Henry Trolinger, Revolutionary War Soldier


Henry Trolinger, born 2 March 1763 to Jacob Henry Trolinger and Barbara McCoy
in Trolinger's Ford (now Haw River) North Carolina  served as a volunteer three times
during the Revolutionary war, worked his fathers saltpeter mine in Virginia to make
gunpowder between tours, and was father of ten children of his wife Mary Thomas.

Henry's revolutionary war service is told in his own words as recorded in a
court record of Orange County North Carolina in September of 1832.  Although
he was born and died in North Carolina, acording to his testimony and his Gravestone [cem]
his father moved them to Virginia sometime in 1776 where they manufactured
gun powder for the revolutionary war effort.

In the summer of 1779 he was drafted into the Montgomery County, Virginia Militia
under Captain Abraham Trigg.  This tour was one of searching for supplies
including "to find gun, horse & ammunition."  Marching on foot they joined
with Col Campbell mounted militia and all "about 400 in number"
marched to the Western part of North Carolina.  Headquarters was
established in the Monravian Towns and and from there excursions were
made where they encountered tories, "some of whom they whiped, others they

Towards the end of this three month tour they marched to Mongauton, and this
mission acomplished Col Campbell and his mounted militia seperated.  The the 
Montgomery Militia returned to Virginia, probably in October, and were  released 
from this tour of duty a few days after arriving home.

Throughout the winter of 1779-1780 Henry manufactured gunpowder with
his father and possibly his brother John.

Revolutionary War Service;

1st tour 1779: Search and aquire supplies, whipped and hung tories
2nd tour 1780: Indian uprising protection
3rd tour 1780: Battle of the Shallow Ford, shot and whipped tories

As told in 1832 court records by Henry Trolinger "in his own words"
is a clear account of his service in and for the state of Virginia,
Montgomery County, militia.

Henry Trolinger is buried at the Trolinger Cemetery at Trolinger's 
Ford (now Haw River) North Carolina.


State of North Carolina
   Orange County

  On the 16th day of September 1832. Personally appeared 
before the Judge of the Superior Court of Law & Equity
in & for said County in open Court now sitting, Henry Tro
linger of the said County & State aged between sixty nine
and seventy years; who being first duly sworn according to
Law doth on his oath make the following declaration, in
order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congres entered
the 7th June 1832._ That according to his information, upon
which he entirely relies, He was born in Orange County North
Carolina on the 2nd March 1763 that his father emigrated to
the wester part of Virgina Montgomery County where he ...
a valuable salt petre cave, in the year 1776 where this decla-
rant was engaged under his father in the manufacture of
gun poweder, until the summer of 1779 when he was draf
ted as a militia man for a three month tour, & to find
gun, horse & ammunition._ He went into service under the
command of Captain Abraham Trigg, and Joseph Boyd as Major
there was another company in this detachment commanded by
Captain Parris.  Montgomery was then a fronteir County
in mountain Country in the Western part of Virgina._
This decarant in the tour marched through a mountanous
counry in a south west direction for some time and joined
Col Campbell who had a small number of mounted militia
under him. He took command of the whole, being about
400 strong_ marched through the western part of North
Carolina then to the Moravian Towns in said state, where
head quarters were established, making excursion from that
point after the tories, some of whom they whiped, others they
hanged From the Moravian Town they marched outwardly
toward Mongauton, where they left Col Campbells command.
and the declairant with his detachment returns home, where
he was discharged a few days after the expiration of
his three month tour_ The date of his discharge not recollected
precisely. It was frosty weather & he thinks about the last
week of October_ This declarant then resumed his former
... of manufacturing powder for the army until
the succeeding spring_ In the month of April 1780 this
declairant was called on to serve against the indians
who were then doing much injury on the fronteer
of the settler had taken refuge_ The service of the declarant
with ten others, was to guard the fort, & to keep watch
for the enemy around & about the plantation while the
hands were cultivating the crop. After the crop was
sufficenntly cultivated, Captain Parris discharged this decla
rant in the early part of July_ His tour was something
more than three months & the duty performed inlercly on
foot_  This declarant after returning home in a few days
was again called into service under his former Captain
Abraham Trigg, under whom he had Marched into Carolina
the preceeding year._ He cannot now  distincly recollect
whether he went by draft or as a volunteer_ (note above) The troops
on this tour were to act against the British & Tories.
The place of Revdeous for some day, was at the head
mines in Wythe County Va._ Two companies on foot under
the command of Captain Parris & Trigg consisting of
nearly 200 men, performed a most fatiguing march up
the New River nearly to it's source through a most rugged
& mountainous country with the purpose of joining the
residue of our regiment Commanded by Col Campbell sent but
could not form effect a junction before the battle of
Kings Mountain_ We were ordered to intercept a force
supposed to be nearly 400 strong of British & Tories whom we
met not far from the Yadkin River on what was called
the Shallow Ford road_ We met unexpectedly hastily formed
the ... in numbers much again us, but having some a
perfect markman as any perhaps in the world, The commander
of the enemy was immediatily killed, five rifle balls having gone
through him & his hourse_. The enemy fell back & formed again
after several rounds the enemy fled & as this declarant
understood dispersed, leaving sixteen dead on the ground
& 10 or 12 badly wounded_ On our side we had but one
killed & 5 wounded_ The sword of the slain officer was a
valuable one & was given to Captain Parris, he being
considered the best marksman in the engagement_ We
ranged about a few days chastining the tories, and
then returned home & were discharged sometime in the month
of November_  This decarant cannot remember the
precise length of the last tour_ Though his imferetion &
belief is that his active service in the three tours
amounted to nine months & he thinks upward_
He resumed  busines of making powder, at which
he urtained counsiderable lols by reson of receiving in
ely ment Continental money which turned out to be
of little or no value_ In the spring of the year 1782
he returned to the County of Orange North Carolina.


1779 DROLLINGER    Henry            N/A  N/A N/A  Tax Roll

1800 TROLINGER     Henry           M-32  034  601  21010-20011-01

1810 TROLINGER     Henry           M-252 041  120  NdRcd
1810 TROLINGER     Henry           M-252 041  124  NdRcd

1820 TROLINGER     Henry           M-33 082   366  NdRcd
1820 TROLINGER     Jacob           M-33 082   358  NdRcd

1830 KOLINGER      JACOB           M-19 123   316  NORTH DISTRICT
1830 TROLINGER     Henry JR.       M-19 123   336  NORTH DISTRICT
1830 TROLINGER     Henry SR.       M-19 123   309  NORTH DISTRICT

1840 TROLLINGER    Henry           M-704 367  175  NORTHERN DIVISION
1840 TROLLINGER    Henry           M-704 367  199  NORTHERN DIVISION
1840 TROLLINGER    Henry Jr.       M-704 367  175  NORTHERN DIVISION

Transcribed by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. 

------- History Book Account ---------

News of the victory at Shallow Ford spread quickly, and greatly encouraged the
Patriots. After the defeat at Kings Mountain, Lord Cornwallis retreated from
Charlotte. The victory at Shallow Ford dispersed the Tory force that had formed in
Surry County, and they never again gathered in such numbers. 

The Battle of Shallow Ford has long been overlooked by historians. Recent research
shows that, at the time, it was a significant victory for the Patriot forces. Occurring
exactly a week after Kings Mountain, these two battles turned the tide of the War for
Independence in North Carolina to the Patriots' advantage.

------- -----------------------------

Posted by: Rick Brown of Christiansburg VA

I found this interesting while searching about the BRown Family in Montgomery and Pulaski County Virginia, near Belspring.
In a Book about Hercules ~ the Making of a Company, it gives a short referance to the location of the Army's Ammunition Plant being chosen on the New River in Virginia and Dublin around the same local that Powder for the Revolutionary Stores was first manufactured.. I found that interesting but never knew where they were talking about until yesterday...
I found this excert from a book entitled

"The Land That is Pulaski County" by Conway Howard Smith

Chapter 24
Henry Jacob Trolinger, Powder Manufacturer Radford Arsenal not the Area's first Powder Plant.
Those living in Pulaski County before World War II will remember the excitement caused by the building (by Hercules) of the Radford Arsenol ~the "bullet-factory", as it was called by some. The huge powder plant,Straddling New River at the Lower Horseshoe, is the largest Plant ever built in this area. Most Pulaski County folks thought Powder making was something new in these parts. This was not so. A Powder plant, near present Dublin, was producing Powder during the Revolution. But instead of employing thousands, it was a two man operation.
A German Powder Maker of the Revolution At the beginning of the Revolution a German powder maker came into the New River Valley. Henry Jacob Trolinger, born in Germany in the early 1700's, came here from North Carolina. He acuired land near present Dublin, where a "saltpetre" (postassium Nitrite) cave lay beneath a limestone ledge on a hillside. Saltpetre,
the main ingrediant (oxidizer) of gunpowder, was what the old powder maker sought. (He found it in a natural occuring state instead of having to Produce it.) Here Henry Jacob Trolinger settled, and assisted by his older son Henry, Mined "saltpetre" and made Powder. ( It is not clear if he acutally made the "black" powder mix or if he just made the main ingrediant mix of Postassium Nitrites in powder form and packaged that for transport.)

Trolinger's product was much in demand during the Revolution. he prospered and aquired much land in the area ( which was then Montgomery County). After the Revolution Henry Jacob Trolinger's older son, moved back to North CArolina. The old Powder maker taught the craft to John Trolinger, his youngest son. John following his father's footsteps, continued to manufacture gunpowder at the old saltpetre cave for some years after the Revolution. Many descendants of Henry Jacob Trolinger are among the citizens of today's Pulaski County.

(**Also The Trolinger Family can and should be able to quilify for SAR and DAR 
   status based on the fact that Henry gave aid to the American Revolution cause as a Patriot.**)

The Old Saltpetre Cave The Old Saltpetre cave lies among the rolling hills northeast of the town of Dublin. In times past an ancient oak has fallen in front of the cave's entrance. It's skeleton limbs, whitened by wind and rain, reach high over the lomestone ledge above the cave's mouth. Scramblingover the skeletons oak, one can walk upright into the silent darkness of the mine - and peer into the past. Two centuries ago the Old Saltpetre Cave was not always dark and silent. The scrape of shoves sounded through the cave as the old powder maker and his son worked by candlelight collecting saltpetre from the cave's floor. Black Powder The gunpowder of Revolutionary days ( and for Black powder Re-Loaders of today) was/is Black Powder ~ made from Saltpetre, Charcoal, and sulphur. Smoke from this Powder billowed up on the firing of a flintlock. This may have had its advantages. After firing a volley militiamen were temporarily hidden behind smoke screen.
Henry Jacb Trolinger's black Powder played its part in the Revolution. But it was a far cry from the high powered rocket Propellent being manufatured today by Alliant Techsystems at the nearby Radford Asenal. www.atk.com

I hope this proves interesting .. Its enjoyable to me to know that I live in an area that has been doing relatively the same thing for nearly over 200 years...i was glad to share this with the Trolinger Family.

I you have not done so. you should apply for Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution status, based on the facts presented here and the research that will undoubtedly turn up fruitful...

from : Dan Trollinger 2/14/2002

The book you mentioned is "The Land That Is Pulaski County" by Conway Howard Smith. Jacob Henry Trolinger, his sons Henry and John did manufacture gun powder using the salt petre mined in the cave, and mixed it wit the appropriate amounts of sulfer, and chaecoal. It was sold not only to the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War, but traded at the local store for about 25 a pound. John's grandson, Lt. James T. Trolinger, CSA, also mined the salt petre and made gunpowder during the Civil War.

This book can be purchased at the Public Library in Dublin.

Henry Trolinger is Buried at the Trolinger Cemetery overlooking the Haw River in North Carolina

               Erected in memory of                       
                  Adam Trolinger                         
              Who was born near the Rhine                
                in Germany in 1681.                      
             migrated to Pennsylvania in 1737            
            and thence to this vicinity in 1745          
              Died A.D. 1776 aged 85 years.              
                    Jacob Henry.                          
             Eldest son of Adam Trolinger                 
             was born in Germany in 1718.                 
          came with his father to Pa. in 1737             
             and thence to N.C. in 1745.                   
             Died August 1798 aged 80 years.              
            Eldest son of Jacob Henry Trolinger           
             was born March 1762 served three 
             times a volunteer in the Revolu               
             tionary war and recieved a pension           
                from 1831 up to his death                  
             Died Feby, 29th, 1844, Aged 83 years.         

Henry Trolinger                           dec. 29 February 1844   a. 83      <---- 

     S.A.R 1775 Marker on ground below headstone, appears recently polished, Jan 2001

Mary Trolinger                            dec.  1 October  1851   a. 82

Listing of Cemetery

"Centennial History of Alamance County 1849 - 1949" by Walter Whitaker


Adam Trollinger, a German by birth, came to this section of the country 
and settled on the Haw River in 1747. His son, Jacob Trollinger, built 
a grist mill at the site, and for many years the settlement was known 
as Trollinger's Ford. During the Revolutionary War it served as an important 

Lord Cornwallis passed by the settlement en route to the Battle of Guilford 
Courthouse in the last days of the Revolution, and camped over night on the 
Trollinger farm. Jacob Henry Trollinger, the son of Adam, became very angry 
when he learned that the British had taken his grain from the mill, and boldly 
expressed his opinion of this act to the General. Cornwallis ordered Trollinger
seized, and had him tied to a tree, with a bridle bit in his mouth, so that he 
could neither speak nor extricate himself. A neighbor discovered the helpless 
miller several hours later and released him.

The "Trollinger Tree" is still pointed out as a land mark of Haw River.

  created: Feby 2001, updated: March, 2002
©1545-2002 Copyright John D. Trolinger