|Philip Main, progenitor of the Pike County Mains, was born in Gloucester County, New Jersey, in 1747,
as recorded in the application for a pension.
The following information was taken from "The Main Family of Pike County Illinois" researched and written by R. C. MAIN.
All of us owe him a great deal of gratitude for his hard work. Without his research we might not have ever known this information about our ancestors.
The following is just a portion of what is in the book.
When the Revolutionary War began Philip Main was 29 years old, had married Clory Ann Rough (b. 1762), and was living west of the Allegheny Mountains in
the Monongahela Valley, on George's Creek, near Uniontown (Virginia then, but now a part of Pennsylvania). In August 1776, he enlisted in Captain Andrew Waggoner's Company
of the 12th Virginia Regiment of foot soldiers commanded by Colonel James Wood. He served four years as a private being transferred, in 1779, to Major Clark's company of
the same regiment. Throughout the northern campaign, he participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and suffered through the winter at Valley Forge.
On October 3, 1777, at Germantown, in an assault upon a stone house that was being used by the British as their headquarters (the
Judge Chew Mansion, still standing), his right eye was struck by a musket ball and destroyed. Because of this
injury, he was granted a small pension forty-two years later on June 3, 1819. After the Revolution he settled, and reared his family on a farm of 200 acres, which he had
acquired in North Sewickly Township, near Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. In his book, R. C. states that four of Philip's sons served in the War of 1812. I haven't found
record of any but Solomon having served.
Solomon Main, son of Philip and Clory (Rough) Main, was born February 27, 1794, in Virginia. We believed he was born in
Pennsylvania until we discovered in our research that his birthplace is Virginia. In 1815, in Pennsylvania he married Susanna Nye. In the War of
1812 Solomon Main served as a private in Captain Mathew Johnson's Company, 5th Battalion of the Pennsylvania Militia. In 1832, Solomon enlisted under
Colonel William Ross and served in The Blackhawk War in northern Illinois.
The War of Mexico disrupted the family of Solomon Main whose six sons were then of military age. John, the oldest, was thirty-one, and Nicholas,
the youngest, had reached nineteen. They were all still at home or in the home neighborhood except John, living in Texas, where he had made a
contribution to the same cause by serving in the Texas army against Mexico.
Of the five still at home, four offered their services and they went together to Alton, Illinois where they joined the Army. The records
of the War Department show that on May 22, 1847 they were mustered into Company K, 1st (Newby's) Regiment, Illinois Infantry, a part of Captain
Philip Kearney's Expedition. Andrew served as Sergeant, and William, Philip and Nicholas as Privates. They were mustered out together,
October 13, 1848. Nicholas was made Drummer Boy for the great expedition to Santa Fe.
During his service in the Mexican War, Melvin Philip Main, son of Solomon and Susannah, contracted Trachoma, an eye infection
little understood in those days. It spread to his children and grandchildren and did them profound injury, not only from loss of vision but from social rejection as
well, for they were shunned by others because of the hazard of contagion. The expression, "The sore-eyed Mains", was heard, used as a derisive epithet. Two of the
sons, Henry and Melvin, and two of the daughters, Jane and Anne, became totally blind.
The Civil War:
The clan of Pike County Mains had eight of its members in the Union Army during the Civil War. Five of them were in the 28th Illinois Volunteer
Infantry Regiment, one in the 99th, one in the 137th, and one in the Second Illinois Cavalry. Only four survived the ordeal and returned home.
Alvin Main, son of Andrew and Lutilia (Johnson) Main, was only seventeen and had not obtained his parents permission when he
joined the 28th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. His mother dispatched his older brother, Rufus to Cairo, Illinois to attempt Alvin's release
from the Army but, on reaching the camp Rufus himself enrolled, bringing to five the number of relatives closely associated.
Alvin was injured during the Battle of Shiloh when a heavy log fell from a building in which his detachment had taken refuge, and crushed his
hip, from which he suffered a lameness the rest of his life.
At the end of the war in 1864, Rufus and Alvin were released and issued tickets for transportation by boat to the river port of Montezuma, near their home.
Nicholas Main, born March 4, 1828 to Solomon and Susannah (Nye) Main, was in the famous 99th Infantry under Colonel Matthews. He
enrolled August 9, 1862, and was mustered out with his company July 31, 1865. Nicholas was a veteran of both the Mexican and the Civil War.
Three of the sons of Daniel and Ruth (Johnston) Main served in the Army during the Civil War, George, Richard and Philip. George was a sergeant
in the 2nd Illinois Cavalry Co. K. He furnished his own horse and horse equipment. He was taken prisoner December 20, 1862 at Holly Springs,
Mississippi. He was incarcerated for seven months at Andersonville, the notorious camp of the Confederacy.
Philip Main, born February 12, 1845 was the brother of Richard and George and was the last of the Pike County Mains to enter the Service. In May, 1864,
at the age of 19, he enlisted at Pittsfield in Company H., 137th Illinois Infantry under Colonel John Wood. He served to the end of the war. He was
mustered out in September, 1864.
Fred Main, born about 1866 was the oldest son of George and was a veteran of the Spanish American War, serving in the Cavalry. He participated in the raid on
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George Michael Troutner, born about 1727 in Gundershoffen, France, is the first of our Troutner ancestors to come to
America. He is the great grandfather to Rachel Troutner who married Melvin Philip Main born March 8, 1822. George Michael arrived in Wilmington,
Delaware by way of Cowes, Isle of Wight on October 23, 1754 from the ship Recovery along with his wife Anna Margretha and young son Johannas born
April 21, 1753. George Michael served in the Revolutionary War in Captain Benjamin Weiser's Company of the Northumberland Militia.
The following is from Raymond C. Wilson, Major, U.S. Army (Retired) : (Quote) "It should be noted that soldiers from Captain Benjamin
Weiser's Militia Company played a direct role in the saving of the Liberty Bell in 1777. Immediately after the Americans were defeated by the British
at the Battle of Brandywine, the Liberty Bell was secretly loaded onto a wagon that joined a caravan involving what historians put at somewhere between
300 and 700 wagons. One report stated that a force of 200 Continental cavalry was detailed for protection. The wagon with the secret cargo made it to
Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) on the night of 23 September 1777. When the wagon broke down, soldiers transferred the Liberty Bell to another wagon. The Liberty
Bell was then transported over to Allentown and Zion's Reformed Church. The Liberty Bell was put underneath the floorboards of the church, where it remained
unmolested until it was returned to Philadelphia after the British had departed in the latter half of 1778. The basement of the church in Allentown where the
bell stayed hidden during a portion of the Revolutionary War is now a memorial museum, known as the Liberty Bell Museum." (End Quote) See the abstract
of the men who served in
Captain Benjamin Weiser's Northumberland Militia Company.
David C. Troutner, born about 1833, the brother of Rachel married Sarah "Sally" Main, daughter of Solomon Main. In 1861, during the Civil War,
when the 28th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was being enrolled, David, Alvin Main, Richard Main, and James Clark were among the first to enlist.
James Clark was the husband of Mary Main, daughter of Solomon Main. As you can see the Troutner and Main families were very intertwined.
David, Alvin, Richard, and James were taken, with others, in farm wagons to Valley City on the Illinois River, then by train to Camp Butler (later
called Camp Lincoln) at Springfield, and afterwards to Cairo, Illinois, the concentration and training center. The company planned an election
to choose one of their number as sergeant. Both David and James were nominated. James withdrew so the appointment went to David.
On the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862, the Union Army was badly defeated, but reinforcements arrived during the night and next
morning the tide turned and the Union Army regained the field. Alvin Main found his Uncle David Troutner on the ground where he had fallen the day
before. He was still alive, but unconscious. Presumably David died there and was buried where he lay as were many hundreds of others. David was
2nd Lieutenant at the time of his death. He was killed by a
Minie Ball hitting him in the eye.
On that same day, April 7, 1862, Alvin also saw his Uncle James Clark injured and evacuated for transportation to the hospital at Jefferson Barracks, St.
Louis. James died there May 11, 1862. He was a Sergeant at the time of his death. He died of injuries he sustained from being hit in the temple by a
Andrew Nye was born June 6, 1750 in Bucks County, Pa.(now Northampton County). He and Rachel (McDonald) Nye are parents to two daughters,
Nancy and Susannah, both married men from the Main family.
The record of Andrew's military service during the Revolution is fragmented. On May 23, 1780, the Yohogania County court "Ordered that Thos.
Rigdon, Lieut. Andw. Nigh, proper person, as lieuts. of Militia." After this commission as lieutenant, nothing is recorded until 1782, when Andrew
appears as a private in Capt. William Bruce's company in the second battalion of the Washington County, Pa., Militia. Bruce was made
captain in the Yohogania County militia the same day Andrew was madelieutenant.
Although it was almost a year since the surrender of the English force at Yorktown, no peace treaty existed in the summer of 1782 and hostilities
were still under way on the frontier. Instead of English soldiers, the primary foes were Indians. They were stirred to action by the British and
their sympathizers, such as Simon Girty. Indian raids meant scalpings, kidnap and torture. The settlers often replied with equal savagery.
Because everyone was threatened, each man who was able was expected to serve in the Militia. Andrew was called to serve in the Washington County
militia at least twice -- June 14 and Sept. 15, 1782. The first date follows the stunning defeat of Colonel William Crawford's expedition to
Sandusky, Ohio. The settlers feared the Indians would follow their victory with attacks on Pennsylvania. The second date corresponds with Indian raids
on settlements in Washington County.
Michael Nye, born August 2, 1785 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania was the brother of Susannah Nye, wife of Solomon Main. During the War of 1812 Michael served
as a sergeant in Captain Armstrong Drennan's Company, First Battalion, 26th Regiment. The Beaver County Militia was called into service only once
during the war, when the British threatened Lake Erie in 1814. Michael served in the military February 16, 1814 to March 22, 1814 in Beaver Co., Pennsylvania.