Regarding the Major John Stewart Comitia Americana medal honoring his valor at the Battle of Stony Point, Thom Carlson writes:
I was tracking it today as I pursued my own Stewart family history, and found this mention of its location in the family 100 years ago in History of Tennessee and Tennesseans by Hale, William T. & Merritt, Dixon L. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co, 1913. v.7, pp. 1851-5
COL. DEMETRIUS MINOR STEWARD. It is infrequent for one to meet, in a city as crowded with men impatient to reach still higher successes, whether in commercial or professional life, as Chattanooga undoubtedly is, an individual who is content with the rewards which early years have brought in respect to fortune, and is willing to devote himself to works of beneficence for the welfare of the community. Rare as this combination is, it is found exemplified in the career of Col. Demetrius Minor Steward, soldier, business man and philanthropist, a citizen than whom none have done more to advance the interests of Chattanooga and its people. Colonel Steward was born at Eaton, Preble county, Ohio, May 23, 1841, and is a son of John Beam and Anna Mary (Link) Steward.
Colonel Steward comes of a military family that traces its ancestry back to Sterling, Scotland, and to a grandson of Robert Bruce, who was high steward under Robert Bruce, and was permitted by royal decree to assume the name of Steward as his family name, the first to bear that title. There is a family tradition that the family emigrated to the Bermuda Islands and came thence to Maryland at a very early day.
The great-grandfather of Colonel Steward, John Steward, enlisted for service during the Revolutionary war as first lieutenant of the Fifth Maryland Regulars, and rose rapidly in rank until he became general in command of one wing of the American forces which captured the British guns at Stony Point. He was twice recommended by General Washington for promotion and was voted thanks by Congress, a medal being struck in his honor, and this medal is now the property of Colonel Steward.
Col. D. Minor Steward is not my ancestor, but we may share descent from Lt. Col. Steward (in spite of this report, he was only a lieutenant colonel when he fell at Charleston in December of 1782). I haven't yet found proof in the public record of Col. Steward's descent, but presumably possession of the medal would be compelling.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: GEORGE WASHINGTON'S AWARD FOR JOHN STEWARD (www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_v10n51.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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