In July 1776, Arthur’s eldest son, 20 year old John Erwin, enlisted as a second lieutenant in the Bucks County Battalion of the Flying Camp. He was captured by the British at Fort Washington in November of that year and was held as a prisoner of war on a prison ship off the coast of Long Island, in Wallabout Bay for over 4 years. Conditions were poor on the British prison ships, and John’s health rapidly declined. On Feb. 25, 1781, he was paroled in exchange for a British prisoner, but he never recovered, dying within the year.
Joseph Erwin, the second son of Arthur Erwin by his first marriage, was apprenticed at 14 (1771-1775) to James Budden and William Striker who had a counting house in Philadelphia. Joseph inherited his father’s good head for business. He served as Clerk from 1776-1780 until he had enough money to invest in his own commission on a merchant trip to France. He traded in liquor, sugars and other sundries and dry goods, becoming quite wealthy as a trader and speculator during the war years. John never married. He often summered in Bucks County staying with his brother William. Even then he was always speculating on goods. He gathered 130 barrels of Winter Apples on William’s farms and sold them for $2 a barrel. From 1784-85 he served on the Pennsylvania Assembly and was appointed a Warden of the Port in Philadelphia from 1787-89. Two years after his father was assassinated, he was commissioned as a Major of the 4th regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia.
Sara Erwin (1762-1809) Sara settled in Painted Post, Steuben County and married Judge John Mulholland. Together they had 11 children.
Francis Erwin (1764-1764) died in Ireland in his first year.
Arthur Erwin (1765-1769) In May of 1769 shortly after moving to their new home, Arthur, aged four, drowned in the Delaware River.
Hugh Erwin (1767-1846) Hugh Erwin, the youngest son of Colonel Erwin, waited until he was 50 to marry. In 1807, he served as the first postmaster for Erwinna and again in 1809.