Pvt. George Hardwick of Virginia Revolutionary War Soldier Application for Pension


Although you may not have HARDWICK in your line... the below should be interesting for its content regarding military service at Valley Forge during the Revolution. George Hardwick is not mine either but I haven't come across any military file from the National Archives that gave me so much information of general interest.

George Hardwick was born Aug 31, 1759 in Amherst Co., VA and while a resident of Bedford Co., VA he enlisted in Apr 1777. Following is the transcript of pension file for Pvt. George Hardwick (#S.8674) who served from Lawrence Co., KY.

"On the 13th day of Mar 1834, personally appeared before the undersigned a Justice of the Peace for said county now sitting, George Hardwick, resident in the county of Lawrence and state of Kentucky, aged seventy-five years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of an act of Congress dated Jun 7, 1832, that he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. To wit, under Col. Lynch and Captain George Lambert in Apr 1777 in Bedford Co., Virginia. The object was to join the northern Army. Lambert was a recruiting officer. He had recruited in Amherst Co., Virginia, he and Harman King and William Parish enlisted in state troops of Virginia for two years at the place and time before set forth (Apr 1777), he was immediately after the company filed (?) marched to Amherst Co., Virginia, from there to Albermarle to the barracks, from this place he was marched to the north to join the army under Washington. Before the Virginia troops reached the Potomac they all united, there was some difficulty about crossing the river. At length they all got over safe and went over into the State of Maryland and crossed a river some distance in that state, the name of which he has forgotten. After some time he was marched into the State of Pennsylvania near Lancaster and crossed the Susquehannah River in that state and the Schoolkile also, or rather went down it and in June he was marched into the city of Philadelphia. The British were about this time on their way to take Philadelphia. The most of the regular army were then in New Jersey that joins Pennsylvania, thence many regiments of Militia daily arriving. He was not quartered right in the city but was quartered in the suburb of the city. He remained but a short time. He was then marched over into the state of New Jersey and joined the army from New Jersey. The which army crossed a large river and in July or August he thinks the British marched toward Philadelphia. In the same month the two armies had a desperate battle ensued in which the Americans were defeated. He was in the battle of Germantown in the same year in which place the American forces were also defeated. The British were now in possession of Philadelphia and kept it that year. The American army marched off the battle ground and left the British in the possession of Germantown and no more battles ensued that year between Washington and the British Troops. During that year he staid in winter quarters at Valley Forge where his Captain Lambert was tried for stealing a hat and was ? and he left the army. This will be found to be the fact by reference to his case. This applicant was permitted to come home to Virginia to see his parents. He did so and came home with Captain Lambert. Many came home on paroles to see their friends and families. He has forgotten the month he got back but believes it was in Mar 1778. He remained at home he thinks about 4 or perhaps 5 weeks when he returned to the service. Those belonging to Virginia in upper counties in Campbell, Prince Edward and Bedford Co. that were out on parole were ordered to join Capt. Nathaniel Rice, an officer belonging to the Virginia establishment. He went into the service under him at Prince Edward Courthouse, Virginia. From there he was marched directly to old Jamestown on the River and marched for the North to headquarters. He marched through Maryland into Pennsylvania though by the way of Wilmington in Delaware or Pennsylvania, he forgets which. He then marched to Philadelphia the American army having made them give that place up. He came up with the main army after incessant marching under General Washington. This was but two days before the battle of Monmouth in which he was in. This battle was faught sometime in the summer of 1778. In July he thinks, but the length of time being so long, he cannot remember positively everything or one tenth that occurred for he was young and soldiers knew nothing but the order of their officers. From this place he was marched back to Philadelphia where he remained until October 1778 when he was marched with many of the Virginia troops back to that state. He marched directly to Prince Edward where the troops arrived early in the winter. The troops brought along with them some British prisoners and there being so also at Prince Edward Courthouse where there was a barracks kept. He guarded the prisoners in the barracks at Prince Edward Courthouse until his time expired. The spring following he thinks in April or May 1779, he was discharged from the service of the state for two years service and his discharge was signed by Nathan Rice at Prince Edward Courthouse 2 yrs.

In the Spring 1780, in March, a call was made for men to engage to go to Kentucky which at that time was a part of Virginia. He engaged as a volunteer under Capt. Charles Gwatkins (?). His name was always pronounced Watkins but he spelled his name Gwatkins. The company consisted of thirty-three men. It was in Bedford the company started from. Gwatkins lived in that county also in March 1780 as ? he marched across the blue ridge and through the western part of Virginia, crossed New River and marched on to Powels? Valley. There was in this valley but a few settlers and they were chiefly all ?. He states there was no settlement from Cumberland Gap to Boonsboro on the Kentucky River, a distance between one and two hundred miles and that an entire wilderness. On the way the company would sometimes keep ? old track, but generally keep off of it for fear of the Indians. He at length arrived at Boonsboro in the month of April 1780 about the 20th. The buckeye and sugar trees were the only timber? Col. Boone was in the first ? and Col. Dick Callaway also. There was not more than thirty? men in the first ? and the company of Gwatkins who was a son-in-law of Col. Dick Callaway, was raised for the express purpose of protecting Boonsboro.

The Company divided into scouting parties and while the settlers were at work making corn? the powder had got scarce and he was sent up to three? forks of Kentucky River at a salt? cave about 2 miles up the north fork and on the north side of the Kentucky River but three went, to wit Elaunders Callaway a brothers son of Col. Callaway and Benjamin Dunaway. This was in the month of July 1780. We arrived at the afso place and worked hard and made enough powder to do the fort. The powder was carried down in a canoe down the Kentucky river during this time? No Indians molested us from making powder. In Sep 1780 we got back to the fort and continued to scout until the leaves were all fallen. The Indians did not annoy or attack the fort or kill any of the settlers that winter 1780 but in Oct past he went with Boone to the Blue Licks at the lower to make salt forts? and the Indians broke us up and took several and all the kettles. He returned to Boonsboro by himself through the woods and this winter he stayed there and as he has before stated, no interference took place with fort by the Indians either to the fort or the settlement around. He remained guarding the fort and on constant duty until his time of service expired in March 1781. He received his discharge from Qwatkins at Boonsboro. He knew during his service in the fort many officers and persons that he will not mention a few of them. Col Callaway, Col Ben Logan were all the officers in commission that were in the fort. Sometime there were many private individuals who sometimes acted as officers but who were not commissioned as he understood. John Holder, Nicholas Anderson, John Smith, Michael Stoner, Flanders Calaway, Simon Kenton, Whitson George, John George and Squire Boone. Many others that he could not mention as a great many persons moved to Kentucky in the year 1780. A man by the name of Hoy? he during this last years service after he got into the district of Kentucky, marched only in Kentucky. The circumstances of his service are as above detailed. He served with no Continental Regiments or companies during his service.

In the month of May 1781 he went back to Virginia to Bedford Co., Virginia. He in August 1781 substituted for three months for David Wade (Wadetown?) under Capt. Jacob Moon?. Col. Blueford? was William Williams the place of ? was at new Sondon? in Campbell once in Bedford. And from this place he marched as hard as he could to York. His company marched directly for the American army. The militia was flocking in every day. On the 12th of Sep he joined the American line under Washington and the French Officer where he remained during the whole siege and until Lord Cornwualles (sic) surrendered. He witnessed the surrender. He was not in the storm of Pigeon Hole ? which took place a few days before the surrender but was in all the balance of the conflict during the time the siege lasted. After the surrender he was marched with some prisoners to Albermarle Barracks and there deposited them and on Nov 19th day he received his discharge for his three months of substitution for David Wade. That discharge he gave to Mr. Wade on his return to Bedford. He knew many continental officers and regiments. He knew Gen. Lafayette, Gen. Sloling?, Gen. Cadwalenden?, Gen. Smallwood, Col. Ben Williams, Gen. Locke?, Gen. Mullenburg?, Col. Blueford and many others that he has seen. The ? between an officer and soldier was such as not to leave very expressive recollection about them. There was no intimacy between a soldier and an officer. He has no documentary evidence in his favor. His discharge was destroyed in Clark Co., Kentucky on ? and every paper he had were destroyed by fire. Which fact are well known to the Hon. Henry Daniel, the former representative to Congress and by Amos Davis the present. ? he thinks knowing the fact from having heard so ever since he was a boy, and many others. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension and annuity except the present and declares his name is not on the pension role of the agency of any state. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Where and in what year were you born? Ans. In Amherst Co., Virginia on the 31st of Aug 1759.

Have you any record of your age and if so where is it? Ans. He had which was taken from his fathers record in his Bible which was burnt in his home in Clark, Kentucky.

How were you called into service? Were you drafted? Did you volunteer or were you a substitute and if a substitute, for whom? Ans. By enlistment for two years the first time. I volunteered for 1 year the second time and a substitute for David Wade the third.

State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served such continental and militia regiments as you recollect and the ? circumstances of your service? Ans. When the army in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, he saw very many regular officers to wit Gen. Heath, Gen. Sterling(?), Col. Lee, Gen. Lee, Gen. Greene, Gen. Lawson, Col. Morgan, Gen. Mercer(?), Gen. Williams, Maj. Anderson, Capt. John H. Allen, and many brigadiers? Besides there was Col. Cateron?, Maj. Callow?, Col. McBride, Col. Dasfield, Col. Bradford, Col. Stansbury, Col. Johnson, Col. Henry T. Clary, Capt. John Garfe?, Col. Clayton, Capt. Jesse Kincaid, Col. Buford, Col. Mays, Col. Paxton, Col. Moore, Col. Dawson, Capt. Rice, Col. Brown, Col. Smith, Maj. James, Capt. John T. Dean, Capt. Robert T. Dollyhom, Col. Pikring?, Col. Chiles?, all belonging to the militia regiments. Some lived in Pennsylvania, some in New Jersey, some in Virginia, some in Maryland and Connecticut as he was told. When he Kentucky he knew Gen. Clark, Col. Boone, Col. Frig? and ? were killed in the battle of the blue licks. He was in that battle also. The circumstances of his service are these. In 1777 he enlisted in Bedford Co., Virginia for two years. He was marched to the north. He was in Philadelphia before and after it was taken by the British, he was in the Battle of Germantown, Monmouth and also at Brandywine under Gen. Wayne and he wintered one winter at the Valley Forge where the American army wintered. He was in the service 2 years the first time and was discharged at Prince Edward Courthouse in Virginia. He volunteered and went to Kentucky to the relief of Boonsborough in 1780 and served there one year and came home to Virginia and substituted three months time for David Wade and was at the siege of York when Cornwallis was taken. He was discharged at Albermarle Barracks and then came to Bedford.

War Dept. Pension Office - The evidence in support of your claim under Act of June 7, 1832 has been examined and the papers are herewith returned.

George was allowed pension on his application Mar 13, 1834.
Continental Army at Valley Forge:
A new archaeological study has shed more light on the daily life of the foot soldier who formed the bulk of the Continental Army wintering at Valley Forge.

Most school children are familiar with the story of how the poorly clad soldiers suffered through the cruel winter of 1777-1778 huddled in wooden huts, while snow lay 6" on the ground. The park at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania through exhibits and reconstructions, shows how the Continental Army came in as a rag-tag group of unorganized farmers and shop owners and left as a well-trained fighting force.

Valley Forge has lots of records about what the officers had at dinner, their parties, and what George Washington was doing, but virtually no record of what the man in the army had to live on. The park archaeologist is in the process of editing a 332 page final report on the high-tech study begun in 1986.

The new study, in a wooded, grassy area in the center of the park, used relatively non-invasive techniques, along with some excavation, to locate the billets of soldiers. The information gleaned has helped archaeologists and historians determine the internal structure of the army units.

When the army arrived at Valley Forge, outside of Philadelphia on December 19, 1777, there were about 12,000 soldiers, plus thousands more wives, children and camp followers. It was the third largest English-speaking settlement in the country. In the winter, numbers fell because of death from typhus, typhoid, dysentery and pneumonia, from desertions, or leave granted to those who lived nearby. During the spring of 1778, the ranks swelled again to about 18,000 when Valley Forge became a staging area for the summer campaign. It was not a randomly-built encampment, but one structured in a series of about 16 brigades. The area of archaeological investigation was a 150 x 600 ft. area occupied by Conway's Brigade. There were about 700 people there and they quartered them at least 10 people to a hut. Officers lived slightly apart. It is estimated that there were about 80 or 90 of those huts, but only six were found. Some huts were 7 ft x 10 ft and others were 20 ft x 10 ft. Still others were 16 ft. x 18 ft.

The artifacts found were extremely unspectacular. Ceramics were mostly fragments of common locally produced bowls known as redware. In 2 of 4 garbage pits uncovered there were animal bones and one fish spine. At the time, the shad came up the Schuylkill River nearby to spawn. Folklore has it that the British downriver in Philadelphia tried to build a fish dam to keep the fish from coming upriver to feed the soldiers at Valley Forge.

Researchers did find that all their food remains were boiled or burned until they were tiny fragments, so they were getting every last bit out of everything they got. They had a pretty hard winter there.

In one hut they found a 6" cannon ball in the base of a fireplace. Presumably they were using that to retain heat so when the fire ran low the heat absorbed by the cannonball was radiated back into the hut.

With plenty of time on their hands until mid-June when the dirt roads finally dried out for the summer campaign, the soldiers spent their time making musket balls. A lot of little blobs of lead were found. Also found was about 40 buttons or fragments, but only two with any decoration. Most buttons were made of pewter, a cheap metal that deteriorates quickly in the ground.

The Continental Army couldn't afford anything better than the absolute minimum of necessities as evidenced by the plain, simple, ungarish, low level of material wealth that they possessed there.

It was the most intensive archaeological examination on the face of the earth according to Allen Cooper, park archaeologist.
Society of Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge:
Direct descendants over 18 years of age of a soldier serving in the U. S. Continental Army at Valley Forge under Gen. George Washington during 1777-1778 are eligible to join the Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge, PO Box 915, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0915.

Send e-mail to Shirley hornbeck@s-hornbeck.com