30 May 2010

Memorial Day, Part 1 -- Capt. James Walker (1732-1806)

For this Memorial Day I wanted to post "something old and something new" to express the timelessness of it all -- war and sacrifice.  One of the things I love the most about genealogy is the history I learn, and a couple days ago I came across a quote from a veteran who said it wasn't fighting for liberty he minded, "But why do we have to do it every twenty-five years?"  My sentiments exactly.  Liberty is worth fighting for, but why must we do it so often?

This Memorial Day, I remember first my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Capt. James Walker (1732-1806) of Belchertown, Massachusetts.  He was a town Selectman, Constable, church Deacon, and veteran of both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.  From E.W. Foster's WALKER: A Genealogy Giving Some of the Descendants of Samuel Walker of Woburn, Mass. (s.n. 1930) --
[Capt. Walker] became a member of Captain Nathaniel Dwight’s Company of Colonel Israel William’s regiment and in 1757 marched with that company to the relief of Fort William Henry. He was afterward captain of the company.

His home was in the district of Belchertown known as “Turkey Hill,” now better known as Chestnut Hill. His children were all born and grew up on the farm and as his sons became of proper age they also joined the military company of the town. When the alarm of 19 April 1775 was heralded, there was a generous response in Belchertown to the call. James Walker with his oldest son marched on the morning of the 20th for the front. Captain Walker was Sergeant in Captain Cowles’ Company, Col. Woodbridge’s regiment. He remained at Cambridge until 14 May when he was discharged and returned home.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

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