Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 1

Washington Crossing the Delaware River,
25th December 1776,
by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1851)
What kind of clues might be found by the family historian within the pages of a pension application or a regimental history that could be used to piece together the overlapping activities of Revolutionary War servicemen from a given community?

Let's take another look at the Pension Declaration for Asa Spelmore, Part 3, where we found an affidavit sworn by Isaac Perkins (Image 9):

"Isaac Perkins maketh oath that he was a private Soldier in the Second Regiment, North Carolina line in

the Continental establishment in the War of the Revolu: :tion -- that while on Service at White Plains in the State of New York, a detachment of Continental troops [passed] that place on duty, and [       ] then he saw the petitioner Asa Spelman or Spelmore, whom he had been long acquainted with in No Carolina -- that said Spelmore was then serving as a Continental Soldier but deponent does not know the length of his service. The deponent was at the battle of Monmoth and at the Siege of Charleston ----"
We know that our ancestors did not act alone. They were part of a larger group, which in turn was part of a greater cause. By highlighting the main points of the affidavit as shown above, we are well on our way to piecing together the BIG picture.

So, let's go to and see if we can find a pension application for Isaac Perkins.

Isaac Perkins, S41953, Image 1/35,
North Carolina                    4i666
Isaac Perkins, Image 2/35,
Isaac Perkins
of Craven Co in the State of N. Carolina
who was a private in the company commanded 
by Captain Stevenson of the regiment commanded
by Colonel Sheppard in the N. Carolina
line, for the term of three years.
from May 1778 to ------- 1781
Inscribed on the Roll of North Carolina
at the rate of Eight --- Dollars per month, to
commence on the 9th day of June, 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 30 of November 1818 and sent to J.G. Stranlet [Stanley] Clerk of Craven Co.          N.C.
Continued on the Roll on 9th day of
January 1820 and notification sent to 
S. Gerock Esq at Newbern, N.C.
Pension commencing on the 28
of December, 1820.

Amount due on 4th of)
March, 1830               )              $18.06

Died May
23, 1830                       (Revolutionary Claim,  )
                                       ( Acts March 18, 1818,)
                                       (          May 1, 1820.      )

From this document we have three facts which can help us: the name of his regiment's Colonel, his Captain, and Perkins' date of death. The first two can be use to pinpoint in which regiment he served. 

Isaac Purkins, Revolutionary Service Rolls,
Another document, Roll of Capt. Clement Hall's Company in the 2nd North Carolina Battalion Commanded by Colo John Patten, White Plains, September 9th, 1778, records his name on line 20:
Isaac P[u]rkins, Time Enlisted: 16 May, 1777; Time Engaged: 3 years.
Also included on this roll are several other familiar Craven County names:
21. Martin Black, 16 May, 1777, 3 years;
47. Isaac Carter, 28 Oct, 1776, 3 years;
62. John Carter, 1 Jan, 1777, 1 [duration of the war].

A very useful online military website is The American Revolution in North Carolina. The Continental Army page shows links for ten regiments and DQMG [Deputy Quarter Master General's Department]. By clicking on 2nd NC Regiment, we find the military history of Colonel John Patten, as well as Captain Clement Hall. We also find the listing of skirmishes and battles which this regiment had been engaged:

  1. Brandywine Creek; 
  2. Germantown, PA; 
  3. Monmouth, NJ; 
  4. Near West Point, NY; 
  5. Stony Point, NY; 
  6. Siege of Charleston, SC 1780; and 
  7. Eutaw Springs, SC.

In order to reconcile the colonels and captains under which Isaac Perkins served, we must look at the North Carolina Militia page and click <Craven County Regiment of Militia>. Scrolling down to Captains, we find the name Capt. Silas Stevenson; and here we find the following private soldiers: Martin Black, Isaac Carter, William Dove, and Isaac Perkins, listed in a table in alphabetical order.

From this information, we can deduce that these Craven County men had first joined the local group of militia, which then was absorbed into the Continental line, 2nd North Carolina Regiment.

There is, however, a discrepancy in the dates in which it is recorded that Isaac Perkins enlisted. His claim sheet records his enlistment as May 1778, while the roll records his enlistment as 16 May 1777. Since the roll was taken at the time of his service, I would rely on it more than the claim sheet, which was recorded fifty-three years after the fact.

To be continued....

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