Matamoras Minute: Isaac Wilson
Another lesser known name of Matamoras, and one also tied to Revolutionary War service, is that of Isaac Wilson. Before he came to help settle this area, he had marched with Colonel Benjamin Logan in the army of General George Rogers Clark.
He first volunteered as a Private at Fort Henry, Wheeling, Va. Wilson related a narrative of a campaign in which he was involved that coincided with Logan’s Piqua campaign. This venture was in retaliation for the outrages committed by Byrd’s Canadian and Native American invasion of the summer of 1780.
He would have been about 18 years of age. He told of their fording of the Ohio River at Limestone which is now the city of Maysville, Kentucky. They marched to the head of the Miami River where they located a party of Native Americans they had been pursuing. He related that seven were killed in a battle and 32 taken prisoners. Shortly thereafter his service ended and he returned to Wheeling.
Later he re-enlisted at Fort Henry with John Burris, who also would eventually settle in Matamoras. Most of this enlistment was spent in territory northwest of the Ohio River with regards to affairs associated with the Native Americans. The uncertainty of ambush and captivity were constantly on their minds with the pay for such dangers set at $3.00 monthly. When Wilson mustered out, Burris stayed in the army for nine more months.
It is believed that Burris’ wife was a relative of Isaac. She was Nancy Wilson who later married another Revolutionary War veteran, Peter Fleming, after Burris died.
According to Williams’ “Washington County History” Isaac Wilson and his wife, Margaret, settled a little below the mouth of Rea’s Run. They had one son, Abijah, who moved away after reaching his 18th birthday.
When applying for a pension, John Burris went with Wilson to swear that he had witnessed Wilson’s service. In their joint statement they concluded, “Our place of residence is in said county of Washington, Ohio, and has been for thirty years past and neither of us have any record of our age but – it over (near) 70 years.”
Isaac Wilson’s name is not among the Revolutionary veterans listed as living in 1840. He may have moved or he may have died prior to then. However DAR records show that he is buried somewhere in the area.
John Miller is president of the Matamoras Area Historical Society. Membership dues are $15 per year single/couple. Life membership is $150. Contact the society at P.O. Box 1846, New Matamoras, Ohio 45767. Much of this column is built on the work of Matamoras’ historian, the late Diana McMahan.