Stephen Moylan (1737 – April 11, 1811) was an
Irish American patriot
leader during the American Revolutionary War. He had several positions
Continental Army including Muster-Master General, Secretary and
Aide to General George Washington, 2nd Quartermaster General,
Commander of The Fourth Continental Light Dragoons and Commander of
the Cavalry of the Continental Army.
In January 1776, he wrote a letter using the term "United States of
America", the earliest known use of that phrase.
1 Early life
3 Later life and family
4 See also
6 External links
Stephen Moylan was born to a prominent
Catholic family in Cork,
Ireland. His family sent him to be educated in Paris. Moylan then
Lisbon for three years in the family shipping firm. He
Philadelphia in 1768 to organize his own shipping firm. He
was one of the organizers of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, an
Irish-American fraternal organization, and served as its first
Moylan joined the American
Continental Army in 1775 and was appointed
Muster-Master General on August 11, 1775. His experience in the
shipping industry afforded the United States a well qualified ship
outfitter, who would help fit out the first ships of the Continental
Navy. On March 5, 1776, he became secretary to General George
Washington. He was promoted to
Colonel and was appointed Quartermaster
General in the American
Continental Army on June 5, 1776, succeeding
Thomas Mifflin. He resigned from this office on September 28, 1776.
However, he continued to serve as a volunteer of General Washington's
staff through December 1776.
Moylan was appointed to command the 4th Continental Light Dragoons,
also known as Moylan's Horse, on January 3, 1777, at Philadelphia. The
regiment would be noted for taking the field in captured British Red
Coats. However, they would see action in green coats at the Battle of
Brandywine on September 11, 1777, and the
Battle of Germantown
Battle of Germantown on
October 4, 1777, and end the year by protecting the Cantonment at
Valley Forge. Col. Moylan succeeded
General Pulaski as Commander of
the Cavalry in March 1778. Moylan's Horse would see action at the
Battle of Monmouth
Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778.
In the campaign of 1779 Col. Moylan and the 4th Dragoons would be
stationed at Pound Ridge, New York, and see action when the British
raided Norwalk, Connecticut, on July 11, 1779. Col. Moylan and the 4th
Dragoons took part in the Battle of Springfield, New Jersey, on June
23, 1780, and General Anthony Wayne's expedition at Bull's Ferry, New
Jersey, on July 20, 1780. Col. Moylan commanded his Dragoons at the
Siege of Yorktown
Siege of Yorktown in October 1781, after which he was to take the
cavalry to the Southern Campaign. However, his failing health caused
him to leave the field and return to Philadelphia, where he constantly
appealed to the
Continental Congress to man, equip and maintain the
Continental Dragoon Regiments.
He was rewarded for his service by being breveted to brigadier general
on November 3, 1783.
Later life and family
Moylan was married to Miss Mary Ricketts Van Horne on September 12,
1778, and had two daughters, Elizabeth Catherine, and Maria. His two
sons died as children.
Stephen Moylan died in Philadelphia, April 11,
1811, and is buried there in St. Mary's Churchyard.
Van Horne House – Wife's father
^ "Who Coined the Phrase 'United States of America'? You May Never
Guess". New York Historical Society.
^ a b c "
Colonel Stephen Moylan", US Army Quartermaster Foundation
Biography at Virtualology.com
Biography and portrait at Quartermaster-Generals
Biography and Historical References at IV Dragoon
Stephen Moylan at Find a Grave