Pension Application of Joseph Oney: S8909

                        Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris


State of Virginia

            Tazewell County to wit:

                        On this 24th day of April 1833 personally appeared in open court before the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Tazewell in the State of Virginia, Joseph Oney, a resident of Giles County, but who spends much of his time with his friends[?] in the County of Tazewell, and who as well for the reason aforesaid as for the further reason that the witnesses by whom he can prove his service as a soldier of the revolution reside in the latter county near the court house, and who ate too aged and infirm to attend at the court house of Giles County without great personal inconvenience, being a distance of about sixty miles over a very bad road, is induced to make his declaration in this court, the said Joseph Oney being aged about seventy five years or upward and being first duly sworn in open court according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832.

            That he entered the service of the United States to the best of his present recollection, in the spring of the year 1777. under Captain Thomas Mastin, Lieutenant James Maxwell, and Ensign Thomas Witten and that the said company belonged to the Virginia State line, the regiment commanded by Colonel William Preston and Major Walter Crockett, that at the time he first entered the service he resided in the present county of Tazewell, then, perhaps the County of Montgomery. That the company to which he belonged was never called upon by the commanding officers of the Regiment to which it was attached to perform any other services in the war of the Revolution except as Indian spies, to defend the western frontier, that he continued with the said company to perform that duty, that of Indian spies, fully six months in each year for four years, when he left the neighborhood in which he then lived and removed to Walker’s creek in the then county of Montgomery, now Giles, where he has continued to reside ever since. The said Joseph Oney further states that the company to which he belonged consisted of men mostly resident on the frontier aforesaid. they were kept in continual readiness and were never actually discharged as the militia from the adjacent Country who were drafted to perform regular tours or rotines of duty  that the company to which he belonged and in which he served as aforesaid, were permitted every year on the approach of winter to return to their homes, subject to be called out to march against the Indians as fresh emergencies might require; that he was in no general engagement during the times of his service, except those small skirmishes which characterize the savage mode of warfare. That he witnessed some among the many instances of indiscriminate ferocity and barbarism inflicted by the savage enemy upon the families of the frontier setlers. That he does not think that the company to which he belonged was drafted to perform tours of duty, but, that it was composed of the resident men of the country in which the Indians were peculiarly troublesome and which suffered most from their immediate exposure to their predatory excursions. That the population of the country was then sparse and comparatively defenseless and that from their contiguity to the abode of the Indians were always regarded by the officers of the Regiment as minute men, always ready on the shortest warning to assemble in defence of the frontier settlement, situated in the Valley of Clinch river from the head waters of Bluestone river to the forks of Clinch river in the present County of Russell. He further states that none of the Continental troops were ever sent to the relief of that part of the frontier to which he belonged as he now recollects, nor was he acquainted with any of the officers of the regular army. that in the whole he actually served in the war of the Revolution fully two years, that being six months in each year for four years. That he knows of three persons now living in the County of Tazewell who can testify to his service as herein stated. Viz William Cecil, Thomas Witten, the ensign of the company in which he served, and Nancy Cecil. the affidavits of the two former accompany this declaration, that being permitted to return to his home every winter to be recalled into the service again in the spring, if required, he never obtained any regular discharge in writing from his commanding officers, and that he cannot now produce documentary evidence of his service. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or an annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency of any state.

            Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid. Joseph hisXmark Oney


State of Virginia}

Tazwell County} SS.

            On this 16th day of July 1833 personally appeared in open court the county court of Tazwell it being a court of record having power to fine and imprison, Joseph Oney, who by way of further amendment to his former declaration made in this court on the 16. day of October 1832, and [two illegible words] sworn to and subscribed; and the amendment thereto made in the circuit superior court of law and chancery for Tazwell County on the 24. day of April 1832 [sic] also sworn to and subscribed, after being duly sworn according to law, in answer to the following interogatories states. 1. Question by this court, Where, and in what year was you born, answer, I was born on the Delaware River on the jersey side, not far from Burlington, above Philadelphia about the year 1754 or 5. having no record of my age I cannot state certainly.

2. Have you any record of your age, and if so where is it?

I have no record of my age that I can resort to.

3. Where were you living when you were called into service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live?

I lived on Clinch River, then Montgomery, now Giles County Virginia, when I was called into service, and have lived in the same section of country ever since.

4. How were you called into the service, were you drafted did you volunteer, or were you a substitute, and if so for whom?

I was drafted by the order of Colo Preston, and stationed at Witten’s Fort, and a part of the time at Scaggs Fort.

5. State the names of some of the Regular officers who were with the troops where you served, such continental and malitia regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service?

There were no Regular troops with me. I performed my services entirely on the frontier, on the waters of Clinch River, then the county of Montgomery, now the County of Tazwell and Russell

6. Did you ever receive a discharge from the service, and if so by whom was it given, and what has become of it

I do not recollect that I ever received a written discharge, if I did, it has been lost or mislaid by time or accident.

7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, and who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of you services as a soldier of the Revolution.

I am known by Capt Thomas Witten, and William Cecil

The said Joseph Oney this declarant above further states in open court as aforesaid after having been duly sworn as aforesaid, That by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory, he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his services, but according to the best of his recollection he served not less than the periods mentioned below, and in the following grades, For two years I served as a private or an indian spy. (Viz.) Six months in the year 1777 from the first day of March until the first day of September; six months in the year 1778. from the first of March to the first of September; six months in the year 1779. from the first of March, to the first of September; & six months in the year 1780. from the first of March to the first of September. during all which time I was not engaged in any civil pursuit, and for which service I claim a pension. The said Joseph Oney further states that there is now no person living by whom he can make any additional proof of his service known to him, besides those who have testified as above                                [signed] Joseph Oney