A Veteran Seeks His Pension

My ancestor, Jacob Barker, petitioned the court three times, trying to win a pension, as under the law passed in 1832, he would have been entitled to. Effectively, the law was enacted fifty years after the end of the war (1783), limiting the number of pensioners; further, though Jacob received a disabling wound to his leg, he could not prove he’d served for six months altogether, another limitation of the law. He probably was not aware that the state of South Carolina had a record of his service. In the 1840s, neither the railroads nor the telegraph were in practical terms of use to the average person, so a records search in another state would also be too difficult and expensive to bear on a country court case.

This transcript, from my mother’s documents, is listed as R497, fn39SC, originally transcribed by Will Graves. I have added, for readability, more punctuation, and made a few corrections of terminology, people and place names.

State of Illinois, Hambleton [Hamilton] County: On this 27th day of November 1834, personally appeared in open Court before William Allen one of the County Commissioners of the County and State [the] aforesaid Jacob Barker, a resident of the County and State aforesaid aged seventy-one 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 officer and served herein as stated:

 

That in the year 1782, he was drafted for one month under the command of Major Lyles, he then living in South Carolina, Fairfield County, and that he rendezvoused at Colonel John Winn’s [in] Winnsboro, South Carolina. From there they marched to McCord’s Ferry on Broad [in] State of South Carolina, and they laid there something more than one month after which they were dismissed by Major Lyles to return home having served, including the time of marching to and from home a time of one month and some days. And that in the year 1782, he was again drafted for one month, commanded by Major Lyles and that he rendezvoused at Winnsboro, South Carolina; from there they marched, and that they were employed in ranging and scouting through the country in different directions after the Tories, etc., and that they were dismissed from this Tour by [word obliterated] on the Catawba River, South Carolina, a distance of sixty-five or seventy miles from home, having served one month and six days.

And in that same year of 1782 he was again drafted under Captain Bishop and Major Lyles and that they rendezvoused at Winnsboro, South Carolina, and that they were employed in ranging and scouting after the Tories on Little River, Broad River, Catawba River, and the Congaree, Colonel Winn having command of this tour and that they were dismissed on Broad River, South Carolina, near a place called Shyries [Shirers] Ferry, he then returned home having served one month and eight days—and that in the year 1782, he was again drafted under Major Lyles and Colonel Winn and that they were stationed at Colonel Winn’s South Carolina, Fairfield County, after remaining some time at Colonel Winn’s, they were employed in ranging and scouting through the country until their time was out; he then returned home having served one month and nine days, and that again in the year 1782, he was again called out under Lieutenant Lyles, commanded by Colonel David Hopkins, and that they joined General Green [Nathanael Greene], near the Congaree; from there they marched to the Eutaw Springs, where we had an engagement with the British which lasted something over three hours; the militia were commanded at this place by General Pickens; and that after firing the third time, the applicant was shot through the right leg, being then compelled to retire; they then were dismissed and returned home, having served one month and fifteen days; and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure to establish his services; he hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity, except the present and declares that his name is not [on] the agency of any State whatever. Sworn to and subscribed this day and date above written.

 

S/Jacob Barker, X his mark

[David Powell and John Douglass gave the standard supporting affidavit.]

 

Where and in what year were you born?

Answer: In the year 1754.

Have you any record of your age?

Answer: No.

Where were you living when called into service?

South Carolina, Fairfield County.

How were you called into service?

Answer: I was drafted.

Where have you lived since the Revolutionary War?

Answer: From South Carolina, I moved to Livingston County, State of Kentucky; from there to Hopkins County, Kentucky; from there to the State of Illinois, Hambleton County, where I now live.

 

Sworn to the day and year aforesaid:

S/Jacob Barker, X his mark

 

State of Illinois, Hamilton County: September term of the Hamilton Circuit Court.

 

On this 22nd day of September, the year of 1841, at the Hamilton Circuit Court, now in session, the same being a Court of record having a clerk and seal, in open Court, before the Honorable Walter B. Seates, associate Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and Presiding Judge of the Hamilton Circuit Court, appeared Jacob Barker, of Hamilton County, in the State of Illinois aforesaid, about eighty years of age, 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 the 7th, 1832:

 

That he entered the service of the United States under Major Lyles, about the age of 17 years, and served as herein after stated; when he so entered the service of the United States, he lived in Fairfield County in the State of South Carolina, and was drafted into the service from Colonel Winn’s Regiment of Fairfield County militia, and he belonged to the company of Captain Mobesly [Mosely or Mobley?]; that when this declarant was so drafted, he was drafted for a month, but the exact year he does not know from his extreme old age and consequent debility of mind and body, but it was the same year the battle of Ninety-Six was fought, he is quite sure; he cannot recollect the number [of] men that composed the force under Lyles, but to the best of his recollection, there could not be much over 60 or 70, if that; that when the force under Lyles aforesaid, was organized this declarant and the rest of the Company marched from their place of rendezvous in Fairfield County to Ankins [Ancrum’s] Ferry on Broad River, in said County, where they lay for a few days, and then Lyles crossed Broad River, with part of the force, which set out under him to assist the Americans at Ninety-Six; this declarant and several others having stayed behind for the want of arms; and about staying behind at Ancrum’s Ferry as aforesaid, one of those who stayed behind took the smallpox; after this, declarant and some of the others having got arms crossed after Lyles and joined him; Lyles and his force were too late in coming up to be of any assistance to the Americans who were overpowered by the British; the next tour which this declarant took, after Lyles returned from Ninety-Six to Fairfield County and his first tour had expired, was under Captain Hill as a volunteer, and lay part of the time at Lyles Ford on Broad River; and whilst lying there he was wounded in his thigh by a shot fired from a rifle across the River, by which this declarant was disabled for further service for one month at least, but cannot now recollect how long he was on this tour but he is certain that is was on the actual service against the British and Tories from the time his first tour expired until the time he was again drafted shortly before the battle of Eutaw Springs (excepting the time he lost when he was wounded as aforesaid); that shortly before the battle of Eutaw Springs he was again drafted into the service of the United States, and the Regiment to which he was attached was commanded by Colonel David Hopkins and the same Major Manus Lyles was their major, and Captain Bishop was Captain of this declarant’s Company. He was drafted this time for one month, and during this time, the battle of Eutaw Springs was fought; that he marched from Fairfield County aforesaid to the place of rendezvous to join his Regiment and from that marched to join the army under Generals Greene and Pickens; that he was in the battle of Eutaw Springs and under the command of David Hopkins, Colonel of the Regiment as aforesaid; that during the fight this declarant saw General Pickens lying on the road leading to Charleston; he was lying on the ground, when this declarant came up to him and asked him if he was badly wounded; when the General replied, “I am not exactly wounded, but I have been struck by a spent ball, which struck me in the pit of the stomach and has hurt me badly, but I will be up soon again and among you”, or some such words in substance; that this declarant was himself so badly wounded in the battle of Eutaw Springs, in the right leg, that he had to be borne off the field of battle by one Isaac Waggoner, since dead, and a man of the name of James Taylor helped to carry him home to his father’s house, but what has become of said Taylor, this declarant cannot tell, as he has not heard of him for many years, and the last they heard of him was that he had gone from South Carolina, to the State of Missouri; but where he lives or whether he is alive or dead, this declarant cannot tell; that he has no evidence to prove the facts herein stated, but his own oath, that he knows of; that this declarant was disabled from performing further service in consequence of his wounds received in the battle of Eutaw Springs for 9 weeks or thereabouts, and when recovered set out again to join the American Army under Greene and Pickens; but before he could join the Army which was then at [place unknown], peace was proclaimed; that this declarant from his extreme age cannot recollect everything that happened during the time he served, nor dates when things happened, and he is unable either to read or write, or he should have tried sooner for a pension; that he employed a man of the name of Newman Jones 4 or 5 years ago to try and get a pension for him, but has never heard from said Newman more about it; that he to the best of his recollection served the United States for a period not less than 6 months altogether; that he therefore relinquishes all Claim to pension or annuity, except the present and his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State; that is, the declarant cannot state the exact year in which he was born having no record of his age, that he was in his 17th year in the year the battle of Ninety-Six was fought; that he was born in Fairfield County, South Carolina, lived there until 24 years after the battle of Eutaw Springs, then moved into Hopkins County, Kentucky, where he lived about [words obliterated] years, and then moved into County of Hamilton in this state, where he has lived ever since; that he is well known by William Gholson, a clergyman, and William Allen, who is his neighbor, who can state what he knows and believes concerning this declarant’s standing and character for veracity.

Sworn to and subscribed in open Court this 22nd of September, 1841.

S/Jeduthun P. Hardy, Clerk

S/Jacob Barker, X his mark

[William Gholson, a clergyman, and A. D. Grimes gave the standard supporting affidavit.]

State of Illinois, Hamilton County: Before us, two Justices of the Peace in and for said County and State personally appeared Jacob Barker of said County and State, and personally also well known to us, as a person of credibility, who, being of lawful age (88 years old), and first duly sworn, according to law, doth on his oath declare, that he was drafted from the Militia of Fairfield County, in the State of South Carolina in (say) 1780 at home, and taken to Winnsboro, the County seat, and joined the Regiment commanded by Colonel John Winn (Richard Winn his son called General of the forces).

We went to Ancrum’s Ferry under Major [Aromanus Lyles]—continued there two or three weeks—we went then to the aid of the Army at Ninety-Six under Generals Greene and Sumter, then returned to Shirer’s Ferry across Broad River, home again, being out one month. He states that he was carried off again under the command of Captain Brashears, and served one month, then returned home; was called out again under Lieutenant Ephraim Lyles, and under him served 2 tours, one month each time; was called out again under Captain David Mayberry; was out one month through the Country. He states he went out the 6th time under Lieutenant West Daniel, and was out about 35 days and was wounded at the battle of Eutaw Springs by a musket ball, which cut off a piece of one of the bones of the right leg, and passed off through the fleshy part of the leg. He states he was carried off the field, and for 5 weeks, could not mark the ground with his leg. He states it injured him ever since in his farming pursuits materially by lameness. General Greene was there [as] commander in chief and Colonels David Hopkins and Pickens (was wounded in the battle), commanded the South Carolina Militia. He states his reasons for not applying sooner was there was no pension for militia men until the 7th of June 1832, and a want of knowledge, and a competent person, prevented him ever since, and further Deponent saith not.

 

Signed (witnessed):

S/John Braden, Jr.

S/Jacob Barker, X his mark

Sworn and subscribed before us Justices of the Peace as above, on this 16th day of October, 1843.

S/Samuel Wilson, JP

S/John Braden, JP

 

[Veteran’s application was rejected because he failed to allege that he served the required six months of active service.]

     

Links:

Catawba River

Congaree River

Nathanael Greene

Andrew Pickens

Siege of Ninety-Six

Battle of Eutaw Springs

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