Pension Application of Jacob and Sarah Butler W5954
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia }
Loudoun County } SS
On this 6th day of October 1832 personally appeared before me Samuel Dawson a Justice of the Peace for said County Jacob Butler a Resident of Loudoun County & State of Virginia, aged nearly eighty four years, who being first duly sworn according to Law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits 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.
I was born in Germany in October 1748. I learned the Trade of Weaver and was about twenty five years old when I came to America. I came out as a German Redemptioner and Landed in Philadelphia in the fall of 1773. My time was sold to Joseph Janney of Loudoun County Va. for four years, and was bought by his Brother Samuel Janney who then was in Philadelphia. I have no record of my age; it was set down in a Bible which I brought with me from Germany, but has been lost many years. I have always resided in Loudoun County, excepting while I was in the army. I served my four years with Joseph Janney and about five months after I was free I was drafted as a twelve months Man at February Ct. [probably Court] in the year 1778 and informed that at the end of that term, I should be exempt for 12 mos. Within a week after I was drafted, I was marched in company with about five hundred men. We were commanded by Capt. Valentine Harrison of the 2d Vg’a. Regiment. He had been furloughed for some time & being on his return to the army, he commanded the new Drafts who were Drafted for the Regular Army. We were marched directly to Valley forge, about 20 miles from Phila. where the American Army lay. The British army under Gen’l. [William] Howe then lay in Philadelphia. On my arrival at Camp I was permitted to choose my company and I joined Capt. Peyton Harrison’s company of the same Reg’t. (the 2d Virg’a.) This Gentleman was a Brother of the one who marched us from Loudoun Cy. I think our Colonel was named Feebecker [sic: Christian Febiger] and that Gen’l. Mhulenberg [sic: Peter Muhlenberg] was his superior officer.
The British Army left Philadelphia in June [18th] 1778 & was followed by our old Father Washington with his whole Army. I was at the Battle of Monmouth [28 Jun 1778] and our Regt. the 2d Vg’a. was on the left wing of the Army. the Day was very hot. I came out of the Battle unhurt, tho’ five times in succession my right & left hand men were shot down at my side. — Our Regiment was then form’d into what was call’d a Flying Camp and did duty in several parts of Jersey and sometimes had some slight skirmishing with small parties of the enemy, till we went into Winter Quarters at Middlebrook [NJ]. I remember we arrived on Christmas day & were the last Troops that came into Winter Quarters there. My 12 months having expired in February 1779 I was discharged at Middlebrook – my Discharge was signed by my Capt. Peyton Harrison. I kept it for may years, and while the late Judge White was Judge of Loudoun Sup’r. Court I carried it to Leesburg and showed it to him – on reading it he said I had not enlisted in the Regular Army & could not get a pension – after which I became careless of the discharge & it is now lost.
I now remained at home till the fall of 1781 when I was called out in my class for 3 mos. & marched under Capt. John Luckett directly for Gloucester. I think Col. Dark [William Darke] & Major Might[?] were our superior officer — after the surrender of L[or]d Cornwallis [19 Oct 1781] I remained behind a few days & then was ordered to march with Prisoners to Nolands ferry in Loudoun, which I did. Our prisoners were de’d. over to some Maryland Troops. We were then verbally discharged sometime in November 1781.
I have no documentary evidence, nor do I know of any person living who can testify to my having performed services in the Revolutionary army —
I reside on the Catoctin Mountain about 10 miles from Leesburg & there is no Minister living in my neighborhood.
I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension, or annuity except the present, and declare that my name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any state.
Jacob hisXmark Butler
NOTE: On 13 Aug 1838 Sarah Butler, 77, applied for a pension stating that she married Jacob Butler on 30 June 46 or 47 years previously, and he died 9 June 1833.