Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 4

An addition to my LibraryThing.com
When I began my in-depth research on the battles and skirmishes in which our free black Patriots from Craven County, North Carolina had participated, I came across a book title contained within an end note of a book on the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse. I quickly checked on the Barnes and Nobel and Amazon.com sites to compare availability and prices and found what I was looking for! Not only was I able to purchase a "Like New" hardcover copy of this book, but much to my joy, it arrived at my mailbox two days later!

Available at Amazon.com
The book's title is, The North Carolina Continentals, by Hugh F. Rankin. Check it out on Amazon.com's "Click to Look Inside!" feature. It appears to be quite thorough in its footnotes and bibliography, which is great for me, because I'm always checking sources to glean additional details.

Contained within its twenty chapters, I found information concerning every battle in which the free black Patriots of Craven County, North Carolina had fought. I'm looking forward to this being a very good read!

Part 4 in the Pension File of Isaac Perkins
Isaac Perkins 10/35

[Transcription, page 1]
41 953
File No. 41.953
Isaac Perkins
Pvt.  Rev War
Act. 18 March 18
Index. Vol. 3, Page 890

[handwritten note on right side of document]
1930-Aug 8--Hist. to
Adj. Gen. See 
[N]ewbern copy in 
Misc File under
C. H. Bridges, EEL

Isaac Perkins 11/35

[Page 2]
1828 papers 
to be filed
with Ad OW
Inv. File# 

Isaac Perkins 12/35

 [page 3]
Isaac Perkins   Pvt.
N. Carolina

No. Carolina

Inv. File No. 41.953

Isaac Perkins 13/35

[page 4]
10th Regiment
Isaac Perkins pt. 16th May 1777. 3yrs
The above is a true abstract from the Mus-
ter roll of the North Carolina Continental line
in the revolutionary war.
Given under my hand 10th July 1818
Wm Hill  Secretary
of State

Isaac Perkins 14/35

[handwritten notation on left side of page]
See letter to Sec. of War Jan. 6. 1828
See letter Nov. 24. 1829 to S. Gerock
North Carolina
Isaac Perkins
In the Army of the United States during the Revolutionary War.
Inscribed on the Roll of North Carolina
at the rate of 8 Dollars per month, to commence on
the 9th of June 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 30th day of November 1818
J. E. Shanlet Esq. Clerk
of the [C--] of Craven Co. N.C.
Arrears of 4th of Sept 1818: 2 26/30 mo. $22.93
Semi-anl. all'ce ending 4 Mar 1819              48      
{Revolutionary claim
{Act 18th March 1818.}

Isaac Perkins 15/35

 [page 6]
Saml Gerock
N. C.

Came to hand
20th Decr 1819

For Additional Consideration
I have seen the name, Samuel Gerock, several times before in other documents; but, this is the first time I have seen the rank of Captain attached to his name. The link provided and entitled, "North Carolina Pensions, (119-121)" states that he had been employed at the Bank of New Bern. It also details in his pension application that he had enlisted for service in the Revolutionary War in Maryland. An overview of his service record also appears. A brief description of his appearance in latter years can be found here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 3

Encampment at Valley Forge
It is difficult to imagine the conditions, the time and energy expended by these heroic soldiers from New Bern, North Carolina, who were marched some 463 miles to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and then another 670 miles to Charleston, South Carolina,only to be taken as prisoners of war and held on a prison ship in the harbor.

By today's standards we think of a trek of this nature in terms of hours; but, in the 18th Century we're looking at months of walking, waiting, fighting, and walking some more.

As we look at the next documents in Isaac Perkins' Revolutionary War pension application, we begin to see the framework of his military experience. We are also introduced to a new participant, one Osborn Clark.

A quick search at Fold3.com uncovered a pension file for this soldier, who fought in the same regiment as Isaac Perkins on his second tour of duty. You can find more about Osborn Clark here.

Isaac Perkins 7/35
[Transcription, page 1]
United States of America
To the Honorable the Secretary at
War of the United States
The Petition of Isaac Perkins a
Citizen of the United States sheweth, That
he enlisted as private soldier in the tenth
North Carolina Regiment in the Continental line
in the year One thousand seven hundred
and seventy seven, in the Company commanded
by Captain Silas Sears Stevenson, was marched
to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, where the
tenth Regiment was distributed & deponent
passed into the Second Regiment and into the
Company commanded by Captain Clement Hall.
he served in that regiment in its Northern
Campaigns, marched with it to South Carolina
and was taken prisoner at Charleston--he
escaped from the enemy and returned to North --
Carolina & served until peace in the Militia
of the State. His whole service in the
Continental line of the State of North Caro-
lina against the Common Enemy exceeded
three years -- he never received a discharge
deponent is now sixty one years old
has a family, and is reduced in circumstances.

Isaac Perkins 8/35
[page 2]
and needs the assistance of his Country for his
support--he prays the benefit of the Act
of the last Session of Congress providing for
his care.
                                            his        +      mark
Sworn to in open Court
9th June 1818
J S Stanly

Osborne Clark maketh Oath that he knew
the petttioner (sic) Isaac Perkins a private soldier
in the North Carolina Continental line in the
War of the Revolution--deponent knows said
Isaac Perkins served three years as a soldier
in the Continental Line of North Carolina
against the Common Enemy.      a s b o n  C C [signature]
Sworn to in open Court
9th June 1818                  State of North Carolina
J G Stanly CC                     Craven County
                                          Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
                                           June Term A.D. 1818
                           The foregoing affidavits of Isaac Perkins
and Osborn Clark being taken and subscribed to in open
Court. It is ordered that it be certified to the Secretary
at War of the United States that it appears to be the satis:
:faction of this Court that the petitioner Isaac Perkins did
serve in the revolutionary war against the Common Enemy
as stated in his petition, and that the said Isaac Perkins is
now in reduced circumstances and needs the assistance
of his Country or his support.
Witness     James G Stanly  Clerk of the Court
aforesaid under the Seal of this Court at Newbern
this 30th day of June A.D. 1818
James G Stanly CC

Isaac Perkins, 9/35
[page 3]
In reply to your request of ___________, received__________
for a statement of the military history of Isaac Perkins <a negro man> a soldier of the REVOLUTIONARY WAR, you will find below the desired information contained in his (or his widow's) application for pen-sion on file in this Bureau.               S41,953

Enlisted: 1777 May '78.  Served: 3 years. Rank: Private. Captain Silas S Stephenson 10th N.C.Captain Clement Hall, Colonel Patten 2nd N.C.
Also served in Militia till Peace--no officers stated.
Served in the Northern Campaign, marched to South Carolina where
captured at Charleston, but escaped and returned to the North.
Battles engaged in _____________________________________
Resident of soldier at enlistment, Enlisted in North Carolina
Date of application for pension, June 9, 1818  His claim was allowed.
Residence at date of application, Craven Co. N.C.
Age at date of application: 61 yrs, 73 in 1829
Remarks: In 1829 he referred to his wife, Deborah, 66 yrs of age.

not used [handwritten]


Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 2

Pension Applications can give us insight to the everyday life of our ancestors.
The following documents include an inventory of Isaac Perkins' real and personal property used to determine if he was truly an indigent veteran of the Revolutionary War, a certificate sworn by the clerk of courts that the names of the men who conducted the inventory were true, and a sworn statement that the inventory itself is true. They were signed and sealed in April and November 1829.


Isaac Perkins/Image 3/35
At the request of Isaac Perkins of Craven
County in the state of North Carolina
an old Revolutionary Soldier and a claimant
for a petition under the former act of
Congress Granting petitions for the releaf [sic]
of Indigent Soldiers of the Revolutionary
war--we the undersigned have met and
have valued all the property he the said
Perkin[s] is now [           ] off--which we apprise
and value as follows--  --that is to say
100 acres of poor piney land)       $25.00
valued at 25 cents per acre    )
11 head of cattle val'd at $2.00)
each upon an [E]verage --         )      22.00
32 head of hogs, mostly pigs)
[E]verage 5/ Each --               ) --     11.00
House hold & kitchen furniture
 valued in toto of $15--                     15.00
A small canoe valued at 10/                 1.00
3 head of sheep valued at 10/              3.00  

[From here I would search the deeds at Craven County Register of Deeds for a detailed description of this piece of land, and its location; however, the deed itself is contained within this pension file: Images 16/35 and 17/35. I would also search FamilySearch.org for his estate file, which may include a list of the items of household furniture and any farming implements in his possession that could provide clues of his living conditions.]

Isaac Perkins/Image 4/35
We the undersigned haveing [sic] been long
acquainted with the above claimant, Perkins;
as well as also with his Resources and means
of support--his age and infirmities-- over--

[page 2]
believe him to be deserving & also entitled to
assistance from the Bounty of his Country
we hereby Certify that we have valued
his property fair and Equitable to the
best of our Judgments and abilities
and we find it to be worth at most of this
this time of [           ] --not exceeding the sum
Seventy Seven Dollars in money.
Given under our hand and seals this
25th day of April 1829---
                      his                            Abner W. Seabrook [seal]
                  Isaac X Perkins                              Wm Physioc [seal]
mark                             John S. Whitehead [seal]
Saml Gerock                  Meshack Always  [seal]
Jos Physioc JP [seal]

Isaac Perkins/Image 5/35

Let a  Certificate to
above be presented--
North Carolina
Craven County court S. November Term AD 1829
William Physioc & Joseph Physioc whose names are 
subscribed to the foregoing schedule made oath in open
court & in due form of law that the facts noted
in said schedule are true.                      
 Attest J.G. Stanly Clerk of Craven County Court

[Page 3]
I James G Stanly Clerk of the County Court
do hereby certify that it appears to the satisfaction
of the Court that the said Isaac Perkins did serve in the
Revolutionary War and stated in the preceding declar
ation against the Common Enemy for the term of
Mine Months, and one engagement, on the Continental
establishment. I also Certify that the foregoing Oath
and the Schedule thereto annexed, are truly copied
from the Records of the said Court, and I do further
Certify that it is the Opinion of the said Court that
Isaac Perkins/Image 6/35
the total amount in value of the property exhibited in
the aforesaid schedule is seventy seven Dollars
and ------ Cents
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed the Seal of said Court this 12th day
of November 1829                            J G Stanly Clerk

[Page 4]
Isaac Perkins

Friday, May 16, 2014

Incorporating Military Histories to Piece Together Overlapping Service

Available at Amazon.com

As I read military histories about the skirmishes and battles in which our ancestors fought, I try to look for specific information about their regiments so I can piece together the movements and experiences they might have had. For instance, I am currently reading the book, Monmouth Courthouse 1778: The last great battle in the North, by Brendan Morrissey.

From our last post, you'll note that we found the names of Isaac Perkins' commanding officers: Captain Stevenson and Colonel Sheppard (North Carolina Militia), and Captain Clement Hall and Colonel John Patten (2nd North Carolina Regiment). According to Morrissey, Col. John Patten and the 2nd North Carolina were part of the main body of General George Washington's troops, serving in the right wing under Major General Nathanael Green (p. 86). There were seven Brigadier Generals commanding the right wing:

  1. Brigadier General William Woodford (Virginia), 
  2. vice Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh (North Carolina), 
  3. Brigadier General Enoch Poor (New Hampshire and New York), 
  4. Brigadker General Jedediah Huntington (Connecticut), 
  5. Brigadier General William Smallwood (Maryland and Delaware), 
  6. Brigadier General Peter Muhlenberg (Virginia and German Battalion), and 
  7. vice Brigadier General George Weedon (Virginia).
McIntosh's troops were made up of the 1st North Carolina (Colonel Thomas Clark) and 2nd North Carolina (Colonel John Patten). 

Additional information about Asa Spelmore/Spelman
In looking back at Asa Spemore's Pension Application File, it was stated that he was a 
Private in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Davidson of the N. Carolina line....[that] he enlisted in the company commanded by Captain Quinn in the Tenth North Carolina Regiment Continental Establishment Commanded by Colonel Davidson.
It appears, however, that Asa Spelman possibly made an error in his recollections as Captain Michael Quinn was associated with the 8th and the 3rd North Carolina Regiments; and, Asa Spelman appears on the roll of the 8th NC Regiment. Note also that Quinn resigned his commission 14 Dec 1779 and became a traitor for the British cause, was captured in Edenton, NC in 1781 and was executed. Following his resignation, the remains of the 8th Regiment were added to the 2nd North Carolina Regiment.

According to the list of Lt. Colonels on The American Revolution in North Carolina website, Lt. Colonel William Lee Davidson changed regiments several times in his career. Starting out in the 4th North Carolina Regiment as a Major, he received a promotion to Lt. Colonel and transferred to the 5th, the 7th, 3rd, and then the 1st, all between the years of 1777 and 1779. It was noted that he served at the Battle of Monmouth as well. So while Isaac Perkins swore that he saw Asa Spelman while on duty in White Plains, they were both at Monmouth as well.

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 Fold3.com and see if we can find a pension application for Isaac Perkins.

Isaac Perkins, S41953, Image 1/35, www.Fold3.com
North Carolina                    4i666
Isaac Perkins, Image 2/35, www.Fold3.com
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....