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John Sykes Pension Application, Revolutionary War

Law Order Book 6, Page 45
June 2, 1818

The following persons who reside in the county of Russell wishing to become pensioners under the act of Congress of the 18th of March last, entitled "An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval services of the United States", declared on oath as follows:

John Sykes declared that he enlisted as a private soldier with Capt. William Avery in the United States' service in the 7th Regiment of the Virginia Line, commanded by Colo. Matthews, whose christian name he did not recollect; that he was at the battle of the Cross roads, and also at Guins Island and assisted in storming a piquet at Elizabeth River. He was at the siege of York at the taking of Cornwallis; that he was discharged at Williamsburg by Capt. Avery under the direction of Colo. Matthews having served 14 months. He also declared that he is now sixty eight years old and in indigent circumstances.

It also appears to the satisfaction of the court that the afforesaid applicants are persons of good credit as witnesses, and that they served in the Revolutionary War against the common enemy; and it was also satisfactorily proven to the court that the said John Ferral, Leonard Pigman, Carlton Keeling, John Sykes, Abraham Childers, James Berry, Charles Sexton and Jacob Hess according to the report of their neighbors previous to the passage of the said Act of Congress had served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War; All which is ordered to be certified to the Secretary of the Department of War.

Law Order Book 9, Page 392
September 4, 1832

On this the 4th day of September, 1832, personally appeared before the County Court of Russell County, JOHN SYKES, a resident of the County of Russell in the state of Virginia, aged eighty two 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 provision made by the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he enlisted in the Army of the United States about four or five years before the taking of Lord Cornwallis at Little Rock in Virginia under the following named officers, Captain Hartwell Raines, Lieutenant John Allen, the name of the Ensign not recollected and was placed under the command of Col. Benjamin Ruffin at a place called Brandon upon James River in Surry County, Virginia, after being marched from Prince George County where he enlisted as aforesaid. That the term of service for which he first enlisted was two years, but was discharged at Brandon having served about 18 months, and that during that time he was attached to, and belonged as he now recollects to the Virginia State Line. After he was discharged, as aforesaid, he returned to the County of Prince George, where he remained about three or four months, and then entered the regular service of the United States, under Captain William H. Avery and as he now thinks Lieutenant Eppes, the name of the Ensign not recollected, and was marched to a place then called the Groves, near Williamsburg in Virginia where he was commanded by Col. Matthews, where they remained some time, and marched from thence to old James Town in Virginia, and after remaining there a while marched back through Williamsburg in Virginia to an old field called Springfield Camps in Charles City County where they remained some time and then marched back through Williamsburg, crossed James River at James Town to Prince George County upon a scouting expedition, and to watch the movements of the British fleet which then ascended the said James River up as high as about Westover, and continued their march up the river within sight of the British fleet. The fleet then sailed down the river and the forces under the command of Col. Matthews commenced a return march down the said river and reached a cross roads about three quarters of a mile from Peters' Wharf about which place a part of the fleet landed and a battle was fought in the night between the Brittish and the forces under the command of Col. Matthews in which the said John Sykes took part, from whence Col. Matthews retreated and marched down the South side of James River to Smithfield in Virginia, from thence to a place called Pinners old fields, from thence to a place called Hobbs' Hole lying between Smithfield and Portsmouth in Virginia, from thence returned by the same points to what was called the Burnt Mills, from thence crossing James River at Hog Island marched down to Gwinns Island, from thence back to an old field near Williamsburg, from thence crossing James River marched into Surry County not far from Swann's Point, and after remaining there a short time his term of service of two years expired he was regularly discharged, which discharge in writing has since been lost or mislaid so that he can not now produce it. From that place he returned to his family in Prince George County and removed to Southampton County, and during that year in the County of Southampton he entered the service in the State line again for a tour of three months, under Captain John Mitchell, Lieutenant George Summain the name of the Ensign he did not recollect, and marched first through Williamsburg to Springfield Camps lying between the former place and Little York, where they were placed under the command of Col. Reddick and marched from thence down upon the lines of Portsmouth, thence marched back to said Burnt Mills, thence up to Smithfield, thence to Swanns Point aforesaid, when the three months' tour expired. That he returned home to Southampton County in Virginia where he remained a short time and entered the service again under Captain Samuel Kellso, the name of the Lieutenant and Ensign not recollected, and marched to Springfield Camp, where they were again placed under the command of Col. Reddick, from thence down upon the lines of Little York where the joined the main army of General Washington, about which time the second three months' tour expired, and the said John Sykes then substituted for on Brittain Traverse for another tour of three months under Captain William Baykin belonging to the main Army at Little York and remained with the Army of General Washington until the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, thence marched in the rear guard with the Brittish forces to Williamsburg where he was discharged after having served his country in the whole about four years and eight months. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension or annuity except the present, and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any State. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

John Sykes

This information was submitted by Greg Lepore.
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