Pension Application of James Grimes S17455
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Indiana } SS
Ripley County } On this 23 day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, personally appeared in open Court before the Judges of of the Ripley Circuit Court now sitting James Grimes a resident of the County of Ripley and State of Indiana aged Seventy Eight 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 June 7th 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.
That he entered the service of the United States some time in the year 1777 and served under the following named officers (viz) General Mulenburgh [sic: Peter Muhlenberg], Col. Benjamin Harrison [see endnote] (Majors name not now recollected) Captain George Houston [sic: George Huston], Lieutenant [Andrew] Shanklin That he served in the Virginia Malitia under the above named officers as an Orderly Sargent (for the term of six months.) that he left the service the beginning of 1781 – That he was under but one engagement. That he resided at the time he entered the service in Augusta County in the State of Virginia. that he was drafted. that he was in the Battle of the Burnt Chimnis and also the battle of Williamsburgh [see endnote] – that he marched from Rockingham County in Virginia to Richmond from thence across James River to Westham down to Pages Warehouse then to Petersburgh (Va.) then to Suffolk, then Norfolk from thence back to Amelia County to Goods [sic: Goode’s] bridge. that he served with one John Willis a regular officer at the battle of the burnt Chimney, that he was acquainted with General Anthony Waine [sic: Anthony Wayne] General Morgan and Captain Michael Boyse of Stanton [sic: Staunton] Augusta Co. Virginia. That he has no dockumentary evidence, and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure, who can testify to his service.
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.
Sworn to and subscribed the day ad year aforesaid
James hisXmark Grimes [see endnote]
Questions propounded by the Court to James Grimes the within named applicant —
Question 1st. Where and in what year were you born? Answer. I was born in the County of Down in North Ireland in the year 1754. Question 2nd. Have you any record of your age and where is it? Answer I have no record of my age and can only speak from what my parents told me. Question 3d Where were you living when called into service, and where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live? Answer in Augusta County in Virginia. Since the revolutionary war I have resided in Rockingham County Va. and since that time I moved to Kentucky where I resided for many years for the last twelve years I have resided where I now live in Ripley County Indiana Question 4. How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer or were you a substitute. And if a substitute for whom? Answer by draft. Question 5th. State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served; such Continental and Malitia regiments as you can recollect the General circumstances of your service – Answer. I was acquainted with General Anthony Wayne & General Morgan. I served three months in the flying camp [see endnote]. I do not remember any particular regiments but the one to which I belonged so as to number them. The General circumstances of my service is as stated within. Question 6. Did your ever receive a discharge from the service and if so by whom was it given and what has become of it Answer. I never received a discharge. I was told that if my name was entered o the Class book [the county record that listed militiamen in classes] that that was sufficient. Question 7th. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify to your character for veracity and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution. Answer. Joseph Richard Esqr Lippard. John Bell and many others.
State of Indiana } Sc
Ripley County } Personally appeard before me the undersigned a Justice of the peace within and for the said County James Grimes the above named applicant for a pension under the Law of 1832 who being duly sworn according to Law 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 services but according to the best of his reccollection he served not less than the periods mentioned below and in the following grades. For six months I served as an orderly sergent. For Eighteen months I served as a private and for such service I claim a pension.
James hisXmark Grimes
Sworn to and subscribed the 15th day of December 1832. John S. Craig J.P.
Except for Gen. Muhlenberg, the officers under whom Grimes claimed to have served were in the Rockingham County Militia. Rockingham County was formed from Augusta County in 1778. Muhlenberg commanded the 8th Virginia Regiment of Foot on Continental Establishment. Muhlenberg’s first action in Virginia was early in 1781 near Dismal Swamp, with militiamen from Augusta and other counties under his command.
The only known battle near Williamsburg was the Battle of Hot Water Plantation on 26 June 1781.
Gen. Anthony Wayne’s Continental troops joined the Virginia troops on 10 June 1781.
The only General Morgan was Daniel Morgan who never actively served in Virginia during the Revolutionary War.
Militia tours were generally for three months each, so it is hard to see how Grimes served for “one engagement” for six months as an Orderly Sergeant and 18 months as a private. It is also difficult to reconcile that claim with his statement that he entered service in 1777 and was discharged early in 1781.
The duty of an Orderly Sergeant was to copy orders into the company’s orderly book. It is strange, therefore, that Grimes was apparently not able to sign his own name.
The Continental Line of Maryland and some other states had a unit designated the Flying Camp, but I have not seen reference to a unit by that name from Virginia.
A note on the pension certificate indicates that Grimes died 11 Nov 1833.