Nearly every one who could shoulder a musket took part in the war. Some of those who responded to the requisition made upon the militia by the officer in command at Plattsburgh were David Cochran, captain; Elisha Button, lieutenant; Lucius Elderkin, orderly sergeant; Peter Haff, Abraham Haff, Elvey Ketchum, Isaac Ketchum, Ezra Stewart, Solomon Stewart, Allen Everest, Zelotis Bemas, Brinton Anson, Amos Anson, Jeremiah Hays, Asa Cochran, Nathaniel Cochran, Gardner Button, and others.
Capt. Cochran, with his men, was among the first to report to Gen. Macomb at Plattsburgh for duty, in September, 1814, when that place was threatened by a superior force of well-trained soldiery. On Tuesday, September 6th, his company, with others, was ordered out on the Beckmantown road to tear up the bridges and render the approach to Plattsburgh in that direction as difficult as possible. At a stream about four miles from Plattsburgh, while busy tearing up a bridge, nearly all of his men having their arms stacked, they were suddenly fired upon by a large body of troops, under the command of Gen. Willington, who came through the woods and around a bend in the road just beyond them. With great presence of mind, Capt. Cochran ordered his men to form into line of battle and return the fire of the enemy. It was at this point that the fight began for the defense of Plattsburgh, and the troops from Peru have the honor of having first met the foe. Not one of them was killed or wounded, and after having given battle an orderly retreat was commenced towards Plattsburgh, the men loading and firing on the march as Willington followed with his detachment of Sir John Prevost's army, numbering 6000 men. The company continued to perform patriotic and useful service during the war, and were not formally discharged until 1815.Captain David Cochran (1765-1836) was my g-g-g-g-grandfather.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker