Pension Application of John Hamilton S1209
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Kentucky, Caldwell County SS.
On this 12th day of June 1833 personally appeared before Samuel M. Asher one of the justices of the county court in and for said County, John Hamilton resident of said County, 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: In the County of Augusta, in the year 1775 [sic] I first entered as a private under Capt. Christie [sic: Christian] and in the regiment commanded by Col. Wm Christie [sic: William Christian] (who lived on New River). This expedition was ordered against the Cherokee Indians on the frontier – the troops rendezvoused at one Wm. Stule’s at the uper end of the county and we proceeded from thence to the Long Islands of Holstein [sic: Long Island of Holston River at present Kingsport TN], where we first joined our regiment. From this place we marched into the Indian nation, and destroyed several of their towns, Big Island town, Old Stokes town (or such a name) and Killhowie, or Little deer town, and several others [sic: Big Island Town, Settico, Chilhowee, Tellico, and others; early Oct 1776]. After doing this and overrunning their Country, and destroying what we could find (for the Indians themselves fled) they sued for peace and proposed to treat; but no treaty was then had as the head men and chiefs could not be brought in, except one of them, Black head patridge. The Treaty was consequently not held for the present. [Treaty of Long Island signed 20 June 1777.] After this we returned, having served three months, the time for which we entered, and were discharged at the Long Island fort [Fort Patrick Henry]. In the year 1776 [sic] as well as I now remember, the militia of Virginia were divided into classes or divisions, which were required to serve in turn. I was placed in the first class, but in consequence of having performed a three months tour the winter before, as before mentioned, I was not required for some time to enter the service, nor do I remember that anyone called, for a considerable time afterwards. At any rate I was not called out again till the year 1780 when an expedition was ordered against the same Indians. I entered this service as a volunteer private, under Col. Arthur Campbell and Capt. John Anderson. We rendezvoused at the mouth of Big Creek on Holstein river, where we met the Regt of Colonel [John] Sevier, also ordered on this service. Sevier’s regiment preceeded us a short time and reached the Indian Country before us; and just beyond French Broad [about 22 Dec] had a skirmish with the Indians in which seven of them were killed on the ground. Sevier fell back half a mile, and remained until we came up, which we did directly afterwards. Both Regiments were now suffering for want of provisions, and particularly that of Sevier’s. After dividing equally what we had, our Regiment marched to the Indian towns on the Tennessee river, and destroyed several of them [including Chota] and another called Tellico town. But few Indians were killed in this expedition – I remember but three, and 7 prisoners. After destroying these towns, Major Gilbert Christie [sic: Gilbert Christian] was left to guard the prisoners, the sick, baggage &c and the balance of the army marched to the Highwassee [sic: Hiwassee] which we destroyed, and from this place returned sometime in February 1781 after performing a tour of three months. Again in the early part of 1782 I volunteered as a private and joined a company of Rangers under Captain Robert King, but after serving two weeks only in this company, I was disabled from further service by having a cane run through my foot, and consequently had to quit the company. After recovering from this wound, and in the same year, I volunteered under the same Col. Christie against the same Indians, but after rendezvousing at the mouth of the same Big Creek, we received orders to return. These two last services are not worth taking into the account nor do I mention them for that purpose – they may be thrown aside.
I declare that I have no documentary evidence in my possession which would prove my service, having lost my discharge long ago. The only relict of the Revolution which I have is a certificate of my having taken the oath of fidelity to my country, which I send along with this declaration. Nor do I know of any person living by whom I can prove my service. 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 or Territory whatever.
And the said justice propounded to the said applicant the following interrogatories as prescribed by the War Department, to which he made the subjoined answers:
1. Where and in what year were you born? Answer. I was born in Augusta County, state of Virginia on the 27th day of April 1755. — 2. Have you any record of your age, and if so where is it? Answer. I have – it is the record of my father transcribed into a Bible here in my house. — 3. Where were you living when called into the service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live? Answer. While in service I lived in Augusta County, Virginia. Since the War I have lived a part of the time on Holstein in N. Carolina [now Tennessee], and a part of the time in Pendleton District, South Carolina until 1810 when I moved to this county where I have lived ever since. — 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. I entered the service as a volunteer. 4. State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served, such Continental and militia Regiments as you can recollect, & the general circumstances of your service. Answer. I served with no regular troops, nor with any militia regiments except my own, and that under Colonel Sevier. I was personally acquainted with James B. Lee a regular recruiting officer, but he did not serve with my troops — 6. Did you ever receive a discharge, and if so by whom was it given and what has become of it? Answer. I received written discharges from the service – the first was given by Colonel Christie and the second by Captain Anderson, both of which are lost. 7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighbourhood who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution. Answer. I am known to a good many – Alexander Maxwell, Rev. Jno. W. Mansfield, Wm Armstrong, B. G. Rice Esq & many others
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid [signed] John Hamilton
I Do hereby certify, that John Hamelton hath taken and Subscribed the Oath or Affirmation of allegiance and fidelity, as directed by An act of General Assembly intitled An act to oblidge the free male inhabitants of this State above a certain Age to give assurance of Allegiance to the same and for other purposes. Witness my hand And Seal this 30 Day of August 1777
NOTE: The file contains a power of attorney executed by William Hamilton of Adair County KY to inquire into any benefits due for the services of John Hamilton, who died in 1841 leaving no widow.