Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project|
One of several Marylanders who settled in Perry Township in the northern part of Allen County, Indiana, William Tucker was born July 1, 1761. Nothing further is known of him until May of 1780 when he enlisted in the army of the United States. At that time he was a resident of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
What little information we have about him is found in his deposition made in August of 1836 when he applied for a pension for service in the Revolutionary War. While he claimed that “he may be mistaken from his old age and consequent loss of memory, it having become very weak”, he recounted an amazing amount of detail concerning his military service. He had enlisted at Charlotte for a period of three years in a company of North Carolina troops commanded by Captain David Wilder in the regiment commanded by Colonel Matthew Lock. Tucker recalled that Colonel Lock and his forces joined with General Davidson’s brigade and that he was one of a small detachment (he thought they were about seventy in number) that was taken to Cowan’s Ford to oppose the British crossing of the Catawba River at the Lincoln-Mecklenburg county line. It was there that British General Cornwallis, pursuing General Nathaniel Greene, engaged the American troops on February 1, 1781, and General Davidson was killed. As an aside Tucker commented, “a detachment of our army about that time, frolicking at the Widow Torrens five miles from the river, were surprised by the British Dragoons: -- a most unfortunate lapse in discipline.
He also claimed to have seen action in the Battle of Eutaw Springs and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. In the latter engagement he was wounded seriously enough to be sent to his father’s house to recuperate. He had an arduous journey home during which his only medication, “the chewing and application of sassafras buds . . . prevented mortification”. By the time he had recovered the war had ended and he said he received a written discharge from Colonel Matthew Lock. However, in 1798 his father’s house burned, and the discharge papers were among the items destroyed.
Following the war he lived in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, for thirteen years; Greenbrier County, Virginia, for nine years; “Limestone County, Ohio,” for about fourteen years; eventually settling in Indiana Territory and State where he had remained for twenty-five years. At the time he applied for his pension, he was living “in the new county of Brown not organized, formed out of Bartholomew and Monroe.”
His reason for not applying for a pension sooner was that he had owned too much property to be eligible. By this time, however, he was living in greatly reduced circumstances and was in pressing need for his pension. Although his name appears in the lists of North Carolina troops serving in the Revolution, his claim was not allowed as he failed to furnish proof of six months service as required by pension laws. However, in 1858, his son Samuel applied for bounty land in North Carolina based on his father’s record.
William Tucker died on September 30, 1846, at the home of his son, John Tucker, at Huntertown and was buried in the cemetery there. He was survived by at least four sons, John, James, Thomas and Samuel.
Flint, Alberta Minor, comp. A collection of cemetery Inscriptions of Allen County, Indiana. Collected By the Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter, N.S.D.A.R., Fort Wayne, Indiana (1932)
O’Byrne, Mrs. Roscoe C., comp. & ed. Roster of Soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution buried in Indiana. n.p., Indiana
Daughters of the American Revolution, 1938
Powell, William S. The North Carolina gazetteer, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, c.1968
Revolutionary War Pension claim R18574.
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