Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XIV: Pralls [part 2]

Edward Prall [c1734 NJ - 1803 MD]: Hunterdon Co., NJ native Edward Prall [brother of Cornelius and Benjamin] moved to Harford Co., MD about 1771. He had been a merchant-trader in West Jersey and resumed that trade in Maryland. Edward became a member of the Committee of Safety in 1774 [the committee that, for all practical purposes, ran the colonial government] and served in the local militia. He would also serve on the Committees of License, War and Observation. Prall was among the signers of the Harford [Bush] Resolves [22 Mar 1775] that vowed to support the actions of the Continental Congress.

In January 1776, the Maryland Battalion was formed under Col. William Smallwood. Edward Prall was promoted from ensign to 2nd Lieutenant in Cpt. Thomas Ewings' company in March. Smallwood's Battalion was in New York in early August and played a pivotal role in the Battle of Long Island. The Maryland and Delaware Regiments held the field at the "Old Stone House" and staged five counterattacks against the elite Hessian troops and 42nd Highlanders before being forced to retreat. This allowed Washington to escape from Brooklyn. Of approximately 400 men, the Maryland and Delaware troops suffered 256 men killed, wounded or captured.

Lt. Prall was one of those taken prisoner. He spent about 18 months in captivity and was exchanged in time to join his regiment at Valley Forge, now with the rank of Captain.

The Marylanders saw action at Monmouth Courthouse and Phillip's Heights before settling in for guard duty at Middlebook, NJ during the winter of 1778-79. They would join Gen. Wayne at Stony Point in 1779.

Washington attached his "Immortal" Marylanders and the Delaware Regiment to the Southern Campaign in 1780 under Horatio Gates. They were nearly decimated at the Battle of Camden. Under, Gates' replacement, Nathanael Greene, the Marylanders would see continual action. How much of the field action Cpt. Prall was involved in is unknown. He was sent back to Maryland on multiple occasions to recruit troops for the Maryland Regiments, including his own company.

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