Archive for November, 2008

Revolutionary Soldier EDWARD BEESON

November 13, 2008

Some extensive military operations were mounted at various times after Guilford Courthouse in an attempt to stop the depredations of the British Loyalist troops commanded by Colonel David Fanning. Although little documentary evidence exists concerning the details of the battles with the Tories, it appears that one of the major skirmishes took place in July 1781 at the mouth of Sandy Creek, where several roads crossed at a ford across Deep River. The only record of this battle survives in three applications for federal pensions made by elderly veterans more than fifty years afterwards. Randolph County historian Barbara Newsome Grigg discovered them in the National Archives in the mid-1980s. I’m transcribing these pension applications and publishing each separately, and I’ll write about the battle later.

EDWARD BEESON (Pension #Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., lst sess., 1833-34)

(Born circa 1757 in the part of Rowan County, NC, that later became Guilford County, and was then further divided into Randolph County. He died in Marshall County, Alabama in 1844. He was married three times: (1) Selena Lamb; (2) Ann Pennington; (3) Dicy Mullins. His parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth Beeson, moved to North Carolina from Hopewell, VA, in 1751)

State of Alabama

St. Clair County

On this 7th day of November 1832, personally appeared in open court before the Honorable Andrew Crenshaw, Judge of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County now sitting, Edward Beeson, a resident of said St. Clair County and State aforesaid, aged between seventy and eighty years, and as he supposes about seventy-six, who being first duly sworn, according to law, do on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June the seventh, eighteen hundred and thirty-two; that he entered the service of the United States under the following officers and served as herein stated.

He entered as a volunteer from the state of North Carolina, Guilford County. It was in the spring of the year seventeen hundred and seventy eight as he believes. David Brower was his Captain; James Woods, Lieutenant;; this deponent, Ensign; William Brown, Sargent; Robert McCanna was their major; Thomas Dugan, Colonel; and Butler, General.

Their objective was the destruction of the Tories. Next day, after they left Johnstonville, their place of rendezvous, their Captain and three men were killed by the Tories who waylaid them. The Tories were commanded by Major Rainey, and fired on them from a steep hill on the side of Brush [Sandy?] Creek. After Brower was killed, Woods became Captain and this deponent became Lieutenant. They pursued the Tories about forty miles to Fork Creek and there besieged them in a house belonging to one John Needham. In the morning before they got to Needham’s, their Colonel (Dougan) joined them.

This deponent was ordered with half of his company to attack the back of the house under the concealment of an orchard, while the rest were to attack in front. This deponent’s company were the first who took possession of the same, those in front having feigned a retreat to draw out the Tories, which accordingly succeeded. Twenty-one were killed, seven at the house, and fourteen at the place where they kept the horses, the Tories having fled there, to where they were concealed on the bank of a Deep River, where Colonel Dougan had himself gone with a detachment, to surprise them if they should be driven from the house.

They then marched down to Cape Fear (or Fairtown) and from there to the Brown Marsh near Wilmington, where they again had a battle with the Tories on open ground. They there again defeated them, who being reinforced by the British from their shipping at Fort Johnson, returned and defeated us in return. From thence they (the Americans) returned by Cape Fear to Guilford. At this time we were out three months and were discharged.

Soon thereafter, the Tories gathered and took Hillsborough when this deponent and his company were again ordered out, this deponent having been elected, on the very day after his return home from his first service, to Captain, one Woods being his competitor for the same. John Jones was his Lieutenant and William Brown was his sergeant.

They then marched down to Hillsborough and joined with the Orange and Wake men and some from Chatham, for the purpose of attacking the Tories, and rescuing Governor Burke. This deponent believes this was in the fall of the year but is not certain. They marched to Cane Creek and there attacked the Tories, at which time John Litteral, who acted as Colonel, was killed and numbers of our own men. We were defeated and returned after a short time to Guilford. The Tory General Hector McNeill was killed in this skirmish, and there Colonel Fanning had his back broken. This deponent’s company had permission to return home for a return home for a short time. This term of service was some less than four, though more than three months.

His next term of service was again a volunteer. This, he believes was the next year. This time they were aroused by the Tories who came and burned Colonel Dougan’s house, Colonel Belford’s (Balfour’s) house, at the same time killing Colonel Belfour. They also killed John Brown and burned his home. Also Millican’s and Collyer’s houses were burned. They pursued them under the command of Colonel Bletcher (or Bleecher), this deponent still Captain and remained so until the cost of the war. The same Ensign and Lieutenant were with him on his last term of service.

This deponent previous to his last service mentioned, had been on another tour which, through mistake, was not put down previous to the other as it ought to have been. He went out from the same district and State. Reed was their Colonel; Bletcher, their Major; and Lillenton, their General, after which they arrived at Charleston, South Carolina. They arrived there at the time the British were lying at St. John’s Island. This deponent was with his company at the time Charleston was taken, at the place and in the town. The regulars being intrenched down on the wharf were taken but his company escaped at this time. He was out in this service four months and was discharged by General Lillenton.

He received a written discharge, which was lost or destroyed. This deponent served several other times for short space not mentioned, and the particulars of which he cannot either recollect or describe. This deponent’s memory is so impaired by age that almost common occurrences are forgotten by him. This deponent has no documentary evidence and knows no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to this service, except his Commission as Captain. His first Commission was given him by Colonel Dougan which he lost during the war. The Colonel to supply its place afterwards upon proper evidence, had it supplied by the Governor of the State. This was done that he might receive his pay for his services.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to the pension or annuity except the present one and declares that his name is not on the pension roll or the Agency of North Carolina from which he has never asked nor received anything.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid in open court.

Signed: Edward Beeson

Commission

To: Edward Beeson

Greeting:

We reposing special trust and confidence in your patriotism, valour, conduct and abilities, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you Captain of a Company of Foot in the Randolph Regiment of militia commanded by General Butler.

You are, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Captain, by exercising and well disciplining the officers and soldiers under your command, and by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging. And we do strictly charge and require all officers and soldiers under your command to be obedient to your orders, as Captain, and you are to observe and follow such order from time to time, as you shall receive from your superior officers, according to the directions of military discipline and the laws of the State.

Witness, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Esquire, our Governor, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief, under his hand and seal, which he has caused to be hereto affixed, at ______, the 24th day of April 1778.

Signed, Richard Dobbs

By his Excellency’s command

Frank hawks, sec’y

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Revolutionary Soldier JAMES MORGAN

November 12, 2008

Some extensive military operations were mounted at various times after Guilford Courthouse in an attempt to stop the depredations of the British Loyalist troops commanded by Colonel David Fanning. Although little documentary evidence exists concerning the details of the battles with the Tories, it appears that one of the major skirmishes took place in July 1781 at the mouth of Sandy Creek, where several roads crossed at a ford across Deep River. The only record of this battle survives in three applications for federal pensions made by elderly veterans more than fifty years afterwards. Randolph County historian Barbara Newsome Grigg discovered them in the National Archives in the mid-1980s. I’m transcribing these pension applications and publishing each separately, and I’ll write about the battle later.

JAMES MORGAN    (Pension # S.7251)

(born 26 Apr. 1760 @ Baltimore, MD; pension granted in Yancey County, NC, in 1834 when he was 74 years old)

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress of the 7th of June 1832–

State of North Carolina

County of Yancey

On this 20th day of October 1834 personally appeared before the court of pleas and quarter session the Reverend James Morgan a resident of the county of Yancey and State of North Carolina aged 74 years who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832. That he entered the army of the United States as a volunteer in the spring of the year 1781 in Randolph county in North Carolina where he was living at that time.

That he was called out by Colonel Collier and placed under Captain John Hines & Lieutenant William York and marched down to Chatham county after the enemy, and says at this time he was sent out against a party of Tories and had an engagement with them, and was defeated with the loss of three men killed and two wounded among the latter was his Lieutenant William York, and says they took a good many prisoners during the time he was out in this tour. But how long he was out he cannot say precise, but believes it was seven weeks, or more.–

Some short time after he was discharged, colonel Collier give orders to raise another company in Randolph county to suppress the Tories. This was about the latter part summer or the beginning of fall in the same year 1781 when he substituted for three months for which he got a horse– but not having any acquaintance with the man for whom he substituted he cannot recollect his name at this time– and says he was placed under the command of captain Thomas Dougan and lieutenant William Cray– that they marched from Randolph county through Chatham Orange and Moore counties but had no battle with the enemy but took a number of straggling tories prisoners and brought them in and says his officers acted under General Butler and says after the expiration of this tour he went to live in Guilford county in N.C. and in the year of 1782 colonel Paisly gave orders to raise men to suppress the Tories who were collecting in large numbers in the lower end of Randolph county and the counties adjoining–

That he volunteered under Captain Daniel Gillespie and lieutenant George Sparks and commanded then by colonel John Paisley and Major John Gillespie that he served under these officers seven weeks and two days before he was discharged that they were marched twice through Randolph and Chatham counties during this term of service but had no engagement—and says that in all his tours he served as a private– and says from the best information he can get he was born in Baltimore county in the state of Maryland on the 26th day of April 1760– that his parents brought him to North Carolina where he was raised and was living when he entered the service and continued to live after peace was concluded until he was upwards of forty years of age—

Since that time he has lived in different parts of the county– that is in South Carolina and different parts of the western country and last before he dame into this county in Ashe county in this state until a few months ago he came to live in this county. That he has followed teaching school and preaching & travelling for many years—and says that this is the first time he has ever made application to be put on the pension roll of the United States or any other state because he could not get anyone to prepare a declaration for him– and says he does not know that he can find any living witness at this time by whom he can prove his services– He hereby relinquishes every claim to whatever pension or annuity except the present and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency or state– Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid

James Morgan

Revolutionary Soldier HENRY MORGAN

November 11, 2008

Some extensive military operations were mounted at various times after Guilford Courthouse in an attempt to stop the depredations of the British Loyalist troops commanded by Colonel David Fanning. Although little documentary evidence exists concerning the details of the battles with the Tories, it appears that one of the major skirmishes took place in July 1781 at the mouth of Sandy Creek, where several roads crossed at a ford across Deep River. The only record of this battle survives in three applications for federal pensions made by elderly veterans more than fifty years afterwards. Randolph County historian Barbara Newsome Grigg discovered them in the National Archives in the mid-1980s. I’m transcribing these pension applications and publishing each separately, and I’ll write about the battle later.

HENRY MORGAN (Pension #W.3709)-

(born 7 Dec. 1758 in Rowan County, NC; died 22 Feb. 1849 in White Co. Ill.)

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.

State of Illinois

White County

On this fourth day of September 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Hon. William Wilson Judge of the White Circuit Court being a court of record now sitting, Henry Morgan, a resident of said County of White and State Illinois aged 73 years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of congress passed June 7 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States in the militia under the following named officers and served as herein stated: Colonel John Collier, Lt. Col. Thomas Dugan, Major Anthony Sharpe, Capt. Robert McLane, Lieutenant William York. That he resided in Guilford Co. North Carolina and was drafted for five months and mustered into service on the 24th of March 1779. That he marched from Guilford Co. to Charleston in South Carolina, that on his way to Charleston he meet with a regiment of Tories at Kings Creek about 600 as was then supposed, that they were attacked and defeated a few prisoners were taken and 3 or 4 killed. That he remained at Charleston until the 24th of August when he was discharged & returned home, his discharge was signed by Captain Robert McLane.

That under Col. William Campbell, Major John Brysan, Capt. Flower Swift, Lieutenant Alexander Bryson he entered the militia as a volunteer in August 1780, that he then resided in Montgomery County Virginia and marched from there to the Yadkin river near the shallow ford where there was a battle with the tories, that 6 or 7 of them were killed and a number taken prisoners that he was discharged verbally to wait further orders in one month & returned home.

That under the same Col., Major Alexander and Captain McAdo, he entered the service as a volunteer on or about the first of February 1781, & marched to join Gen. Greene then below Guilford Courthouse. That when the regiment arrived at Whitesills mills on the Seder fork it was attacked by the enemy and defeated and our Colonel killed, that our regiment was totally disbanded at this time. That he then went to Randolph light horse that he then volunteered for the whole war. That Col. Pacely [Paisley] was commander of the regiment but not out in service, Major John Nails was in command. That he was then engaged in dispersing the tories wherever collected, that he was in three battles, one in July 1781 at the mouth of Sandy Creek in which we & Lieutenant William York of our company were wounded and three men David Brewer, David McMasters & Joel Benje were killed, & in August after or September we had another battle at Linleys mill in which the tories were defeated, Major John Nalls was killed here & four or five others.

That after the battle at Linleys mill he went down towards Wilmington taking what tories could be found. That he was then engaged in riding through the counties of Randolph, Chatham, Moore, Anson and a county on the Pedee name not recollected. That he continued in the service until the following Spring in April when the Captain with whom he and volunteered for the war placed him in the State troops under Major Joel Lewis, Captain Tabb, Lieutenant Christmas and that he continued in the same duty until the next October when he received from Captain R. McLane a discharge stating the time he had served &c.– That he has no documentary evidence & knows no person whose testimony he can procure to testify this service.

That he was born in Rowan or Guilford County in North Carolina on the 7th. of December 1758, has no record of his age. Living when first called into service in Guilford Co. N.C. when he entered the service after that in Montgomery Co. Va. That he resided there 16 years after his discharge then returned to Granger County, Ten., resided there 11 years, then to Warren county Kentucky resided there 4 years, then to Logan county same state, resided 5 years & then removed to this County where he has since resided. That his discharges were burnt about one year after the close of the war while he resided in Virginia. That there were no regular officer with him except while at Charleston & has no recollection of the names of any of the regiments stationed there. Thos. J.B. Brockett & Peter Miller Jr. are persons in his neighborhood to whom he is known & can testify as to his character for veracity, and their belief or his service as a soldier of the revolution.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Henry Morgan, his x mark

State of Illinois

White County

Before the undersigned clerk of the circuit court in and for the said county this day personally appeared Susan Morgan, aged 54 years, who being duly sworn says that the family record of Susan & Henry Morgan has for the space of 35 or 40 years been in the possession of herself as well as other members of the family and that the strip of Paper hereto attached was in the presents and sight of said Deponent cut from the said family Bible or family Record that the same has been since the recollection of said Deponent in and attached to the said family Record that said Deponent does not know or recollect who wrote the same or in whose hand writing it is But that said deponent does verily believe the same to be genuine and correct– that the said Henry Morgan and Susan Morgan have since the recollection of said deponent lived together as man and wife– that they were so known and esteemed in the neighborhoods where they have resided and further deponent says not.

Susan Morgan, her x mark

attached: Henry Morgan and Susanna Poe were married in September 1785—In Montgomery County Virginia by a Minister named Wm. Porter.

State of Illinois

White County

On this 3d. day of October 1851 personally appeared Susan Morgan a resident of the County and State aforesaid, aged somewhere about 86 years who being duly sworn before the undersigned County Judge for the County of White doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress passed 29th July 1848. Said Susan Morgan being the widow of Henry Morgan who as deponent thinks was a private during a part at least of the Revolutionary War, deponent thinks that her said husband, was a part of the time under the command of Captain McClain and another part of the time under the Command of Captain Campbell and again as she thinks under the command of Capt. McClain. Deponent thinks that a part of the time the said Henry Morgan belonged to the light horse men. She does not recollect the name or names of the higher officers But she further declares that the said Henry Morgan was for many years before his death a revolutionary Pensioner.

She further declares that she was married to the said Henry Morgan sometime in the year 1785 in the County of Montgomery in the state of Virginia by a man of the name as she thinks of Porter who she thinks was a Minister of the Gospel that the aforesaid Henry Morgan died on the 22d. day of February 1849, that she was not married to him prior to his leaving the service But that the marriage took place previous to the Second of January Eighteen Hundred (Viz) at the time above stated. She further swears that she is now a widow and that she has never before made any application for a pension and that she is still a widow.

Susan Morgan, her x mark

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 3d day of October AD 1851

Solomon Vories, county judge