Pension Application of George Hanger R4565
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia } S.S
Greenbrier County }
On this 24th day of June 1834 personally appeared before me Henry Erskine a Justice of the Peace for said County of Greenbrier and State of Virginia, George Hanger, a resident of said County and state of Virginia aged 74 years 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 the 7th June 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.
1st. That in the year 1779 or 1780 [sic: see statement to Singleton below] he entered the service of the United States as a Volunteer under Capt. Thomas Smith in the County of Augusta Va. and was marched from that County to the City of Richmond and put under the command of Col. George Mathews and served one month and discharged in Richmond. That he was in no engagement in this tour and after his discharge he returned home to Augusta County.
2nd. In the year 1782 [sic] he was again called into service by draft for three months in said County of Augusta and put under the command of Capt Buckhanon [sic: Patrick Buchanan] and marched from Augusta County to James Town on the James River below Richmond and put under the command of Col. Michael Bowyer [sic: William Bowyer] and was kept reconnoitering the country about James Town and was in a Battle that took place with the British at James Town in June of that year [Battle of Green Springs Plantation, 26 Jun 1781] and served out his tour of three months and was discharged at James Town and after being discharged returned home to Augusta County again.
3rd. That shortly after his return home he substituted for John Handly to serve a six months tour and after having entered the service he was detailed as a waggoner to drive a team that was pressed to haul the baggage and was marched to the siege of York [Siege of Yorktown, 28 Sep - 19 Oct 1781] and was there at the taking of Cornwallace [sic: Cornwallis] some time after the surrender of Cornwallace he was discharged. That he did not serve out the time he substituted for owing to the surrender of Cornwallace. But he feels well satisfied he served three months and a half he rather thinks more but to be perfectly satisfied he will place it at three and a half months.
that he has no documentary evidence by which to substantiate his claim to service. That he did receive written discharges but believing them not to be of service he did not take care of them and they have been lost and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure except the evidence of George Keller [pension application R5827] John Handley and William Handley which he hereby submits
That he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension roll of the Agency of any state
George hisXmark Hanger
This day William Handley aged 82 years came before me the subscriber a Justice of the peace in and for s’d county and made oath that he is well acquainted with George Hanger and knows of his receiving a gray mare to go and serve a tour of duty in the Revolutionary war as a substitute for John Handley his brother and believes he did go and serve s’d tour And that from his knowledge and acquaintance with s’d Hanger he believes him to be 74 years of age and that he is a reputable man and that it is believed in his neighborhood that he served in the revolutionary war and that from his knowledge of him and of his service as a soldier in s’d war he concurs in that opinion [signed] Wm Handly
Sworn to and subscribed this 24th day June 1834 before me Henry Erskine JP
q’t 1st. Where and [in what] year were you born
Answer I was born in Shenandoah County [formed from Frederick County in 1772] in the year 1759 7th Feb’y of that year
q’t 2 Have you any record of your age
answer I have not, but I have seen the record frequently in my Fathers bible
q’t 3 Where were you living when called into service and where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live
Answer I lived in Augusta County Va. when called into service I lived for some time after in the same County. I removed to Greenbrier about forty years ago and have lived there ever since
q’t 4 How were you called into service were you drafted did you volenteer or were you a substitute and if a substitute for whom.
Answer I was first a volenteer, 2d I was drafted and served three months 3d I was a substitute for Jno. Handley and served 3˝ months or more
q’t 5 State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops where you served such Continental and Militia Regiments as you recolect and the general circumstances of your service
Answer I have stated my Capt. and Col. in my decleration. When I was at James Town General [Anthony] Wayne was the commanding Gen’l. At York Town, Washington, Wayne, LaFayette, Mulenburg [sic: Peter Muhlenberg] &c commanded
q’t 6 Did you ever receve a discharge from the service and if so by whom was it given and what have become of them
Answer I did receve discharges 1st at Richmond by Col Mathews 2d at James Town by Col Bowyer. 3d at York by the Waggon Master but believing them not of much value I did not take care of them and they have been lost
Question 7 State the names of persons in to whom you are known in your present neighbourhood who can testify as to your character for verasity and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution
Answer Wm Handly. and Thomas Crigh [sic: Thomas Creigh] are acquainted with me and can testify to my character as a man of truth and I can get many other should it be required
Sworn to and subscribed before me 24th June 1834 George hisXmark Hanger
Henry Erskine JP
Greenbrier County to wit This day came John Handley before me G. R. Gillilen a Justice of the peace for said and made oath that George Hanger Served a tower as a substitute for me at the Seige of little york under the command of General Washington Given under my hand this 23rd of November 1833 G. R. Gillilen
The affidavit of George Keller of Augusta County State of Virginia. This affiant states that he was 74 years old last october, that he marched from Staunton in the County of Augusta during the revolutionary in Capt Thomas Smith’s company that George Hanger now of the County of Greenbrier belonged to the same company and marched with this affiant to Richmond in the State of Virginia. this affiant cannot now remember the year in which he and the said Hanger first joined the army nor can the affiant remember the length of this first term of duty. he is perfectly satisfied however that it was [next two words interlined] at least one month. this affiant who was a near neighbour of the said Hanger recollects very distinctly that he the said Hanger served two tours of duty after the first term already spoke of but cannot from the lapse of memory incident to old age state the precise length of time. he however to the best of his recollection states that the said Hanger served about nine months upon the two last tours. This affiant states further that the said Hanger was always reputed and believed to have been in the battle of James Town and this affiant fully concurs in that opinion. And further this affiant saith not. George hisXmark Keller
[The following report is by District Attorney Washington G. Singleton who investigated many pensioners and applicants from present West Virginia. For details see the pension application of David W. Sleeth (S6111).]
George Hanger. – Applicant.
I the undersigned George Hanger, at the request of W. G. Singleton, agent of the Pension office for a statement of my services as a soldier in the war of the Revolution and of my age give the following to Wit. I shall be 75 years old the 7th of February next. I am a native of Augusty county and lived there until the last 46 or 47 years when I moved to Greenbrier County. – the year in which the British were at Richmond and Burnt the ware House , (but I cant tell when this was) [probably reference to burning of tobacco warehouses at Westham by generals William Philips and Benedict Arnold, 30 Apr 1781] I volunteered in augusty county. four companies of us Rendezvoused at Staunton and Marched from there under Col. Matthews. My Captains name was Patrick Buckhannon. I dont recollect the names of his subalterns. – we marched through Fredericksburg to Richmond then joined other Militia companies all under the command of Col. Matthews – we remained at Richmond until discharged haveig been in service at least two and a half months. I am shure we were not as long in service as three months. – this tour of duty was done in the fall of the year. I think it was in the next succeeding summer that I was drafted again in same county for three months and marched with a Requisition of Militia under Col. Michael Bowyer, my Captains name Patrick Buckhannon the same under whom I done the preceeding tour of duty – we went to Richmond and then Jamestown. there joined Genl. Waynes army and had a Battle with the British and we were defeated. Genl. Muhlenburg was also in this engagement – I served out the 3 months tour & returned home.
In the same year I substituted in the place of John Hass[?] for six months – after I substituted I was detailed as a Waggoner#, there was some eight or ten waggons including the one under my management – all loaded with Flour & other Matters for the American army at Yorktown Virginia. We all went on together and delivered our loading – after which I remained with my team hauling matters & things for the army for about four months including the time of going and returning & thus ended my service. I cant tell the year in which it was done – nor do I think I told Mr. Erskine (who wrote my Declaration) the date of my Service. – I am unable to say why it is that the date of my Service is set forth in my Declaration – the Statement now given is in substance the same I gave to Mr. Erskine. I swore to my Declaration before him in Lewisburg the County Seat. the Declaration which I made before Erskine & now read to me does not contain a true history of my services. [See endnote] whether this is attributed to my loss of memory or to Mr. Erskines mistake I cant tell. In Witness of all which I hereto subscribe my name Jany 27, 1835
Witness S. L. Thompson Geo hisXmark Hanger
# disallowed [see endnote] A True copy W. G Singleton Feby 19, 1836
Not Entitled – but requires special examination
Disallowing Hanger’s service as a wagoner brought his total length of service below the minimum of six months required for a pension under the act of 1832. There is no doubt that Singleton was wrong to disallow this service, since Hanger performed it as a militiaman.
The only significant discrepancy between Hanger’s original declaration and Singleton’s report is in the length of his first tour. Sophia Keller, widow of George Keller (R5827), explained the difference as follows: “she is informed & verily believes that the matter relied on by the Commissioner of Pensions to discredit the statement in [George Keller’s] declaration and the testimony of his witness (George Hanger) grew out of a misconstruction or misunderstanding of the law by the Attorney who prepared the papers referred to – he being under the impression that one months service and less would entitle the soldier to a pension and therefore, the declarants were not required by him to give the full length of time of service or greater particularity than is therein contained.”
The file contains a letter to the Pension Office dated 26 Jan 1855 from George Hanger’s son, David Hanger, of Pickaway Plains in Monroe County, inquiring into the prospect of getting his father’s pension established.