from the Indians, in what is now Floyd County, Virginia, and returned to him.

     “A fort was built three miles south of his home and he would often take his family there to seek refuge during the Indian raids.”

 

            In his capacities as Justice of the Peace, Constable, Road Overseer, and Deputy Sheriff, Jacob Koger also found the native Americans a danger in other ways;”

 

     “November 1756—not executed by reason the way was dangerous due to the Indians.”

 

     “March 28, 1758—not executed by reason of the heathern Indians ranging so that I can’t get up there.”

 

            At any rate, the day to day threat presented by the native American peoples on the new immigrants was so imminent that it is hard for us today to understand.  There was no sanctuary.  Sometimes, too, the Indians were motivated by outside forces, as Jacob Coger’s son Peter would find out a generation later.

 

            Jacob owned approximately 1000 acres of land in Henry County.  Wild animals were plentiful in this section of the country at this time.  According to tradition, Jacob would kill about 4000 pounds of bear meat and salt it down for his winter’s supply of meat, then with what other small game he could manage to kill, kept his family from starving during the winters.  The bear were said to be so bad that hogs were almost impossible to raise.

 

            Family stories indicate that this bear hunting tradition kept up through the life of Jacob’s great-great-grandson Asa, who is said with his brothers to have killed 60 bears in one winter.

 

            It may be that since his indictment in 1750 for  “driving hogs across the Blue Ridge on the Sabbath Day,” he, by this time, liked the bear meat better anyway.

 

            The following contract, or “bond,” of Susannah Reynolds to Jacob Koger from 1779 shows the low purchasing power of Virginia currency at this period of the Revolution:

 

     “Know all men by these presents that I, Susannah Reynolds, of the County of Henry, am held and firmly bound unto Jacob Koger of the County aforesaid, in the just and full sum of one thousand pounds Virginia Currency, I bind myself, my heirs, executors administrators jointly and severally by these present seals, with my seal and dated this day Anno Domini 1779.

 

     The consideration of the above obligation is such that if the above Susannah Reynolds does well and truly pay or causes to be paid unto the above Jacob Koger, his heirs, or assigns, thirty barrels of good merchantable corn, delivered at the said Koger’s dwelling house on or before the 25th day of December, next ensuing the date hereof, then the above obligation is to be void, otherwise to remain in full force power, and virtue.

 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of ------------------ (Seal)”

 

            Jacob Koger did not serve in the Revolution—he was, by that time, too old.  However, he had three sons, Peter, Jacob, and Michael, who did serve, as will be mentioned later.

 

            On October 21, 1782 Jacob Koger gave his son, Henry, the farm where he lived, being a “Certain tract of land lying on both sides of Stone Creek, Henry County.”  The farm contained 285 acres. This deed was witnessed by his son Peter Koger and Peter’s wife Mary.  As Jacob’s wife, Lucinda, did not witness the deed it is assumed that she had died by this time.

 

            In 1779 Jacob paid five pounds, 19 s. 7 p. tax to the County.

 

            Jacob Koger had a brother named Joseph who lived in South Carolina.  While there is no evidence which might show that he ever journeyed to South Carolina to visit him, there is plenty of evidence, both in Virginia and in South Carolina, that two of Jacob’s sons, Henry and John, did go to South Carolina on several occasions to visit with the Koger family there.

 

            On one occasion Henry Koger took with him a small boy named Peter Koger, who was probably not the son of our Peter Coger, who was apparently born about five years after the letter was written.  As proof of the connection between the family of Jacob Koger of Virginia and Joseph Koger of South Carolina, there is now on record at Columbia, South Carolina, a letter that was written during these times:

 

            A letter of 1783.  The following letter, written by Joseph Koger, a former officer in the militia of South Carolina, during the Revolution, a resident of that part of the former Charleston District, now embraced in Colleton County, to two cousins in Virginia.

 

                                                                             South Carolina Scull Swamp

                                                                             October 4, 1783

 

“To Mr. John or Henry Koger

Living in Henry County, Virginia

On Smith’s River

 

“Dear Cousins:

 

     I have once more taken this opportunity of riting to you.  It has bin some time since I attempted to rite to any of you for want of a good chance, I do therefore inform you all, that I and family are in good health at present, hoping one and all enjoy the same.  I have three children, two sons and a daughter.  Mr Bridge’s family is well, there has bin very great up and downs since you left this plase.  I mean Henry, as I derect to boath of you.  Mrs. Batty that was is dead and Doctor Hoof also and your cosern is not yet settled, nor the note from Mrs. Murphey has not bin, your things left with me and Mrs. Koger is all safe tho’ much damaged by hiding out and often moving, I lost old Peter (possibly Jacob’s brother), went to the British, Tirah is dead and four others, since you came form here, three children and a young wench, Hatchett is kild by Charles Sanders a axident, John and Joshua William is dead, did with the small pox. very great Toreys, Mr. Ackermans family is well.  Sally is married to John Gruber and has one child, Sister Moly is married to James Cavanau and lives in town.  Your case with St John and Benlingail went in your favor, the letter has gone with the British and many others.  We have had a sene of blood sheed in our State and many of our dear friends is among the slain.

 

     “I have heard of your marriage by Major John Hampton and the unhappyness which attended you in it, I am very sorry it has bin so with you, but hope that you have got over it.  By this Polley Brige is married and lives very well, Gordin has been a very great Torey and so has James Thompson, tho they boath remane with our Charles Sheppard is kild at the seige of Savana and number of others.  I should think it a happyness if I could once more see you all to have a full account of our past life since I last was either of you.  Mrs. Cook has not give me the least except the young wench wich I mentioned died.  I do conclude with my best wishes to one and all, my uncle and all other relations and friends and am your afictionate

                                                                                         Cousen and Friend

                                                                                         Joseph Koger”

 

“Mrs. Koger gives her kind love to you all.”

 

            This letter was written by Joseph Koger, Jr. of South Carolina after the death of his uncle Jacob Koger of Henry County, Virginia. His reference to his uncle, however, indicates that he had not yet received word of the death of Jacob Koger.

 

            Jacob Koger died in Henry County, Virginia, on June 13,1783.  He had previously given away his land to his son, Henry Koger, so he left no real estate, but the record of Henry County, Virginia, does list his personal estate and it is as follows:

 

            An appraisement of the goods and chattels and personal estate of Jacob Koger, deceased, June 13, 1783, to-wit:

           

1 copper still and pewter worm

35 pds.

00s

0

2 head horses

6

10

0

9 head of cattle

12

2

0

1 pr. spoon moulds and ladel

0

16

0

1 loom & quill wheel, 2 stays

1

4

0

3 pewter bowles, 2 pewter dishes

1

6

0

1 shear & Cutter, 1 trowel hoe, 1 winding hoe

1

5

0

3 iron pots, 1 iron pot rack, 2 frying pans

3

17

0

2 bells, 1 bell collar, 1 jointer stock and iron, 1 frame saw

 

11

3

1 grindstone, 1 bung borer, 1 flax wheel, 1 fro

1

4

6

3 maul rings, 2 iron wedges, 1 round shovel, 2 sickles

1

6

6

1 smoothing plain, 1 foot adz, 4 drawing knives

1

3

6

2 chisels, 4 augers, 1 clawhammer, 2 clevices

0

14

0

1 whip saw, 3 pole axes, 2 board  axes, 1 pr. skeins

3

8

0

1 cooper adz, 1 dung hook, 1 dung fork, 1 pitchfork

1

3

0

1 lock chain, 1 pr. pot hooks, 1 iron shovel, 1 pr. steeliards

1

8

6

1 pr. frizen irons, 1 mill pick, 1 pr. iron rope works

1

12

0

1 pr. pinchers, 2 gun barrels, 1 steel mill, 2 mattocks

1

00

9

3 flax wheel spindles and cranks and sundry old irons

 

8

6

2000 nails, 1 beef hide, 1 cross-cut caw, 1 cedar piggin

1

4

0

1 lamps, 1 branding iron

4

1

0

16 head of hogs to nails sold 6 p.

 

 

 

 

79 pds

19

9

 

 

                                                Charles Forster, Anthony Tittle, Samuel Allen.

                                                An account held for Henry County the day of June, 1783.

 

            The within inventory was returned and ordered to be recorded by the court.  Test. John Cox, C.C.C. (Henry County Court Record, Martinsville, Va.)

 

            The above list of tools indicates for us very accurately Jacob Koger’s vocation and mode of living.  the first item of the list shows that he kept a still, and that his copper still and pewter worm sold for nearly as much as all his other goods.

 

            He had a grist mill with two mill stones, one for corn and one for wheat.  These two stones are yet to be seen on Koger’s Creek where the old mill dam is now located.

 

            He also had a sawmill, as indicated by the whipsaw, framesaw and crosscut saw.

 

            His two broad axes and coopers adz and foot adz show that he could erect a log house and hew out the puncheon floor.

 

            The two chisels, four augers, four drawing knives, claw hammer, and smoothing plain show equipment as a carpenter of his time.

 

            Thus, our ancestor Jacob Koger had lived his life, apparently an all-around mechanist, mechanic and farmer.  He had spent 55 years in America.  He was 72 years, 11 months, and 6 days old at his death.

 

            Nothing is known of the death of his wife, Lucinda Crum Koger.  Nor is it known where either of them were buried.  Family tradition states that they were buried on the land he gave his son Henry, as there is a family cemetery there, but most of the graves are marked only with field stones.

 

 


DEED

 

1 - Jacob Koger to 2 - B Henry Koger

 

 

            This indenture, made this 21st day of October, year of our Lord, 1782, between Jacob Koger, of the one part and Henry Koger of the other part, both of Henry County, Virginia, Witnesseth that the said Jacob Koger, for and in consideration of Divers good cause and more especially for the natural affection that I have for my son Henry Koger.  Do decease all the right and title of a certain tract of land, lying and being in the county of Henry, on both sides of Stones Creek and bounded as follows:

            Beginning at a chestnut tree on a branch thence new lines, North twenty five degrees, East one hundred and sixty eight poles to a red oak North ten degrees, West eighty six poles to a dogwood on a branch, North forty degrees, West eighty eight poles to pointers North five degrees;  East one hundred and twenty four poles to a white oak, North forty three degrees;  West sixty eight to a hickory, North fifty four degrees, East ninety six poles crossing the creek aforesaid to pointers South forty degrees, East one hundred thirty four poles to a white oak, South eight degrees, West one hundred eighty eight poles to a white oak, South forty three degrees, East sixty four poles to a white oak, South thirty nine degrees, West forty six poles to pointers south twenty degrees, East sixty six poles to a white oak bush.  South twenty one degrees, West one hundred and twenty poles to a white oak and thence North seventy nine degrees, West Sixty eight poles, crossing the creek aforesaid to the beginning.  Containing two hundred and eighty five acres, with all the rights and title to the aforesaid tract of land and premises, with the appurtenances their unto the said Henry Koger, his heirs and assigns forever, and the said Jacob Koger and his heirs, the aforesaid tract of land and premises with appurtenances there unto, now belonging to the said Henry Koger and his heirs and assigns, the right and title of the aforesaid tract of land and premises against him, the said Jacob Koger and his heirs and all other persons, will warrant and forever defend.

            In witness whereof the said Jacob Koger, hath here unto, set his hand and affixed his seal, the day and year above written, signed in the presence of, signed sealed and delivered.

 

 

                                                                                    Jacob Koger

 

Wittness:

 

Peter Coger

John Dillard

Mary Koger

 

            Memorandum that quiet and peaceable possession of the within mentioned tract of land and premises with appurtenances was given agreeable to the within indenture February 28, 1781.

 

 

                                                                                    Jacob Koger

 

Peter Coger

John Dillard

Mary Koger


Index to Kogers

 

Descendants of Jacob Koger and his wife, Lucinda Crum

Immigrant from the Palatinate of Germany

August 24, 1728

Resident of Henry County, Virginia

 

Michael Koger (wife, Mary)

 

Henry Koger (second wife, Mary King)

 

            John Koger (wife, Gillie Coleman Napier)

            Catherine Koger (husband, James Baker)

            Mary Koger (husband, A.H. Bassett)

            Joseph Koger (wife, Ruth Slaughter)

            Jacob Koger (wife, Siani Philpott)

            Henry Koger, Jr. (wife, Lucinda Thomas)

            Abraham Koger (first wife, Deana Luttrell)

            Abraham Koger (second wife, Mary Corn)

            Sarah Koger (husband, Reuben Philpott)

            Elizabeth Koger (husband,, Josiah Slaughter)

            William Koger (wife, Matilda Anglin)

 

John Koger (first wife, Elizabeth)

 

Jacob Koger, Jr. (wife, Sarah)

 

Peter Koger [Coger] (wife, Mary Mackelvain)

 

            William Coger, Sr. (wife, Elizabeth Kingery)

            Catherine Coger (husband, John Ashward)

            Jacob Coger (wife, Margaret Mollahan)

            Thomas Cogar (wife, Mary Eva Spillman)

            Benjamin Coger (wife, Mary Hosey)

            Peter Coger, Jr. (wife, Mary)

            John Coger (wife, Carolina)

 

Nicholas Koger (first wife, Dorothy)

 

            John Koger (first wife, Hestor Jones)

            John Koger (second wife, Mary Smith)

            William Koger (wife, Polly Bookout)

            James Koger (wife, Alexandria Jane Majors)

            Thomas Koger (wife, Lois Majors)

            Isaac Koger (wife, Nancy Hollingsworth)

            Catherine Koger (husband, Thomas Smith)

            Mary Koger (husband, Benjamin Smith)

            Sarah Koger (husband, John Baker)

 

Mary Koger (husband, Dr. Stone)


Concerning Jacob Koger, his brother Nicholas, and their children:

 

(excerpts of a letter from the late Dr. Okey Cogar, Professor of History at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, dated April 1, 1980):

 

 

·    It is unlikely that Peter Coger was born on the Hawksbille of the Shenandoah in Virginia, because “Jacob Koger sold his Hawksbille property to John Megert on September 21, 22, 1743.  Peter states that he was born in 1753.  At that time Hans Jacob was living at the Lower Page Bottoms, a beautiful 10 acre tract that he purchased from Richard Mauldin in 1743, and rounded out with a grant in 1753.  This land lies about 15 miles south of Luray, Virginia, on the Shenandoah River.”

 

·    Concerning why Peter Coger was raised in Rockingham County, Virginia, when Jacob Koger was living in Henry County, “... the land in Rockingham County was originally purchased from Mauldin, but a faulty deed was granted.  The land was resurveyed in 1755, and granted to Jacob “in total” by a Crown Patent.  Jacob was in Halifax Territory, later Henry County, and had land surveyed there in that year.  He subsequently received a patent for the Henry County land, and moved there.

 

      “Granted or Patented land was not a gift in any manner.  Certain stipulations applied, the two most severe being a “quit-rent” that had to be paid to the crown each year, and the other, the real back-breaker, was the stipulation that so many acres had to be put under cultivation each year.  This latter is the reason that most grants were modest in size before the Revolution; only land speculators such as the above mentioned Mauldin went for large tracts, and then they had to sell them rapidly or lose them.

 

      “Jacob’s thousand acres in Rockingham County was a large grant, mostly bottomland.  The grant in Henry County was two hundred acres of hilly land.  So old Jacob found himself with two grants and great obligations in 1755.  By 1764, the two parcels of land being separated by 100 miles or more, Jacob had to divide his labor force, or lose one of the properties.  The Rockingham land was fertile and beautiful, but the Henry County land was tobacco land, and worth a cash crop each year.

 

      “Michael, Jacob (Jr.) and Peter remained on the land in Rockingham County, and Jacob (Sr.) took John and Henry with him to Henry County.

 

      “Michael became quite prominent in Rockingham¾a Judge, member of the Court, Captain of Militia, etc.  He sold out in 1784 and moved to Kentucky where he acquired vast land holdings, many slaves, and died there in 1801, a very wealthy man.  Young Jacob and Peter left Rockingham around 1784.”

 

·    Concerning the relationship between Godfrey Hamilton and Jacob Koger’s family, “...this is a difficult question.  I have never seen any document that even remotely refers to any sort of relationship.  I pick up Godfrey Hamilton in Boutetort County in 1784 or 1785.  Peter and Jacob were both in the same area at that time.  I can find no record of Godfrey Hamilton owning land in Augusta County.  He had some trouble with the Rockingham Court in 1778, in regard to two orphan children he was holding;  they were listed as two girls in Court Records.  No names given...  Nicholas’s (Hans Jacob’s brother) would have been too old.  He gives various deeds to Jacob, some witnessed by Peter, and one produced in Franklin County Court by Peter.  Catharina Koger (about 52 years old), probably the daughter of Nicholas, was heir to his estate.  After the county got through with his property, she wound up with a horse.  (In his will) he refers to William, eldest son of Peter Koger.  With several documents and access to all state and county records, we still cannot discover the proper relationship.”

 

·    Concerning Jacob Koger’s brother Nicholas, and his children, “Nicholaus, also called Hans Nicholaus, in the Church Book of John Casper Stoever, of Codorus Creek Church, always spelled his name Koger.  Court officials in Virginia spelled it Coger.  In the church book, Nicholaus had the following children listed:

 

                        John (Hans) Koger                   b. September 3, 1736

                        Ann Elizabeth Koger                 b. December 2, 1738 married Henry     Miller,                                                        son of Adam Miller

                        John Michael Koger                 b. March 10, 1740

                        John Jacob Koger                    b. September 4, 1741

                        Anna Catharina Koger  b. May 17, 1743 (perhaps the one named                                                                           in Godfrey Hamilton’s will)

 

      “There is a county in the South Branch Valley of West Virginia which has many Cowgers.  The county is Pendleton, once part of Augusta County.  The first Cowger of record in the county was John.  Then there was a Jacob and a George Cowger.

 

      I have some land grants that were granted to John and Jacob Coger, but this same land later was listed as owned by John and Jacob Cowger.  I never could locate a Michael Cowger of this generation in Pendleton County, but this George was very prominent, and acquired a lot of property.  George was married to Hanna Haas, daughter of Peter Haas, a famous Indian fighter in West Virginia history.  Peter gave George and Hanna some property in August, later Pendleton, County.  They later sold this property, and the deed was drawn up in the name of George Couger or George Cowger, but when they appeared before the Court in Staunton, the Clerk of the Court validated the deed as follows¾ “Before the Honorable Court this day did appear Michael Coger and his wife Hanna, who declare the above to be their work... etc.”  This was signed by the Clerk and by members of the Court.

 

      “So regardless of what George Cowger called himself, the court knew him by his true name.  They made him a ward of Adam Miller in 1755.  In my honest opinion based on 25 years of research, this is the true story of the sons of Nicholaus Koger.  They were orphaned, when Nicholaus was killed by Indians as he was building a log house on the Lower Page Bottoms tract mentioned above; Jacob had named his children in the same manner and (the name change provided) a way to differentiate between (his children and Nicholaus’s).”

 

·    Concerning variations in birthdates given by hour ancestors, “most of these birthdates come from Census records.  After many years I have discovered that to the early pioneers times and dates were of very little importance.  Really, time only became important in our lifetime.  The first two generations of our family were literate.  Peter could write, his sons couldn’t.  Your William couldn’t, and neither could my Thomas, his brother, yet both were instrumental in forming the county of Webster.  Thomas was one of the leading officials, and the first County Court was held in his home.  These first settlers in West Virginia were more interested in clearing land and planting fields.  Their sons and daughters in the following generation learned to read and write because they had more time.  Simply put, the immigrant Kogers were literate and both Jacob and Nicholaus were bilingual (German and English), their sons could read and write, but the next generation did not have the time or opportunity.  Then we start learning to read and write again in the following generation.  Bearing this in mind, and trying to put yourself in that time and place, I think you will readily see why a few years here and there, as far as age was concerned, was of little import.  Birth Certificates or official records did not exist so many things that “learn” are conjecture at best.  I have no trouble with this, since I have worked through a Doctorate in History, and as that is the method used by the best of historians.  I know that genealogists want a certificate or document, but in most cases they are not available, because they were never made.  We all do the best we can by checking every source, and by copying those documents that we do find.”


Peter Coger

 

            Peter Coger was born around 1753, `in the state of Pennsylvania,’ or `on the Hawksbille in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.’ This latter location was on the 930 acres of land granted by the Governor of Virginia on the 24th of April 1753.  According to the National Archives, both of these statements are on record.  He was raised in Augusta and Rockingham Counties, in Virginia.

 

            Okey Cogar writes in a letter of April 1, 1980, previously quoted in the section on Jacob Koger:          

 

     “Hans Jacob Koger sold his Hawksbill property to John Megert September 21 and 22, 1743. Peter states that he was born in 1753. At that time Hans Jacob was living at the Lower Page Bottoms, a beautiful 1000 acre tract he purchased from Richard Mauldin in 1743 and rounded out with a grant in 1753. This land lies about 15 miles south of Luray, Virginia, on the Shenandoah River.”

 

            Questions have been raised by family genealogist through the years why Peter was apparently raised in Rockingham County while his father Jacob apparently lived in Henry County.

 

            Okey Coger writes:

 

     “The land in Rockingham County (initially Augusta County) was originally purchased from Richard Mauldin in 1743 but a faulty deed was granted. The land was resurveyed in 1755 and granted to him in total by a crown patent.

 

     “Jacob was in Halifax territory, later Henry County, and had land surveyed there that year. He subsequently received a patent for the Henry county land and moved there.

 

     “Granted or patented land was not a gift in any manner. Certain stipulations applied, the two most severe being a `quit-rent’ that had to be paid the Crown each year and the real back-breaker, which was the stipulation that so many new acres had to be put under cultivation each year. This latter is the reason that most grants were modest in size before the Revolution.  Only land speculators, such as the above-mentioned Mauldin, went for the large tracts, and then they had to sell them rapidly or lose them.

 

     “Jacob’s 1000 acres in Rockingham (initially Augusta) was a large grant, mostly bottomland. The grant in Henry County was 200 plus acres of hilly land. So old Jacob found himself with two land grants and great obligations in 1755.  By 1764, the two parcels of land being separated by 100 miles or more, Jacob had to divide his labor force or lose one of the properties. The Rockingham land was fertile and beautiful but the Henry County land was tobacco land and worth a cash crop each year.

 

     “So Jacob’s family was split, and his sons Michael, Jacob Jr., and Peter remained on the land in Rockingham County while Jacob Sr. took John and Henry with him to the Henry County property.

 

     “Michael became quite prominent in Rockingham—a Judge, member of the Court, Captain of the Militia. He sold out in 1784 and moved to Kentucky where he acquired vast land holdings, many slaves, and died in 1801 a very wealthy man.

 

     “Young Jacob and Peter left Rockingham around 1784. the real documents are missing as Rockingham records were burned during the Civil War. Damn Yankees.”

 

            When Peter was twenty-four, according to the records in the National Archives, he started a long series of services as a soldier for the new land.

 

            The records state that Peter Coger, while a resident of Rockingham County, Virginia, volunteered for the first of several tours in July 1777, when he served as a private in Captain Jeremiah Regan’s Virginia Company, with whom he marched to Point Pleasant and continued in Service for six months.

 

 

The Battle of Point Pleasant

 

            The famous Battle of Point Pleasant had taken place in 1774, but Cornstalk, the Indian leader who led the Indian Confederacy in that battle, would meet his death in the presence of Peter Coger at Point Pleasant three years later.

 

            Again quoting from the Sarah Coger’s One Family’s Eyewitness to History:

 

            The Indian natives of the land harassed and at times delayed the white man’s colonization of the land, but they never really stopped it.  When the first Europeans arrived, the Indians East of the Mississippi probably numbered not more than two hundred thousand. Those of the whole continent North of Mexico certainly did not exceed five hundred thousand.

 

            Armed only with the bow and arrow, the tomahawk, and the war club, and ignorant of military “arts” other than the ambush, they were ordinarily no match for well-equipped and vigilant groups of whites. These settlers were a hard, driving lot, intent on owning and clearing land, and generally possessed a callow disregard for the natives they encountered.  Shawnees, Delawares, Miamis, Ottawas, Cherokees, Chippewas, and Foxes struck at the immigrants sharply, and were struck back with equal, or greater, ferocity.

 

            However, those Indians living along the Eastern Great Lakes found a strong ally in the British.

 

            Lieutenant Colonel Henry Hamilton—who was to earn the name of “hair buyer” from the Americans along the frontier—was the commanding officer of the British Post at Detroit. He set to work at once supplying the tribes with arms, ammunition, rum, blankets, and the usual trade-trinkets of white man’s commerce with the Indians, and sent them south with his blessing.  There was no need for an Ottawa or Miami Chief to think twice about such support. In the old days the French along the northern lakes and rivers had always armed the Indians against the pushing, striving intruders to the South. Now the English, replacing the French, were acting in the same old familiar way.

 

            As a result, during the years from 1775 and 1778, the objective of the new settlers wrath was always Detroit, because they reasoned, correctly, that if the main source of the Indian’s munitions was crushed, the western threat to them would be appreciably eased.

 

            But all of the efforts of the settlers against Detroit ended in failure and frustration; England remained in its role of protector of the wilderness, and Indian raiding parties swooped out of the forest where and when they chose.

 

            In that shadowy area known as Kentucky, called by historians the `Indians’ dark and bloody ground,’ a Virginia-born surveyor began to study the situation and reason out ways and means of controlling it. His name was George Rogers Clark, the brother of William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark expedition up the Missouri River) and he had ample data on which to base a plan of action against the Indians and their British backers.

 

            Of all the Indians, the Shawnees were the most bloody and terrible, holding all other men, Indians as well as Whites, in contempt as warriors in comparison with themselves.  This opinion made them more restless and fierce than any other savages; and they boasted that they had killed ten times as many white people, as had any other Indian nation.  They were a well formed, active and ingenious people, were assuming and imperious in the presence of others not of their own nation, and were sometimes very cruel.’  So wrote Captain John Stuart in his “Memoirs of the Indian Wars and Other Occurrences,” in the early nineteenth century.

 

            In 1771, seven nations of Indians-Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandots, Mingos, Miamis, Ottawas, Illinois—and others, formed a Confederacy that was the most powerful to menace the frontiers of civilization in the colonies.

 

            The Shawnees were the most powerful of these tribes. The most powerful of the Shawnees was the famous chieftain Keigh-tugh-gua, which translates to “Cornstalk.”  In 1774, when the white men were pressing down into the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys, the Indian Confederacy prepared to protect their lands.

 

            Cornstalk’s name once chilled the heart of every white man on the Virginia frontier, and struck terror into every resident of the mountain cabins.  His name was associated with several frontier massacres.  He was gifted with skills in oratory and statesmanship, he was very brave, and he was considered to be a genius in military strategy.  Many historians believe that it was Cornstalk’s fighting tactics, adopted by the Americans, that led them to defeat the British in a number of battles.

 

            The Indians formed a line across the point from the Ohio River to the Kanawha River. The whites and Indians each numbered about twelve hundred men.  Chief Cornstalk’s voice echoed above the sounds of battle, `Be strong! Be strong!’ The broad-shouldered six-foot chieftain led his followers bravely, but they were no match for the white man’s musketry.  When the Battle of Point Pleasant was over, one hundred and forty whites and at least twice that many Indians lay dead.  The Indians retreated westward into what is now Ohio.

 

            A fort was built at the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers to keep the Indians from returning to Virginia.”

 

            It was this fort where Peter Coger spent the last six months in 1777.

 

 

The Indian Fighters

 

            Peter Coger reenlisted in April 1778, and served as a private in Captain Abraham Bowman’s and Abraham Kellar’s companies in General George Rogers Clark’s expedition against the Indians.  During this service he was involved in the battle of Vincennes, after which he was discharged on May 8, 1779.

 

            According to three letters dictated by Peter Coger himself;

 

     “In Rockingham County in the state of Virginia on the 1st July 1777 he volunteered as a private in a company commanded by Capt. Jeremiah Ragan.—Harrison Lieut. Ensign name forgotten.  March from thence through Augusta and Greenbriar Counties from Staunton, to the Warm Springs to Savanah Fort, now Lewisburg in the county of Greenbriar, State of Virginia, to Big Kenawha, to  Point Pleasant to the Great Kanawha River and descended to Point Pleasant at the mouth.  When he arrived the fort was Garrisoned by Col. A. Kellars troops.  He seen when there Capts. Arbuckle, Stewart, and Hill.  Cornstalk the celebrated Sachem was at this time detained at the fort as a hostage together with Red Hawk and some other Indians of distinction, was at Pt. Pleasant...”

 

From One Family’s Eyewitness to History:

 

            Cornstalk made peace with the white man. In November 1777, at the instigation of the English, the Indians were massing for a new attack.  Cornstalk and his fellow tribesmen didn’t want another war, which they would surely lose. On November 7, Cornstalk and Red Hawk, a Delaware Chief, came to the fort where Peter and Jacob Coger were in service to try and negotiate a peace before the battle began.

 

            Cornstalk told Captain Arbuckle, who was in command of the garrison, that he was opposed to joining the war on the side of the British, but that all the Indian nation except himself and his tribe were determined to take part in it.  However, as Cornstalk put it, he and his tribe would have to run with the stream.

 

            For his peacemaking trouble, Cornstalk, Red Hawk and another Indian were taken hostage in an attempt to prevent the Indians from joining the British.

 

            Cornstalk, and his fellow Indians held as hostages, were well treated and given comfortable quarters.  In fact, the chief even assisted his captors in plotting maps of the Ohio River Valley.  On November 9, Cornstalk’s son, Ellinipsico, came to see his father, and he, too, was detained at the fort.

 

            The next day, those in the fort heard gunfire from the direction of the Kanawha River.  Investigation showed that two men, Gilmore and Hamilton, who had left the fort to hunt deer were ambushed by Indian snipers.  Hamilton managed to escape but Gilmore was killed and scalped.

 

            When the corpse was returned to the fort, Peter Coger and his brother Jacob watched as some of the soldiers, in a fit of fury, charged past their protesting officers and forced their way into the building where the Indian captives were being held.  Even though the bushwhackers who killed Gilmore were from another tribe, the frenzied soldiers called for the blood of Cornstalk and the other hostages.

 

            As the soldiers advanced through the door, Chief Cornstalk rose up to meet them, and standing erect, faced them.  The sight of the bronzed, six-foot chieftain bravely facing them caused the mob to pause, but only momentarily, before they fired, killing the Indians.  The great Cornstalk went down with eight musket balls in his body.

 

            Peter Coger states:

 

“...was at Point Pleasant when the affair took place which led to the death of the Indian hostages.  Seen Cornstalk, Red Hawk, and Ellinipsico shot by the incensed soldiers.”

 

            Red Hawk attempted to escape up the chimney, but was shot down.  Ellinipsico was slain as he sat on a stool, and the other Indian was strangled to death.

 

            Chief Cornstalk was buried in a marked grave near the fort on Point Pleasant, overlooking the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.  The bodies of the other Indians, including Ellinipsico, were dumped into the Kanawha River.

 

            In his book `Winning The West,’ Theodore Roosevelt wrote,

 

            “Cornstalk died a grand death, by an act of cowardly treachery on the part of his American foes; it is one of the darkest stains on the checkered pages of frontier history.”

 

 


The Revolution: Peter Coger at Vincennes

 

            Again, from the letters of Peter Coger:

 

     “Declarant remained at the fort at Pt. Pleasant awaiting the arrival of Genl. Hand from Fort Pitt with whose forces they expected to form a junction at Pt. Pleasant and then proceed under his command on an expedition against the Indians on the North side of the Ohio.  Genl. Hand arrived without an army and the expedition was abandoned.”

 

     “That in the month of April 1778 he again, in company with his brother Jacob, Entered the service of the United States, under the command of Capt. Abraham Boman, that both himself and his brother Jacob Volunteered for the term of one year Expressly to Join the Expedition undertaken by Col. George Rogers Clark, against the British and Indians in the Illinois Country.”

 

 

From One Family’s Eyewitness To History:

 

            George Rogers Clark knew that most of the raiding on the settlements on the western frontier came from British-fed supply centers in what was called the ‘Illinois Country,’ that area bounded by the Wabash and Miami Rivers on the east, the Illinois on the north, the Mississippi on the west, and the Ohio on the south.  Out of that quadrangle came the supplies that made possible Indian raids on Kentucky.  The main settlements were Kaskaskia, about fifty miles south of Saint Louis, Cahokia, just south of modern East Saint Louis, Prarie du Rocher, seventeen miles north of Kaskaskia, and Vincennes, on the Wabash.

 

            President Jefferson granted Clark twelve hundred pounds for the purpose of capturing Kaskaskia, and ending its threat.

 

            Clark mustered his command, a bare 200 men, including Peter Coger, Jacob Coger, and several of their Virginia friends from their previous service, at the Falls of the Ohio, near present Louisville, and embarked on June 26, 1778, shooting the rapids of the Ohio.  The sun went into total eclipse, but Clark hailed this as a good omen.  His boats road the current west until they landed at the “Burnt Chimneys” of old Fort Massac, nearly opposite the mouth of the Tennessee River.  Hiding his boats, he drove his command north.

           

As Peter Coger told it:

 

     “We embarked on board of keel boats at Wheeling and descended to the falls of the Ohio, we landed at the Falls and built cabins on the Island and left a number of families, and, leaving some soldiers for their protection, embarked and proceeded down the Ohio River to the Burnt Chimneys below the Falls of the River—there we landed—and fearing that the savages might find and destroy our boats—we sunk them and continued the march to the Illinois River and commenced our march by land to the Illinois, a very tedious and fatiguing journey, on the night of the last days march we marched all night and about Cock Crow in the morning we completed our landing on the opposite side of the Illinois River, having had only one small boat to ferry us all across.”

 

            It was a killing march, and there were two long foodless days, before his men sighted Kaskaskia on July 4.  The settlement was unguarded, and fell to Clark without a shot or any hostile reaction.  Clark sent Bowman on with a small detachment, and soon had news that both Cahokia and Prarie du Rocher had fallen without the slightest resistance.

 

     “We marched directly to the fort and took possession then of (it).  Our approach had been conducted so quietly and secretly that the fort had no notice of their danger until it was too late to make resistance.  In this Fort we found a Governor and his lady who were made prisoners and Declarant understood that the Governor was sent as a prisoner to the Governor of Virginia, we remained here but a few days.  Col. Clark placed this fort under a guard and marched with the main body of his troops to a place called Coho of which we took possession.”

 

From One Family’s Eyewitness To History:

 

            A Frenchman in the expedition, Pere Gibault, volunteered to trek overland to Vincennes, to try to talk the French inhabitants into surrender.  This, too, succeeded, and Captain Leonard Helm, with a small force, was sent on, by August, to occupy Vincennes, and Fort Sackville, the outpost that guarded it.

 

            By September, Henry Hamilton, the English officer the Indians called “Hair Buyer” at Detroit, had received word of the fall of the four southern British posts, and he responded quickly to what he saw as the threat to Detroit itself.

 

            He scraped together some 175 Europeans, mostly French militia, and sixty Indians, and set out on October 7, 1778, from Detroit, with the idea of taking Fort Sackville and Vincennes.  His route stretched from the shores of Lake Erie, down the Maumee to the Wabash, and from there to Fort Sackville.  His force reached Vincennes on December 17.

 

            At the sight of the invading force, the people of Vincennes rushed to proclaim their loyalty to England.  The local militia offered no resistance, and Captain Helm and his few men at the fort were made prisoners of war.

 

            Hamilton settled in for the winter, gathering supplies, secure and unconcerned about American invaders, since the mild winter’s floods had covered the great flat stretches between him and the enemy, spreading out a formidable, apparently uncrossable, military barrier that would hold away any of his enemies until the floods subsided.

 

            The news of the fall of Vincennes threw the people of Kaskaskia and Cahokia into a panic, and George Rogers Clark, his own force whittled down to about one hundred men, would have been totally helpless if Hamilton had chosen that time to move against him.  The prudent thing for Clark would have been to retreat, content with the damage their exploits had done to British prestige.

 

            But Clark and his Virginians held a different view of the matter.  Here we are, on the banks of the Mississippi, there is Hamilton at Vincennes, 180 miles away across vast freezing floods. 

 

            Therefore, they reasoned, we’ll attack.

 

            Peter Coger: “Whilst at this place an Express arrived to Col. Clark from Fort Vincinnes.  We immediately took up the line of march for that place...”

 

            Some local militia were induced to join Clark’s Virginians and Kentuckians, and by February 6, 1779, he and about 180 men set out, in the middle of winter, across the icy floods, for Vincennes.

 

            For the first few days, the water was low, game was plentiful, and the men were in high spirits.  But by February 13, high water had widened the Little Wabash, and two whole days were needed to ferry the expedition across to the other bank.  At this point their luck began to run out.

 

            The surface waters were deeper and men sloshed along through icy, waist-high floods.  Game had vanished, driven to higher ground, and supplies ran low.  On the seventeenth, the Embarrass River blocked the march, sent men floundering north and south along its bank looking for possible fords.  By the eighteenth the command was across, pushing on through slowly deepening water to the Wabash itself, hauling the sick and exhausted along with them in canoes; but they could not pass over the Wabash until February 20.

 

            Then a stray Frenchman from Vincennes was captured, and from him Clark learned that Henry Hamilton had no suspicion of the waterlogged troop coming from the west.  On the twenty-first, the march covered little more than three miles, with men half-wading, half-swimming through shoulder-deep water, rifles and powder held high above their heads.  The next day showed virtually no progress as the men grew weaker and weaker from scant rations and their days of exposure to winter weather.

 

            February 23 brought a crisis, as some of the men hung back, their hoarse voices croaking of inability or unwillingness to go farther.  Clark merely took to the water once more, shouting “Follow me!” while Captain Joseph Bowman skirted the rear with 25 riflemen who had orders to shoot any stragglers.

 

            This seems to have been the worst part of the march, with water still shoulder-high.  More and more men had to be towed in canoes.  Those on their feet tripped and fell in deep water, then clung to a rotten log or sodden tree until stronger hands rescued them.

 

            At last dry ground was reached, a small strip hidden by trees two miles from Fort Sackville.  At this point the troops boldly lit fires, dried out their clothes, and ate the last rations, their spirits little lifted by news from another captured Frenchman that some 200 more Indians had joined Hamilton in the fort.  And Clark’s ammunition was almost gone.

 

            Bad news cuts the legs out from under some men, merely numbs others.  To George Rogers Clark and his men it always seemed to act as a stimulant.  Now he reacted strongly and at once.

 

            Carefully hiding his weaknesses from the Frenchman, he sent him on to Hamilton in Sackville with a very simple message:  Clark was going to capture Sackville that night; friends of the United States should stay quietly in their homes; and those still holding to England should join the garrison in the fort.

 

            This done, Clark cheerily formed his men into two small divisions and marched them into Vincinnes and down the main street, drums beating.  Once in the streets, he divided and sub-divided his shrunken ranks, sent them swinging through side streets, back to the main thoroughfare, into side streets again, trying to create an impression of far larger numbers than he actually had.

 

     “Upon our arrival a battle took place which resulted in the recapture of the post by our troops.

 

     “Declarant understood that the post had been in possession of the americans under the command of Capt. Helm, who had been forced to surrender it to the British and Indians.”

 

            The trick was successful.  No habitant fled to Fort Sackville.  Instead, eager men guided the invaders to secret caches of ammunition, and soon Clark’s sodden, leathery men were filling pouches and powder horns from this unsuspected windfall.  Rumors reached the fort, and the Indians faded out over the palisades and through sally ports and embrasures, their interest in Hamilton and his command evaporating in the misty February air.  One chief was so overwhelmed by whispers of endless American legions swarming into Vincennes that he opened futile negotiations to join Clark and his men.

 

            At sunset, Clark marched his group out of the settlement and toward the fort, drums still beating, and opened rifle fire against it.

 

            With the first light, Hamilton’s guns began to thud out from the high Sackville bastions, but Clark’s men still refused to follow precedent.  Either unaware of or unimpressed by the theory that frontier troops cannot stand up against artillery fire, the riflemen began picking off the gunners methodically, and by the end of the day, after some parleying, Hamilton and his little force surrendered.

 

     “After the retaking Declarant understood that the command of the post was again given to Capt. Helm, who with this troops Declarant understood came from Old Virginia.”

 

     “A party of Indians who had been out on a War Party returned shortly after the recapture of the fort bringing with them a number of prisoners, before the Indians became notified of the fort having changed masters, some of them were taken and immediately killed.”  

 

            The victory was made complete when Captain Leonard Helm slipped up the Wabash to capture a waterborne supply column hurrying to the fort.

 

            Except in exertion expended and territory covered, the campaign had been a small one; but it nailed down the whole Illinois territory for Virginia, and hence the United States, for the rest of the war.

 

     “At Fort Vincinnes the time for which Declarant and his brother Jacob had entered the service of the United States expired and they ware honorably discharged having served twelve months.”

 

 

Perilous Blackberries

 

            Early in the spring of 1780 Peter Coger substituted for a tour of three months in the place of John Keiser in a company of militia in Rockingham County commanded by Captain Jeremiah Ragan. 

 

“We marched to the lower part of Virginia marching through Richmond.  The occurrences of the campaign has principally passed out of his recollection, but he recollects that on one occasion himself and 10 or 12 others of the men stopped in a field to pick blackberries, that while so engaged a small squad of British Light Horsemen attacked  but being fired upon ceased to pursue us and we made the best of our way to the regiment who had halted on hearing the sound of the guns.

     “We explained and marched on and crossed the Appomattox River—in crossing the boat capsized and one man was drowned.  (On reaching Frederixbourg) declarant was discharged having served three months.”

 

            Peter Coger was drafted immediately on reaching home, and marched to the area below Richmond, in North Carolina, where they  remained guarding the country for three months.

           

            Then in the Spring on 1781, he was drafted again for the last time, and took part in the seige of Lord Corwallis’ troops at Yorktown.

 

 


The Seige of Yorktown

 

            Again in the month of July in the year 1781 Peter Coger was drafted in  Rockingham County, Virginia, under the command of  Captain  George Crisman. He thereafter took part in a march from Rockingham County to Fredericksburg.  Once there, “... a plan of general rendezvous was (received by) Genl. George Wildon.”  At Fredericksburg, he was attached to a regiment under the command of Colonel Darke.

           

     “On one occasion we were compelled to wade a deep creek, but we had no fighting until we were informed that General Washington was besieging Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.  At  this time our regiment lay at Portsmouth Va. from thence we marched by forced march to join the main Army at York, we continued at this plan besieging the enemy.”

 

            First Letter: “Was stationed on the hill where the Capitol now stands.  There seen Genl. Washington, Genl. Wayne, the Marquis LaFayette, was there about three weeks when the enemy entered the city, and they retreated in the direction of Culpepper Courthouse but received orders to counter-march to New Kent Courthouse.  Which was obeyed—they was there attached to forces under command of LaFayette and Genl. Wayne and pursued the enemy to Yorktown, remained there until the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, was there discharged and returned to his residence in Rockingham Va.”

 

From One Family’s Eyewitness To History:

 

            The Battle of Yorktown was the final major action of the American Revolution, concluded by the surrender of British troops on Oct. 19, 1781.  During the action American and French land forces under General George Washington, collaborating with a French fleet commanded by Admiral Comte de Grasse, surrounded the British under Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquis Cornwallis, second in command of the British forces in North America.  The siege lasted twenty days.  The surrender of Cornwallis resulted in the resignation of the British Prime Minister, Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, and brought into power more conciliatory leaders.

 

            These new British leaders accepted the terms of the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, which officially ended the war.

 

            Prior to the action at Yorktown, Cornwallis had moved north from North Carolina in an unsuccessful effort to draw the pursuit of American forces led by General Nathanial Greene.  In Virginia the British advanced against militia under the French commander the Marquis de Lafayette, but Cornwallis would not enter the interior regions and subsequently withdrew to Williamsburg, where he received orders to establish defensive positions on Chesapeake Bay.  The British fortified Yorktown and the town of Gloucester, on the opposite side of the York River.  Lafayette and a small force of Americans, who had followed Cornwallis to Yorktown, notified Washington, encamped in West Point, New York, of the British position and preparations.

 

            Soon after receiving the news Washington decided to launch a surprise attack on Cornwallis.  Leaving some 3000 troops behind to defend the forts along the Hudson River and to mislead the British command in New York City about his main objective, Washington set out for Virginia about the middle of August.  His force numbered about 7000 men, including French regular troops under the Comte de Rochambeau.  They arrived at Williamsburg on Sept. 14, 1781.  Meanwhile a French fleet under de Grasse had succeeded in blockading Chesapeake bay, thus preventing a possible British escape.  In addition, about 3000 French troops had landed from de Grasse’s ships and joined Washington’s army.

 

            The American and French troops reached Yorktown on Sept. 26. Some 15,000 strong, they laid seige to the British positions.  American assault forces captured two British strongholds on the night of October 14, and a British counterattack proved ineffective.  Recognizing the hopelessness of his position, Cornwallis requested a truce on Oct. 17 and signed articles of surrender two days later.  A British reinforcement of 7000 troops under Sir Henry Clinton turned back to New York after receiving news of the surrender on October 24.

 

            Washington achieved the victory at Yorktown by coordinating his widely scattered land and sea forces, and his effort is generally considered one of the most skillful military operations in history.  Although peace wasn’t officially proclaimed until 1783, hostilities virtually ceased after the siege.

 

 

Home at Last

 

            Immediately on leaving the service for the last time in 1781, Peter Coger returned to his home in Rockingham County, Virginia, and was married to Mary Mackelvain.

 

            On page eight of the Book of Marriage Bonds of Rockingham County, Virginia, for 1778-1816, is the following entry:

 

“I do hereby certify that Peter Coger and Mary Mackelvain were Lawfully Married by Publishment, Given under my hand

                                                                                                September 3, 1781.

                                                                                                Anderson Moffett

                                                                        1791—5th year of the Commonwealth.

 

            Shortly after their wedding, Peter and Mary moved to Franklin County. Peter Coger was given a deed in Franklin County on the 13th Day of November 1793, for 97 1/2 acres of land.

 

            In a letter from James B. Koger to Steve Coger dated February 9, 1985, James B. Koger states:

 

     “The last I heard from Okey Cogar was something very interesting. He said that he had come across records back in Virginia that when Michael Coger sold the land that had been deeded to him by his father Jacob Koger, before he (Michael) left for Kentucky to take up his land grants there, that he divided his proceeds with his brothers Peter and Jacob Koger, Jr. It was with this money that both Peter and Jacob, Jr. could buy property and set up living in Franklin County, Virginia. I asked him where I could find these documents, but never got an answer. I did hear that he had been sick, but that is all I know.”

 

            In 1782, on the 21st of October, Peter Coger signed as a witness on a deed from his father Jacob, giving land on Stone’s Creek in Henry County to his brother, Jacob’s son Henry.

 

            On April 3, 1797, records state that he purchased 160 acres of land on the Blackwater River in Franklin County.

 

            A letter from James B. Koger to Steve Coger, dated September 21, 1980, states,

 

     “Okey Cogar states that Peter had several slaves and when he moved to Franklin County, he took them along with him.”

 

            In two separate actions, Peter Coger and his wife Mary, cited as Polly, gave away 200 acres, 100 each time, in February of 1816: 100 acres on Blackwater River, and the other hundred simply listed as in Franklin County.  Neither listing states to whom the land was given.

 

            Book One of Land Grants in Nicholas County, Virginia, on page 135, states;

 

            “Cogar, Peter  65 acres at White Elk in year of 1823.”

 

            According to a letter written from the Veteran’s Administration to Miss Emma Coger in 1937, government records show that in 1824, Peter and his family moved to the White Elk River in Randolph County, and then to Lewis County, Virginia.

 

            By comparing the Census Records for the period with the moves of Peter Coger and his family, we can, with some certainty, tell which of the Cogers later living in this region were the children of Peter and Mary “Polly” Coger.  Their son William was born around 1782; Jacob was born about 1783; Thomas about 1788; Peter, Jr., about 1790; Benjamine, about 1793; and John, about 1797.  Their only daughter whose name has come down to us is Catherine, but her birth date is unknown.  There may have been other daughters, but we have no records to indicate their married names.  We do know that Peter Coger was allowed a pension on his war service, and that it was executed December 3, 1832, at which time he was living in Lewis County, Virginia.

 

            In 1837 Peter Coger was residing in a remote corner of Kanawha County, in what is now West Virginia.

 

            A pension list of Revolutionary War soldiers still receiving pensions in 1841 lists Peter Coger as living in Lewis County, Virginia, with an Adam Starcher, who was apparently one of his son-in-laws.

           

            According to a book on the McElvain family by Delores Cogar Bright of Woodbridge, Virginia, Phoebe Coger, the tenth child of Peter Coger and Mary McElwain married Adam Starcher on August 28, 1828 in Kanawha County, now Calhoun County, West Virginia. 

 

            Mrs. Bright lists that Adam and Phoebe were the parents of nine children: 1.Sarah (Sally) Starcher married Asa Hamrick; 2. Thomas Starcher was killed shortly after the beginning of the Civil War; 3.  Jacob Starcher was first married to Minerva Stahlman and second to Margaret Coger; 4. William Starcher died on February 1, 1866; 5. Henry Starcher married 1st Sara Elizabeth Slider and 2nd Matilda Greathouse; 6.  Peter Simon Starcher married Sarah Wilson; 7. John (Jehu) Starcher married Susanna Kirby; 8. Mary (Polly) married John Bailey; 9. Elizabeth (Betty) married George

William Gibson. 

 

            Adam Starcher and Phoebe Coger and most of their children are buried in the Gibson Cemetery near Arnoldsburg, West Virginia on the West Fork.

 

            We do not know when, where, or how Peter and Mary Mackelvain Coger died nor where they were buried.

 

___________________________________


The following represents, verbatim, three letters dictated by Peter Coger in which he recalled his service to his country, both before and during the American Revolution.  These letters were dictated late in Peter Coger’s life expressly for the purpose of obtaining a government pension, which was subsequently granted.  As much as possible, the original spelling punctuation have been retained.  Blank spaces indicate illegible words.

 

 

State of West Virginia

County of Lewis

 

            On this 3rd day of December A.D. 1832 personally appeared in open court before the justice of the Court of Lewis County now setting, Peter Coger resident of the county of Lewis in the state of Virginia aged 79 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.  That he entered the service of the United States under the following named Officers, and served as herein stated.  In Rockingham County in the state of Virginia on the 1st July 1777 he volunteered as a private in a company commanded by Capt. Jeremiah Ragan.  ¾ Harrison Leiut. Ensign name forgotten.  March from thence through Augusta and Greenbriar Counties to the Great Kanawha River and descended to Point Pleasant at the mouth.  When he arrived the fort was Garrisoned by Col. A. Kellars troops.  He seen when there Capts. Arbuckle, Stewart, and Hill.  Cornstalk the celebrated Sachem was at this time detained at the fort as a hostage together with Red Hawk and some other Indians of distinction, was at Pt. Pleasant when the affair took place which led to the death of the Indian hostages.  Seen Cornstalk, Red Hawk, and Eleuipsica shot by the incensed soldiers.  Declarant remained at the fort at Pt. Pleasant awaiting the arrival of Genl. Hand from Fort Pitt with those forces they expected to form a junction at Pt. Pleasant and then proceed under his command on an expedition against the Indians on the North side of the Ohio.  Genl. Hand arrived without an army and the expedition was abandoned.  and Declarant was in January 1778 discharged by his Capt. and returned home having served 7 months.  Then on the first of April 1779 he again entered the service of the United States as a private volunteer under Capt. Abraham Bowman, Leiut. Isaac Bowman.  Daniel Dust Ensign.  Marched from Rockingham Co., Va., to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) was there attached to the forces under command of Col. G.R. Clark, embarked and proceeded down the Ohio river to the Burnt Chimneys below the Falls of the River¾there they landed¾and fearing that the savages might find and destroy their boats¾they sunk them and continued their march to the Illinois river¾crossed the same and took possession of the Illinois Fort.  Part of the forces were stationed there during the winter.  the others went up the Mississippi to Coho Station and remained there until spring.  The following Spring the troops formed a junction and marched to the Wabash Country, where they had a skirmish with the French and Indians, a small company who had taken Capt. Helm and his soldiers, who were from Old Virginia, a battle took place, firing kept up during a whole night, we wounded and killed some of the French and Indians and rescued Capt. Helm and his men.  Remained there until Oct. was then discharged by his Capt. and returned to Rockingham Virginia having served 18 months.  Again in the month of July in the year 1781 he was drafted in the said county of Rockingham under Capt. George Crisman, and marched from thence to Fredericksburg Va.  a plan of general rendezvous was there received by Genl. George Wildon.  Was there attached to Regt under command of Col. Darke.  Marched from thence to Richmond was stationed on the hill where the Capitol now stands.  There seen Genl. Washington, Genl. Wayne, the Marquis LaFayette, was there about three weeks when the enemy entered the city, and they retreated in the direction of Culpepper Courthouse but recd orders to counter march to New Kent Courthouse.  which was obeyed¾they was there attached to forces under command of LaFayette and Genl. Wayne and pursued the enemy to Yorktown, remained there until the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, was there discharged and returned to his residence in Rockingham Va.  this was towards the last of Oct. in 1781.  Declarant served this tour 3 months and about 20 days.  His discharges have all been lost.  Declarant was born in Pa., Taken to Va. when an infant.  Resided in Rockingham County Va. until some years after his services in the Revolution then moved to Harrison County Now Lewis in the said state.  Where he still resides.

 

He has no documentary evidence by which to prove his services.  Knows of no man who can testify to the same.  Unless Isaac and John Mace who he supposes could testify to part of his services.

 

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pensioner annuity except this present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.  Sworn and Subscribed this 3rd day of Dec. 1832.

 

                                                                                                             his

                                                                                                Peter      X       Coger

                                                                                                            mark

 

To the 7 several interrogatories propounded by this court in pursuance of the regulations adopted by the War Department he answers as follows, to wit, to the first he answers and saith

 

1st        He was born in the state of Pennsylvania the name of the county he has forgotten.  In the year 1753

 

2nd      I have no record of my age, I recollect the account given me of my age by         my        parents.

 

3rd       I was living when I went into the service in Rockingham County Va.

 

4th       The first and second terms I volunteered.  The 3d I was drafted.

 

5th       Washington, Wayne, LaFayette, Mackintosh, Hand, General Officers.  Cols. A.            Keller, Darke, Clark, & Capts. Arbuckle, Stewart, Hill, Keilrun, Ragan, Bowman,         and Crisman.

 

6th       My discharges have all been lost by whom they were signed I cannot     recollect.

 

7th       John Mace and Isaac Mace live in the neighborhood where I reside and can      testify to my character for veracity and their belief of my services as a         soldier of the Revolution.

 

 

We John Mace and Isaac Mace residing in Lewis County in the State of Virginia hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Peter Coger who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that We believe him to be 79 years old that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion¾

 

                                                                                                             his

                                                                                                John       X       Mace

                                                                                                            mark

 

                                                                                                             his

                                                                                                Isaac      X       Mace

                                                                                                            mark

 

Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.


State of West Virginia

County of Lewis

 

Personally appeared in open court before me Edwin S. Duncan Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Lewis and Chancery for the County of Lewis, State of Virginia Peter Coger, aged as he says upwards of eighty years, and made the following Declaration:  for the purpose of being reinstated upon the pension role and to obtain the benefit of the law passed the 7 of June 1832 providing for the Soldiers of the Revolutionary War.

 

Who after being duly sworn according to law Declares that he entered the service of the Untied States, in the year 1777.  That he volunteered his service in a Company of Militia.  In the county of Augusta in the state of Virginia commanded by Captain Ragan.  That they commenced their march in the month of July or August.  From Staunton, to the Warm Springs to Savanah Fort, now Lewisburg in the county of Greenbriar, State of Virginia, to Big Kenhawa, to Point Pleasant.  Whilst we lay at this place Cornstalk the Indian Chief was Killed.  We remained here guarding the Western Frontier of Virginia until the time for which we had volunteered expired and we were discharged having served the United States six months.  That in the month of April 1778 he again in company with his brother Jacob, Entered the service of the United States, under the command of Capt. Abraham Bowman, that both himself and his brother Jacob Volunteered for the term of one year Expressly to Join the Expidition undertaken by Col. George Rogers Clark, against the British and Indians in the Illinois Country, that by an arrangement with Capt. Bowman Declarant & Brother joined the Regiment at Wheeling at the time Declarant Volunteered in this service he was a citizen of Rockingham County & state of Virginia, and Volunteered in said County.  We embarked on board of keel boats at Wheeling and decended to the Falls of the Ohio, we landed at the Falls and built cabbins on the Island and left a number of families, and some soldiers for their protection.  We then embarked and decended to the Burnt Chimneys here landed and sunk our boats and commenced our march by land to the Illinois a very tedious and fatiguing journey, on the night of the last days march we marched all night and about Cock Crow in the morning we completed our landing on the opposite side of the Illinois river, having had only one small boat to ferry us all across.  We marched directly to the fort and took possession then of (it).  Our approach had been conducted so quietly and secretly that the fort had no notice of their danger until it was too late to make resistance.  In this Fort we found a Governor and his lady who ware made prisoners and Declarant understood that the Governor was sent as a prisoner to the Governor of Virginia, we remained here but a few days.  Col. Clark placed this fort under a guard and marched with the main body of his troops to a place called Coho of which we took possession.  Whilst at this place an Express arrived to Col. Clark from Fort Vincines.  We immediately took up the line of march for that place, upon our arrival a battle took place which resulted in the recapture of the post by our troops.  Declarant understood that the post had been in possession of the americans under the command of Capt. Helm, who had been forced to surrender it to the British and Indians,  After the retaking Declarant understood that the command of the post was a gain given to Capt. Helm, who with his troops Declarant understood came from Old Virginia.  A party of Indians who had been out on a War Party returned shortly after the recapture of the fort bringing with them a number of prisoners, before the Indians became notified of the fort having changed masters, some of them were taken and immediately killed.  At Fort Vincines the time for which Declarant and his brother Jacob had entered the service of the United States expired and they ware honorably discharged having served twelve months.  At the time declarant entered the service he was promised bounty land but to this day he has not received either land or money or any other pay.  Owing to ill health of both declarant and his brother Jacob who had the fever and Ague, they did not reach home until July 1779, that early in the spring of 1780 he substituted for a tower of three months in the place of John Keiser in a company of militia in Rockingham County State of Virginia commanded by Captain Jeremiah Ragan and Lt. ______ Smith.  We marched from to the lower part of Virginia marching through Richmond and joined the Regiment.  Declarant does not recollect the names of his field officers.  They ware strangers to him.  the company officers ware his neighbors.  The occurances of the campaign has principally out of his recollection, he recollects that on one occasion, himself and 10 or 12 others of the men stopped in a field to pick blackberries, that while so engaged a small squad of British Light Hors. attacked them but being fired upon ceased to pursue us and we made the best of our way to the regiment who had halted upon hearing the sound of guns.  We explained and marched on and crossed the Appomattox River.  in crossing the boat capsized and Drowned one man.  We decended the country to a considerable distance and then returned up the country to Frederixbourg when Declarant was discharged having served the United States as a substitute for John Keiser three months.  About one month after the Declarant had been discharged as a substitute he was regularly drafted into the service of the United States, in the county of Rockingham State of Virginia for a tour of three months and placed under the command of Capt. John Hopkins and Lieutenant Daniel Dust.  The company met at Col. Smith’s in Rockingham County.  they marched by the most direct rout for the North Carolina line thence down the country below Richmond and remained in this section guarding the country until the three months expired when Declarant was discharged near the Appomattox River having faithfully served three months at this time, in the Spring of the Year 1781, Declarant was again drafted into the services of the United States for the term of six months, in the county of Rockingham and State of Virginia, and placed under the command of Captain George Chrisman, and Lieutenant Jacob Linkhorn.  Our company rendezvous at the hous of John Crisman brother to Captain Crisman, marched by the most direct rout to Frederexbourg, Va. during this campaign we often in danger of being engaged with the enemy which we avoided by retreating.  On one occasion we were compelled to wade a Deep Creek, we had no fighting until we were informed that General Washington was besieging Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.  At this time our regiment lay at Portsmouth Va.  from thence we marched by forced march to join the main Army at York, we continued at this plan besieging the Enemy until the time Declarant had been drafted for expired and he was discharged having served six months at this time, which when added to his former service Rendered to the United States making the term of two years and six months.  Declarant knows of no person now living by whom to prove his services further than is set forth in the affidavit of his two friends, to wit Tunis M’CWane and Isaac Mace, the affidavits are herewith filed in.  Declarant being at this time a citizen of the county of Kenhawa state of Virginia for reason why he applies to the court says that he is a very old and infirm man that he lives near the line dividing the two counties that from his hous to Kenhawa a considerable part of the way is a wilderness and he is unable to get on and off.


Peter Coger.   Pensioner ¾ receivs $80 P annum

 

 

            On this 18th of August 1834, Mr. Coger gave the following narative of his service as a Soldier in the War of the Revolution.

 

            He states that he dont know his age¾that he was raised in Rockingham County Virginia and was drafted at the age of sixteen years and marched from Rockingham County under Capt. Jeremiah Ragan to Point Pleasant on the Ohio River where an engagement was had with the indians in which the _________ Chief “Cornstalk” was killed and that he saw him fall, dont recollect how long he was drafted for, but thinks he was in this service something like two or three weeks¾. (Note this battle at this point with Cornstalk was in 1774, WGS.)

 

            In the year 1780 he enlisted in Rockingham County under Capt. Abraham Bowman, went on with Capt. Bowmans Company to Fort Pitt, and from there we went down to the falls of the Ohio by water, and built a garrison where Lewisville now stands, and from thence descended the Ohio to a place called “Brick Chimneys”, sank our boats, and went by land to the Illinois, attacked the French ________.  Captured the ________, made a prisoner of the Governor and sent him to Washington City, with a part of the army.  the balance of the Army remained at the french town until Fall, when Capt. Bowman’s company was sent to the “Coho” on the Mississippi River, where we remained until Spring.  From thence we returned to the Illinois, and thence to the Wabash.  At this latter place he was discharged (cant tell for what length of time he enlisted) and returned home.  after which he was drafted under Cap. Geo. Chrisman and went against Cornwallis.  (Declarant) served out this term (cant tell how long) and was again drafted under Capt. Harris and “went against Cornwallis again” cant tell how long he was in service. ¾and was drafted two or three months afterwards and went against Cornwallis.  After all the Service he went was out after the tories under Capt. Harris on the south branch.  That Doct. Robt. Smith Declarant agreed to give him the first years draw.  He drew $200 and only paid him eighty dollars.

 

            I do certify that the (herein) contains the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 

test

 

P.B. Byrum                                                                              Peter Coger

Saul Arnold                                                      A. Cobey         W. Galingletin

 

Messr Isaac Mace proved the service of Mr. Coger.  & Coger proved Mace’s service.  Both cases are (pending ) in court.

                                                                                    W.G.S.


Franklin County, Virginia

 

At a Court held for Franklin County August 4th, 1817

This Bond was acknowledged by the obligers within named to be their act and deed and ordered to be recorded.

                                                                                                Teste:  Calbe Tate  C.F.C.

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

            This Indenture, made this 13th day of February 1817, by and between Peter Coger and Mary, his wife of Franklin County, of the one part and Abraham Abshire of the same county, of the other part.

 

Witnessed that for and in consideration for six hundred dollars to him in hand paid, the receipt herof, he doth hereby acknowledge hath given, granted, bargained and sold and by these presents, do give, grant, bargain, sell, deliver and confirm unto Abraham Abshire, his heirs and assigns forever, a certain parcel or track of land, lying and being in the County of Franklin, on the waters of the Marggottee Creek on the north side of Charles Knob.  Containing One Hundred acres, be the same more or less and bounded as follows:  Beginning at a Locust tree, thence running down a ridge North 5 west 230 poles to a Double Chestnut, thence North 58 west 58 poles to a red oak, thence south 42 west 158 poles to a chestnut oak, thence south 32 degrees, east 34 poles to the beginning.  Together with reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders and every part and parcel thereof.

 

            To have and to hold, the above granted land and premises with appierte, names, priveledges, profits and advantages there unto belonging or in any way apportaining unto the said Abraham Abshire, his heirs or assigns, forever.  And the said Peter Koger and Mary, his wife, doth for themselves and their heirs, covenant, grand and agree to with the said Abraham Abshire, his heirs and assigns, that they the said Peter Koger and Mary, his wife and their heirs, the above granted land and premises, with the appurtences, the said Abraham Abshire, his heirs and assigns, shall and will by these presents, warrant and forever defend.  In witness whereof, the said Peter Koger and Mary, his wife, have hereto set their hands and official seals, the day and bear above written.

 

                                                                                                 his

                                                                                    Peter      X       Koger  ¾  seal

                                                                                                mark

 

                                                                                                 her

witness                                                             Mary      X     Koger  ¾ seal

George Wright                                                              mark

 

 

Note:  This deed is of particular interest, inasmuch as it begins with the spelling of the surname as Coger, yet in three other references and the seal thereafter, it is spelled Koger.


VETERANS ADMINISTRATION

 

WASHINGTON

                                                                                                            December 31, 1937

 

                                                                                                                                                Your file reference:

                                                                                                                                                In reply to:

Miss Emma Cogar                                                                                                                BA-J/ILL

6 Block Street                                                                                                                        Peter Coger

Hyattsville, Maryland                                                                                                         S. 10481

 

 

Dear Madam:

 

                Reference is made to your letter in which you request the Revolutionary War record of Peter Cogar, and cite a pensioner Peter Cogar of Lewis County, West Virginia, in 1842

                The record of Peter Coger is furnished herein as shown in the papers on file in his claim for pension, S. 10481, based upon his service in the Revolutionary War.

                Peter Coger was born in the year 1753, “in the State of Pennsylvania” or “on the Hawksbille in Shenandoah County, Virginia”, both statements made by the soldier.  The names of his parents are not shown.  He was taken to Virginia as an infant, and was reared in Augusta and Rockingham Counties in that state.

                While a resident of Rockingham County, Virginia, Peter Coger volunteered in July 1777, served as private in Captain Jeremiah Ragan’s Virginia company, marched to Point Pleasant and continued in service six months.  He enlisted in April 1778, served as private in Captains Abraham Bowman’s and Abraham Kellar’s companies in General George Rogers Clark’s expedition against the Indians, was in the battle of Vincennes and was discharged May 8, 1779.  He enlisted in the spring of 1780, and served as private in Captain Jeremiah Ragan’s Virginia company for 3 months, shortly after which he enlisted and served three months in Captain John Hopkins Virginia company.  He enlisted in the spring of 1781, served as private in Captain George Cressman’s Virginia company, was stationed a part of the time near Fredericksburg and was discharged after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.

                Peter Coger returned to his home in Rockingham County, Virginia shortly after the war, moved to Franklin County, Virginia, in 1824 moved to Elk River in Randolph County, thence to Lewis County, Virginia.

                Peter Coger was allowed pension on his application executed December 3, 1832, at which time he resided in Lewis County, Virginia.  His name was borne on the pension roll as Peter Coger.  In 1837, the soldier was residing in a “remote corner of Kanawha County, Virginia”.

                Peter Coger made no reference to wife or children.  He stated that his brother, Jacob Coger, entered service with him in 1778 and served under General George Rogers Clark against the Indians, and that they returned to Rockingham County, Virginia together.  There is no claim for pension of file based upon services in the Revolutionary War of Jacob Coger, or Cogar.

 

 

                                                                                                                                Very truly yours,

 

 

                                                                                                                                A.D. Miller

                                                                                                                                Executive Assistant

                                                                                                                                to the Administrator.

 

I omitted last payment of pension ¾ as pen. was reduced in 1837 ¾ Jacob & Peter Coger are shown in the “Illinois Regt.” entitled to land from Va.


Dunmore’s War

 

                John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, and the last royal Governor of Virginia, was born in 1732.  He was appointed Governor of New York in January, 1770, and of Virginia in July, 1771, arriving in the latter Colony in 1772.  In the summer of the ensuing year, he visited the frontiers of the Colony and spent some time at Pittsburg.  Indian hostilities were renewed in 1774, and that year is famous as that of “Dunmore’s War.”  He was the only royal Governor that ever led a military expedition into the Ohio Valley. 

                Loyal to the British cause, Dunmore was driven from Virginia in 1775 by Revolutionary patriots.  He escaped in a British man-of-war.  In 1786 he was appointed Governor of Bermuda, and died at Ramsgate, England in May, 1809.

 

            To meet the general uprising of the united Indian tribes of the Ohio in 1774, Virginia made ready for war, the din of preparation resounding along her borders.  Lord Dunmore left Williamsburg, and passing over the Blue Ridge Mountains, assisted in mustering an army.

            A force of two thousand three hundred veteran troops was collected in two divisions, called the northern and southern wings, to march by different routes, then to be reunited on the banks of the Ohio River.

            The southern division, numbering eleven hundred men under the command of General Andrew Lewis, was divided into two regiments commanded by Colonel William Fleming of Botetourt County and Colonel Charles Lewis of Augusta County.  The troops gathered at Camp Union, afterward Fort Savannah, now Lewisburg, the county seat of Greenbrier County.

            The last to arrive were two companies, one from Bedford and a second from Washington County, the latter under command of Captain Evan Shelby who would later become Governor of Kentucky.

            On the 6th of September, 1774, Colonel Charles Lewis left camp at the head of six hundred Augusta County troops with orders to proceed to the mouth of the Elk River to where Charleston is now located, and there to construct canoes in which to transport the army’s supplies to the mouth of the Great Kanawha River.  Major Thomas Posey, the Commissary-General, and Jacob Warwick, the butcher, had charge of the supplies, which included four hundred pack horses, one hundred eight head of beef cattle and fifty-four thousand pounds of flour ground on mills in the Shenandoah Valley.  On the 12th of September, General Lewis left Captain Anthony Bledsoe with the sick at Camp Union, and with the remainder of the army, numbering five hundred and fifty men, struck the tents and took up the line of march through the wilderness.  The advance was overtaken at the mouth of the Elk, and there those who had fallen sick were left in the care of Captain Slaughter;  and the army thus reunited proceeded down the north side of the Great Kanawha to its junction with the Ohio, arriving on the 6th of October.

            The northern wing, personally commanded by Governor Dunmore, and numbering twelve hundred men, was collected chiefly from the counties of Frederick, Berkely, Hampshire and what is now Jefferson County.  Three of the companies had served with McDonald and on their return enlisted in Dunmore’s army.

            The westward march began by way of Potomac Gap, and upon reaching the Monongahela River, the force was divided.  Colonel William Crawford with five hundred men proceeded overland with the cattle, while Governor Dunmore with seven hundred men descended the river by way of Fort Pitt.  Both columns reached Wheeling ¾ then Fort Fincastle ¾ on the 30th of September.  The combined forces at once descended the Ohio to the mouth of the Hockhocking river, where they halted and built Fort Gower, the first structure of its kind reared by Englishmen in Ohio.

            The spot on which General Lewis’ army encamped at the junction of the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers was one of awe-inspiring grandeur.  Here they saw hills, valleys, plains and promontories, all covered with gigantic forests, the growth of centuries, standing in their native majesty, unsubdued by the hand of man.  To this spot the Virginians gave the name of Camp Point Pleasant, from which that of the present day town has been derived.  Thus, the first week of October, 1774, the two wings of Dunmore’s army lay upon the Ohio, yet separated by a distance of more than sixty miles.

 

 

The Battle of Point Pleasant

 

            When General Lewis reached the mouth of the Great Kanawha, he was very much disappointed at not meeting Governor Dunmore.  Shortly, however, messengers arrived with dispatches from Dunmore including and order for the southern wing of the army to rendezvous with the northern wing at the Shawnee towns on the Sciota, far out in the Ohio wilderness.  Lewis’ men, however, were much fatigued after a wilderness march covering one hundred and sixty miles.  Adding to that, pens had to be constructed to contain the cattle they had brought with them.  Lewis replied to Dunmore on October the 8th, informing him of those facts, and proposing in stead to join him as soon as all of the food supplies and powder reached Point Pleasant.  On the next day, Sunday, October 9th, 1774, the Chaplain preached the first sermon ever delivered at the mouth of the Great Kanawha River.

            Early on the morning of October 10th, two soldiers, named Robertson and Hickman, went up the Ohio in quest of deer.  When about three miles from camp, near the mouth of Oldtown Creek, they discovered a large body of Indians just rising from their encampment.  The Indians fired on the soldiers, killing Hickman.  Robertson escaped, and upon his return to camp, he informed General Lewis that he had seen a body of Indians covering four acres of ground.  Within an hour after the discovery of the Indians, a general engagement began, the battle line extending down the bank of the Ohio toward the Kanawha and a distance of one half mile past that point.

            Colonel Charles Lewis, brother of General Lewis, led the advance and fell mortally wounded at the first volley.  Lewis’ troops wavered under an incessant fire, while Colonel Fleming advanced along the bank of the Ohio.  Though he, too, was severely wounded, Fleming remained at the head of the column and thus checked the Indian advance.  The struggle continued with unabated fury until late in the afternoon, when General Lewis, seeing the futility of dislodging the Indians, detached three companies with orders to proceed up the Kanawha River, where under cover of the banks of Crooked Creek, they should attack the Indians in the rear.  The movement was executed as planned, securing the victory for the Virginians.  At about sundown, the Indians retreated across the Ohio River toward their towns on the Sciota.

            The Battle of Point Pleasant left seventy-five Virginians killed and one hundred and forty wounded.  Indian casualties were never ascertained, nor was the total number engaged ever known.  Their numbers were composed of warriors from the different nations north of the Ohio ¾ the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cuyuga tribes, led by their respective chiefs at the head of whom was Cornstalk, king of the Northern Confederacy.

            Never, perhaps did men exhibit more bravery in making a charge and fortitude in withstanding one, than did these undisciplined soldiers of the forest on the field at Point Pleasant.  It is said that the voice of Cornstalk could be heard above the din and roar of the battle.

            Colonel Fleming was left in command at Camp Point Pleasant.  On that site he reared the walls of Fort Randolph, and the place was never afterward deserted.


Cornstalk

 

            “Of all the Indians, the Shawnees were the most bloody and terrible, holding all other men, Indians as well as Whites, in contempt as warriors in comparison with themselves.  This opinion made them more restless and fierce than any other savages; and they boasted that they had killed ten times as many white people, as had any other Indian nation.  They were a well formed, active and ingenious people, were assuming and imperious in the presence of others not of their own nation, and were sometimes very cruel.”  So wrote Captain John Stuart in his Memoirs of the Indian Wars and Other Occurrences, in the early nineteenth century.

            In 1771, seven nations of Indians-Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandots, Mingos, Miamis, Ottawas, Illinois ¾ and others, formed a Confederacy that was the most powerful to menace the frontiers of British civilization in the colonies.

            The Shawnees were the most powerful of these tribes. The most powerful of the Shawnees was the famous chieftain Keigh-tugh-gua, which translates to “Cornstalk.”  In 1774, when the white men were pressing down into the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys, the Indian Confederacy prepared to protect their lands.

            The Indians formed a line across the point from the Ohio River to the Kanawha River. The whites and Indians each numbered about twelve hundred men.  Chief Cornstalk’s voice echoed above the sounds of battle, ’Be strong! Be strong!’ The broad-shouldered six-foot chieftain led his followers bravely, but they were no match for the white man’s musketry.  When the Battle of Point Pleasant was over, one hundred and forty whites and at least twice that many Indians lay dead.  The Indians retreated westward into what is now Ohio.

            A fort was built at the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers to keep the Indians from returning to Virginia.

            Cornstalk made peace with the white man. In November 1777, at the instigation of the English, the Indians were massing for a new attack.  Cornstalk and his fellow tribesmen didn’t want another war, which they would surely lose. On November 7, Cornstalk and Red Hawk, a Delaware Chief, came to the fort to try and negotiate a peace before the battle began. Cornstalk told Captain Arbuckle, who was in command of the garrison, that he was opposed to joining the war on the side of the British, but that all the Indian nation except himself and his tribe were determined to take part in it.  However, as Cornstalk put it, he and his tribe would have to run with the stream.

            For his peacemaking trouble, Cornstalk, Red Hawk and another Indian were taken hostage in an attempt to prevent the Indians from joining the British.

            Cornstalk’s name once chilled the heart of every white man on the Virginia frontier, and struck terror into every resident of the mountain cabins.  His name was associated with several frontier massacres.  He was gifted with skills in oratory and statesmanship, he was very brave, and he was considered to be a genius in military strategy.  (It was Cornstalk’s fighting tactics, adopted by the Americans, that led them to defeat the British in a number of battles.)

            Colonel Benjamin Wilson, who once heard Chief Cornstalk speak at a treaty council, said of the Indian leader, “When he arose, he was in no way confused or daunted, but spoke in a distinct voice, without stammering or repetitions, and with peculiar emphasis.  His looks while addressing Lord Dunmore [British governor of Virginia before the Revolution], were truly grave and majestic;  yet graceful and attractive.  I have heard the first orators in Virginia ¾ Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee ¾ but never I heard one whose powers of delivery surpassed those of Cornstalk.”

            Cornstalk, and his fellow Indians held as hostages, were well treated and given comfortable quarters.  In fact, the chief even assisted his captors in plotting maps of the Ohio River Valley.  On November 9, Cornstalk’s son, Ellinipsico, came to see his father, and he, too, was detained at the fort.

            The next day, those in the fort heard gunfire from the direction of the Kanawha River.  Investigation showed that two men, Gilmore and Hamilton, who had left the fort to hunt deer were ambushed by Indian snipers.  Hamilton managed to escape but Gilmore was killed and scalped.

            When the bloody corpse was returned to the fort, the soldiers there, in a fit of fury, charged past their protesting officers and forced their way into the building where the Indians were being held.  Even though the bushwhackers who killed Gilmore were from another tribe, the frenzied soldiers called for the blood of Cornstalk and the other hostages.  As the soldiers advanced through the door, Chief Cornstalk rose up and, standing erect, faced them.  The sight of the bronzed, six-foot chieftain bravely facing them caused the mob to pause, but only momentarily, before they fired, killing the Indians.  The great Cornstalk went down, but not before eight musket balls tore into his flesh.

            Red Hawk attempted to escape up the chimney, but was shot down.  Ellinipsico was slain as he sat on a stool.  The other Indian was slowly strangled to death.  AS Chief Cornstalk lay dying, he looked up at his crazed assassins, his eyes flashing with vengeance, and said, “I was the border man’s friend.  Many times have I saved him and his people from harm.  I never warred with you, but only to protect our wigwams and our lands.

            “I refused to join your paleface enemies with the Redcoats.  I came to your fort as your friend and you murdered me.  You have murdered by my side, my young son.”

            The blood flowing from his wounds seemed to stop.  He continued, “For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land.  May it be blighted by nature.  May it even be blighted in its hopes.  May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”

            Then he lay down and died, his eyes still glaring at his killers.

            The bodies of the other Indians, including Ellinipsico, were dumped unceremoniously into the Kanawha River.  Chief Cornstalk was buried in a marked grave near the fort on Point Pleasant, overlooking the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.

            In his book Winning The West, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Cornstalk died a grand death, by an act of cowardly treachery on the part of his American foes;  it is one of the darkest stains on the checkered pages of frontier history.”


William Coger

 

     “...Grandpa John M. Coger’s father’s name was John Coger—his wife was Sarah Jane Sands. His father was William Coger... and the same would be Asa Coger’s...”

 

                                                                                         Lillie Squires

                                                                                         Gem, Braxton County

 

     “William Coger married Betty Kingary, September 18, 1804, and moved to what is now Webster Springs. He lived there a short time and moved to Hacker Valley where he reared a large family of sons and daughters. His sons were John, who lived in Braxton several years and then moved to the state of Kansas in 1864, Tobias, William C., Benjamin, Tunis...”

                                                                                         Sampson Newton Miller

 

            Existing legal references to William Coger are few and occasionally confusing.  Different birthdates appear for him on different census records, which show him aging anywhere from five to twenty-five years between the ten-year censuses.

 

            Fortunately for genealogical researches in this family, our William Coger was the only one of his generation with his given name.  In later generations there were many William Cogers, implying that he was a respected grandfather with many namesakes.

 

            One of the earliest written reference to William Coger is as “eldest son of Peter Koger,” in the will of a Godfrey Hamilton (or Hambleton) of Botetourt County, dated June 19, 1795, and probated July 11, 1795.

 

            At this time we do not know the relationship between William Coger and this Godfrey Hamilton, who wrote two wills that still exist, both of which refer to members of the Coger family.  At the date of the second will, William was about fourteen years old.  This will states, in part,

 

     “the overfolush (sic) shall go to Catharina Koger the woman that had lived with me and to William Koger eldest son of Peter Koger to be devided in equal shares except one bed which the said Catharina Koger is to have before any of my property is sold...”

 

            William Coger’s great-uncle Nicholaus, who had been killed by Indians while building a log cabin in 1743, the same year his daughter Anna Catharina Koger had been born.  Many Koger/Coger genealogists believe that it was this Catharina mentioned by Hamilton.

 

            Nine years earlier, on November 1st, 1786 the same man, his name spelled Godfrey Hambleton, wrote an earlier will, which stated, “in consideration of the love and good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my loving son-in-law Jacob Koger (note that according to Okey Coger, by this time Nicholas’s son Jacob was signing his name as Jacob Cowger, so it seems more likely that this is Hans Jacob’s son Jacob-DSC) of the said county and colony aforesaid have given....my goods and chattels now being in my present Dwelling house...” 

 

            This earlier will was witnessed by Peter Koger, Elizabeth Poore, and David Brasher, and was dated November 1, 1784.

 

            Louise Koger, of 505 Colgate Street, Vestal, New York, in a letter to Steve Coger dated August 17th, 1980, writes:

 

     “...In 1784 Hambleton refers to Jacob Koger as his ‘loving son-in-law’ and gives this Jacob `all and singular my goods and chattels now being in my present dwelling house’ in Botetourt Co., Virginia. Witnessed by Peter Koger. Proved by the oath of Peter Koger and Elizabeth Poor”

 

     “The second document is also from Botetourt County, Virginia, dated June 5, 1786. Godfrey `hath bargained sold and delivered unto Jacob Koger of the said county and state, all my lands that I now possess in this county, with the plantation that I now live and properties that the said Jacob Koger has in Kanducky’...This was also witnessed by Peter Koger.”

 

     “It seems obvious that Jacob Koger (son of I-Jacob the immigrant) must have been married to a daughter of this Godfrey Hamilton.  But she is not mentioned in the 1784 document either as wife or daughter. So perhaps she is dead then but Jacob is still close to old Godfrey and perhaps even lives with him.”

 

     “So Godfrey signs over to Jacob his household goods. Then somehow Jacob acquires land in Kentucky (Never heard of this before. Wonder if it could have been up around Lexington where his brother Michael went about this time?) So it seems that Godfrey and Jacob make a deal to switch land holdings. Perhaps Godfrey wants Jacob to remain there in Botetourt County on Godfrey’s land and continue to make a home for him.”

 

     “Now, I think that we all have begun to agree that Peter and Jacob, both sons of I-Jacob, have a close relationship and seem to stick together.”

 

     “Later Jacob Koger marries Sarah Walker and this Godfrey Hamilton is on the bond. I suggest this is a second marriage for Jacob, and the close relationship with G.H. continues.”

 

     “Then in 1795 we have the last will and testament for Godfrey Hamilton (Hambleton) in which he mentions William Koger as the oldest son of Peter Koger and also a Catherina Koger as `the woman that lives with me.’”

 

            Mrs. Koger in the letter goes on to suggest that the Catherina Coger mentioned in Godfrey Hamilton’s second will may the daughter of Peter Coger, rather than Nicholas, and thus William’s sister:

 

     “It would make sense to me that Jacob, having taken a new wife, might entrust the care of Godfrey Hamilton, his first father-in-law, to his nephew and niece, the children of Peter Coger, if they all lived in close proximity to each other.”

  “Children in those times were given great responsibility...in their early teens...and Jacob Koger seems to have taken on the responsibility of Godfrey Hamilton and was compensated for this according to these documents.”

 

            In the records of Franklin County, Virginia, are the following entries:

 

            WILLIAM COGER WED 18 SEPT 1804 ELIZABETH KINGERLY

            MARY COGER WED 8 FEBRUARY 1808 WILLIAM HIGHLY

            MARY KOGER WED 26 FEBRUARY 1805 SAMUEL HANBY JR

            SARAH COGER WED 4 DECEMBER 1797 WILLIAM LEE

 

            The first Mary Coger is probably William’s sister.  The second Mary is the daughter of Jacob Koger, Peter’s brother, and therefore William’s first cousin.  Sarah is the widow of that same Jacob, and therefore William’s aunt.  William’s uncle Jacob had died on May 21, 1797, six months before.

 

            In August 1814, William Coger enlisted as a Private in the Virginia Militia Companies of Captain John M. Holland and Captain John L. Jennings.  This was the war called the “War of 1812”, and he enlisted for a period of six months. He was discharged on February 20, 1815.

 

From One Family’s Eyewitness To History by Sarah Coger:

 

            William Coger was born about 1782, and was the eldest son of Peter Coger, the Revolutionary War veteran.  He was born in western Virginia, and raised in and around Botetourt County.

 

            In August, 1814, he enlisted as a private in the Virginia Militia Companies of Captain John M. Holland and Captain John L. Jennings.

 

            The Congressional elections of 1810 had returned a vigorous new group of men to Washington, D.C.  Drawn largely from the South and West, these men, called the “War Hawks,” including Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Felix Grundy, wanted more land for settlement.  Calling for war with Britain to defend American sovereignty and honor, they proposed an attack on Canada both to affront Britain and to stop British support of the Indians, who under the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh opposed American westward expansion.  The War Hawks also wanted to annex Florida, held by Britain’s ally, Spain.  Thus, on June 18, 1812, Congress declared war.

 

            Operations began near the Canadian border.  The swift action of British General Isaac Brock led to the American surrender of Detroit and Fort Michilimackinac and the complete defeat of the poorly prepared American army at Queenston Heights, near Niagara.  The next year, on September 10, an American naval squadron under Oliver Hazard Perry captured the British fleet on Lake Erie.  On October 5 the troops of William Henry Harrison defeated a combined force of British and Indians in the battle of the Thames, just north of Lake Erie.

 

            Then the Americans burned York (now called Toronto), capital of Upper Canada.  Newly rising American hopes were dashed, however, by failure to take Montreal.  Furthermore, despite victories of single American ships in the Atlantic, such as that of the Constitution over the Guerriere in 1812, the Royal Navy succeeded in blockading the entire eastern coast.  U.S. trade was ruined.  In addition, the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 freed Britain to send more seasoned troops to North America.

 

            Nevertheless, by 1814, the quality of American troops and the vigor and skill of their leaders had improved markedly.  That summer American forces under Jacob Brown and Winfield Scott withstood heavy British assaults at Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane, near Niagara.  On September 11, an American naval victory on Lake Champlain forced 15,000 invading British troops to retreat to Canada.

 

            Farther south, on the coast, the British sailed 35,000 troops from Bermuda to Chesapeake Bay, where they defeated a much larger force at Bladensburg and proceeded to burn the Capitol and White House in Washington in retaliation for the American attack on York.  They failed, though, in their plan to take Baltimore.

 

            Treaty negotiations were begun as early as 1813, but the military stalemate accelerated the tempo of bargaining.  At first both sides made unrealistic demands—the U.S. wanted Britain to end all offensive maritime practices, and Britain demanded a neutral Indian buffer state to be carved out of the American Northwest. Since neither side had won the war, they compromised by returning to the status quo before the war.

 

            A peace treaty was signed at Ghent, Belgium, on December 24, 1814, and ratified by the Senate February 16, 1815.  Between these dates a last battle was fought on January 8, when a British army, landed at the mouth of the Mississippi River, was routed in the battle of New Orleans by U.S. forces under General Andrew Jackson.

 

            The treaty didn’t secure U.S. maritime rights, but the end of the Napoleonic Wars meant that they were no longer threatened.  Britain never impressed American seamen again.  The U.S. didn’t win Canada, but Indian opposition to expansion was broken, and Florida was soon ceded by Spain.  The U.S. emerged from the war with a new sense of national purpose.  Canadians also gained increased national awareness and a heightened distrust of republican institutions.

 

 

            William and Elizabeth Kingerly (or Kingary, as there is evidence that she was the daughter of Peter and Mary Kingary) Coger had eight children; Tobias married Frana Fisher; John, our ancestor, married Sarah Jane Sands; Tunis married Mary E. Kimbleton; William Jr., called “Skelt Bill”, married Mary Bender; Benjamin married Mary Ann McCourt; Catherine married John Bender; Mary “Polly” married Zachariah Howell; and Sarah married John Cowger (we do not know if this is one of the descendants of the immigrant Nickolas, whose children changed their name’s spelling to Cowger).

 

            The 1850 census of Braxton County, Virginia, lists William and Elizabeth as both being seventy years old, placing their births in 1780.

 

            The 1860 census of Webster County, Virginia, lists William as seventy-eight, living with his son William Junior, and placing his birth is 1782.  (This William Jr. had a son named Asa, which also appears to be a popular name with the Coger family).

 

            The 1870 census for Webster County lists William as living with his son Tunis, and lists his age as one hundred and three, placing his birth in 1767. However, this would also have his birth fourteen years before his parents married, and so this age is not considered to be correct.

 

            An existing history of Braxton County contains a list of citizens who lived over a century. Topping the list is William Coger, whom it states lived to be 108. also on the list are Jacob Coger, who lived to be 106, and Mary Coger, who lived to be 104.

 

            If he stated he was 103 in 1870, and he died at 108, it is possible, though surely uncertain, that he died in 1875.  We have no records of his or his wife’s death.

 

            William Coger was discharged from his duties in February of 1815.  On the following several pages are the existing records of William Coger’s service during the War of 1812.


Godfrey Hamilton Will

 

In the name of God amen I Godfrey Hamilton of Botetourt County being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God calling to mind the mortality of body and knowing that is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recomand my Soul in the hand of Allmighty God that gave it and my body I recomand to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the Discretion of my Executors and as touching such an estate wherewith it had pleased God to bless me in life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and from First I devise that all my land and household furniture and moveable stock shall be sold and my lawfull debts be payd out of it and the overfolush shall go to Catharina Koger the woman that had lived with me and to William Koger eldest son of Peter Koger to be devided in equal shares except one bed which the said Catharina Koger is to have before any of my property is sold and I apoint my friend John Hartman and James Mallan the sole Executors of this my last will and Testament and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every other wills & testaments by me in anywise before named ratifying and confirming this to be my last will and testament and no other  In witness whereof I have pereunts by my hand and seal this Nineteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord One thousand and seven hundred and ninety five.

 

                                                                                                  his

 

                                                                                    Godfrey GH Hamilton

                                                                                               

                                                                                                 mark

 

 

Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and declared by the said Godfrey Hamilton as his last will and Testament in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our names

 

                                                                                                  his

 

Henry Snider                                                                Godfrey GH Hamilton

Philip Shertzer                                                                                     

                                                                                                 mark

 

 

11 July Botetourt Court 1795

 

This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and Testament of Godfrey Hamilton decd was executed in court and proved by oath of Henry Snider and Philip Shertzer witnesses thereto subscribed thereupon ordered to be recorded


Botetourt County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office

 

(Recorded in Deed Book 3, Page 432)

 

 

            To all People to whom these Presents shall come that I Godfrey Hambleton do send Greeting know ye that I the said Godfrey Hambleton of Botetourt County and Colony of Virginia Planter for and in consideration of the Love and good will and Affection that I have and do bear towards my Loving Son-in-Law Jacob Koger of the said County and Colony aforesaid have given granted and by these Presents do freely give and grant unto the said Jacob Koger his Heirs Executors or Administrators all and singular my Goods and Chattles now being in my present Dwelling House in the said County and Colony aforesaid of which before the Signing of these Presents I have delivered he the said Jacob Koger an Inventory signed with my Own Hand and bearing Date to have and to Hold all the said Goods and Chattels in said Premises or Dwelling House to him the said Jacob Koger his Heirs, Executors, Administrators, from henceforth as his and their proper Goods and Chattels absolutely with any manner of Condition in Witness I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this first Day of November one thousand seven hundred and eighty four.

 

                                                                                                  his

 

                                                                                    Godfrey GH Hambleton  {seal}

                                                                                               

                                                                                                 mark

 

 

Signed Sealed and Delivered

in the Presence of

 

Peter Koger

 

David Brasier

 

                her  

Elizabeth   X     Poor

               mark

 

 

October Botetourt Court 1786   This Deed of Gift was proved by the Oaths of Peter Koger & Elizabeth Poor & ordered to be recorded.

 

                                                                                                            Teste   H. Smyth D.C.


The following affidavits and letters represent William Coger’s efforts over a period spanning more than twenty years to obtain a warrant for bounty land granted to soldiers of the War of 1812.

 

 

 

 

State of Virginia

                                    } SS

County of Braxton

 

            On this 26 day of November AD One thousand Eight hundred & fifty personally appeared before John B. McCourt, a justice of the peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, William Coger aged 70 years, a resident of the County and State aforesaid, who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical William Coger who was a private in the Company commanded by Captain Holland on the way to Norfolk and for a time under him at that place but he being sent home sick he was attached to Captain John Jennings’ Company from Halifax in the 7th Regiment of Virginia Militia commanded by Col. David Saunders under the command of General Porter in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June, 1812.  That he was drafted from Franklin County in the State of Virginia in the month of August 1814 for the term of six months.  That he continued in the service until the close of the war when he was honorably discharged, but which discharge he has lost.  That said discharge was given at fort Barbour at Norfolk at the close of said war.

            He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the act granting land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States passed Sept. 28, 1850.

 

                                                                                                William  X  Coger


 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 64074

 

 

                                                                                                Treasury Department

                                                                                                Third Auditor’s Office

                                                                                                Jany 2, 1852

 

William Koger, a Private in Captains John M. Holland & John L. Jennings’ Companies Virginia Militia, Service from 10 August 1814 (indef). and paid to 20 February 1815, the expiration of the Service.  He is reported sick on the role.  I have written the applicant’s name as it is spelled on the rolls.

 

                                                                                                B.H. Gallaher

                                                                                               

Examined Jany 2, 1852                                                             H.W. Bland


           

 

 

 

 

 

            Beverly, Va.  June 9th, 1852

 

Jas. E. Heath

Comr. of Pensions

 

 

Dear Sir

 

            Mr. Henry C. Moore of this county informs me that about the middle of January 1851 he sent to your department ¾ applications for bounty lands in the names of Benjamin Hamrick, Thomas Coger, William Coger, John Clifton, James Miller, John Howell and Christian Bickle.  That at the time he received receipts for the same & that he has not heard from said applications since.  You will please let me know what has been done with the same.

 

                                                                                    Yours Respectfully,

 

                                                                                    David Goff


State of Virginia

 

County of Lewis

 

 

            On this 14th day of June A.D. One thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, William Coger, aged 75 years, a resident of Braxton County in the State of Virginia, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical William Coger who was a private in the Company Commanded by Col. D. Sanders in the War with Great Britain, declared by the United States, on the 18th day of June, 1812, for the term of six months, and continued in actual service in said war for fourteen days;  that he has heretofore made application for bounty land under the act of Sept. 28th 1850, and received a bounty land warrant no. __________ for 80 acres, which he has since legally disposed of and cannot now return.

            He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the act approved March 3d, 1855.  He also declares that he never applied for nor received under this or any other act of Congress, any bounty land warrant except the one above mentioned.

                                                                                                             his

                                                                                                William  X  Coger

                                                                                                            mark

 

 

            We, Samuel Armstrong and Felix Albert, residents of Lewis County in the State of Virginia, upon our oaths declare that the foregoing declaration was signed and acknowledged by William Coger in our presence;  and that we believe from the appearance and statements of the said applicant that he is the identical person he represents himself to be.

 

                                                                                                Samuel Armstrong

 

                                                                                                Felix Albert

 

            The foregoing declaration and affidavit was sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year above written;  and I certify that I know the affiants to be credible persons;  that the claimant is the person he represents himself to be and that I have no interest in this claim.

            Given under my hand, as a Justice of the Peace as aforesaid the day and year above written.

 

                                                                                                Robert Clark, J.P.

 

 

 

Virginia

            Lewis County  

 

            I, John Morrow, Clerk of the County Court of Lewis county, certify that Robert Clark is a Justice of the Peace in and for the aforesaid County and State duly commissioned and qualified and was such at the time of taking the acknowledgment of the foregoing declaration and affidavit and that the foregoing signature purporting to be his is genuine.

 

                                                            In testimony whereof I have hereunto affixed the                            {Seal}                              seal of the said Court and subscribed my name                                                              this 30th day of June, 1855

 

 

                                                                                                John Morrow C.C.


           

                                                           

 

 

           

                                                                                                Weston, Va.

                                                                                                June 30th 1855

 

 

Sir,

 

            Enclosed you will find the application of Wm. Coger for Bounty Land under the Act of March 3d 1855.

            He desires his warrant be forwarded to me.

 

                                                                                                Very respectfully,

 

                                                                                                Your obt. Svt.

 

                                                                                                Jas. Bennett

 

 

Hon. L.P. Waldo

Comr. of Pensions,

Washington City,

                   D.C.


John Coger

 

            Excerpt from a letter from Miss Lillie Squires, of Gem, West Virginia, to Arlis Coger, dated July 11, 1967;

 

     “...Our mother talked a lot about her folks. She had a good memory. I looked in my scrap box, I found some clippings you might be interested in. I found where I had wrote names of my mother’s five generations.

 

     “I had said to her tell me back as far as you can. Grandpa John (John Milton Coger, Asa’s brother) Coger’s father’s name was John Coger—his wife was Sarah Jane Sands. His father was William Coger, his wife was Mary McKingery—and the same people would be Asa Coger’s parents and grandparents.

 

     “I will send you Uncle Jackson and Grandpa’s obituaries. They are brothers of (your) Asa Coger that went west.

 

     “My sister says she remembers Cell, Neal, and Asa went West.  She thought there was a Coger woman that married a John Edwards. Eliza Coger, wife of J. N. Coger, this would be Newt Coger, he might be a nephew or a brother (Newt was Jackson Newton Coger, son of James and Grandson of John-DSC).

 

     “Mattie my sister will soon be 89, she said Cell Coger was the one she thought left with Luther Skinner. One of the Cogers that went west married Asa Stump’s sister (This was Marcellus-DSC). He went to visit them once.

 

     “...I think Grandpa’s old generations are from Webster County, West Virginia.  He went back there a lot.  He did like to hunt.”

 

            John Coger’s birthdate is uncertain, because, as usual, different dates are given in different census records, but it was probably about 1804.  Very few records have been found concerning him, other than those censuses.

 

            Nothing is known now of his early life.  We know that in later life he loved to hunt and fish, as Inez Coger says, so that we can probably assume that his youth was spent learning the finer points of these pursuits in the Western Virginia hills.  We know that much of the Indian threat had passed away by the 1810’s, but that part of the country was still pretty much an untamed place.

 

            Inez Coger Hinds, in a family history she wrote in December 1963, stated:

 

     “My great-grandfather, Jack Coger, lived in West Virginia, along with numerous Coger clan, before and during the Civil War.

 

     “My great-grandfather was a typical backwoodsman, choosing to live away from crowded settlements, mainly by hunting and fur trading, and fishing, wherewith the family inherited its general love of fishing.

 

     “He was also well skilled in primitive woodwork as were many of his descendants.  He had the reputation of being a quick-tempered, irascible, uncommunicative and difficult person. His wife was quite the reverse, being a kindly, lovable lady.  They were the parents of ten sons.”

 

            C. C. Cogar, of Gassaway, West Virginia, grandson of John’s son John Milton Coger, wrote in 1979, “All the name I have for my great-grandfather is `Jackie,’ and in my opinion that is a nickname.”

 

            Max Coger, great-grandson of John Coger, stated late in his life that he remembered talk of eleven brothers, one of whom joined the Union, and who was assigned to non-combat roles, including driving a supply wagon.  “Because all of his brothers were on the other side, they didn’t make him fight,” Max said.

 

            No record of any war service has been found for John Coger. He would have been too young for the War of 1812, and too old for the Civil War.

 

            However, there are several listings for John Cogers, or Kogers, in various sources.  All of them have been claimed with some authority by other branches of the Coger/Koger family.

 

            The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies: Series I: Volume 22 and 32, list a John Coger among Colonel W. C. Quantrell’s `severely wounded’ troops after a battle on the Canadian River on October 13, 1863.  A John Coger, who is believed by family genealogists to be John William Coger, son of Abraham, grandson of Henry, great-grandson of Jacob the immigrant, was one of Quantrell’s lieutenants before the war, and we assume that this is the same one.

 

            Another Jack Coger was listed incorrectly as killed by the troops of Colonel William B. Stokes, of the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, near Lancaster, Tennessee, on February 7, 1864.  Family researchers are convinced that this was John Davis Coger, son of David, grandson of Joseph, great-grandson of John, great-great-grandson of Jacob the immigrant.

 

            The Sands family were apparently neighbors of the Cogers in Braxton County, Virginia, and John married Sarah Jane Sands in about 1824 or 1825. 

 

            John and Sarah’s oldest son of which we are certain is James Coger, who was born in 1826.  A Jordon Coger, born in 1824, also lived in Braxton County, but it is believed that his parents were Benjamin Coger and Mary Hosey Coger.  The legend of ten or eleven sons is so strong among Asa’s grandchildren, it is almost impossible to discount it.  But we just don’t know all of their names, or which one joined the Union army. 

 

            The Census report for District 4 of Braxton County, Virginia, taken on the 17th of August, 1850, by Assistant Marshall Jack Yancey, shows the following entry;

 

#135                JOHN COGER            48        M         FARMER

                        SARAH                       46        F          KH (KEEPS HOUSE)

                        CORNELIUS              22        M         FARMER

                        ASA                            20        M               

                        JOHN                          18        M                

                        JACKSON                  15        M               

                        HENRY                       13        M               

                        EMSY                         11        F          KH

                        MARCELLUS 8         M         FARMER

                        SALATHIEL               6         M        

#136                JAMES                        24        M         FARMER

                        AGNES                       24        F          KH

                        LOUISA                                  F          1

 

            Above we see listed eight of John and Sarah Coger’s sons, and one daughter, Emsy.  The 1860 Census, recorded on the twentieth of July, shows the following;

 

363 351           JOHN COGER            56        M         FARMER

                        SARAH                       56        F

                        EMSY E.                     21        F

                        MARCELLUS 18        M

                        SALATHIEL               16        M

365 353           ASA COGER              28        M         FARMER

                        ELIZABETH S.           27        F

                        FRANKLIN                7          M

                        SARAH                       4          F

                        MARY             2          F

                        RACHAEL                  4/12     F

 

            Braxton County Marriage Records show that Emsy Coger, age 21, married George Hoover, age 26.  Other records list the marriages of Emsy’s brother Marcellus to Louisa Stump on December 24, 1861, and her brother John M. to Mariah L. Haymond, on October 12, 1854.

 

            Of Emsy’s brother James’s children, records list that Louisa, age 19, married Nathan Rogers, 25, on June 3, 1869; Rebecca, 18, married Paul Tweeter, 23, on October 3, 1872; and Jackson, age 21, married Eliza J. Jones, 20, on November 25, 1873.

 

            Death records for Braxton County show that John and Sarah Coger’s son Cornelius lost his wife Jenny, daughter of Nimrod and Elizabeth Lake, on November 23, 1855.  She was 25 years old.  The end of 1855 seems to have been a very bad time for Cornelius, called `Neil’ by his brothers.  His son Nimrod died on December 7, at the age of one year, and his daughter, Sarah, age four, died four days later, on December 11.  We do not know now what epidemic was passing through Braxton County, but it seems likely that a deadly one was present.

 

            John A. Coger, son of Marcellus and Louisa, died on October 15, 1867, and his cousin Mary Coger Edwards, wife of John Edwards, and daughter of James and Agnes Coger, died on June 5, 1880.

 

            Confederate Military records tell us that John and Sarah’s son Salathiel died of smallpox on March 11, 1863, in the Army camp at Washington, Virginia. Old family traditions state that John and Sarah’s youngest son, whom they called `Babe,’ had `died in camp’, so that it seems likely that Babe and Salathiel are the same person.

 

            C. C. Cogar, of 700 Kanawha Street, Gassaway, West Virginia, seems to feel that they are different people. In a letter to Steve Coger dated September 1, 1979, he states “Salathiel and Babe died in Prison Camp during the Civil War.”

 

            Tradition also states that John and Sarah had ten sons, (C. C. Coger says nine boys and one girl—Max Coger, late in life, said eleven sons, and he did not know of any daughter) and that nine joined the Confederacy, while the tenth joined the Union.  The son who joined the Union Army is said by tradition to have died in a Confederate prison camp, after which time the family never mentioned his name again.  This unwillingness to mention the unfortunate son’s name brings to mind Inez Coger Hinds description of John Coger as a quick-tempered, irascible, uncommunicative and difficult person.

 

            Inez Coger and her brothers and sisters were John Coger’s great-grandchildren, yet none of them knew that John and Sarah lived out their lives less than twenty-five miles from their own home place near Hindsville, Arkansas.

 

            Military records still exist which show the service to the Confederacy of John Coger’s sons James, Cornelius, Asa, Jackson, and Salathiel. Of these sons, only Asa served as an officer, as a Second Lieutenant. Tradition among Asa’s descendants states that this was because Asa, alone among his brothers, could read and write well.

 

            C. C. Cogar states that his grandfather, Asa’s brother John Milton, “was chosen to remain in the territory about the home and look after the other boys’ families, by living and killing game and seeing that they had something to eat.”

 

            According to the records, James, Neil, Asa, Jackson, and Salathiel all enlisted together on August 20, 1862, in Company “G” of the 62nd Regiment, of the Virginia Infantry. As stated above, Salathiel died of Smallpox in the Confederate Camp.  The other four brothers survived, although they were all eventually captured by the Union Forces and served time as prisoners of war, before their releases near the end of the War.

 

            April Wegner, in a letter to Steve Coger dated November 16, 1979, states:

 

     “’Dude’ Coger (Franklin Monroe Coger, son of Marion Clay Coger) before he died said that one of Asa’s brothers had his feet badly burned by Union soldiers—so badly that he couldn’t travel with the family to Kansas.”

 

            In 1865, the remains of the family returned home to Salt Lick Creek on the Little Kanawha River, in Braxton County, now West Virginia.

 

            Excerpt from a letter from C. C. Cogar, of 700 Kanawha Street, Gassaway, West Virginia, to Steve Coger, dated September 1st, 1979:

 

     “My Great-grandfather with most of his family moved to Kingston, Arkansas right after the civil war, and my grandfather bought the home farm, and my father lived there until he died. My son owns the place now. There were nine boys and one girl in my grandfather’s family.”

 

            Soon after the reunion of those family members who survived the War, John and Sarah Coger, several of their sons, and their families, and other Coger cousins and relatives, left their Virginia home forever.

 

            We know that John and Sarah, and their sons Asa, Neil, Marcellus, and Henry, and their families, came west, while John M., James, and possibly Jackson, stayed in West Virginia.

 

            We cannot know the strains and strife that they moved away to leave. They had returned, after the war, to a former home where they were now Rebels in a land of Yankee sympathies. It may be that bushwhackers and carpetbaggers made them very unwelcome in their own country. At any rate, they moved, by flatboat, wagon, horseback, and foot, to Kansas, near Oskaloosa.  This was not far from Lawrence, which had been destroyed in a massacre in 1863, by the raiders of William Quantrell, which included another John Coger, and which was just beginning to attain its former prominence.

 

            According to Inez Coger Hinds:

 

     “In 1865, after the war had ended, Grandfather Asa, and the remains of the Coger Family, brothers, cousins, etc., sold their possessions, and with their individual families migrated to Kansas, which was relatively new country at the time...

 

     “They traveled by wagon train to the Ohio River, and by flatboat down the river, then by Wagon Train again to Kansas, where they settled at Oskaloosa.

 

     “They lived there several years, as my father’s (Damon Coger’s) early schooling was at that place.

 

     “Being natives of the West Virginia hills, they were unhappy on the Kansas plains, and, after suffering the disaster of a terrible grasshopper invasion, the likes of which they had never seen before, they again sold their possessions, intending to return to West Virginia.

 

     “Their route led them through the North Arkansas hills, which reminded them of their native West Virginia.”

 

            We know that John’s sons Asa and Neil, with their families, moved with him to Kansas, and then to Arkansas. It is said that the storms on the flatlands of Kansas were so bad that plows and other metal farming tools had to be stored underground at night so that they would not attract lightning.

 

            The Cogers were in Kansas for at least seven years.  Census records show that Cornelius Coger’s son Sam had been born in West Virginia in late 1865 or early 1866, but that his next daughter, M. J. (Mary Jane), was born in Kansas in 1867.  Asa Coger’s sons Steve, Henry, and Clay, were born in Kansas, respectively in 1868, 1870, and 1874.  So John and Sarah Coger’s sons families were in Kansas at least from 1867 to 1874.

 

            In the 1880 Census for Kings River Township, Madison County, Arkansas, is the following entry:

 

#15                  JOHN COGER            M  76  M         FARMER        VA    VA  VA

                        SARAH                       F   76  M         KH                  VA    VA  VA

                        CORNELIUS              M  52  W         FARMER        VA    VA  VA

                        ANN E.                       F   19  S                       WVA VA  VA

                        SAM                            M  14  S                                  WVA VA  VA

                        M.J.                             F   13  S                       KAN  VA  VA

 

            The small letter after the age indicated the marital status; M for married; W for widower; S for single. The three columns of abbreviated state names refer to the birthplaces of the individual, his father, and his mother, respectively.  As John, Sarah, and Neil, were born in that part of Virginia which only later, after the Civil War, became West Virginia, they listed simply Virginia.

 

            After this point the only information referring to John and Sarah are mentions in letters and deeds included in the following pages.  We do not know when they died, or where they are buried.  The last letters we have from those generations imply that John and Sarah were still living on a farm near King’s River, in Madison County, north Arkansas.

 

            On June 28, 1888, John and Sarah deeded over their farm to their son Cornelius, who lived with them during the time they lived in Arkansas.  The land is described as 122 acres in Section 6 of Township 16 North of Range 24 West.

 

            It seems fairly safe to assume that they died in the 1890’s, and are buried somewhere in this area, with their funeral attended by their sons Asa, Henry, and Neil.

 

            Willie Allyn Coger Pitchford states in a letter to Steve Coger dated November 16, 1979, that:

 

     “John and Sarah were living near...

 

     “Frank Coger who lived near Kingston. (Frank was the) oldest son of Asa and Elizabeth Susan Hopkins Coger, at the time of their death.”


1850 Federal Census ¾ Braxton County, Virginia (now West Virginia)

 

Name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Identification

 

 

 

 

 

William Coger

70

M

Farmer

son of Peter Coger &

Elizabeth

70

F

 

Mary Mackelvain

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Coger (Jr.)

60

M

Farmer

son of Peter Coger &

Mary

55

F

 

Mary Mackelvain

Mary

18

F

 

 

Thomas

13

M

 

 

Eliza

11

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Coger

48

M

Farmer

son of William C. Coger &

Sarah

46

F

 

Elizabeth Kingary

Cornelius

22

M

 

 

Asa

20

M

 

 

John

18

M

 

 

Jackson

15

M

 

 

Henry

13

M

 

 

Emsy

11

F

 

 

Marcellus

8

M

 

 

Salathial

6

M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Coger

24

M

Farmer

Son of John Coger &

Agnes

24

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Louisa E.

 1

F

 

 

                            


1860 Federal Census ¾ Braxton County, Virginia (now West Virginia)

 

Name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Identification

 

 

 

 

 

Jordon Coger

36

M

Farmer

son of Benjamin Coger &

Delila

33

F

 

Mary Hosey

Isaac B.

 1

M

 

 

John

 8

M

 

 

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Coger (Jr.)

62

M

Farmer

son of Peter Coger &

Mary

60

F

 

Mary Mackelvain

Thomas G.

32

M

 

 

Margaret

20

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Coger

34

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Agnes

34

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Louisa

11

F

 

 

Jackson

10

M

 

 

Isaac

 8

M

 

 

Mary

 6

F

 

 

Rebecca

 5

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Coger

56

M

Farmer

son of William C. Coger &

Sarah

56

F

 

Elizabeth Kingary

Emsey

21

F

 

 

Marcellus

18

M

 

 

Sal

16

M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asa Coger

38

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Elizabeth S.

27

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Franklin

 7

M

 

 

Sarah

 6

F

 

 

Mary

 2

F

 

 

Rachael

4/12

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Coger

27

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Tobitha

19

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Matilda

 2

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John M. Coger

28

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Mariah

23

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Louverna

 3

F

 

 

Lucy

 1

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacob Coger

77

M

Farmer

Son of Peter Coger &

Margaret

70

F

 

Mary Mackelvain

Francina

25

F

 

 

James W.

26

M

 

 

Charles

23

M

 

 

Mary E.

7/12

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornelius Coger

23

M

 

Son of John Coger &

Mary

20

F

 

Sarah J. Sands


Andrew Jackson Coger

 

            Andrew Jackson Coger was born on September 8, 1834, probably on his family farm on Salt Lick Creek, North of Sutton, in what was then Lewis, later Braxton County, Virginia. One must assume he was named for then-President Andrew Jackson. On March 19, 1858 he married Tobitha Jane Sands. Records indicate he preferred the use of his middle name, Jackson, or sometimes “Jack.”

            On August 20, 1862, he was enlisted as a “Quarter Sergeant” in the army of the Confederate States of America by Captain G.W. Imboden, reporting for active duty on September 4, 1862. His older brothers James, Cornelius and Asa and younger brother Salathiel likewise joined the Confederate Army. The brothers were attached to (1st) Co. I, 1st Regiment, Virginia Partisan Rangers, later (2nd) Company G, 62nd Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry, under the command of Captain Conrad Currence. As was often the case, the entire unit was made up of young men from their home county.

            Jackson’s older brother John M. Coger may have also served the Confederacy, but had a place of duty in or near Braxton County. There is no indication that younger brothers Marcellus and Henry Dutton Coger served in the war.

            Military records indicate Andrew Jackson Coger was absent from duty due to illness in January through April, 1863. He was reported “left sick at Buffalo Gap Hospital” on March 17, 1863. Like many civil war soldiers, he was probably suffering the effects of tuberculosis.

            Andrew Jackson Coger and brother James Coger were taken prisoner by Union forces on September 20, 1863 and held in the Atheneum Military Prison in Wheeling, West Virginia from September 20 to October 20, 1863. Records indicate they were arrested by Union Captain Harris at Sullersville and released by Union Captain Thorpe on October 20, 1863. Often, such releases were the result of negotiated prisoner exchanges. At the time of his capture, Jackson was recorded to be 29 years of age, five feet, eleven and one half inches tall, having dark complextion and hair, and blue eyes. He reported his occupation as that of a farmer.[1]

            Older brother Asa Coger was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of (2nd) Company G, 62nd Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry. He was captured by Union troops on March 9, 1865 and subsequently confined in the Atheneum Military Prison in Wheeling, then sent to Camp Chase, Ohio on March 17, to Point Lookout, Maryland on March 26, and finally to Fort Delaware, Delaware on April 28, 1865. He was released upon signing an “Oath of Allegiance” to the United States at Fort Delaware in June, 1865.

            Tragically, the youngest of the Coger brothers, Salathial, the one they called “Babe,” did not live to return home from the war.

 


VIRGINIA 62ND INFANTRY REGIMENT

 

Nicknames:                Virginia 1st Cavalry Regiment Partisan Rangers

                                    62nd Virginia Partisan Rangers Regiment

                                    Virginia 62nd Cavalry Regiment

 

Organization:             Organized for the war with a mixture of infantry and cavalry                                           companies on September 9, 1862.  Companies 1st D, 1st G,                                             1st H, 1st L, 1st M, N, O, P and Q transferred to the 18th                                                   Cavalry Regiment ca. December 15, 1862.  2nd Companies                                                     A, B, F and I assigned from the 25th Infantry Regiment ca.                                                        January 25, 1863.  1st Company A became Staunton Artillery                                       Battery in about February 1863.  Regiment mounted in late                                                           1863.  Company C, 41st Cavalry Battalion, assigned as 2nd                                                            Company L.  2nd Company M assigned September 18, 1864.                                                  Apparently disbanded in April 1865.

 

First Commander:     John D. Imboden (Colonel)

 

Field Officers:            Robert L. Doyle (Lieutenant Colonel)

                                    Samuel H. Hall (Major)

                                    George W. Imboden (Major)

                                    David B. Lang (Major, Lieutenant Colonel)

                                    George H. Smith (Colonel)

 

Assignments:              Northwestern Virginia Brigade, Department of Northern Virginia                                               (March-July 1863)

                                    Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia (July-December                                               1863)

                                    Imboden’s Command, Valley District, Department of Northern                                                 Virginia (December 1863-January 1864)

                                    Northwestern Virginia Brigade, Department of Northern Virginia                                               (February-June 1864)

                                    Imboden’s Brigade, Ransom’s-Lomax’s Cavalry Division,Valley                                               District, Department of Northern Virginia (June 1864-April 1865)

 

Battles:                       Imboden’s Expedition into Tucker County, West Virginia                                                             (November 8-14, 1862)

                                    Jones’-Imboden’s West Virginia Raid (April 20-May 21,1863)

                                    Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)

                                    Greencastle, Pennsylvania (July 5, 1863)

                                    Williamsport (July 5, 1863)

                                    New Market (May 15, 1864)

                                    Lynchburg Campaign (June 1864)

                                    Monocacy (July 9, 1864)

                                    near Bunker Hill (September 5, 1864)

                                    3rd Winchester (September 19, 1864)

                                    Fisher’s Hill (September 22, 1864)

                                    Woodstock (September 23, 1864)

                                    Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864)


VIRGINIA 18TH CAVALRY REGIMENT

 

Organization:             Organized by the assignment of the cavalry companies of the                                         1st Cavalry Regiment, Partisan Rangers, ca. December 15,                                                  1862.  Apparently disbanded in April 1865.

 

First Commander:     George W. Imboden (Colonel)

 

Field Officers:            David E. Beall (Lieutenant Colonel)

                                    Alexander Monroe (Major)

 

Assignments:              Northwestern Virginia Brigade, Department of Northern Virginia                                               (March-July 1863)

                                    Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia (July-December                                               1863)

                                    Imboden’s Command, Valley District, Department of Northern                                                 Virginia (December 1863-January 1864)

                                    Northwestern Virginia Brigade, Department of Northern Virginia                                               (February-June 1864)

                                    Imboden’s Brigade, Ransom’s-Lomax’s Cavalry Division, Valley                                              District, Department of Northern Virginia (June 1864-April 1865)        

 

Battles:                       Jones’-Imboden’s West Virginia Raid (April 20-May 21,1863)

                                    Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)

                                    Waynesboro, Pennsylvania (July 5, 1863)

                                    Williamsport (July 5, 1863)

                                    New Market (May 15, 1864)

                                    Lynchburg Campaign (June 1864)

                                    Monocacy (July 9, 1864)

                                    3rd Winchester (September 19, 1864)

                                    Fisher’s Hill (September 22, 1864)

                                    Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864)


(2d) Company G, 62nd Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry

Confederate States Army

 

Captain:

 

 Conrad Currence (killed 5/15/1864)

 

Privates:

 

Henry Allen (died 1863)

F.J. Berry (died 1862)

J.H. Berry

James L. Berry (killed 5/15/1864)

William Berry (died 1864)

J.J. Blake

Henry Boggs

James Bragg

Asa Coger (promoted to Lieutenant)

Cornelius Coger

Jackson Coger (promoted to 4/Sgt.)

James Coger

Salathiel Coger (died 3/16/1863)

B.C. Conrad

Newton Conrad (killed 1864)

T.B. Cunningham

J.C. Dennison

John Dennison (died 1863)

G.W. Dyer (died 1863)

J.J. Dyer

S.Y. Farrar

William Gardner (killed 1863)

 

J.W. Hacker

Benjamin Hamilton

William Harren

Andrew Heater (killed 5/15/1864)

John Heater

K.R. Heater

William Heater

James Hefner

Michael Hefner (died 1863)

S.C. Hefner

Frank Holden

Frederick Hoover

G.W. Hopkins (died 1863)

J.W. James

William James

Samuel Jones (killed 1864)

John Lake

Richard Lake

J.D. Lenenson (died 1863)

J.P. McNemar

Joseph McPherson

Thomas McPherson

 

T.M. Moore

S.B. Myers

T.W. Myers (killed 1863)

G.B. Ocheltree

Jonathan Ratliff

Charles Riffle

T.W. Saunders (killed 5/15/1864)

Thomas Saunders

P.W. Shields

F.F. Singleton

J.W. Singleton

John S. Singleton

Jackson Skinner

James Spicer

Harvey S. Spiller

Asa Stump

W.L. Ware

Levi Waybright

Addison Williams

Thomas O. Williams (killed 1863)

D.H. Wine

 

 

The 62nd Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry, completed its organization September 9, 1862.  It was composed of cavalry and infantry until December, 1862, when the cavalry companies were united with other companies to form the 18th Regiment Virginia Cavalry.  Four companies that had formerly belonged to the 25th Regiment Virginia Infantry were assigned to this regiment about January 25, 1863.  (1st) Company A became Capt. McClanahan’s Company, Virginia Horse Artillery about February, 1863, and (2nd) Companies L and M were later assigned to the regiment.  It was known at various times as the 1st Regiment, Virginia Partisan Rangers; the 62nd Regiment, Virginia Partisan Rangers; the 62nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry; the 62nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry;  and Imboden’s Regiment, Partisan Rangers.

 

Five Coger brothers ¾ Asa, James, Andrew Jackson, Cornelius and Salathiel ¾ were enlisted as members of (1st) Company I, 1st Regiment, Virginia Partisan Rangers, on August 20, 1862 in Braxton County, Virginia (now West Virginia) by Captain G.W. Imboden.  All but Salathiel survived to see the end of the war.


 

 

 

 

1870 Federal Census ¾ Braxton County, West Virginia

 

Name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Identification

 

 

 

 

 

James Coger

44

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Agnes

44

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Jackson N.

19

M

 

 

Isaac C.

17

M

 

 

Mary A.

15

F

 

 

Emsey J.

 3

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew J. Coger

35

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Tobitha J.

28

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Matilda E.

11

F

 

 

Sarah J.

 9

F

 

 

Elzary

 8

F

 

 

William H.

 5

M

 

 

Susan M.

 4

F

 

 

Samuel M.

 2

M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marcellus B. Coger

29

M

Farmer

son of John Coger &

Louisa E.

30

F

 

Sarah J. Sands

Sarah A.

7

F

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Obituary

 

 

     A.J. Cogar was born September 8, 1834;  departed this life August 27, 1906. aged 71 years, 11 months and 19 days;  was united in marriage to Martha J. Sands March 19, 1858.

    To this happy union was born eleven children, five boys and six girls, three of whom have died and gone to heaven.  He leaves an aged wife and eight children to mourn his departure, besides a host of near relatives and friends.  He gave his heart to God in his younger days and lived a consistent christian from early life and died in the faith, and we feel sure he is in heaven today.  A few hours before his death he ask us to raise him up in bed.  He talked to us and said “My prayers have been answered, I am going home where there is no sickness nor sorrow felt nor fear where I am going;  there is a home for us all.” and asked us to help him lay down again and bade all good bye that was standing ’round his bed by shaking hands and then closed his eyes in death.

     One word to his relatives and friends, let us so live and put our trust in God that we may meet Bro. Cogar where parting is no more

 

H.B.H.

 

 

 

Notes:  This obituary of Andrew Jackson Coger contains two significant errors:  First, the spelling of the surname “Cogar.”  For reasons which are unclear, spelling of the name changed to the latter version sometime in the early 1900’s in Braxton County, West Virginia.  A similar evolution occurred in Webster County and other parts of the state.  Andrew Jackson Coger, however, retained the traditional spelling.  Second, the wife of Andrew Jackson Coger was Tobitha Jane Sands.


 

 

            Excerpt from a letter from Lillie Squires, of Gem, West Virginia, to Steve Coger, dated August 30, 1974 Relating to Asa Coger, eldest brother of Andrew Jackson Coger:

 

     “My great-grandfather went to Arkansas with part of his family. I only heard mother speak of them but I often heard her speak of Uncle Asa and Aunt Susan.

 

     “My grandfather Coger was born in 1832. My mother was his second child. My mother spoke of her great-grandfather (this would be William Coger).  I believed him to be in Webster County, West Virginia.

 

     “We have Grandfather Coger’s family records.  He and mother always spell it Coger but I spell it Cogar.

 

            Excerpt from a letter from Jessie Parsons, 826 Walnut Street, Belpre, Ohio, to Maud and Lillie Squires, about 1967, again relating to Asa Coger, brother of Andrew Jackson Coger:

 

     “Grandfather Cogar’s brothers that I can remember were Jackson, Jim, and Neal. There may have been others, but I wouldn’t know.

 

     “You knew Jackson of course since he lived up near your home. His wife’s name was Jane.

 

     “Jim and wife Agnes lived at Shaversville, W. Va., and were buried there. I don’t remember that I ever heard Neal was married. He lived mostly in Arkansas and made trips back and forth to West Virginia, but after his last visit and return to Arkansas, Grandfather (John Milton Coger) never heard from him again.

 

     “You spoke of the name Asa, he may have been a brother, I don’t know, never hearing him spoken of. There was one name I remember I heard Grandfather mention a few times. It was simply “Babe” but who it was I have no idea.  I was only a kid when this part of the family was living and only scraps of memory come to me...”

 

            Asa Coger was born on Christmas, 1829, probably on his father’s farm on Salt Lick Creek, North of Sutton, Braxton County, Virginia. In 1852 he married Elizabeth Susan Hopkins, apparently from the census records a girl from a neighboring farm. 

 

 

            The 1850 census shows the Hopkins family listed right before Asa’s;

 

#134                CALEB HOPKINS     55        M

                        MARY ANN               50        F

                        JOHN                          22        M

                        ELIZABETH S.           18        F

                        MARY JANE  13        F

 

#135                JOHN COGER            48        M

                        SARAH                       46        F

                        CORNELIUS              22        M

                        ASA                            20        M

 

(The remainder of this Census Record is shown in the section on John Coger)

 

 

            Asa Coger enlisted in Braxton County on August 20, 1862, in Company G of the 62nd Regiment, Mounted, Virginia Infantry.  On September 4, 1862, he became a Second Lieutenant.

 

            According to Inez Coger’s 1963 family history, her grandfather Asa Coger was one of ten brothers who fought in the Civil War. She wrote that nine of the brothers fought for the Confederacy, and one joined the Union. 

 

            Max Coger (Asa’s son) stated in about 1974 that he had always understood that Asa had ten brothers, that there were eleven boys in the family.  He did not remember having heard of any sisters at all.

 

     “I heard my dad a number of times say that his father had ten brothers, there were eleven boys.  But I never heard him mention girls at all.  The only boy I can remember him mentioning was Cornelius.  I remember him from seeing him.  He died when I was about three or four years old.”

 

     “Of the one brother that tradition said joined the Union Army, my dad said that brother wasn’t in actual combat, he drove a supply wagon, because all of his brothers were on the other side, they didn’t make him fight.  The Northerners didn’t make him fight because he had ten brothers in the south.  It was funny that my dad never did mention any girls.” 

Max Coger

 

 

            The Coger family lived at this time in what was the Northwest corner of the state of  Virginia, at a place called “Coger’s Station,” on Salt Lick Creek, in Braxton County.  The place was later named Gem, after George E. McCoy, who married one of the daughters of Asa’s brother, John Milton Coger.

 

            This part of the state had seceded from the rest of Virginia to become the new Union state of West Virginia.  And so the nine Confederate brothers could not visit their homes during the War, as the homes were now in enemy territory, where they were looked upon as traitors.

 

            It is known that Andrew Jackson Coger and several of his brothers joined Company G of the 62nd Regiment of the Mounted Virginia Infantry, which participated in the battle of Gettysburg, on July 1-4, 1863, considered by most historians to be the turning point in the Civil War.

 

From Sarah Coger’s One Family’s Eyewitness To History:

 

            Hoping to win a battle which would crumble Northern resistance, General Robert E. Lee invaded the North in June, 1863. When Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, Lincoln relieved General Joseph Hooker of his command, replacing him with General George Meade on June 28. Discovering that his Army of the Potomac was in Maryland while the Confederates were far to the north, Meade quickly marched Northward.

 

            During this battle, the charge of the Confederate General Pickett, in which he lost almost half of his 15,000 men, was largely the result of a terrible tactical error.  General Robert E. Lee, believing the union army’s center on the rise called Cemetery Ridge was weak, had ordered a frontal assault, but in this, Lee had guessed wrong. The Union Commander, General Hancock, had 80 cannon and 9,000 men, well entrenched there, plus the advantage of holding higher ground. In the ensuing slaughter, 21 Union and Confederate Generals were killed or wounded.

 

            Both confederate and union forces were scattered, and the Gettysburg battle had taken place by accident. Most of General Pettigrew’s North Carolina Brigade was marching barefoot, its shoes long since worn out. On June 30, the “Gettysburg Compiler” newspaper had blithely carried an advertisement for men’s fine calf boots, wellingtons, brogans, and other footgear. Pettigrew was ordered on a nine-mile forced march from Cashtown to seize the shoes. The Confederate presence drew Union eyes, followed by Union skirmishers, and the inevitable full contact. Neither Lee nor Meade wanted a confrontation at Gettysburg. Meade had chosen a site near Pipe Creek. Lee preferred Harrisburg, 30 miles away.

 

            Both armies rushed reinforcements to the scene, precipitating a battle neither had planned. The first day, the Confederates took Gettysburg, forcing the northerners to retreat to the heights south of town.

 

            The next day, July 2, the Union forces occupied a convex front running from Culp’s Hill in the north down to Cemetery Ridge, then south to Little Round Top Hill. From the west and north, Lee launched unsuccessful attacks against both Union flanks. When Major General George Pickett arrived with 15,000 fresh Confederate troops, Lee planned another attack for the next day.

 

            On July 3, Lee concentrated 159 cannons and Pickett’s soldiers on Seminary Ridge, a mile from the union center on Cemetery Ridge. Lined up axle to axle, the Confederate artillery began firing at 1:00 p.m.  Unfortunately, their shells missed the union lines and instead fell in the rear.  At 3:15, Pickett began his famous charge against Cemetery Ridge.  Union artillery and musket fire decimated the exposed Southern ranks, but they continued on up Cemetery Ridge. At the top, in hand-to-hand fighting, Pickett’s men were finally repulsed, with over two-thirds dead or wounded.         

 

            Their attack had begun slowly, with Pickett’s three brigades halting on the gently-sloping terrain which led down from Seminary Ridge, to assemble in parade formation. On a one-mile advance across the open field to Cemetery Ridge, Pickett’s ranks were steadily decimated by rifle and artillery fire. Only a few hundred had made it the full distance up the reverse slope to reach the Union line, and they were promptly killed or captured. General Longstreet, Lee’s Corps Commander, had told him the attack was impossible to carry out, but Longstreet was overruled.

 

            The futile infantry charge helped to fill 17 miles of ambulance wagons in Lee’s retreat into Virginia the next day.  Lee’s casualties numbered over 28,000.

 

            With Pickett’s failure, Lee admitted defeat and retreated. Meade failed to pursue the Confederates, allowing them to reach safety in Virginia.

 

            Union soldiers numbered 88,000, against 75,000 Confederates. The North lost 3,155 killed, 14,529 wounded, and 5,365 missing; the South lost 3,903 killed, 18,735 wounded, and 5,425 missing. By losing at Gettysburg, Lee had lost the war for the South, while Meade—by allowing Lee to escape—had failed to win the war for the North.

 

            We do not know at this time, what other famous battles of the Civil War Asa Coger and his brothers took part in. 

 

            Traditions written down by family historians tell about life for the family back home in enemy territory.

 

     “...there was a lot of Civil War stories told by Uncle Frank, the eldest of the Asa Coger children, who was 10 years old when the war began.  Stories of burying bacon and other food, of hiding livestock in caves, etc, in order to save their skimpy provisions from foraging soldiers of either side, who would take everything they could find and leave families to starve; of his dad, a soldier who had to hide out in a cave when he had a home leave, to escape bushwhackers who made it their business to kill, burn, and destroy, without regard to which army they might be a part of.”

Inez Coger Hinds

 

     “Frank was the oldest boy, and he was supposed to have smuggled food to the Confederates that were holed up in the hills there somewhere in West Virginia on the Virginia border somewhere.  They said one day a Union officer picked him up on his horse, and let him ride with him.  He had been taking a load a food, the soldier began letting him ride back home with him, telling him about how bad war was, too bad one bunch of men had to kill another bunch of men and so on.”

Max Coger

 

            Salathiel, Asa’s youngest brother shown on the censuses, died of Smallpox in the Confederate Army camp at Washington, Virginia, on March 11, 1863, eight months after joining the Confederate army.

 

     “Truly, those were perilous times for women and children as well as soldiers, and the country was a long, long time in recovering.  Those war hardships hung over into my dad’s lifetime, and into the lives of us, his children.  Let us hope that the children of today may not know the hardships of war’s privations, but that they may grow up surrounded by the comforts, opportunities, and blessings of peace.”

Inez Coger Hinds

 

            Although Andrew Jackson Coger, and his brothers, had survived the battle of Gettysburg, at least he and his brother Asa became ill, possibly developing tuberculosis. Asa resigned his commission as a Confederate officer on February 19, 1865, and returned home, as an ex-Rebel crossing into Yankee territory.

 

     “I don’t know what he had.  I just kind of figured it might of been TB.  It was very well known that Cornelius died of TB.  He (Cornelius) died at our house.”

Max Coger

 

            Although very ill, Asa was arrested there as a spy on March 9, by the 17th West Virginia Infantry.  According to his capture papers, Asa was six feet tall, with blue eyes and a fair complexion. 

 

            Over the next four months, he was imprisoned in four different prisoner of war camps. Immediately after his “capture” he was sent to the prisoner of war camp known as the Atheneum, in Wheeling, West Virginia. On March 17th he was transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio, then nine days later he was transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland. His final destination during his imprisonments was Fort Delaware, Delaware, where he took the Oath of Allegiance, and was released in June of 1865.

 

            While Asa was imprisoned at Point Lookout, his third son, Damon Allan, was born back at the home place, on April 18th, 1865. 

 

     “My grandfather evidently did his fighting around close to where they lived, because my dad was born close to the end of the Civil War, not the day it was over but the year it was over.”

Max Coger

 

            According to Dyers Index to Land Grants in West Virginia, Asa’s home consisted of 60 acres in 1855.  His father John’s farm was 50 acres, while his brother James owned 185 acres, all on Salt Lick Creek, in Braxton County.

 

            Near the end of the war, Asa’s brother, Cornelius, had been captured in Webster County on December 20, 1864.  After being sent to Clarksburg, West Virginia, he was wrongly listed as a deserter in a report within the Confederate Army dated January 31, 1865.  Neil was released in January of 1865, and also returned home.

 

            We do not know the conditions the former rebels met when they returned to their homes in what had become enemy territory, after the war.  We can assume that there were some ill feelings in an area that, perhaps more than any other, was torn by the civil war.  West Virginia was a state that had seceded from a state that had seceded from the union.

 

            We know that the family split, and that Asa and some of his family left the state forever.  We know that those Cogers who remained in West Virginia, for whatever reason, changed the spelling of their name to Cogar, and still today spell it that way.

 

            The families of Asa Coger, Marcellus Coger, Henry Dutton Coger, Cornelius Coger, and their father, John Coger, left Virginia forever.  Marcellus came to Evening Shade, in Sharp County, Arkansas, and raised a family of two sons and one daughter.  The others moved, as stated above, to a place near Oskaloosa, Kansas.

 

 

            We know that they stayed in Kansas for at least seven years.

 

     “...they said that the lightning was so bad that it would even burn their plows in the field.  They’ve told me that story, all of them have, I’ve heard that story a number of times.  They had lightning rods on their houses.”

Max Coger

 

            One letter still exists from those years in Kansas. It was written by Frank Coger, oldest son of Asa, and also partly by his father Asa, to Asa’s brother John Milton Coger, back in West Virginia:

 

Oskaloosa, Kansas

                                                                             March 14, 1870

 

Dear Uncle:

 

     I seat my self to let you now that we are all well at present hoping that these few lines come safely to hand they may find you and family in good health. It has bin a long time sense we have heaired a word from you or enny one from Va.  Air you still alive?

     I hope you air and will ancer this letter.  We have had a nice winter so far.  We have had but one snow.  It lasted abut two days.  We have put up an addition to our house, now 25 ft by 14 ft with shed 8 ft by 16 ft for a kitchen.  Pap is going to write so I’ll quit.  I’ll send you some pieces cut from Oskaloosa Independent.  Please write soon,                                                                                                                                                                 yours Truly,

 

                                                                                         Frank M. Coger

 

 

     John—I dont no what to rite to you to interest you. We air still alive and have enuf to eat and about out of det and som property and have 80 acres of good land, 40 acres under cultivation, 7 cows to give us milk this somer, a span of mules, wagon and harness, 25 head of hogs, a house 14 by 25 three rooms, stable 14 by 24, smoke house 10 by 12, saw and grist mill on our plase. H. D. Coger (his brother Henry Dutton-DSC) has 80 acres of land lies rite by the side of ours and is doing well, all in good health. We had a ball at our house the 4th of march, 25 coupel in attendence and great many boys and dogs.  I have the fiddeling to do and I aint much on the play tho I have bin cep busy this winter. I make from 4 to 5 dollars per nite.

 

     I wish you was here to help me and next Friday nite I am cald on to play agane.

 

     Markets:          Corn 30 to 35 cts per bu                                

                             Wheat 100 to 125 cts

                             Coffee 25 to 30 cts

                             Potatoes 25 to 50 cts

                             Oats 20 to 30 cts

                             Eggs 20 to 30 cts

                             Buter  25 to 28 cts

                             Coten Cloth  10 to 20 cts

                             Calico 10 to 15 cts

                             Cows fresh 40 to 50 dollars

                             Horses rang from 30 to 200 dollars

 

     Can you take time to drop us a line?  We would be glad to heair from you.  Rite or I will come out and set up a boot strop about the seat of your pants.

A. Coger

 

 

            Then, in 1874, they left Kansas with the idea of returning to West Virginia, but settled in the North Arkansas hills, which reminded them of their West Virginia home.  According to Inez Coger Hinds, although John and Sarah, and their sons Asa and Neil with their families, stayed in Arkansas, “the other members of the clan returned to West Virginia.”

 

            We don’t know which brothers came to Kansas, and Arkansas, only to return to West Virginia.  We know that Asa’s brother James survived the war and lived to an old age near Shaversburg, West Virginia; their brother Andrew Jackson Coger and his wife Jane lived all their lives in Braxton County; and their brother John Milton Coger, subject of the above letter, married Mariah Haymond and lived to raise a large family in Braxton County.

 

            We do know that Henry settled in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and raised a family there.  We know that the brothers remained in touch by letter, and by visits.  Apparently Neil and his family visited back and forth, and James’ daughter-in-law Eliza, wife of his son Jackson Newton Coger, moved to Arkansas and died there at an advanced age.

 

            It may be that Marcellus Coger, who had apparently come west earlier than the rest of the clan, and had settled in Arkansas, in Sharp County, had communicated with his father and brothers the beauty of North Arkansas.  But if so, such letters no longer exist, and we simply do not know.  Cell was married, to Louisa Stump, before he left West Virginia, and served as Deputy Sheriff in Evening Shade, Arkansas, as well as being a businessman.  He and his wife raised two sons, and a daughter.

 

            According to a story in a letter from Willie Allyn Coger Pitchford to Steve Coger dated May 11, 1980:

 

     “I know Grandpa Asa was a hunter for Dad (Asa’s son Luther) the story about he and Uncle Neal went hunting and he actually wrestled a black bear over near Bulls Shoals...(In a bear hunting accident) near Mtn. Home he lost his trigger finger.”

 

            Family stories tell that the Coger brothers once killed 60 bear in one winter, and that they would stay gone from home for weeks at a time on various types of hunting trips.

 

            Tradition states that Asa Coger ran several stores, including drug stores, in West Virginia, and in Huntsville, Arkansas.  As stated above, Asa’s sons George Steven, John Henry, and Marion Clay had been born in Kansas.

 

     “My grandfather Asa, settled at Huntsville, Ark., where he bought a farm nearby and also a small drug store in Huntsville. Since leaving W. Va., three more boys, Steve, Henry, and Clay, had been born into the family. The other members of the clan returned to W. Va.”

 

     “Grandfather Asa had his name on his drug store window as “A. Cog” on one pane, and the “er” on the other.

 

     “A fellow came by and read slowly, “ A Codger.  Who in the hell is a codger?”

 

     “Grandfather was afterward known as “A. Codger.”

Inez Coger Hinds

 

            Several letters were written from the Arkansas Family to Coger and Hopkins families at Coger Station, and those which still exist are reprinted on the following pages, in chronological order:

 


(From Elisabeth and Asa to her brother John Hopkins)

 

                                                                 July 19, 1878

                                                                 Huntsville, Arks

 

Dear Brother

 

     I seat myself to let you no that we are all tolerable well and was glad to here that you was well.  Now I will perceed to write about my interest.  I had rether the land was devided by three or four disinterested men and then devide it by casting lots. Then there can be no rong about it.  Be as Pa (Caleb Hopkins) left me a portion of his property I want it and want every cent of it.  I will send you a pour of atorny and I want you to tend to it for me and if there is any crops on my part I want you to tend to it for me just the same as it belong to you.  And when ever there is a chance to sell it do so.  A. J. H. (her brother Andrew J. Hopkins, of Flatwoods, West Virginia) wanted me to sell it at public sale but I dont no that would be best.  I just want you to tend to it to the best  of your judgement and pay yourself for your trouble and send me the remainder.

 

     Now I want you to tend to it as you think best.  It looks like it ought to be worth as much as 10 dollars per acre, but you will no better about it than I. I want you to do the very best you can for you no that I never did get any thing from home.  As to Fanny I dont no her address, but I can find out the next time I hear from Grandad’s (John Coger’s).  Then I will write.

 

     I will close for the present.  We have had it verry wet here this spring tho it has the aperance of being dry now.  The crops look promising, fruit in abundance.  Neals (Cornelius Coger) folks were well the last time we herd from them.  Henrys (Henry Dutton Coger) was well the last we herd from them.  Everything here is low and money scarse.  There appears to be plenty to eat and ware here and people very well satisfied.

 

     There appears to be a stear here in the course of religion and I am in hops many more souls will be led from natures darkness to the marvelous life and liberty as it is in Christ Jesus.  Give my love and best respects to all inquiring friends and retain a large portion for your self and family.  So no more but remain yours down tell death.  Farewell for the present.

 

E. S. Coger

 

     I want to know what has become of Neals girl in your next letter and if old man Hoover (this would be Asa’s Sister Emsy’s husband or father in law-DSC) is dead.

 

(The next letter was from Elisabeth and Asa Coger to her brother John Hopkins)

                                               

                


                        Huntsville, Madison County, Ark

                                         December 17, 1879

 

Dear Brother

 

     I received yours of the 5th which I was glad to hear you was glad to here.  But I am like you, I have bin waiting to have better news to write to you.  But alas I have to pen the same bad news.  Asa is not as well as when I rote before.  The rest of ours is well.  Father and Mother (John and Sarah) and Neals family and Henrys was all well the last I heard from them.  Well I dont know what news to write to interest you.  Our courthouse burned down the other day.  We traded our property in town for a home in the country one mile from town.  Money seems to be tolerbel plenty here and everything looking up.

 

     Now to business.  Well, John, I picked on you to settle my business because I thought you would fix it fare and square.  Now it looks like $100 a big shave on the land and I think you might do a little better but I dont want you to loose one nicle on my business.  Now if you want the land I want you to have it and I want you to do by me as you would want me to do by your family if they was in my fix now. If you had not been able to do a days work for three years and been confined to your bed for 9 months, your family would no what I have to under go.  Now if you think you cant do  any better send me the one hundred dollars but I think you might put fifty dollars more to it.  And as to James (Coger, Asa’s brother) you had better settle it fare not that I think he could make it by law or any other way because I think he is hard up to make a fuss.  Now if he had owed me one hundred dollars and was in the same condition as Asa he would have asked him for it.  I intend to pay all of Asa’s just debts. I think if James had done as he ought to he would have wrote what Asa had give that note for and would not have treated a brother so.  Now I think God will provide for me and the children.  How I fere by the time you get this Asa will be no more without he gets spedy release.  We have tried evry think we no with no effect.  Now I will cose trusting in God to take care of us all.  Farewell

 

     Now, John, I will make you another propisition. You may send me $100.00 and if it is ever setelted in your favor send me 100 hundred more.

 

                                                                                         Elizabeth S Coger

                                                                                         Asa Coger

 

 

     “I think he (Asa) must have been sick when they came to Arkansas.  I don’t know what year he died.  My dad said that he was sick. My dad said that he could remember when they were clearing the fields, all that land was wilderness then and they had to clear it out, and they’d be goofing off and he would walk in on them without them knowing he was there.  That was when he was sick just shortly before he died.”

                                                                                         Max Coger

 

            In 1880, a typhoid fever epidemic hit the family, and Asa Coger died on the 14th of April, four days before his son Damon’s fifteenth birthday.

 

     “When Dad (Damon) was 14 the family suffered a severe seige of typhoid fever and grandfather Asa and their daughter, Millie, died, leaving Grandmother Susan with a large family to finish raising.”

 

                                                                                         Inez Coger Hinds

 

            The census taken shortly after Asa’s death that year shows all of his children living in the same general area of War Eagle Township, Huntsville Village, Madison County, except his daughter Mollie, who had died five years before, on September 11, 1875.  Addie Lear and Sarah E. Jay, shown in the census, are Asa’s daughters Adeline and Betty.

 

CHARLES W. LEAR M         27   M   FARMER       ARK   KY       KY

ADDIE R.                                F          19   M   KH                 VA       VA       VA

CLAUDE                                 M         3      S                          ARK   ARK     VA

MILLARD                               M         1      S                          ARK   ARK     VA

 

ELIZABETH S COGER          F          48   W   KH                 VA    VA   VA

LUTHER A.                             M          17   S   FARMER       VA    VA   VA

DAMOND A.                          M         15    S   FARMER       VA    VA   VA

GEORGE S.                            M         12    S                          KAN   VA   VA

JOHN H.                                 M         10    S                          KAN   VA   VA

MARION C.                           M         7      S                          KAN   VA   VA

           

FRANKLIN M. COGER        M       27    M  FARMER        WVA   WVA  WVA

LUCINDA J. (DAVIS)            F         23    M  KH                  ILL   KY   KY

IRA M.                                    M         1     S                          ARK   WVA  ILL

 

REAGAN W. JAY                  M       24    M   FARMER       ARK   NC   TENN

SARAH E.                               F         23    M                         VA    VA   VA

RAMOND D.                          M      2/12   S                          ARK   ARK  VA

 

 

(A letter from Ann Eliza Coger, daughter of Cornelius Coger, at Kings River home, to John M. and Mariah)

 

                                                     August the 6 = 1880

                                                     Kinston Madison Co. Ark

 

Dear Uncle and Aunt

 

     It is with pleasure I take my pen in had to drop you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at present and hope when those few lines comes to hand they will find you all enjoying the same blessing. I hardly know what to write but I will give you a little news from this Country. Corn looks fine, wheat was good. Oats not much account  fruit in abundance of all kinds.  I will now give you the prices of produce  old corn 60 cts a bushel  wheat 50 cts per bushel  bacon 8 cts per pound.  milk cows from 10 to 15 dollar young cattle sell tlible well.  health is not very good.  generally we have preaching nearly every Sunday in about a mile of us. There has been a protracted meeting going on here which lasted six days and nights during that time there was severn souls converted.  grandma and grand pa (John and Sarah Coger) is both well  both have joined the baptist church  grandma said to tell you that she was trying to live a religious life and She hoped to meet you in heaven.  She said tell you that she was glad to hear the happy change which you have made.  She wants to know whether uncle Jackson and uncle James (John and Sarah Coger’s sons still in West Virginia) is prepared for a better world or not.  We was at aunt Susans (Elizabeth Susan Hopkins Coger) not long ago and read the letter that you wrote to her.

 

     father (Cornelius Coger) said if you would come out to here this fall he thought you and him could make verry good wages hunting close to Eureka / Venison is worth from 8 to 10 cts per pound thare and deer is tolible plenty about there and lots of turkeys.  He has killed four red deer this Summer.  She said tell uncle Jackson and James (James Coger, John and Sarah’s son) that he would like for them to come to

 

     Well, aunt I would like to see you once more on earth but the lord only knows whether we will ever meet any more in this world or not but if we don’t I hope we will meet in heaven where parting will never come.  Tell aunt Jane (Jackson’s wife) and aunt Agie (James’ wife) that I would like to see them.  Tell the girls to write to me and I will answer every letter I receive from them.  I want to know whether aunt Bettie Singgleton is married or not tell her to write to me.  grandma and grand pa (John and Sarah) Says they would like to see you all once more but they did not expect to meet with you any more untill they would meet you in heaven where sorrow pain and death is felt and feared no more.

     no more at present.

                                                     please write soon

                                                     excuse bad writing and spelling

 

                                                                             Ann Eliza Coger

                                                                                         to

                                                                             John and Mariah Coger



     “I wish I could help you with more substantive material about Grandma Coger, but the best I can offer are my own childhood recollections.

 

     “I recall that she was a deeply religious person, had an indomitable will, and favored a reclusive lifestyle.  An ever-present point of pride with her was that she read at least one chapter of the Bible every day.  She lived most of her later life with us, but she made frequent visits of varying duration to her other children, usually Uncle Steve or Uncle Rufe.

 

     “Grandma’s craftsmanship as a seamstress was legend.  This was her only hobby, and she continued her exquisite  needlework until her death.  One of her masterpieces was an embroidered Masonic Apron which she made for Dad to wear at ceremonial Lodge functions.  It was truly a work of art.

 

     “Grandma received a confederate pension of $22 per month.  She kept only $5 of it for herself, stubbornly insisting that Mom and Dad apply the remainder to the family budget.  Her only “vice” was the yearly consumption of a quart of whiskey laced with a half pound of rock candy.  This was her special present from us at Christmas time, and it lasted her “for medicinal remedies” until the next Christmas.

 

     “These are a few of the more vivid recollections I have of Grandma, and I regret that I do not have something more substantive to offer you.  Unfortunately for posterity, most of us thought little of history in our youth, when tomorrows meant forever.”

 

                                                                 S. R. Bob Coger,

                                                                 son of Marion Clay Coger

 

     “Grandmother, of Irish extraction, loved her morning toddy, a small amount of whiskey, with hot water, sugar, and nutmeg.  Which habit with and before a group of little boys generated what was called the family curse, the same being an inordinate love of liquor, and all the boys paid dearly for its indulgence, except Frank, the oldest, who married and joined the Church (Methodist) early and never suffered from its influence.”

 

Inez Coger Hinds

 

 

           



            Several Letters were written by Elizabeth Susan Coger and her oldest son Frank, after Asa’s death.

 

(From Frank Coger to Asa’s brother, John M. and Mariah Coger)

 

                                         Huntsville Madison County Ark

                                         April the 4th  81

 

Dear Uncle and family

 

     I received your kind and welcome letter last Sunday which found us all well except myself.  I brused my had and it rise and got so bad I had it split open. It is better now but it will be sometime before I will be able to work any.  Well I will try and tell you what all of your kind folks is doing.  Uncle Henry has located at Eureka Springs, bought property there.  Uncle Neal has rented his place and is going to stay at Eureka this summer.

 

     Grandad and Mother (John and Sarah) is still living on their place on King River.  They have plenty to live on.  Ann Coger (Neal’s daughter) married a short time ago to a man by the name of Carter.  Mother’s (Elizabeth Susan Coger) farm lies joining mine.  She has rented part of her place and the boys is going to tend the rest.  Bettie (Frank’s sister) and her man lives in Fort Smith.  Reg (Reagan Jay, Bettie’s husband) is Deputy U. S. Marshall.  They have one child, a boy.  Addie (Frank’s other sister) and her man lives near Cole Hill on Ark River.  They have two children both boys.  As for myself I am knocking along about as usual.  I am puting in 15 acres of new ground this spring.  I have two hands working for me by the month.  I pay one $11.75 per month and the other $11.00.  I still team some.  I make for $2.00 to $2.50 a day.  We have had a very cold winter.  Times is good here.  The country is improving pretty fast.  Everything seems to be in a flourishing condition.  Prices corn 25 to 30 cts a bu, wheat 85 to 90 ct a bu, bacon 7 cents lb, potatoes 50 ct bu.

 

     Eureka Springs is still the wonder of the world.  Thousands testify to the wonderful curative power of these waters.  I culd tell you cures that would seem so incredible that I believe you would think I was lieing.  There will be a railroad running there soon.  The cars runing in 20 miles of the place now.  The place is improving very fast.  Stay away a month and you hardly know the place.  Uncle Hen (Asa’s brother Henry) says common hands get $1.00 to $1.50 a day, carpenters and stone masons $2.00 to $3.00 a day.  I have no doubt but these waters would benefit if not interely cure Aunt Mariar (John Milton Coger’s wife, back in West Virginia). It is highly recommended for disease except consumption in that case it heals the lung so fast that it is apt to kill a person.  If used in small quantities, persons has bin benefited.  Eureka is 25 miles from Huntsville.  Produce is cheep at Eureka.  It is a cheep place to live.

 

     Write soon.  Love to all inquiring friends.  Tell them write to me and I will reply.  I was aiming to tell you about our schools, Sunday Schools, and churches.  But I have filled my sheat and my fingers is give out.  So I will not commence another.

 

                                                                 F.M. Coger

                                                                 Huntsville, Arkansas

 

Give my love to Uncle John Hopkins.  Tell him to write to me.  Tell Uncle Jim (James Coger) I guess Grandad (John Coger) can beat him a shooting.  Tell all my uncles aunts cousins I wold like to see them.  I guess they would not know me now. I weigh 175 pounds wear a heavy mustach and whiskers.

 

 

(From Elizabeth Susan Coger and her son Frank to John M. and Mariah Coger)

           

                                                                 July the 30 1882

                                                                 Huntsville, Ark

 

Dear Brother and Sister

 

     After a long delay I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you no we are all well hoping these few lines may reach and find you all injoying the best of health and doing well generly.  I dont know what will interest you.  Henry (Asa’s brother) is at Eureka.  His youngest boy come up the other day and some come over from Kings River and the folks is well at both places.  Mother (Sarah Jane Sands Coger) has had a kanser on her hand but it is about well now.  Neal is with the old folk.  Henry has been working on the railroad at two dollars per day (Neal and Henry are Asa’s brothers).  We have a verry good prospect for crops here and fruit and mast and vegerbles of all kind.  Now I will give you the market.  Wheat is from 50 to 60 cents, corn 75 cents, bacon 12 1/2 cents, coffee six pounds to the dollar, sugar 9 pounds to the dollar, other goods in perpotion.

 

     Well I dont want you to be as long about writing as I have.  Give me the news in general,  Any thing from the old country is neise to hear.  I want you to come and see us if you can,  I want to see you all very bad.  I sent you a Eureaka book.  I want to no wheather you got it or no.

 

     Tell me if any of your children is married and if Maria’s (Asa’s brother John M.’s wife) sister Nancy is living and how my brother John (John Hopkins) is geting a long for I no he has a lonsom time in this world.  But our troubles in this world works out for us and exceding weight of glory now if we never met in this world let us persevear on til we strike glad hands in glory.  Farewell to all.  Hoping to meet in heaven.

E. S. Coger

 

Well Uncle John as Mother has not filled all her space I thought I would write a few lines.  I am going to ask some questions.  Where does Uncle Jim (James Coger) live at.  Is Uncle Jackson (Coger) live where he did when we left.  Where is Newte and Ike (James Coger’s sons, Frank’s first cousins) at. Have they much family.  Tell all of my kind folks I still hold them in remembrance dear and wold be glad to get a letter from any of them.  We have fine prospect for fine crops.  Wheat is cut and mostly thrashed.  I had 72 bu.  I think we will have extra fine crops of everything, grass is already cut, early corn is roasting ear, the fruit crop is fine, vegatables cant be beat.  Well I rote you a letter sometime ago and sent you the Madison County Record.  If you get in the notion some of time to retir let me know.  You get the paper regular.

 

                                                                                         Your Nephiuw

                                                                                         F. M. Coger

 

 

(Elizabeth Susan Coger to John M. and Mariah Coger)

 

                                                                 February 15, 1886

                                                                 Huntsville, Ark.

 

Dear Brother and Sister

 

     As I am very lonsom today I will try to redeem myself.  It has been a long time since I received your letter.  I waited until I went to see Father and Mother (John and Sarah Coger).  They was well and had plenty but oh how lonly to see them by ther selvs.  They have rented to Anns (Neal Coger’s daughter Ann Eliza) man this year.  Now the rest of us is well hoping you are the same.  We have had the bigest snow this winter I ever saw.  It was 24 inches on a level.  Times is hard here and money is scarse, but we have a prospect of times opening up better in the spring.  Ther is a prospect of a railroad passing through our town.  It was serveyed through my place and they havbe got 10 or 12 miles completed on the west end now.  There is plenty of hog and homny in our country and to spare.

 

     Now as it is the blessed Sabath day we must say something about our hope for a future home.  If it was not for that blessed hope what would be our condision in this world of sin and sorrow.  I feel that my prospect is brite for heaven and I hope to meet you all on that sunbrite clime.  Father and Mother (John and Sarah Coger) is traveling the road of the blest.  Henry and Neal (Asa’s brothers) is out of the care of safty.  Pray for us all that we may meet in glory.  Now I will close for my pen is so bad I dont expect you can read this at all.

                                                                                         E. S. Coger

 

Now as to my business.  Do as you think best as long as what is there will pay expenses for I will not pay anything else.

 

 

     “I called her “Grandma,” my dad and mother called her “Ma.” Everybody called her Ma except the kids and we all called her Grandma.  I remember very well when she died, that was in 1923.  My dad went to the funeral.  She died at Berryville, while living with Clay.  She lived with us most of the time.”

 

                                                                                         Max Coger

 

 

            Elizabeth Susan Hopkins Coger died on June 13, 1923.  Below is a copy of an obituary written by one of her nieces in the Braxton Democrat, published in Braxton County, West Virginia.

 

Susan Coger

 

            Mrs. Elizabeth Susan (Hopkins) Coger was born in Gochland, Virginia, June 24, 1832, and departed this life June 13, 1923, in her 91st year, at Berryville, Arkansas.  She was the daughter of Caleb and Mary Ann Hopkins, who moved from Virginia to Braxton County in 1840 and settled on Salt Lick Creek, near Coger Station, on the farm on which W. J. Hopkins now resides.  She was married to Asa Coger in 1852.  She was a sister of the late Andrew J. Hopkins of Flatwoods, and the last of the family to pass away.  She was a good Christian woman, choosing in her youth the Christian life, and was faithful to her Savior unto the end.  She died Triumphant in the Lord and has entered into that rest that remains to the people of God.  She made preparations for her departure.  Enclosing her picture in an envelope and addressing it with her own dear hands, she directed that it be sent to me after her death.

 

            “Blessed are the dead which die in the lord from henceforth;  yea, sayeth the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”

 

                                                                                                Her niece;

                                                                                                Minerva Hopkins Posey

 

 

 



[1]Reg. No. 96, Dept. West Va., page 114