Pension Application of James Boyd: S12269

                        Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris

 

State of Virginia}

Patrick County}

On this 11th day of October 1832 personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the Court of Patrick County now sitting James Boyd a resident of Patrick county aged 67 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 7th 1832  that he entered the Service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated

that he entered the service of the United States he believes in the year 77 in the fall season of the year as a volunteer private soldier in place of his father Joseph Boyd under Capt James Gidens of the county of Surry North Carolina where he Boyd then lived on an expedition to the raft swamp he believes in South Carolina [sic: Raft Swamp near present Lumberton in Robeson County NC] against Colonel Fanning who commanded a party of tories and British  he was marched to Guilford Court House there joined Capt. Parkers company. Fanning was at that time in Hillsborough in which place he done Evil & mischief, an express was received by the district commander to make haste to that place which he did but before he arrived there Fanning had left there but soon made his appearance on a high hill in sight of our army, but upon our approach he fled and was pursued by our regiment commanded by Colonel Martin Armstrong to the Raft Swamp above mentioned where he took shelter and where then march to the Cheraw Hills where we remained for some time subjecting the tories and out liers  from there we were marched back to Guilford  was there expecting Fanning to return remained there untill our three months tour was at an end  the declarant was then discharged by Capt Gidens from whence he returned home

the next tour of duty the declarant performed was as a Volunteer again in place of his father under the same officer Capt Gidens he believes in Sept 1778  was marched to the Shallow ford of the Yadkin river from there to Sallisbury [sic: Salisbury NC] where they joined another malitia company  stayed there a short time  was reinforced  march up to the Mulberry fields [sic: now Wilkesboro in Wilkes County NC] on the Yadkin river  from thence to burk [sic: Burke] Court house from there to Iredell and back to Sallisbury  from there to the Shallow ford of the Yadkin River again. the object of this expedition was to reconnoiter the country and keep in subjection the tories and disaffected who much abounded in that country. the declarant was here discharged from this three months tour by Capt James Gidens  these discharges have long since been lost  they served this declarant as a pass during the war– which was necessary to have in those days  after the close of the war he thought them of no service to him therefore took no further care of them  the next tour of duty this applicant performed was he believes in the year 1779  he was then sixteen years of age and placed on the muster list  he entered the service under Capt James Gidens a third time a volunteer during the war  was stationed at asberns mills in Surry County on loving Creek [sic: now Lovills Creek] where he remained for some length of time he thinks two month or more  this was in the fall season of the year  the succeeding winter General Pickins [sic: Pickens] arrived with his army  this declarant was there with eight or ten others given up to General Pickins to act as spies or pilates [sic: pilots] Pickins and his army being strangers to the country  this applicant remained under Pickins during that winter or about three months  our head quarters were then Obediah Bakers in Surry County North Carolina though during that time frequent reconnoitering expeditions were made in the neighbouring country  Pickins army was stationed here to guard the frontier and keep in subjection the tories and disaffected  in the spring Pickins march off his army this declarant believes to the south  this declarant then returned to Capt Gidens again a short time after this a party of indians were discovered lurking about the lead mines [at Fort Chiswell in Wythe County VA]  the white inhabitants fled from there for refuge across the mountains and expedition was immediately set on foot under the command of Capt Underwood  this applicant together with twelve or fifteen others of Capt Gidens company was attached to underwoods company and marched off to the lead mines and from there to the block house a distance of about eighty miles  the indians took shelter in the mountains of Clinch river  it was considered not worth while to pursue them further– were marched back to Surry again– this applicant states that it is impossible from the nature of his service and the length of time for him to detail it as it actuly occured  in addition to what he has stated he well recollects of being present at the taking of Mark Adkins and Joseph Burk tories who had come to William Griffins atacked and robed said Griffin of his money and other valuable property  they were condemned and hanged the next day at Bemars camp in Henry County Virginia  he was also at the hanging of Adam Short at Stuarts creek [sic: Stuart Creek in Henry County VA]  after this he was a short time under Capt Eliphaz Shelton of Henry county Virginia stationed at the Gouins in said county  he was a second time with said Shelton stationed at headspeths in the last mentioned county he thinks about two weeks  he also states that he was constantly in service from the time he was put on the muster roll untill the surrender of Cornwallis at York [sic: Yorktown]. he was never in any battle  was march to the battle of Guilford [sic: Guilford Court House] under Capt Gidens but did not reach that place untill the next day after the battle was fought  the british had left there  he was informed General Greene was in pursuit of them  he states that he got no discharge except the two mentioned above that he has no documentary evidence of his service and that knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service except he can by Major William Carter and Elihu Ayres of the county of Patrick and state of Virginia that lived in the county of Surry North Carolina in time of the revolutionary war and for some time thereafter but about forty four years ago he moved to the county of Patrick state of Virginia where he has resided ever since

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 of the United States  sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid         [signed] James Boyd

 

State of Virginia}

Patrick County}

This day James Boyd of the County aforesaid personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the peace in and for the County aforesaid and in order to amend further explain and more particularly specify his services in the Revolutionary war, stated in his declaration made in open court on the 11th day of October 1832 after being duly sworn deposeth and saith that as respecting his two first three months tours mentioned in the declaration he knows of no further amendment or explanation he can give to them. he states that the question of country where the residue of his services were performed was in the north western corner of Surry County North Carolina and in the adjacent neighbourhoods it being the frontier settlement lying along the East side of the blue ridge of mountains [sic: Blue Ridge Mountains]. that this section of country so much abounded with tories and raders who formed themselves in companies concealing themselves on the west side of the mounty [sic] would frequently pounce down upon the friends to liberty kill and plunder, and off again to their places of concealment, that it became essentially necessary for the safety of the inhabitants to keep companies of men garrisoned or imbodied at given points along the East side of the mounty to prevent those depredations and if possible subdue those enemies to liberty. for this purpose Captain James Gidens and his company of militia was stationed at Ashers mills in Surry County North Carolina about ten miles from the mountain near the Virginia line. he further states that there was but two choices for men to take in this section of country. one was to join the tories and out lyres and of [word illegible] take the woods  and the other was to join the whigs take the field or garrison or both as occasion mite require. this applicant states that he became of age to go on the muster roll in May 1779. he was accordingly enrolled in Capt James Gidens company. he was permitted to stroll where he pleased untill October following – October 1779 the first day of that month to the best of his recollection  he entered the service under Captain James Gidens as a private soldier during the war. Gidens was at that time stationed at asberns mills above mentioned  he remained there in garrison at least two months during which time a file of men was sent out in pursuit of Shearad Adkins and William Carter tory robers who was taken and brought to head quarters tried and condemned to be hanged. they were marched to the gallows under guards. while their funeral was finishing only 15 minutes to live according to orders Colonel Shepherd arived with a reprieve for them  they were accordingly reprieved. while one of the guards was standing the breech of his gun on the ground his hand on the muzzle the gun went off and shot the whole contents through his hand  this applicant was then given up to General Pickens as stated in his declaration, stayed with him in actual service three months  General Pickens winter quarters was in about five miles of Capt Gidens garrison, having shufficient defense for the neighbourhood  while Pickins remained there Gidens company set at liberty except those given up to him by Gidens to act as spies or pilates as mentioned in his declaration. Soon as Pickens went off Gidens company was again stationed at Asbers mills this applicant with the rest. to the best of his recollection this was in the spring of 1780– he remained there in garrison (except when sent out with small parties to see what the tories were about which was frequently the case) about two months. declarant was sent off under Captain Underwood against the Indians as mentioned in his declaration  in this expedition he marched through the west end of Henry County Virginia (now Patrick County) over the mountain through Grayson County to the lead mines in Wyth County through Wyth County and Washington County to a place called the Block House, thence pursued the indians about thirty miles further into the mountains of Clinch River where they lost their trail and their provisions giving out they returned back to the lead mines which was at that time guarded  stayed here about two weeks to see if the Indians would return and thence marched back to Surry county again, where he again joined his own company  he was engaged he thinks in this expedition at least two months but he believes nearly three months  in a short time after this Capt Gidens took this applicant and several others and went over the mountains in Grayson county Virginia a distance of about twenty miles in search of Burk and Adkins tory robers and with the aid of a tory who betrayed them into their hands they succeeded in taking them prisoners who were afterward hanged as stated in his declaration. they were engaged in this tour about ten days and then returned to their garrison (as it was called). in a short time after this a company of men was sent out in search of Adam Short another mischievious tory who caught him and hung him at Stuarts creek  this applicant was present when he was hung but did not go in search of him. in a short time after this William Koil [sic: Koyle or Coyle] a leading tory with four others stole some horses belonging to John Griffeth of Surry County NC. Capt Gidens not knowing how many was with Koil sent Lieut Gidens and four others in pursuit of them who came up with them so near to our fort  that the fireing of their guns was distinctly heard  this applicant with several others were sent to their aid  when they reach the spot they found Lieutenant Gidens and two others dead on the ground. the others of the whigs had made their escape. they also found one of the tories killed and another wounded whom Koil was attempting to heave upp but was compelled to drop him [two words illegible] work of death was soon finished they pursued Koil on up Salt peter ridge to the top of the mountain a distance of about ten[?] miles   could not over take him returned back again to the garrison. Captain Gidens took as many of his company as had horses to ride and went in pursuit of Koil and his tory company  this applicant and the rest of Gidens company who stayed joined Capt Elijah Sheltons company of Virginia militia and was ordered to the upper end of Henry county Virginia to guard the neighbourhood in Gidens absence. Shelton stationed his company at Mc Gavins[?] in Henry county Virginia about 7 miles from Gidens headquarters. Henry county and Surry county lay along side of each other– only the state line between them– . this applicant stayed with Shelton at this place about four weeks he thinks at least four weeks. Capt Gidens in this time having returned to his station  Sheltons company was marched off  this applicant again returned to Gidens company.  a short time after a man by the name of Nickols together with 3 or 4 others murdered William Letcher a whig and a worthy citizen of Henry county Va on the Ararat river within a few miles of our garrison. Gidens as before in the raid of Koil pursued Nickolds– Shelton as before was march up again– Stationed his company at headspeaths near where he was before stationed  this applicant together with the rest of the company who did go with Gigens in pursuit of Nickolds again joined Shelton stayed with him at this place two weeks. Gidens again returned  Shelton company was as before march off. Nickols as he was informed was taken near the [word illegible] springs and hanged. this applicant again returned to Gidens company. nothing more of importance took place untill the last of February or first of March 1781– we were still in garrison when Capt Gidens received information of the approach of Lord Cornwallis near the Moravian Town in carolina [sic: Bethabara at present Winston Salem NC]. it was then expected he would cross the mountains to take possession of the lead mines  Capt Gidens sent this applicant and 20 or 30 others under Lieutenant Thomas Garlan to watch his Cornwallis movements  having ascertained that Cornwallis had pursued a course towards Dan river, they return to Capt Gidens with the information having been absent about 8 days  Capt Gidens received orders from Colonel Martin Armstrong of Surry County N.C. to march with his company and join the North Carolina militia at Guilford Court House. The day before they reached there the battle of Guilford was fought  a short time before this Gidens had moved his station to Harrisons[?] on Johnson Creek near his former station and in the same county to which place they returned from the Guilford battle. nothing of importance took place within the recollection of this applicant while stationed at this last mentioned expedition which was from the first of March 1781 untill the last of October 1781 when the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Little Yourk [sic: Yorktown] was announced. this applicant was then finally discharged. that this amendment taken in connection with his declaration specifies his services in the revolutionary war as plainly and distinctly as he can set them forth– that after serving the 2 first three months tours mentioned in his declaration he entered the service of the United States again as stated above on the first day of October to the best of his recollection 1777 and was discharged on last of October 1781 during which time he was either in the field or in garrison. and for the time during which the above services was performed he was not employed in any civil pursuit.

Question by the magistrate

Where and in what year were you born – Answer I was born in the County of Bucks State of Pennsylvania on the 5th[?] day of May 1766

Question by the same  have you any record of your age– answer  my age is set down in a bible in my possession which used to belong to my parents. here he wishes to make a statement of his services which is as follows

                                                                               years         m     days

Capt James Gidens as substitute                                             3                      1777

            a substitute under the same                                        3                      1778

General Pickins as a spy or pilate –                                          3                      1779 1780

Capt Underwood –                                                                  2                      1780

Capt Elipahz Shelton of Henry County Virginia                        1          15        1780

under Capt Gidens as a Volunteer at different

periods from Oct 1779 to Oct 1781                           1          6          15

                                                                                    2        7                    making in the whole two years and seven months– he states that he can produce no other evidence than traditionary– he hereby relinquishes any part of the above claim which in the opinion of the officers of the War department may not be sufficiently clearly set forth– and desires that he may be placed on the pension roll for as much of his services as are sufficiently set forth. sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of September 1833

Martin Cloud J.P.                       James Boyd