Thursday, July 3, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 7

Washington at Valley Forge
E. Percy Moran, 1862-1935, artist
Courtesy Library of Congress
Update: The North Carolina Continentals
Chapter 6, Valley Forge, 1777-1778

This chapter brings to light some answers to questions I had formed from working with a member of the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution who had contacted me about participating in the Forgotten Patriots project.

In regards to military service in the 10th North Carolina Battalion under the command of Captain Abraham Sheppard,
he had mentioned that late in the war the records were ill-kept and many who were not under the direct command of Capt. Sheppard were, in fact, lumped together with other soldiers, leaving it to us these two-hundred thirty-odd years later to sort out. Chapter 6 helped with the sorting.

The problems seemed to start with the recruiting officers in Abraham Sheppard's Tenth Regiment who recruited "bodies" to fill the ranks who were often too sickly to fight. Signing bonuses of twenty shillings for each officer to meet his enlistment quota did not help in selecting the most fit men for the task. Their deadline for signing on three hundred men was July 1, 1777. His orders were to march them north to meet up with Washington as soon as the ranks were full. Rankin states,
Sheppard's record-keeping was so sloppy that it was not only difficult to determine just how many men had been enlisted but equally hard to ascertain the actual number in camp with him....Although Sheppard was supposed to march directly to Richmond to await further orders from Caswell, by October 6, he had moved no farther than the Roanoke River, two miles from Halifax. Sheppard...left his troops encamped on the banks of the river and returned to his home in Dobbs County....When Sheppard finally began his march he was forced to leave forty-seven behind who were too ill to take the rigors of a long march. [1]
Note below that Isaac Perkins recalls his commander to be Col. Benjamin Sheppard, perhaps from a faulty memory.
There had been two rather shocking revelations. Benjamin Sheppard, paymaster of the Tenth, and Alexander Outlaw, the quartermaster, were declared unworthy of holding office when they were suspected of counterfeiting. [2]
The conditions of the regiment continued to cause delays, chiefly due to illness. was little more than a skeleton unit; in addition to the 47 left behind at the beginning of the march, 118 men had deserted along the route....A large number had fallen ill, and 20 had died and had been buried in shallow graves along the way....Only six men died as a result of the [smallpox] inoculation, but a much larger number were lost as a result of the measles epidemic that swept through camp....The unit was soon to fade into obscurity as a result of continued desertions. [3]
At that point, the remaining men of the Tenth Regiment were divided up between the First and the Second Regiments.

Transcription of Declaration of petition for pension
Isaac Perkins Image 23/35
In Order to be restored to the Pension list under the
Act of first March 1823 Craven County [      ]
On the 12th day of November 1829, personally appear
ed, in Open Court of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
of the County of Craven and the State of North Carolina, being a Court of Records which proceeds according to the Course of
the Common Laws with a jurisdiction unlimitted in [power]
of A[         ] and Keeping & Record of its proceeding
Isaac Perkins a resident of aforesaid County
aged Seventy three years who being first duly
sworn according to Law, doth make Oath to the
following declaration in Order to obtain the
provision made by Congress of 18th March 1818
and 1st May 1820. That he the said Isaac
Perkins, enlisted for the term of Three Years
about the Month of May 1778 in the State of No
Carolina in the Company commanded by Capt
[Silas] Stevenson in the tenth Regiment, Commanded
by Col Benj Sheppard in the Line of the State of
No Carolina on the Continental Establishment
that he continued to serve under different
changes of the Corps and captured at Charleston
until discharged in the State of No Carolina by
Col Patton. That his name has been placed on the Pension
list & dropped therefrom on account of his property
And in pursuance of the Act of 1st May 1820 I do
solemnly swear That I was a resident Citizen of the

Isaac Perkins Image 24/35
United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that
I have not since that time by gifts sale or in any manner
disposed of my property, or any part thereof, with
which thereby so to diminish it, or to bring myself
 within the provision of an Act of Congress, entitled an
Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the
Land & Naval Service of the United States, in
the Revolutionary War, ha[- - ]ed on the 18th day of
March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person
in trust for my, any property, or securities, contracts, or
debts due to me, nor have I any income other
than what is contained in the Schedule hereto An
nexed, and by me Subscribed, My Occupation
being that of a Farmer, and my ability to pursue
in very uncertain. Owing to my great bodily
infirmity under which I labor, my family
now consists of myself and my wife Deborah
who is now Sixty Six years Old and not able to support
herself. The changes of my property since 18th March
1818 Are as follows: I sold 150 Acres of Land for forty dollr
part of which have ever been paid me and used towards
my support along with some of my Stock
being heretofore able to support myself by my labour
Is the reason I did not apply sooner to be restored
to the pension List. The number of my pension
Certificate granted on the 30th Novr 1818 is [5]66.
Sworn to and declared on the 12th day of Novr 1829.
attest James G Stanly          Isaac     X   Perkins

Isaac Perkins Image 25/35
Pen. to Con.     28 Dec

Recd from S Gerock
             Newbern, N.C.
             28 Dec 1829


[1] Rankin, pp. 129, 130, 131.
[2] Rankin, p. 133.
[3] Rankin, p. 138.

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