Pension Application of Jesse and Polly Turner Dailey W6980
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia } Sct
County of Loudoun }
On this 17th day of August 1832 personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the County Court for said County now sitting, Jesse Dailey, a Resident of Leesburg in said County and State, aged seventy one years & 8 months, 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. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers, and served as herein stated. I was sixteen years old on the 7th Dec. 1776. In the spring or summer of the year 1777 I was registered on the muster roll of Capt. Dennis Ramsey of Alexandria (then) Virginia — I remember several circumstances that occurred during this period. One or two I will relate. There were two Tories conveyed to town, the name of one I believe was Guthridge, that of the other I have forgotten — they were confined in a Ball Room in the upper story of a School House, and two sentries placed below to guard the room above. the Tories of the Town found means some way to let the prisoners escape at one of the windows above – in consequence of which the two soldiers who were stationed as Guards at the time were tried and whipped. The Tories of the Town were all old Country Men, viz: Andrew Wales, Wm. Hepburn, Geo. Muse, I believe, and one Hays (Scotchman) Thomas Davies, an Irishman & Philip Daid[?], Englishman – Davies was the first taken, being concealed in the House of Hays: they were examined and sent to Jail — At this time I was an apprentice to the Black Smith business in Alexandria & was ordered by Capt. Dennis Ramsey to do duty with others in guarding the Jail – it was then I was put on the muster Roll — this service continued day & night for two or three weeks until the trial when they were sent to Williamsburg. In the fall of the year 1777 there was to be a draft of several companies, if they could not raise Volunteers. The [illegible] Company was composed of volunteers, I for one turned out for three[?] months but was unable to go to Camp on account of sickness when the Company marched. My sickness continued nearly 3 mo’s. or I should have been with Ramseys Comp’y, which I joined. I was then commanded by Dennis Ramsey as I think. In 1778 or 1779 I went to sea. In 1780 I marched in a volunteer Company from Fairfax County. Our officers were Capt. Wm. Mason, Lieuts Wm. Donell & James Nesbit and Josiah Adams Ensign. We marched from Colchester on 7th of october and passed thro’ Dumfries, Fredericksburg, Richmond & Petersburg & thence to Hillsboro [sic: Hillsborough] North Carolina, where we found our Regiment under General Stephens [sic: Edward Stevens] – but Col. [James] Lucas commanded the Regiment and there was also General [Nathanael] Greene the Commander in Chief of the Southern Army. I recollect that Majors Williams & Clayton were the Aids of General Stephens. We marched from Hillsboro and passed thro’ Guilford Court House, Salsbury [sic: Salisbury], Charlotte, and thence to South Carolina on the Pedee [sic: Great Pee Dee] River. We crossed the River on Christmas Day at Hailey’s Ferry. Our fare here was ˝ Gill [2 oz.] of whiskey and parched corn — the next day we marched to a place called Cheraw Hill, where we staid till sometime in January [28 Jan 1781], we were then ordered to go and take charge of the Prisoners taken by Gen’l. [Daniel] Morgan at the Cowpens [17 Jan 1781]; but the British pursued Morgan so closely, that he was compelled to send them on with a Guard of Carolina Militia. The British would have captured Morgans Troops & the Virginia Militia, if the Yadkin had been fordable. We succeeded in effecting a passage just before night [at Trading Ford, 4 Feb], and they came up about nine, but were unable to cross. Gen’l. Morgan had collected several Boats from other Ferries to carry the soldiers over and left one of them for the use of about eighty Riflemen [Virginia Militiamen under Maj. David Campbell] who proposed to stay and fire on the British if they came up that night. The Enemy marched down the Road in a body; the Rifle Men were hid behind an old fence and a number of Grape vines which grew up and about the fence; as the enemy passed each took aim & shot down about thirty or they dropped at the two fires. The Enemy retreated up the Hill, formed and returned – received another fire from the Riflemen which they returned. Two of the Riflemen were killed – the others then retreated to the Boat, but could not all get in – those which could not crossed below with much exertion and joined the army. We had about 69 British Prisoners and Tories which had been left from sickness. We stole a march at time of high water & passed into Virginia [14 Feb], leaving them at a place called Pittsylvania old Court House. They were taken by some Militia of the Western Counties. We then returned home and were discharged at Dumfries on the 23rd February 1781. My discharge, which I rec’d. from Capt. Wm. Mason I have long since lost. In the spring of the year the British Fleet ascended the Potomac, causing great alarm. The Company to which I belonged was then ord’d. to Colchester there I met my old Capt. Wm. Mason and volunteered under him again, this was in April 1781. We marched about the lower part of Fairfax watching the British & Negroes who were often running off to the Enemy. We guarded the River until the enemy returned back — We marched then to Alexandria & there I did duty some time and was then discharged. In the fall of this year 1781 I was drafted at Colchester for three months; we were there marched to Little York, but we were turned back and our Capt. Clarke Payne and his Company had to work the Road from Cameron Run to Colchester for the purpose as it was reported offering greater facility to the passage of General Lafayettes Artillery [the following sentence in the margin, partly cut off] In this duty I was employed about Cameron Run near to Alexandria and there I [illegible word] for not meeting with Spencer Monroe [pension application S8900] who has sworn he was with one of the Parties of Payne’s Comp’y
The documentary evidence I offer is the affidavit of Spencer Monroe duly sworn to before Presley Cordell Esq. a Justice of the Peace of Loudoun County Va.
I declare that as a volunteer & drafted Militia Man I have been engaged in the service between six & twelve months but the exact time I cannot state. 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.
[signed] Jesse Dailey
NOTE: On 5 Feb 1846 Polly Dailey of Leesburg, “aged Seventy years,” applied for a pension stating that she married Jesse Dailey in Pittsylvania County VA on 11 Dec 1791, and he died 9 Nov 1845. With her application she submitted a copy of Jesse Dailey’s will dated 31 Oct 1845, as well as the original family record of the marriage of Jesse Dailey to Polley Turner and the births and marriages of their children. The family record has the following entries:
Hugh Daily the Father of us all, was born about the year 1714}
and Eleanor O’Brian afterwards. Do was born about 1724
Jesse Dailey was born Decb 7th 1760 as he thinks
Polly Turner now Dailey was born about April 2nd 1775