Pension Application of John Wilson S1936

                        Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris


State of Tennessee     }           August Term 1832.

County of Jackson      }

            On this 14th day of August 1832 personally appeared in open Court before James Taylor, John Welch and Robert Lindsay Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter sessions for said county of Jackson now sitting, being a court of record, John Wilson a resident of said county of Jackson and State of Tennessee aged seventy two 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 7, 1832. The interrogatories required by the rules of the War department being first propounded by the court said applicant says

            That he entered the service of the United States in Botetourt County State of Virginia where he then resided under the command of Lieutenant George Hutcheson in the month of May or June 1776 being drafted to serve for the term of three months, and was marched under said Lieutenant to guard some tories at Fincastle the Seat of Justice of Botetourt County in said State, but before his term of service expired his father was drafted for three months first September of the same year to guard the frontiers of Greenbrier county in said State, which being a more active service, he said claimant with his own consent by the wish of the officers was transferred from said tory guard on the said first of September in said county of Botetourt to take his father’s place under the command of Captain Martin McFerrin [possible McFarran], Lieutenant John Ward, Ensign Alcorn, he was marched under the command of said officers to Donally’s fort on the frontiers of said county of Greenbrier [then in Botetourt County at the present town of Frankford], he claimant served out the time for which his father was drafted and fifteen days over & received a discharge from said Captain McFerrin which discharge is lost which time being added to the time he served in the tory guard amounts to six months which said claimant served in the United States Service during the year 1776. And sometime in February 1779 the day of the month not recollected, but suppose it will appear from the muster roll in the war department, he said claimant again entered the service of the United States in the Illinois regiment of the State troops of Virginia under the command of Capt Isaac Taylor in said county of Botetourt by enlistment for one year to commence from the time he should arrive at the mouth of Kaskaskia river, marched immediately after enlistment under command of said Capt Taylor from Botetourt county aforesaid twenty miles below the Big islands in Holstein river [sic: Long Island of Holston River at present Kingsport TN] to Captain Amys station where Colonel John Montgomery took command. Lieutenant Thomas Wilson with his recruits was attached to Capt Taylors company at said station. Colonel [Evan] Shelby with about five hundred militia joined the army at said Station and took the command of both regulars and militia, to go a campaign against the lower Cherokee indians called Draging canoes [sic: Dragging Canoe’s] party, said claimant then marched by water down Tennessee river under command of said officer, and some time in the month of April of the same year arrived at the lower Cherokee towns [also known as the Chicamauga towns] and continued there until about the first of may following during which time the indians having retreated the army burt [burnt] & destroyed their towns [10-20 Apr 1779], when militia under the command of Col. Shelby returned to Holstein, and said Colonel Montgomery resumed the command of this regiment under whom said claimant marched to the mouth of Kaskaskia river at which place he arrived on 23rd of May 1779. When said claimant enlisted with said Capt Taylor, he was appointed by said Captain first sergeant of the company and served as such until November 1779 when the regiment went into Winter quarters, when the quarter master Capt John Reid left the service and said claimant was appointed Quarter Master in his place, and served as such until the Regiment was discharged. When the Regiment to which claimant belonged arrived at the mouth of Kaskaskia as aforesaid, Colonel George Rogers Clark took the command under whom said claimant continued until discharged. The field officers under whom claimant served were, George Rogers Clark, Col. Commandant, John Montgomery Lieutenant colonel, & Major Bowman and McCarty. In the month of July of the same year said claimant under the command of same officers except Major McCarty left Kaskaskia & went by water down the Mississippi river and up the Ohio and Wabash rivers to Vincennes, with an intention of going an expedition against Detroit, the expedition failed and the army went into Winter quarters at Vincennes [see note below]. Col Clark and part of the regiment went to the falls of Ohio and Lieut. Col. Montgomery and another part of the regiment marched back to Kaskaskia to Winter quarters, and Capt Taylors company in which claimant still remained, and Capt Shelby’s Company, Capt Quirks [Thomas Quirk’s of Montgomery County VA] company & Capt Evan’s company remained at Vincenns. Early in the spring 1780 an express arrived from Col Clark to the commanding officer at Vincenns and to Col. Montgomery at Kaskaskia commanding them to meet him at the mouth of Ohio river by the first of May, when said claimant with the regiment joined Colonel Clark. Claimant with the regiment under Col. Clark went by water down the Mississippi river to the mouth of the first creek that empties into the Mississippi below the mouth of Ohio river [Mayfield Creek], where they built a garrison and when the fort and some blockhouses were nearly completed the army was attacked by some indians and for several days and nights had a serious conflict. a number of the soldiers were taken sick and claimant amongst the number, some were severely attacked with the ague and fever and the term of service of regiment to which claimant belonged having expired application was made to Col. Clark for discharges, but he retained them in service until the new levies arrived. When to the best of the recollection of said Claimant on the 16th July 1780 he received his discharge from Colonel Montgomery which discharge is lost, reference is made for the time to the muster roll in the War department. After said claimant was discharged he arrived at the falls of Ohio river where he remained for want of a safe conveyance until the month of April 1781 when and where he again entered the service of the United States under Lieutenant James Sturgess being drafted for three months to guard some sawyers below the falls of Ohio river at the Boat yard, and after having been in the service for about two months as aforesaid said claimant was discharged by said Lieutenant Sturgess. And before said claimant arrived home after his discharge, he again entered the service of the United States at the head of Bear grass creek about the last of June 1781, as a volunteer, under the command of a Lieutenant whose name is not now recollected, who was killed by the indians during claimants service, to range during the day and stay at night in Squire Boons [sic: Daniel Boone’s] Station on Brashears creek, waters of Salt river, in what is now State of Kentucky, Capt Squire Boon Commanded at said Station, s’d claimant continued under command of said Lieutenant until he (Lieutenant) was killed, and then the first Sergeant Thomas McCarty took the command under whose command he (said claimant) continued until he was discharged. Said claimant served out his time for three months and was discharged by said Sergt. McCarty about the last September 1781, said discharge is lost. During the last service of said applicant as above mentioned he was in four battles with the indians, in the first of which the lieutenant as aforesaid was killed. The first and last battle the party of rangers with whom said applicant served were defeated – and the indians were defeated in the other two, all of the battles except the last was fought near Boons Station, the last was fought at Big Bullskin creek about 8 miles below Boons Station as the rangers were guarding some families from said Boons Station to Lynns Station on the head of Bear grass creek. The discharges which said applicant received from Lieutenant Sturgess is lost.

Said Applicant John Wilson was born 26th day of February A.D. 1760 in Augusta County State of Virginia  his age is recorded in the family Bible of his father which is in possession of John Van Zandt who lives in McMinn County State of Tennessee, which record of his age is transcribed in his own bible now in applicants possession.

Since the revolutionary war he said applicant has lived in Green County State of Tennessee, Robertson County in said State [the rest of this deposition is missing]


State of Tennessee     }  SS.

County of Jackson      }

            On this 15th day of November 1832 personally appeared in open court before William Gray, John Welch and John Swozea Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for said county of Jackson now sitting, being a court of record, John Wilson the applicant in the foregoing declaration mentioned, made at August Term 1832 of this Court, being still a resident of said County of Jackson and State of Tennessee who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following additional declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he was in the service of the United States under the several engagements and for the periods mentioned in his original declaration, he served as sergeant and Quarter master as therein stated but he cannot state the precise day of the month he was appointed Quarter Master having kept no memorandum and his discharge being lost but is positive that it was previous to the 15 November 1779 and that he continued to serve as such until he was discharged which he thinks was 16 July 1780 but owing to the length of time which has elapsed and the different scenes through which he has passed and the migratory character of the people of the United States he cannot prove his services as Sergeant or Quarter Master by any surviving witness within his knowledge. There is another John Wilson a private in Capt. Edw’d. Worthington’s company in the same Regiment in which applicant served and perhaps his name may have been mistaken by the department for applicants. Applicant served in Captain Isaac Taylors company in the Illinois regiment of the Virginia State troops But if upon a reexamination by the Department applicant should be found on the State roll only as a private, he being unable to prove to the contrary, is willing to abide by the State roll and receive the pay of a private. Elizabeth Wilkerson who proves applicant’s service under Lieutenant Hutcheson and Captain McFerren resided at the time he entered the services she proves and when he returned home in Botetourt County Virginia and that she is upwards of 69 years of age. He cannot prove his services by any other surviving witness within his knowledge nor can she prove any other service but what she has proved. And he states that by reason of old age and consequent loss of memory he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of this service under Lieutenant Sturgess but according to the best of his recollection he served not less than two months during the tour under said Sturgess. Applicant hereby reaffirms the statements made in his original declaration and prays that this amendment may be taken as part of the same.

                        [signed] John Wilson