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General William Jennings (b. Jan 01, 1771, d. Sep 18, 1831)William Jennings (son of William Jennings and Elizabeth Withers)426 was born Jan 01, 1771 in Fauquier Co., Virginia426, and died Sep 18, 1831 in Garrard Co., Kentucky426.He married Nancy Ballinger on Dec 11, 1794 in Garrard Co., Kentucky, daughter of Richard Ballinger and Elizabeth Franklin.
Notes for William Jennings:
William Jennings moved to Kentucky as a young man and married a Miss (Nancy) Ballinger.After her death he married a Miss Marksberry.
William Jennings, Jr. chose to continue the profession of his ancestors.At 19, William Jennings, Jr. joined the militia and was at the scene of Gen. Josiah Harmer's defeat by the Indians near Ft. Wayne.
As a lieutenant, young Jennings joined Capt. Jesse Richardson's Co. of Mounted Volunteers.In November of 1791 during St. Clair's campaign, this army was defeated by Indians at Ft. Recovery.Lt. Jennings had been wounded in both battles.
Following these defeats by the Indians and General Anthony Wayne's subsequent victory at Fallen Timbers in 1794, the Americans and Indians abandoned the fighting and treaties were signed.Settlers began moving into territory near the Indians.The Indians resented the white settlers and sometimes attacked and killed the prisoners.Between skirmishes, the soldiers returned home.Lt. Jennings married Nancy Ballinger in 1794 and they began raising a family.
The peace with the Indians was short lived, and so in 1811, Lt. Jennings, once again, was called upon to fight for his country.He now served under Gen. William Henry. Harrison at the battle of Tippicanoe in Indian Territory.After repeated attacks by the American soldiers, the Indians fled from the scene.
Gen. Harrison, a farmer by occupation, later became the ninth President of the United States.He died of pneumonia after serving only one month, the shortest term in American history.
Following the battle at Tippicanoe, Lt. Col. Jennings once again returned home to his family.
In 1812, the militia was called to service.At this time Lt. Col. Jennings commanded the Second Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Militia.
They did not march immediately because there were no supplies available. The men in the militia were not issued uniforms and had only the lightweight clothing they had brought with them.When ammunition and rations arrived, they marched into Ohio.
A Lexington, Kentucky newspaper dated September 2, 1812, reported: "This morning another fine regiment of volunteers under Colonel (William) Jennings passed through our town for Harrison's army, all in high spirits; two members of Congress, (Sam) McKee and (Thomas) Montgomery, are privates in this regiment of infantry, with their knapsacks, ready to support with their bayonets those principles which McKee advocated as a legislator, and which Montgomery (just released to Congress) is thus prepared to maintain."
The group of some 600 Kentucky Militia, according to this same source and others, was prepared to serve its country in wars with the British and Indians on the frontiers in and bordering northwest Ohio.This regiment of volunteers formed the nucleus of the early history of Fort Jennings.
Mustered into the army at Frankfort, Kentucky, the troops rendezvoused at Cincinnati before joining General William Henry. Harrison's army at Ft. Saint Mary's.On September 21, 1812, Lt. Col. Jennings was ordered to proceed down the Auglaize River toward Ft. Defiance, establish an intermediate post, and escort provisions to Gen. James Winchester on the Maumee River.
Advancing about 30 miles, Lt. Col. Jennings saw signs of Indians, and his spies reported the enemy was at Ft. Defiance.He halted on the banks of the Auglaize and began building block houses.During the building of the fort, the men stationed here camped in tents.
On October 1, Gen. Harrison and several regiments of approximately 3,000 men spent the night at this site as they were advancing to assist Gen. Winchester at Ft. Defiance.The weather was unusually cold and it rained incessantly all day.The men rested wherever they could find a dry spot; many leaned against trees.
Receiving word that assistance was not needed, Gen. Harrison instructed Col. Robert Poague's soldiers to cut a road from Ft. Jennings to Ft. Defiance while the remainder of Gen. Harrison's troops returned to Ft. St. Mary's.
In mid-October, 1812, Lt. Col. Jennings' regiment, now under Gen. Winchester's command, completed the fort at their encampment.Named in honor of Lt. Col. Jennings, the fort was built to store supplies for soldiers advancing along the Maumee River. The army relied on contractors and subcontractors to furnish supplies for the troops.These men were interested only in a livelihood and were not inclined to risk their lives in getting across the swamp.Thus, the supplies did not always arrive when expected.
With the fort completed, life at the stockade seemed routine and monotonous to the Kentucky men.One wrote, "We had the same unpleasant, uninteresting round of escorting convoys and provisions etc in advance of us."They also built boats and pirogues, smoked meat, and made cartridges in addition to garrisoning the stockade.
With the men at Ft. Jennings wanting action, Lt. Col. Jennings in October of 1812 sent a foraging expedition, under Captain William B. Jones to the Indian towns of Upper and Lower Tawa on the Blanchard River.
Capt. Jones and members of his Ohio Militia Company, finding the towns deserted, feasted on the Indian food supplies for about a week.They then burned the Indian towns and all the remaining foodstuffs before returning to Ft. Jennings.
Transporting supplies through the ares became increasingly difficult that fall.The water in the rivers was too low for boats to pass and the cool, damp weather of autumn kept the land marshy.
The road from Ft. Saint Mary's to Fort Defiance was one continuous swamp, often leaving packhorses knee-deep and wagons up-to the-hubs in mud.It was impossible, in some instances, to get empty wagons through the area.Many were left sticking in the mire and ravines, the wagoners glad to get their horses out alive.
On December 22, Gen. Winchester received a moderate supply of provisions and clothing at Fort Defiance.At the end of the month, he began a march to the Miami Rapids encampment along the Maumee River toward present day Toledo.
While on this march, Gen. Winchester received word from Gen. Harrison to abandon plans of advancing from Ft. Defiance and to send the greater part of his troops back to Ft. Jennings.Gen. Harrison suggested the retreat to Ft. Jennings because of difficulties in getting supplies farther north.However, Gen. Winchester defiantly continued the march.
Shortly afterward, Gen. Winchester advanced to the River Raisin in Michigan and defeated enemy troops near Frenchtown (now Monroe, Michigan).This victory was short-lived.A second battle ensued in which the Americans lost.Some were made prisoners of the British and others taken captive by the Indians.On January 22, 1813, the Indians massacred most of their American captives.
One company of the Kentucky militia originally stationed at Ft. Jennings was among the American troops defeated at the Raisin River battle.Twenty privates and their captain, Henry James, were listed as prisoners by the brigade inspector, James Garrard Jr.
Lt. Col. Jennings and most of his men had, by this time, been sent to the battle areas along the Maumee River.However, Lt. Col. Jennings was not at the River Raisin battle.War Department records state that Lt. Col. Jennings advanced to Ft. Winchester (now Defiance), Ft. Meigs (near Toledo) and to Put-In-Bay, Ohio.
When Lt. Col. Jennings' units were ordered to advance to the north, Lt. Col. John B. Campbell, with about 140 men from the 19th regiment of U.S. Infantry was placed in charge of all forts along the Auglaize River, including Ft. Jennings.
At the end of March, 1813, Lt. Col. Jennings and his troops left northern Ohio and also returned to Kentucky, their six month tour of duty completed.Lt. Col. Jennings returned to Garrard Co., Ky., where for meritorious service, he was appointed in 1814 to the rank of Brigadier General of the Militia in Lincoln, Garrard, and Rock Castle counties in Kentucky.
The Lieutenant Colonel was a well-educated man and had what was then considered a large library of books.He had a domineering manner and a tremendously loud and powerful voice.
After the war, he served as justice and afterward sheriff under the old constitution.
More About William Jennings:
Burial: Unknown, Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Kentucky.426
Fact 8: NEAR LANCASTER, GARRARD CTY, KENTUCKY.
Military service: LIEUT COL US ARMY INDIAN WARS, WAR OF 1812 .426
More About William Jennings and Nancy Ballinger:
Marriage: Dec 11, 1794, Garrard Co., Kentucky.
Children of William Jennings and Nancy Ballinger are:
- +Josephine B. Jennings, b. Jan 12, 1805, Kentucky427, 428, d. Feb 12, 1867, Gallitin Davies Co., Missouri429.