Biography of Phillip Gilman
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


Previous to the war of the Revolution, the parents of Phillip Gilman emigrated from Hanover, Germany, to Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1756. In the early part of the Revolutionary war lie enlisted in the Continental army and adhered to its fortunes to the end of the struggle, participating in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and others of that eventful period. While in the battle of Germantown he was shot in the left breast by a musket ball, the ball passing through his lungs and being extracted two days after from under the left shoulder blade. After he was wounded he broke his musket over a stump to preveut it from bring of use to the British. who then occupied the battle ground, and concealed himself under some hay in a barn, where a party of British dragoons fed their horses and departed before daylight. without seeing him. At sunrise, wishing a drink of water, he made his way to a well near by, and there met a woman who directed him in the way to reach the American army and avoid the British. After remaining a short time in the hospital, lie, notwithstanding the urgent protest of the surgeon, again joined the army, and by a strong will and vigorous constitution, was safely carried through. In 1779 he served under General Sullivan in his contest with the Iroquois Indians. Little is known of his individual experience in that campaign although he was so greatly pleased with the beauty of the "Canaseraga country,” as he called it, that its praise was constantly on his lips until he became one of its residents.

He was married to Maria Clara Haasler, daughter of a merchant then in Reading, Pa. In 1791 when Captain Williamson, on his way from Europe to the Genesee country, came up the Susquehanna with a company of emigrants he engaged to work for the Captain in his mills at Bath, where he remained till the spring of 1800, when he removed with his family of five Sons and five daughters to Sparta, and there cleared a home in the forest. Always retaining a hearty dislike to the British, he, during the war of 1812, encouraged his sons to take an active part in their country’s service, and the four who were old enough relieved each other in guarding the lines at Buffalo.

John Gilman, son of Phillip, was born in Bath, Steuben county, in the sear 1794, and removed with his father’s family to Sparta. where lus youthful days were spent in assisting to subdue the forest and improve the farm on which he spent the remainder of his life. When eighteen years of age he was drafted for three months’ service in defending the lines against the British at Buffalo. In 1819 he was married to Jennie, daughter of James Scott. Esq., who had removed to Sparta from Northumberland county, Pa.. in the year 1506. For fifty-two years they passed a happy married life and raised a family of three sons and three daughters, of whom only one survived them. John Gilman died April 27, 1871. His wife survived him nearly six years and died April 10, 1877.

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