Pension Application of Andrew Ferguson: S32243:

Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris

State of Indiana} SS

Monroe County}

 

On this 16th day of August 1838 personally appeared in open Court before the Probate Judge of Monroe County now sitting Andrew Furgison a resident of said county of Monroe and State of Indiana aged Seventy Three years

 July last who first being 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 with the following named officers and served as herein stated. From a colored man. I was born in Dunwidie County Virginia (sic: Dinwiddie County VA) Free and was seventy three years old July last and at fifteen years of age I was drafted into the service of the United States by General Green (sic: see note below) who was at that time (the first of January 1780) in Dunwidie County Virginia. Two weeks previous to my being drafted I in company with my

father (Andrew Perley as he was called) was taken prisoner by the British under John and James Cuglie(?). We ran away from them because the whiped us with the Cat-o-nine Tails and fell in with the American soldiers under Green. Gen. Green toled us that if the British ever got us again they would kill us and he had better draft us and so he (illegible word) out of a little box black Tickets and he told us we should go with him and must fight the British.

I was then put under the immediate command of Captain William Harris, and Colonel William McCormick and stayed under their command and in this company during most of the time I was out. The first engagement I was at was the Battle at Allegany–. Col. Morgan (sic: Daniel Morgan) was there. Col. McCormick and Captain Harris. The British commanders who had taken us prisoners were there also. Jack Head our drummer was with us all the time. I was well acquainted with him but know not what has become of him. The next place if I remember right was King’s Mountain away down in North (sic) Carolina. We got to that battle when it was nearly over. We whipt the British badly who were commanded by Major Fergison (sic: Patrick Ferguson). I do not recollect at this time the name of any of the American Commanders except Col. Campbell (sic: William Campbell) Sevier (sic: John Sevier) and Cleveland (sic: Benjamin Cleveland). I saw at Kings Mountain a Tory they called Bill Cunningham (sic: probably William “Bloody Bill” Cunningham) kill an American in two hundred yards of us– he was on horse-back and then made off. This Battle was fought some time in October 1780. I was at Camden in South Carolina previous to engagement at Kings Mountain, but was not in the action. Col. Morgan was at Kings Mountain and after the Battle he marched us down into South Carolina to the River Pacolet not far from the Cow-Pens, as he said to join Green (sic: Nathanael Greene) but I did not see Green there. While we were at the River Pacolet– the British Col. Tarltin 

(sic: Banastre Tarleton) came upon us and Col. Morgan marched us up towards the Cow-Pens but before we got there we made a stand and whiped the British completely this took place I think some time in the month of

January 1781. Immediately after this Battle we started back to North Carolina. I recollect of Marion (sic: Francis Marion) and Col. Washingtons (sic: Lt. Col. William Washington) being at the Battle of Pacolet (sic: Battle of Cowpens) also Col. William Howard (sic: Lt. Col. John Eager Howard?) and Col. Pickens (sic: Andrew Pickens). On our (word illegible) back through Carolina the British under Tarlton pursued us and were prevented from

overtaking us by the high waters. At Guilford (sic: Guilford Court House) we fell in company with Green (sic: Nathanael Greene) and Huger (sic: Isaac Huger) and then went on to Virginia across the Dan was some time in 

February we did not stay long in Virginia until we went Back into North Carolina about ten or fifteen miles from Guilford at some bodies iron works (sic: Speedwell Furnace) on Troublesome Creek from there we marched in about two miles of Guilford and there we had a battle with Cornwallace (sic: Cornwallis) and after the battle was over we went back to the iron works. I was wounded in the head at Guilford and stayed about a month at the iron works. This battle was some time in March 1781. I recollect that a man by the name of Ater(?) Traverse(?) from Dunwidie County was wounded at the Battle of Guilford also. I was well acquainted with him. Gen. Green made a speech to us at Guilford. Gen. Steven (sic: Edward Stevens) Lawson (sic: Robert Lawson) and Huger were there and Col. Lee (sic: Henry Lee) and Washington. I was afterwards ordered back to South Carolina and we had an other

fight at the Cow-Pens (sic: see note below) and stayed there a month or perhaps more and then we went to the Eutaw Springs and there we fought our last Battle. Col. Morgan was there Gen. Green and my Captain and Colonel. This Battle was some time in September I think as well as I recollect. There I was discharged and Gen. Green said he would take all our names down and we should get our pay he gave me some kind of a ticket or other which I have long ago lost. After I was discharged I went back to the Iron Works in North Carolina and my head got worse and I stayed there some time and was attended on by Doctor Harris and Doctor Lidny and Mr. Lurgioen(?) sent one of his sons for me and I got home again on the last of November 1781. I have no documentary evidence of my service unless my name is enrolled among the Troops of Virginia and I know of no person living by whom I can prove my actual service whose testimony I can produce. He hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a pension or anuity….

 

Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid Andrew his+mark Ferguson

 

NOTES

Andrew Ferguson is listed as follows in federal censuses for Monroe County IN:

1830: age 55-100, Free Colored Person

1840: age 82, veteran of the Revolutionary War living with a white family

1850: age 95, Black, and born in VA.

A voucher in the pension file states that he died Sept. or Oct. 1856. Gen. Nathanael Greene’s trip through Virginia to take command of the southern army did not occur until late in 1780. The “Gen. Green” who drafted Andrew Ferguson and his father in Jan 1780 may have been Col. John Green of the 10th Virginia Regiment. I read the name of Andrew Ferguson’s father as Andrew Perley, but the surname is spelled Peeleg in other accounts. He is often said to have fought at Cowpens and elsewhere, but that is apparently only inferred from the present pension application. The Jack Head referred to as a drummer at Cowpens may have been John StromattHead. See pension application S6995. Ferguson referred to a second battle at Cowpens between the Battles of Guilford Court House and Eutaw Springs. Instead of Cowpens he presumably meant Camden, referring to the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill.