Pension Application of Samuel Davis W2534
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia County of Harrison – to wit –
On this 23d day of August 1832, personally appeared in open court before the justices of the county court of s’d county of Harrison, now sitting – Samuel Davis, a resident of s’d county & state, aged seventy one years – who being first duly sworn according to law, on his oath, makes the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of congress passed June 7th 1832. That in April 1781 (he thinks on the 21st of that month) he entered the service of the United States, as a substitute for Thomas Shepherd under Cap. Francis Berry of Frederick county, Virginia, the s’d Samuel Davis being then a resident of Loudon [sic: Loudoun] county, Virginia, and served with him for the stipulated period of three months – marching by Fredericksburg to Richmond – thence to Petersburg, thence intending to go to Sack Point on the Nansemond, had to alter their course and retreat towards the upper country, passing through Hanover, and in the direction to Fredericksburg, until they reached Corbin’s bridge in Spottsylvania [sic: Corbin Bridge on Po River in Spotsylvania County], from thence to Culpepper [sic: Culpeper] county, near the Racoon ford on the Rapid Ann river [sic: Raccoon Ford on Rapidan River], where they were joined by Gen. Wayne [Anthony Wayne, 10 June 1781] with his brigade – thence in the direction to Albemarle old courthouse, when Cornwallis again moved towards the lower country, and was followed by the American army, (Gen. Lafayette commanding) until his time of service expired. The regiment to which he was attached in this service he thinks was commanded by one Elias Edmonds. He also states that immediately after his return home, in s’d county of Loudon, a few days only intervening, he was again [illegible word] into the service of the United States by draft as a militiaman, and marched in the company commanded by Cap. Cannon to join the American Army under Gen LaFayette. that having done this and while encamped at the mills near Williamsburg he was taken ill, and when the troops marched to the siege of Yorktown, being too sick to accompany them, he was discharged by Col Merrywether or Merriwether [probably Meriwether] who was the Colonel of the Regiment, he is not sure which was the name, and as soon as he was able to travel returned to his home in Loudon. The s’d Samuel Davis also states that he has no documentary evidence of his said several services and having been long absent from his then place of residence knows of no one now living, who can testify thereto, except John Welch [pension application S7847], John Middleton [W7464] & John Romine [S6008] who was then likewise residents of s’d county of Loudon, in service with him, and lives now in the same county of Harrison, in which s’d. Sam’l. Davis resides. He hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity whatever, except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
This applicant further states that he was born in the County of Louden in the State of Virginia as he understood from his parents on the 28th day of April 1762 and resided in that country about 21 years & then removed to Frederick County in same state where he lived about three years and from thence he removed to the State of Kentucky where he resided about 18 months & from thence he removed to Loudon County Virginia from thence he removed to Fauquier County in same state where he resided about seven years and from thence he removed to Harrison County & state of Virginia where he has since resided That he has no record in writing of his age. This applicant further states that he had a discharge from his first tour of service signed by Phillips who kept the Commissary Stores – and for his second tour his discharge was signed by Capt. Cannon but both of which he has lost or mislaid. Saml hisXmark Davis
State of Virginia } To wit
Harrison County }
on the 12th day of January 1833 Samuel Davis personally appeared before me the undersigned a Justice of the peace of the County of Harrison and State of Virginia who being duly sworn deposeth and saith that by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his service but according to the best of his recollection he served not less than six months as a privet soldier in the militia under the officers mentioned in his former Declaration made in open Court on the 25th day of august 1832 for such service I claim a pension Samuel hisXmark Davis
Sworn to the day and year aforsaid Jacob Coplin JP
[The following report is by District Attorney Washington G. Singleton who investigated many pensioners from Harrison and other counties of present West Virginia. For details see pension application S6111 of David W. Sleeth and the endnote.]
Samuel Davis draws $20.
on July 9th 1834 Davis gave the following statement. was born April 1762. during the war of the Revo. he resided in the county of Loudoun. in the spring before Cornwallis was captured [19 Oct 1781] he served as a substitute in the place of Thomas Shepherd & marched from Frederick County under a Capt. Frank Berry to Richmond and about 8 miles below. was driven back by the British army to near Albemarle Court House. then the American army turned upon the British and drove them back but not gone far until his messmate Middleton took sick. he staid with Meddleton until his company was discharged or rather until his own time expired. himself and Middleton then returned home. was 3 mos. in service. Shortly after his return was drafted & marched under Capt. Thomas Cannon Lieut. Geo Taylor from Loudoun county to Fredericksburg there joined the army. Col. Merryweather. Genl. Stephens [sic: Edward Stevens] & Major Hardyman [or Hardiman], were at Fredericksburg. from there the army went near Williamsburg – he was then placed in the light infantry. was stationed in that region until 8 or 10 days before Cornwallis Surrendered. when he again joined the main army and was discharged before Cornallis surrendered his tour of 3 months having expired – got his discharge which is lost. J. Copelan [sic: Jacob Coplin] wrote his declaration. paid him $20— & gave him the same statement that he now gives.
Jno. Middleton aged 73 served a tour of 3 mo. with Davis they marched from Winchester together
Jno. Romine aged 72 serve a tour of 3 mo. with Davis. they marched from Loudoun.
A Copy. W. G Singleton Nov. 17, 1834
All pensions from Harrison and Lewis counties were suspended before the semiannual payment on 4 Sep 1833 because of reports of fraud. Singleton wrote “Entitled” on his report on Davis, which should have resulted in the pension being restored. A letter by the attorney for Davis’s widow, dated 8 June 1855, states that Davis received his pension as long as he lived. A deposition by Joseph Davis’s dated 6 Mar 1860, however, states that his father’s pension had never been restored. Samuel Davis was not listed as a pensioner on the 1840 federal census.
On 15 Aug 1850 Ruth Davis, 76, applied for a pension stating that she married Samuel Davis on 27 Jan 1802. On 4 Nov 1853 a John Davis deposed that he had known Ruth Davis 50 years. On the same date John T. Lewis also certified the identity of Ruth Davis. In an application for bounty land dated 16 Mar 1855 her age is given as 78, and her identity was certified by Ruth Lewis and Alphonse Davis of Harrison County. A copy of the marriage return shows that Ruth Lewis and Samuel Davis were married in Harrison County by Isaac Morris.
In the deposition mentioned in the first note above, Joseph Davis, 49, of Harrison County, applied for the pension he claimed had not been paid to his father from the time it was suspended until his death on 10 Sep 1847. Joseph Davis stated that his mother died in Sep 1857, leaving the following children besides himself: John Davis of Harrison County; James Davis of the Ohio, William, Israel, and Humphrey Davis of Harrison County; Matilda, widow of William Young, of Lewis County; and Gary L. Davis, who had died after his father.