It seems to me to be appropriate that we should record what is known about the early military life of Anthony Schoppe. While his descendants are reasonably well documented and his parents, as far as I know, are still not yet identified, I find that through the efforts of others quite a bit of his military life has been written down. The following is what I have located from various sources. I invite his descendants to add or correct.
I. In the late 1980's Rolfe Weston Schoppe, a third cousin of mine, produced a book relating to his branch titled "The William Freeman Schoppe Genealogy." His grandfather was Wynn Schoppe one of the most famous logging bosses of his day (ca 1900) in northern New Hampshire who came to this area from Michias. Maine with his first cousin Albion Paris Watts, my grandfather. I have taken the liberty of extracting Rolfe Schoppe's introductory chapter titled "More on Anthony" and have copied it intact below.
"One of the nicer fringe benefits of our genealogical research, involving trips to Maine, and delving into war records and the National Archives, has been the fleshing-out of Anthony Schoppe from the bare-bones factual information contained in Mary Coffin Schoppe's "The Schoppe Family" to a real human being.
We knew that Anthony was a Hessian soldier who had been part of Burgoyne's expedition in 1777; that he had been captured by the Americans; and that he had later joined and served in the Continental Army, from which he was discharged December 31,1782. We also knew that he had married Phebe Speare and they had settled in southeastern Maine, where they spent the rest of their lives.
Now, with the assistance of an historical manuscript in Roque Bluffs, war records in "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution," and affidavits in Anthony's pension file in the National Archives, Anthony has come to life. We have a young man about five feet six inches tall, with light hair and light complexion, who served in Colonel Breymann's regiment, under General Burgoyne, a regiment which was involved in the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. We have Anthony's own account, as told to his grandson, that when the fighting really got hot, he "throwed down his gun and ran plumb into the American lines." We know that, like most of the Bennington prisoners, he ended up in the Boston area, where he first enlisted in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment in February of 1778, and that he continued in active service in the Sixth and Seventh Regiments until his eventual invalid discharge on December 31, 1782. His service was mainly in the Mohawk Valley area of New York, where he was badly wounded in the fall of 1781, probably in a battle with Indians, and he spent his time in hospitals from then until his discharge.
From an affidavit given by an elderly relative when Anthony's heirs applied for a pension in later years, we got much interesting detail. Anthony's wound was at first believed "incurable" but he did survive and ended up in Boston, in the employ of a family named Fellows, where he served as "Ostler" for several months. During this time he met Phebe Speare, at service with the same family, and on November 21, 1784, they were married, in Boston, by Rev. Simeon Howard. The affidavit says that Anthony and Phebe "and their family" removed at an early period to the State of Maine, where they continued to reside until their deaths, and that during his lifetime Anthony frequently came to Boston to draw his pension ($60 a year), or sometimes Phebe came and drew it for him, and made visits "to her connections in this city and vicinity."
The reason for the move to Maine had always been unclear, but in Jonesboro we were provided with what seems an excellent possibility. We found there was a man named Captain Gustavus Fellows of Boston, who went to Jonesboro in early days and built a home and trading post at the mouth of Chandler's River, living there for a while and apparently later returning to Boston, at his wife's insistence. It seems rather too likely a connection to be mere coincidence..
We also learned that although Anthony himself apparently remained a farmer, his elder sons turned to the sea, and John Schoppe, our ancestor, was a sea captain operating his own schooners in the Maine area. One can easily imagine that John might have transported Phebe to Boston to collect the pension money, in her later years.
One correction which needs to be made in the earlier records is that Phebe Speare, Anthony's wife, was not the daughter of Deacon Moses Speare, but rather seems to have been the daughter of Deering and Hannah Speare.
Another interesting correction involves Mary Coffin Schoppe's confident assertion that all the Schoppes in this country are descended from Anthony. At least two other Schoppe families have been located, by following up names in telephone directories. One, centered mainly in the Philadelphia area, is descended from a Peter Schoppe, who came to Pennsylvania around 1830 from Alsace-Lorraine. Another is descended from a Johann Schoppe, who emigrated from Silesia to Texas. So although Anthony certainly has many, many descendants in this country, there are other Schoppes."
II. More notes on Anthony Schoppe from scraps of paper I found in an old file:
At the Battle of Bennington 16 Aug 1777 – he was listed as age 19 when captured. When he enlisted in the American army 2 February 1778 his age still given as 19. In 1782 on discharge he was listed as 24 years of age which would make his birth year 1758 so he must have lied about his age when dealing with the Americans as he was born 12 September 1760 in Hesse Cassel, Germany, and would have been 15 when he wasprobably pressed into the Germany army. When he was captured at Bennington he was still short of his 17th birthday.
III. Rolfe Schoppe mentioned in his above article that Anthony served under Colonel Breymann's regiment.I am not sure if this was the Hesse-Hanau regiment but the following might be of interest.
From Edward J. Lowell's "The Hessians and other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War." Published 1884, Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, N.Y.
"The regiment of Hesse-Hanau, six hundred and sixty-eight strong, joined the expedition at Portsmouth."
(My note: This was Portsmouth, England. They joined the 2,282 men of the Brunswick regiment under Col. Baron Friedrich Adolph von Riedesel. This was in the spring of 1776.)
"The fleet of thirty sail weighed anchor at Portsmouth on the 4th of April and arrived off Cape Gaspe on the 16th of May and before Quebec on the 1st of June."
IV. If he was still under Col. Breymann at the battle of Bennington he probably would have been in the relief force that came up to help out Col. Baum's Brunswickers who had earlier either been routed or captured by the American forces. An amusing bit of history came out of the various works on the Battle of Bennington. Apparently Col. Breymann did not like Col. Baum so he did not hurry when coming to his relief, but instead marched in slow, carefully formed columns even stopping to rest for the night. Thus by the time he arrived, Gen. Stark with the help of the Green Mountain Boys who happily arrived on the scene in the nick of time, were able to make mince-meat out of Col. Breymann's force and our ancestor, Anthony, became a prisoner of war.