Pension Application of James Johnston: S5640
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia
Giles County Ss
On this 27th day of August 1832 personally appeared before the Justice of the County Court of Giles County being a Court of record James Johnston Sen’r a resident of the County of Giles and State of Virginia aged Seventy Seven in January next who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his Oath make the following declaration in Order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. – That he enlisted in the Army of the United States in January 1776 and the term of his enlistment was for the term of two years and that he served in the 8th Virginia Regiment that he enlisted in the County of Culpepper [sic: Culpeper] and State of Virginia with Lieutenant Henry Fields and belonged to the Company Commanded by Capt George Slaughter that the Company marched to the town of Suffolk in the County of — he was there attached to the Battallion Commanded by Maj’r Peter Helverson and the Regiment commanded by Col Mulenburg [sic: Peter Muhlenberg] at which place he with The Regiment remained for some weeks. from thence they marched to Charleston in South Carolina [arriving 18 June 1776]. from Charleston they were conveyed to Hattens point [probably Haddrell Point] opposite Fort Sullivan – and at the time and on the day the attack was made on Fort Sullivan [28 - 29 June 1776] – he was marched to the lower point [see note below] of Sullivans island. he together with the detachment then commanded by Maj’r Helverson threw up small breast works for the purpose of preventing the British from Landing at that point. a small skirmish then ensued between us and we prevented the greater part of the British from Landing some of them However, succeeded but were soon driven back to their boats – And after lying several days on the lower end of Sullivans island we returned to Hattens point and joined the remainder of our Regiment which we had left at the place. We then crossed back to Charleston and stayed some days in Charleston, at which place Maj’r Helverson left on detachment. We were then march to Savanna in Georgia where we halted a short time, and was then marched to Sunsberry [sic: Sunbury] and remained sometime at that place, and then returned to Savannah and halted there till about the 6th of December. About the time Col Mulenburg was promoted to the command of General, and we were then Commanded by Col Boman We were then march back to Fredericksburg in Virginia and stayed there a few days then marched to Winchester in Virginia. from Winchester we were marched to Philadelphia (and a part of the detachment who was inoculated for the small pox remained there till sometime in May) We were then marched to Bonbrook [sic: Boundbrook] or Middlebrook not recollected which in New Jersey and was attached to Gen’. Scotts [Charles Scott’s] brigade, and continued with the Main Army commanded by Gen’l Washington for some time. I was then attached to a Company of Light infantry and sent to the Iron hills near the head of Elk [now Elkton MD] under the Command of Genl. [John] Sullivan we had a small skirmish with the British. We then returned to the main army and I joined my own regiment on the Evening before the battle of Brandywine. I fought in the battle of Brandywine which took place some time in September [11 Sep 1777] – We were then marched to Philadelphia and stayed there about two days – then marched to Riding [Reading?] furnace in Pennsylvania and was continued marching in different directions through the country near Philadelphia til about the first of October. We were then marched to Germantown and I fought in the battle of German town [4 Oct 1777]. We were then marched in different directions through the country near Germantown and Philadelphia watching the movements of the enemy til sometime about the last of November or first of Dec’r and then took up our Winter quarters at the Vally forge [Valley Forge] in the state of Pennsylvania until I was discharged by Brigadier Gen’l Scott about the Latter part of January or first of February 1778. having served a few days more that two years – He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or an annuity except the present and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of an agency of any state James Johnston
NOTE: By the “lower point” of Sullivans Island Johnston apparently meant the northeastern end at Breech Inlet, where the British intended to land soldiers to flank Fort Sullivan during the naval bombardment.