Friedrich Carl Christlieb II
Carl Christlieb was born on 1 June 1751, and baptized the following day at the Schlosskirche in Dürkheim. Similar to his father’s baptism, nine years earlier, his was also an impressive, grand occasion.
“Year 1751 – On the 1st day of June was born to Friedrich Carl Christlieb and Anna Catharina, of St. Grethen, married people, a young son and on the 2nd day of June, was baptized and named Friedrich Carl. To the Christian fathership was solicited our Right Honorable Gracious Ruler, Gracious Count and Lord, Lord Friedrich Magnus, Count of Leiningen and Dagsburg, Right Honorable and Gracious, together with his Highness Right Honorable Wife and Lady, Lady Christina Ellenora, by birth Countess of Sturmbrandt and by marriage Countess of Leiningen, Right Honorable and Gracious, with also their Highnesses Right Honorable daughters, the Right Honorable Countess, Carolina Polyxena and Sophia Wilhelmina.” Dürkheim Baptismal Register, 1751, Entry No. 25, p. 10.
The presence and sponsorship of the Count of Leiningen and his family at Carl’s baptism would have been as much of an endorsement for Friedrich Carl as it was for his son, a sign that Friedrich Carl Christlieb had retained his favorable position in society.
Benjamin Franklin Christlieb wrote the following regarding his grandfather, Friedrich Carl Christlieb II:
“He was born June 1, 1751, in Germany. About 1773, being after he and his brother Jacob left their German benefactor in Maryland, he became an apprentice in the blacksmith trade with [a man named] Krieger, who resided near the line of Cumberland and York Counties, Pa. A few years later… after completing his trade, he enlisted in the colonial service in the American Revolution as a fife major, serving in a company organized at Carlisle, Pa., and commanded by Captain John Trindle. The company was marched to Philadelphia, and on completing its term of service, was disbanded. During the period of the Revolutionary War he accumulated a considerable sum of continental money, and on one occasion following the depreciation of that currency, he paid $800 for a bushel of salt.”
Carl Christlieb’s Service in the American Revolutionary War
In late 1776, local militia units were created as a reserve for the Continental Army. Cumberland County was divided into eight battalions. Each battalion was organized into eight classes/companies. At full strength, a company included approximately 50 individuals. All able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 53 were conscripted.
In 1780, the Cumberland County battalions were reorganized. The Newton Township company was then commanded by Capt. Samuel Finton and the Allen Township company was commanded by Capt. John Lam of Trindle Springs.
A second Trindle Springs militia unit was commanded by Capt. John Trindle. Family historian Benjamin Franklin Christlieb reported that Carl had served as a fife major under Capt. Trindle. The Mechanicsburg mentions that Capt. Trindle’s company was on guard duty in 1777. Unfortunately, the records on this company are lost. Records for 1778, 1781, and 1782 show “Charles Crislip” in returns for the Fourth Company.
Among original Revolutionary War documents, “Charles Crislip,” is mentioned in a NON-ATTENDANCE REPORT, FOR APRIL 22 TO MAY 22, 1781. There, he is recorded as having been absent on four muster days and one field day. At an appeal held on 10 August 1781, at the house of John Trindle, “Charles Crislip” and four others appealed charges for having been absent. In order to escape having to pay a fine, Carl accepted the order “to march”, as seen in the above document.
A list of delinquents, issued by “Order of Council” on 25 March 1778, contains many names, according to Class and Battalion. Here, both “Charles Crislip” and Jacob “Crislop” paid fines of forty shillings each.
The delinquent lists are extensive. Fines might be upheld or reduced upon appeal. Men with families usually had their fines remitted and farmers with livestock to care for received lower fines. The names of all three family members – Georg Bock, Jacob and Carl Christlieb – appear in the FINE BOOK OF JOHN CAROTHERS. It was Carothers’ responsibility for seeing that the militia units were organized, that they drilled, and that they were sent out to protect the settlers. He collected fines from delinquent militia men, paid men for recruiting, gave pensions to disabled soldiers or their widows, etc.”
He is also mentioned in a RETURN OF THE FOURTH COMPANY, dated 3 August 1781, where his name, “Charles Crisslip,” is spelled using the “leading S,” which resembles the letter “f.” Other records for 1778 and 1782 exist for “Charles Crislip.” Wendell F. Lauth, Bristolville, Ohio.
The History of Orange County, California, contains this piece of information, pertaining to Carl Christlieb’s service in the American Revolutionary War:
“The martial spirit … was strongly implanted in his second son, Fredric Charles Christlieb, who was born in Durham [Dürkheim, Germany] in 1751 and who became one of the faithful co-workers of George Washington, counting no sacrifice too great which would ultimately lead to the emancipation of the colonies from the tyranny of the Mother Country. Among the experiences which he passed through was the memorable winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge, during which time the American Army suffered untold hardships from hunger and cold, unfitting about half of the men for active duty. It is related of Frederic Charles Christlieb [Carl] that he left the camp at Valley Forge barefoot and without hat or coat, bent on securing supplies to relieve the sufferings of his comrades. Of recent years a monument has been erected by the Daughters of the Revolution on this historic ground in memory of the soldiers who died in camp during that historic winter.” History of Orange County, California, pp. 155-156.
It should be noted that nothing has been found in military service records that would validate Carl Christlieb’s being at Valley Forge, nor is there any record of his having served in any capacity other than militia duty, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Carl’s purported experience at Valley Forge was submitted by Isaac A. Christlieb, brother of historian Benjamin Franklin Christlieb. If what Isaac reported actually happened, it is odd that his brother did not include the Valley Forge story when he wrote the family history.