“I am sorry to inform your Exellency that a number of the Virginia militia have sully’d the Laurels reap’d in the Action, by making one frivolous pretence and another, to return home. A number have left the Army very precipitately, the best men from Augusta and Rockbridge have been foremost on this occasion.”
Joseph Bell, of the Stone Church family, was in 1781, an agent for buying cattle, and on February 24th wrote to the Governor in regard to his difficulties. The farmers were unwilling to sell to the State on credit, and under orders from Col. Wood he had seized many cattle. Attorneys, “paid to do so,” pronounced the proceedings illegal, and he expected to be sued. He said, however: “Good Whigs perform their duty with most punctuality.”
Three or more persons named Bell, not at all related, as far as known, were among the early settlers of Augusta county. Two of these, and perhaps three, were named James. A James Bell was a member of the first County Court.
To distinguish between the families, we shall designate them by the respective neighborhoods in which they lived,&mdashNorth Mountain, South River, Stone Church, and Long Glade.
North Mountain Bells.—The first of this family in the county was James Bell, who located on a tract of land one mile and a half east of Buffalo Gap, on a part of which his descendant, John Christian, lives at present (1888). It was his dwelling that was raided by Indians, as related on a former page. His children were three sons, James, Samuel and Francis; and three daughters, Ann, Betty and Mary.
I. James Bell, son of James, removed to Kentucky and located near Lexington. He was a near neighbor of Henry Clay, who consequently visited the Bells of Buffalo Gap several times on his trips to and from Washington.
II. Samuel, known for many years before his death as Major Bell. He was a soldier of the Revolution, while quite young, and, with many of his countrymen, was with Morgan at the Cowpens. He lived on the farm recently owned by his son, Samuel H. Bell, and now by Archibald A. Sproul, a short distance west of Swoope’s Depot.
Major Bell was married three times. His first wife was Nancy, daughter of James Bell, of Long Glade, and her children were: 1. Sarah, wife of Robert Christian; 2. James, who was a lieutenant in the
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..