Sergent John Dean is Collen’s first cousin, 7x removed, and a well-known revolutionary patriot. Johns’s mother is Maritie Jurckse (Yerks), the daughter of Harmon Jurckse. He is the patriot who reportedly hid behind a large rock on the upper portion of the William Jurckse (Yerks) farm and attacked British troops as they marched up and down the Saw Mill Rover Road. With the rock being on the west side of the Saw Mill River and the road being on the east side, he enjoyed protection from a counterattack.
John recorded a narrative of a skirmish that occurred on the Upper Cross Road (now West Stevens Ave) near the now Mount Pleasant Cemetery Railroad stop.
Went out one morning with a small party of men, east of the Upper Cross Roads in the south part of Mount Pleasant, to see what we could find. After going a short distance, we saw some men ahead of us with guns; we started pretty rapidly after them, and when coming close to them, they started to make their escape and separated. I put after one full speed, and soon overtook him, he turned upon me to make a fight. I told him to surrender but he we parlayed for some time, until my patience was exhausted, and I made a desperate rush at him by spurring my horse. He made a pass at me with his gun; the bayonet struck my horse on the mouth, which left his head exposed, when I gave him a backhand stroke across the cheek and cut part of his ear off.He fell to the ground, and I didn’t intend to strike him again, but he presented his gun again to shoot me, and I then struck him two or three times across the head and arms. And then thought, “if he can only live he may.” I dismounted and raised him up, and he fainted for a while. When he came to, he revived and said he, “I’m a dying man, but do not blame you for what you have done.” I said “you are worth a dozen dead men — rouse up and get on my horse.” I got him upon the horse and took him to the nearest house, where I borrowed some old linen and scraped lint and dressed his wounds as well as I was able and left him.
A few years after the war he came to see me; as soon as I saw him I recognized him by the scar on his face, part of his ear being off, which was done by the first stroke I gave him with my sword.He shook hands with me, and asked if I knew him. I told him I did. We then conversed about the circumstances that passed at that time. Says he, “I am a cripple for life, but I do not blame you; for it was my intention to shoot you rather than surrender; but you got the advantage of me.” It was impressed on me when he came to see me, that he came to revenge himself upon me; but he did not blame me. One of his arms was stiff where the end of the elbow was cut off. I gave him his dinner and he left me, sincerely thanking me for my kindness and taking him into a house and dressing his wounds. He left me and I never saw him again. The man was a Tory, by the name of Basly.
— John Dean