Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871



About the year 1735, Robert Gamble left Londonderry, Ireland, his native place, and with other emigrants from the same section settled in Augusta county. The name Gamble had been prominently connected with the history of Londonderry, and one of the family died, or was killed, there during the famous siege in 1689. Robert Gamble was a married man when he came to America, and brought with him a son named James, who was born in 1729. He had another son named Joseph, who was probably the ancestor of the Gambles of Ohio and Missouri. [This is a mistake. The Missouri Gambles are descendants of a Joseph Gamble who came to America from Derry, in 1784.]

On the 6th of March, 1746, Robert Poage conveyed to Robert Gamble 306 acres of land in consideration of £15. This tract lies about a mile northeast of the village of Springhill, and is the farm lately owned by Theophilus Gamble, and now (1892) by the heirs of R. B. Hamrick, deceased.

James Gamble’s wife was Agnes Bell, a sister of Joseph Bell of South River, the Revolutionary soldier often mentioned in preceeding pages. He (Joseph Bell) was a bachelor, and died in 1834, leaving a considerable estate to his collateral descendants. He was called Major Bell in 1832.

The children of James and Agnes Gamble were two sons, Robert and John; and three daughters, Mrs. Agnes Davis, Mrs. Elizabeth Moffett, and Mrs. Esther Bell. Mrs. Bell left no children. Mrs. Moffett’s descendants.—Moffetts, Tates, and others,—are numerous.

Robert Gamble, the  younger, was born on his father’s farm, September 3, 1754. He received an unusually good education for the time, at Liberty Hall Academy. When he had just attained his majority, and begun the business of a merchant, the troubles with Great Britain culminated in war. At the first call to arms he was made first lieutenant of the first company raised in the county. He soon became captain of the company, but as promotion in the Continental line was slow, he appears to have remained in that position for some years.

Captain Gamble was in active service during the entire war, and participated in many battles at the north, including the battles of Princeton and Monmouth. As we have seen, he served under General Wayne on the Hudson, in 1779. It is said that he led one of his assailing parties at the storming of Stony Point. He with his men mounted the wall in the immediate vicinity of a cannon, and seeing the match about the be applied, barely had time to lower his head and order his men to fall flat before the gun was discharged. He was, however, permanently deafened by the concussion. His company immediately moved on, and were the first to enter the fort. Being busily engaged in securing prisoners, the British flag was overlooked, until Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury observed it and pulled it down. At this stage the Pennsylvania troops entered the fort.

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