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Note: The following records all pertain to Capt. COMBS, and all may have been a single John COMBS who served in one or both of Col. Oliver SPENCER'S and General Daniel FORMAN'S (New Jersey) Regiments, the latter also mentioned in a 1778 letter to FORMAN from then-General George Washington.

Our current emphasis is on Capt. John COMBS of Monmouth Co, NJ who d 1 Sep 1779.

Capt. John COMBS of General David FORMAN'S Foot Regiment

Thursday 24 July 1777. Pennsylvania Evening Post. "Deserted from Col. FORMANS regiment of foot and my company a certain James WOLFE about 5'9" high. He was seen somewhere about Irishtown, is a gunsmith by trade. Forty Dollars Reward. (signed) John COMBS, Captain" (Extracted by Combs Researcher Sharon Natoli from the "History Of Bucks County [PA]", J.H. Battle Ed., Originally published 1887, Philadelphia Pa., re-printed 1985 The Reprint Company)

Capt. COMBS of Morristown, present-day Morris or Middletown Co, NJ

May 7, 1777. The Pennsylvania Gazette. Extract of a letter from Morristown [present-day Morris or Middlesex Cos, NJ?], dated April 28.

"On Tuesday the 22d instant at night, a party of our men, under the command of Capt. COMBS, went within the enemy's lines, and took two centinels, from whom he extorted the countersign. He then went to attack the picket guard, but one of his men deserting, the enemy were informed of his intention, and, having prepared themselves, gave our people a very warm reception. But COMBS, who is not to be surprised by trifles, advanced upon them with such spirit, that he drove them into the guard house, from whence they fired through the door and windows. However, COMBS ordered his men before the door, which they instantly obeyed, and rushed upon the enemy with charged bayonets, who received us in the same manner, but were soon obliged to call for quarter, upon which they were all taken prisoners. The picket guard consisted of two subalterns and thirty men; both the officers and 14 men were killed, and sixteen were brought in prisoners. In the attack COMBS was wounded in the foot, and both his subalterns in the body, but are like to do well. It is very remarkable he had not a man in the whole action killed, and only three wounded, none of them mortal."

(Extracted by Combs Researcher Matt Combs from the "Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728- 1783, Philadelphia Pennsylvania," CD-ROM Produced by Accessible Ancestry,Inc.)

Captain John COMBS of Col. Spencer's Regiment, Wyoming (Essex Co, NJ or Luzerne > Northumberland Co, PA>

September 15, 1779The Pennsylvania Gazette. Wyoming, September 1st, 1779. This morning at three o'clock, departed this life,after a lingering sickness of four weeks, the worthy and much respectedCapt. John COMBS, of Col. SPENCER'S regt. regretted by every officer who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. His social virtues were such as distinguished him the friend of all, and his patriotic zeal for his bleeding country excelled but by few. From the beginning of the present contest, he has invariably manifested himself to be the Christian and the Soldier. His mind was possessed of every noble and generous thought, such as ever constitutes the gentleman: His constant deportment, while living, caused him to be universally esteemed, and now dread, to be greatly lamented.

The evening of the same day his funeral was attended by all the officersin the garrison, with the soldiers, and a number of worthy inhabitants, when his body was committed to the silent grave with military honours, and every other possible mark of respect. On this melancholy occasion apathetic and well adapted discourse was delivered by the Revd. William ROGERS, Chaplain to the third Pennsylvania brigade, from Isaiah xxxviii,I. latter clause.

The whole was conducted with the greatest propriety, and in returning from, as well as going to, "the house appointed for all living," grief was visible in every countenance.

What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?
Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?
(Extracted by Combs Researcher Matt Combs from the "Pennsylvania Gazette , 1728 - 1783, Philadelphia Pennsylvania," CD-ROM Produced by Accessible Ancestry, Inc.)

Ed. Note: In addition to the above-noted reference to Capt. COMBS of General David Forman's Regiment, the George Washington Papers also include letters to Col. Oliver SPENCER, referencing the location of Wyoming, one dated 9 Apr 1779 and the second dated 7 May 1779, and a third letter dated 8 Aug 1779 from West point, and addressed to the Continental Congress War Board, in which states: "…Gentlemen: I have received a letter from Colo. SPENCER dated at Wyoming the 22d Ulto. inclosing a List of the Officers that remain in service of his, MALCOMS and FORMANS Regiments. I determined some time ago to incorporate them, and now transmit an arrangement of the whole, upon which the Board will be pleased to issue Commissions where they have not been issued in consequence of the arrangement of the two first which was formerly transmitted… In my Letter of the 22d. I did not mention from what time Mr. BURROWES 17 should rank as Major; they will fix it at that date, unless they have already sent him a Commission and fixed his rank at an earlier day…"

According to John C. Fitzpatrick's "The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799," Vols. 12 and 16, Capt. John BURROWES (BURROUGHS) transferred from FORMAN'S Additional Continental regiment to SPENCER'S Additional Continental regiment in Apr 1779, andwas promoted to Major in July, 1779. It would appear likely, therefore, that Capt. John COMBS of Spencer's Regiment and Capt. John COMBS of Forman's Regiment were one and the same. Whether they were the same as Capt. COMBS of Morristown is yet to be determined, but seems likely.

Two early DAR Lineages have been located for descendants of Capt. John COMBS:

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 43: page 336 Mrs. StellaV. WELLS Latchem. DAR ID Number: 42902 Born in Dublin, Iowa. Wife of RaymondL. LATCHEM. Descendant of Capt. John COMBS, of New Jersey. Daughter of William Perry WELLS and Clara J. COMBS, his wife. Granddaughter of Dr. James B. COMBS and Mary J. McCLELLAND, his wife. Gr.-granddaughter of John COMBS (1798-1871) and Jane BROWN, his wife. Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of John COMBS (d. 1820) and Elizabeth COMBS, his wife. Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of John COMBS. John COMBS commanded a company 1777 in Freeman's Continental troops until 1779, when he died. Also No. 20946.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 21: Mrs. Mary Alyce COMBS
Lemmon. DAR ID Number: 20946 Born in Washington County, Iowa. Wife of J. E. LEMMON. Descendant of
Capt. John COMBS, of New Jersey. Daughter of Dr. J. B. COMBS and Mary J. McCLELLAND, his wife.
Granddaughter of John COMBS (1798-1871) and Jane BROWN, his wife. Gr.-granddaughter of John COMBS
(d. 1820) and Elizabeth B. COMBS, his wife. Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of John COMBS. John COMBS commanded a company, 1777, in Freeman's Continental troops until 1779, when he died.

According to the Clinton Co, IN Biography of Joseph COMBS:

Biography of Joseph COMBS: Born: 15 Nov 1860 in Washington Twp, Clinton Co., IN; Married: Leonora J. SEAWRIGHT (daughter of James A. SEAWRIGHT of Frankfort [Clinton Co, IN); Died: notgiven; Parents: Nathan B. COMBS & Mary Margaret WRIGHT (daughterof James W. WRIGHT & Sarah BALDRIDGE); Children:Eleanor COMBS;Occupation: teacher; lawyer; judge; Other information: 1886 Joseph began studying law; Democrat; Mason; Presbyterian; Joseph's siblings are: NathanB. COMBS (veterinarian, Mulberry [Clinton Co], IN), John COMBS(farmer, Mulberry, IN), Martin V. COMBS (farmer, ND), Jennie (COMBS) SWADENER (Mulberry, IN), Mrs. J.H. GROVER (first name not given; Frankfort, IN), Mrs. A.W. BLACK (first name not given; Los Angeles, CA); Joseph's great-great grandfather was John COMBS (of Monmouth Co., NJ; died 2 Sept 1779) was father of John COMBS (born 8 July 1770 in New Jersey; married Elizabeth BOWNE 25 Feb 1793; settled in Butler Co., OH; died 5 Sept 1829) was father of John COMBS (#3) (born20 Nov 1798; married Jane BROWN near Hamilton, Butler Co., OH; died Apr1871) was father of Nathan B. COMBS (born 16 Apr 1831 in Butler Co., OH; Nathan's brothers were James B. COMBS of Washington [Washington Co?], IA & William B. COMBS of Mulberry, Clinton Co., IN; 1856Nathan & Mary settled near Mulberry, IN; Nathan died Feb 1897; Marydied Aug 1893). (Extracted by Combs Researcher Debi Kendrick from Indiana State Archives, Claybaugh: History of Clinton County, Indiana by Hon. Joseph Claybaugh. Indianapolis: Bowen & Co, 1913, p. 384-389, includes photo of Joseph Combs)

Notes: Although Joseph COMBS states that Elizabeth, w/o John COMBS II, was nee BOWNE, one DAR Lineage states she was Elizabeth COMBS and the other that she was Elizabeth B. COMBS. No marriage record located as yet.

To Combs &c. of the Revolutionary War (Patriot)