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Pension Application of John and Ruth Crabtree Edwards: W19222

                        Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris


State of Tennessee}

Washington County}    On this ninth day of September 1833 personally appeared before the Honorable the Judge of the Circuit Court of Law & Equity for said County within the First Judicial Circuit John Edwards a citizen of said County who being first duly sworn made & subscribed the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress passed 7th June 1832 that he served under the following named officers at the times & periods herein after stated to wit. that he is now aged Eighty three, was born in September (day unknown) of 1750. in Baltimore County State of Maryland, but has no record of his age but this is the tradition of his Ancestors & he believes it true. That His father removed from Maryland when he was very young to McAllisters town Pennsylvania & from thence to Shannadoah [sic: Shenandoah] & thence Bedford County Virginia where he resided when the war of the Revolution broke out and where he entered during the term that he served as a militia man in said War & which is as follows.

            1st he in the month of October 1776 Volunteered under Captain Bluford [probably Buford] in Bedford County aforesaid being at the time a Sargeant in the Company to perform a tour of duty of six months, & marched to the frontiers against the Cherokee Indians, on the way, Joined Col Christy [sic: William Christian] at the Big Lick  marched under sd Christy to the Long Island of Holsten [sic: Long Island of Holston River at present Kingsport TN] & from there to the Cherokee Nation & served under s’d Christy for six months as sargeant on said tour well known as Christies expedition against the Cherokees. Was discharged verbally by Cap’n Bluford at the Long Island under promise to give written discharge on return home which he never obtained from him. This service he has proved by the affidavit of Cap’n. Christopher Taylor hereto annexed.

            Again in the month of April 1777 he again volunteered in the Bedford Militia under Captain Thomas Arthur he being orderly Sargeant in the Company was so continued under Capn Arthur. was enrolled at Bedford and marched for a three months tour of duty to Richmond, from thence to Petersburgh [sic: Petersburg] there joined Gl Stubane [see note below] and served out his three months under said Stubane at Petersburgh and was verbally discharged by Capn Arthur at Petersburgh & returned home.

Again in the fall of 1778 he volunteered for a three months tour of duty, under Capn William Leftwich to go against the Shawnee Indians & guard the frontier, was marched by Capn Leftwich to Greenbriar [sic: Greenbrier River in present West Virginia], declarant being again orderly Sargeant, of Leftwiches Company. Col Andrew Lewis was the Col who commanded on said expedition & he on said tour guarded on the frontier his three months and at the expiration of his three months was verbally discharged by Capn Leftwich & returned home.

Again in May 1781. he volunteered under Capn Payte [sic: probably Jeremiah Pate], in Bedford Va to go a three months tour of duty to the south to join Gl Green [sic: see note below] when Cornwallis was on his march south  again was appointed orderly sargeant in Paytes company. Major [John] Ward commanded the Virginia Militia to South Carolina where he joined Gl Green at ninety six before the engagement with Lord Rawd[page town]  was in said Battle. retreated to Broad river under Gl Gates [sic], when he was discharged by Capn Payte his three months having expired. Said discharge was verbal.

            Again in the month of August 1781. a general call was made for the Virginia Militia to go to YorkTown against Cornwallis  enrolled himself and marched with his equipage to Shingle block on Goose Creek  continued to join Washington at York Town where news reached them that Cornwallis had surrendered & they were allowed to return home, having been a few days absent the time not now recollected  That in the four several tours first set forth he served fifteen months, and the last he served without the time exactly but could not have been less than half a month, for which fifteen months and half he claims a pension as orderly sergeant having served all the time in that capacity. that he has no documentary evidence in his possession nor can he make any other positive proof of actual service than that annexed which goes to twelve of the fifteen & half months service which proof is annexed. but that Henry Taylor and [blank] are persons known to him & he to them & by whom he can establish the reputation of his said services. that there is no minister of the Gospel in his vicinity by whom he can establish the facts required by the instructions of the War Dept. That his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state & He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension except the present.

            Sworn to & Subscribed in open Court the day & year before written

                        John hisXmark Edwards          



            No general or other field officer of the name Stubane could be found. The general was not Gen. Friedrich von Steuben, who did not arrive in America until late in 1777 and was not in the area of Petersburg until early 1781.

             The “battle” at ninety six evidently refers to the Siege of Ninety-Six SC, 22 May - 19 June 1781, which Greene abandoned on learning of the approach of troops under Lord Francis Rawdon. Cornwallis was not marching south at this time, but had entered Virginia from North Carolina. The mention of Gen. Gates was evidently a slip of Edwards’s tongue or the clerk’s pen, since Gen. Horatio Gates had surrendered command of the southern army to Greene in the previous December.

            In Yancey County NC on 8 April 1844 Ruth Edwards, 92, applied for a pension stating that she married John Edwards in Bedford County in the spring of 1777, and he died 16 Oct 1833. A summary in the file gives her maiden name as Ruth Crabtree, and it lists her children as William, Sally, Monteeth, and James.