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
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
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
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
Tags: Revolutionary War