Pension Application of Ralph and Mary Clay Stewart: W6168
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
Virginia Logan County to Wit
This day personally appeared before me the Subscribing Justices of the peace in and for the County & State aforesaid Ralph Stewart, a resident of said County aged Eighty five years, who after being duly sworn according to Law makes the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832
That in the year 1773 he was commissioned by Lord Dunmore, then Governor of Virginia, as Captain of a Company of Rangers formed in Augusta County for the purpose of protecting the defenceless frontier of Western Virginia against the Indians after receiving this commission he marched with his Company to the head waters of the Monongahela, where he remained some time guarding the frontier settlements; from there he was ordered with his Company to Tygarts Valey, where his Company was stationed until some short period previous to the battle of Point Pleasant [10 Oct 1774] at which place they joined the Army under Colonel [Andrew] Lewis, and participated in that severer struggle with the Indians; after which he returned with his Company again to Agusta County and from there to Tygarts Valey where he was stationed, guarding the frontier against the Indians until the year 1778.
In the year 1778 His commission was renewed by Patrick Henry then Governor of Virginia; and he was order with his company to join the Army in Carolina Commanded by General Green [sic: Nathanael Greene, who took command of the Southern Army on 2 Dec 1780]
He was attached to a Regiment Commanded by Col. Robert McCleery and Major Smith, was at the battle of Guilford Courthouse on the 15th of March 1781. He was with the Army who pursued the British through Virginia, and was engaged with the Enemy on many occasions, (Viz) at Hot water [26 Jun 1781], Ground squirrel bridge, and Charlottesville [4 Jun 1781], in one of which he was severely wounded by a cut from one of Tarleton’s sabres which disabled him in the right arm, and which wound he has never recovered from the effects of, and on which account the Legislature of Virginia granted him an Invalid pension of 60 dollars per annum in the year 1823. He further declares that in consequence of his wound that he returned home, to Augusta County, but only continued a few days: his services being needed, he joined his Company then proceeding to the seage of Yorktown, where he remained until the surrender of Cornwallis [19 Oct 1781], when he was ordered to aid in conveying the prisoners to Winchester barracks at which place he was discharged. He believes his discharge was signed by an aid of the Marquis Lafayette, whose name he does not now recollect.
On his return home, he applied to the paymaster at the Town of Staunton for payment for his services during the war, and was offered by him some Continental paper (as it was named) which he declined accepting, as it was of very little Value, so that he never received anything for his services which extended over a period of more than three years under the last mentioned Commission.
This declarant also states that he moved from Agusta County Va. on to the Waters of New river now Giles County and that he continued in the County of Giles and Logan to the present time. He was born in Augusta County and has never permanently removed out of his native State. he left his discharge & commission with his friend Col George Pearis of Giles County, but they have since been lost Col Pearis having had his house broken and his papers plundered as he has been informed
The pension granted by the State of Virginia being intended[?] an Invalid pension for this State given no other, he is informed that it is unnecessary to relinquish. Nevertheless if required by the Act of Congress of June 1832 He desires himself to be considered as relinquishing all claims to any pension whatever but what is justly due to him by the Laws of his Country, and that his name is not found on any pension roll except as above stated on the State roll of Virginia for Invalid pensions. [signed] Ralph Stewart
Sworn to and subscribed before in the day & year above written [sic: apparently 10 Jan 1834]
Interrogatories propounded by Joseph Straten a Justice of the peace that is to say —
1. Where and in what year were you born? Answer. I was born in Augusta County, Virginia in the year 1752 according to the best information I can obtain.
2. Have you any record of your age, and if so where is it?
Answer. I have not except traditionary.
3. Where were you living when called into service? Where have you lived since the Revolutionary war & where do you now live?
Answer. I resided in Augusta County VA. when I entered the service – have resided in same County since and also in Montgomery & Giles Counties – and am now living in Logan County Va.
4. How were you called into service? Answer I volunteered as Captain of a Company of Riflemen & served as such.
5. State the names of some of the Officers who were with the troops where you served, such Continental & militia regiments as you can recollect & the general circumstances of your services?
Answer. I was acquainted with Gen’l Washington, Lafayette, [Anthony] Wayne, & [Charles] Scott, & Cols. John Willis, Thomas Hazzard, Robert McCleery, Wm Boyer are the principal and the principal circumstances of my services are set out in the foregoing declaration.
6th Did you ever receive a Commission, & if so by whom was it signed? and what has become of it?
Answer. My first commission as Captain was signed by Lord Dunmore, my second by Patrick Henry, which were left with Col George Pearis of Giles County for safekeeping & lost or destroyed, he having his dwelling house broken open and plundered as I have been informed.
This declarant also states that he removed from Augusta County as aforesaid to New River in the County of Montgomery some forty years ago, and deposited his discharge with Col. George Pearis for safekeeping – as also his Commission – which have been lost or destroyed.
NOTE: On 17 Dec 1846 Mary Stewart, 74, applied for a pension stating that she married Ralph Stewart in June 1788 in Montgomery County, and he died 17 Nov 1835. With her application is a copy of a bond signed by Ralph Stewart and William Tracey on 5 June 1788 for the marriage of Stewart to Mary Clay.