Sergeant John Foster

John Foster was a Sergeant from Virginia. According to “The History of Alabama and Her People,” John served with his father in several difficult campaigns in the Revolutionary War. He soon distinguished himself by his cool and intrepid bravery and his striking fidelity to every trust reposed in him. He was in the detachment that so successfully surprised and captured “The Holland Settlement of Tories.” These prisoners were marched at night to a county jail where, for easier and surer safety, they were incarcerated. Each prisoner walked before an armed man, who was expected to guard him. The others were imprisoned and John was appointed Sergeant of the Guard detailed to keep them secure. While he had charge, the daily efforts to escape were all detected in time to render them futile. But he was soon sent in command of a detachment to re-capture “Big Jimmy.” His successor was not so vigilant and the prisoners escaped. Later John and his brother, James, were on a small colonial vessel under command of Capt. Olney. Suddenly a large British ship appeared, bore down upon them, and ordered their surrender. They could neither escape nor resist and were all captured. They were transported to one of the Islands of Bermuda, where after long detention, they were regularly exchanged. They reached home just in time to find their father and their brother, Sterling, in Washington’s army, at the siege of “Little York” (Yorktown), engaged in that hard and decisive struggle which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis and the termination of hostilities.

From Luxapallila Daughters of the American Revolution


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