Peter Köehler did indeed arrive in Philadelphia aboard the ship "Sally" in October 1774.The next year, Caspar Graff advertised in one of Philadelphia's german language newspapers that Peter had fled his service as an indentured servant.Research shows that many runaway indentured servants from Philadelphia fled across the Delaware River into the crown colony of New Jersey; no one was sure exactly how far west the charter (and thus the authority) of the Pennsylvania colony extended.
I've next found him listed as a wagonmaster in the New Jersey troops during the Revolution.At first, I frankly doubted the story of him helping Laffayette during the battle of Brandywine.I had not heard it growing up, but found it in a biographical sketch of my great-grandmother's brother in a Cambria County History.Further research yielded two interesting facts:
1.Several accounts of the Battle of Brandywine clearly state that Laffayette was wounded in the thigh as he and Washington rushed to the scene where the British had found a ford across the creek and come up behind the New Jersey troops - exactly where one would expect to find a wagon master of the New Jersey troops.
2.Current in the descendants of the family of John Adams, brother of Peter's wife, is virtually the same story. They claim that John - age 13 when the Revolution began - was a drummer boy.Research again shows that most of the underage boys who "ran off" to the revolution actually worked handling freight and supplies.Vey few continental troops actually had drummer boys; for one thing, there weren't enough drums!
After the revolution, Peter settled near John's family in the Conewago area of Adams County, PA, and married John's sister.In 1802, before the family moved with a general migration of Catholics inspired by Father Gallitzin, Peter's daughter Theresia married my 4th great-grandfather, John Scanlan, at what is now Sacred Heart Basilica but was then called Conewago Chapel.