|A copy of the following record was obtained
from Leon Sikes, Duplin Co. Historical Society, Rose Hill, NC., |
Records of the Veterans' Administration, Washington, D.C.
State of North Carolina
Present the Worshipful William H. Beatty, Robert Melvin, James MacDuffer, John Melvin Jr., Esquires.
On this the seventh day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, personally appeared in open Court before William H. Beatty, Robert Melvin, James M Duffer, John Melvin Jr. Esquires Justices of the Court of Pleas in Quarter Sessions of Bladen County aforesaid, now sitting, William Pridgeon, a resident of the County of Bladen and State of North Carolina aged one hundred years, the 27th June 1832, 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 officers, and served as herein stated, that he entered his first term of service as a volunteer under the command of Captain Richard Clinton for six months, as a minute man in Duplin County, State of North Carolina, Patrick Steward Lieutenant and Clifton Bowen Esquires. That our company first embodies at Tasslondte Pin River Bridge then in Duplin County but now in Sampson, Duplin County having been since divided, that he does not recollect either the day, month or year when he entered the service, that he believes it was the latter end of summer because in their march they got new cider to drink and that it was towards the spring of the year when he was discharged as on his return the woods were newly burnt that he marched from the Pin Runs bridge (now called Taylor's bridge) to now Wilmington through South Washington New Hanover County. That he remained sometime in and about Wilmington guarding up and down the River (Cape Fear) as it was said and expected that the British would land at the flats below Wilmington and marched up. That while in Wilmington, we received information that the tories were marching and down to Negro-head point near Wilmington commanded by McSead and McDaniel, at which place the British were to meet them, and our officer, received orders from Genl. Caswell to meet his forces at Moores Creek Bridge. Another company commanded by Captain James Love also marched with Capt. Richard Clinton's company from the Pin Runs Bridge aforesaid to Wilmington. Sometime after we arrived at Wilmington a company commanded by a Captain King came there to our assistance. When our officers received the order from Genl. Caswell to meet him at Moores Creek bridge, that they marched with the companies aforesaid across the River (North East, a branch of the Cape Fear) at Negro-head Point, up to Moores Creek bridge, where we arrived a little before Genl. Caswell's army and commenced making entrenchments , but on the same day Genl. Caswell and his army came, and we finished that day one line of entrenchments across the road and encamped there the night before the engagement. After Genl. Caswell and his army crossed the Creek, the bridge was taken up. When morning, before it was light, the tories were firing at us across the creek, and attempted to cross, in which some succeeded and among the rest, McSead who was killed and his army defeated; that from thence we marched back to Wilmington, from thence to Fort Johnson, and from thence to Lockwood's Folly and from thence back to Wilmington backed guarded up and down the River to keep the British from landing and at the expiration of the six months for which he volunteered was discharged there. That he resided in Duplin County in the State of North Carolina when he entered the service where he was born and raised. That he knows of no person who is acquainted with his service during these six months except John Fowler who is a resident of Columbus County in the State of North Carolina aforesaid who is very aged, that he saw him about four years ago when he was blind and very feeble and infirm and that he does not know whether he is alive or not. That he received a written discharge but thinking it of no use, took no care of it.
That he entered a second term of service also as a volunteer under Captain John Mouttin, embodied at a place now called Duplin old Court House, there being two companies, the other under the command of Captain Daniel Williams and both under the command of Col. James Kenan that he marched does not recollect the day month or year or time and perhaps more after he was discharged in Wilmington as above stated, that Thomas James was Lieutenant under Capt. John Mouttin that he marched from thence through Fayetteville in Cumberland County, State of North Carolina aforesaid to Cheraw Hill of Great Pedee in South Carolina that he remained there some time and was occasionally detached against a company of tories commanded by Barfield and Barefoot, that from thence he marched down Pedee toward Georgetown where it was said the British were at that time, that in our march we captured two British spies near Georgetown and brought them on with us to Duplin old Court House from whence we first commenced our march and sent them (the spies) on from thence to Newbern N.C.. That during this time he was in no engagement, that he volunteered for three months and at the expiration thereof was discharged at the same place he entered this term of service, that while at Cheraw there was a regular army stationed above us commanded by Genl. Green, that Col. Kenan frequently sent to Genl. Green for instruction that he has no documentery evidence and that he knows of no person now alive whose testimony he can produce who can testify to this term of service. That soon after his discharge at Duplin old Court House he was taken prisoner by a company of tories commanded by a Cpt. Michael Pearborough and carried to Wilmington N.C. where the Small Pox was raging at that time. That he being anxious to be liberated procured a certain Samuel Newton to apply to an officer of the Tories named Col. Leggett for a permit to pass the guard which Col. Leggett granted and enjoined on him not to take up arms against them any more. That after his discharge from the tories he returned to Duplin, that soon after this there was a call for the militia to march down to the Big Bridge (which is across the North East, a branch of the Cape Fear, about ten miles above Wilmington N.C.) to prevent the enemy from infesting the county as it was expected they would march up. That he volunteered a third time, a horseman in a company commanded by a Col. Young and joined the troop at the Big Bridge in New Hanover County, N.C. and scouted the county towards the sound on the sea coast. That when he returned to the Big Bridge, the British were there and prevented them from crossing over to join the militia encamped on the opposite side of the River under the command of Genl. Lillington, that the other field officers he recollected were Col. James Kenan, Col. Thomas Brown that one of the company officers he recollects was Capt. James Devane, that when the enemy obstructed our passage over the Big Bridge to join the American forces, the troop marched higher up the River and crossed over, that he recollects of seeing Genl. Ashe and Major Moore, that at the Big Bridge there was a short engagement with the enemy, in which several were wounded but never killed, the American retreated that from thence the British returned to Wilmington, where they remained a short time and having that Rutherford and American Officers, with his forces was marching down to Wilmington, the British left there, part marched up through the county across the Big Bridge and up to Rockfish bridge which is across a creek running into the North East a short distance above South Washington in New Hanover County aforesaid, that the militia were called out about this time to meet the British and prevent them from marching up through the County he voluntarily engaged in service again against the enemy, and served a day or two, that he served when in the services mentioned before as one of the troop about a fortnight, that the part of the British that marched up through the County went up by Duplin old Court House and on towards Virginia and that the rest of them embarked on their shipping.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension as amnesty except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.
Question propounded to William Pridgeon this applicant for a pension.
1st. Where and in what year were you born?
Answer. I was born in Duplin County State of North Carolina and am one hundred years of age the 27th June last (1832). I am unlearned and can't tell exactly the year born.
Question 2nd. Have you any record of your age, and if so, where is it?
Answer. No; not now, but it was recorded in a Bible belonging to Abram Sellers who removed to Georgia and carried the Bible which contained the second of my age with him.
Question 3rd. Where were you living when called into service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live?
Answer. In Duplin County N.C. on a creek called Cunwhiffle. Since the Revolutionary war I have lived in Duplin County, N.C. in Brunswick County N.C. and in the County of Bladen N.C. and I now live in the County of Bladen N.C. about two miles and a half from Elizabeth Town.
Question 4th. How were you called into service. Were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute? And if a substitute, for whom?
Answer. I was a volunteer, I was neither drafted nor substituted.
Question 5th. State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served, such continental and militia regiments as you can recollect and the general cirmucmstances of your services.
Answer. I did not serve with any regular officers as I know of. The regiments I recollect were the followers commanded by Col. James Kenan, one by Caswell, one by Col. Thomas Bloodworth who was commander of the militia of New Hanover County N.C. The general circumstances of my service are stated in the foregoing declaration.
Question 6th. Did you ever receive a discharge from the service, and if so, by whom was it given and what has become of it?
Answer. I do not recollect to have received any but one discharge and that was given me by Captain Richard Clinton at the end of my six months term of service, but thinking it of no account or advantage to me I either lost or dislodged it.
Question 7th. State the names of the persons to whom you know in your present neighborhood, and who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your service, as a soldier of this revolution?
Answer. I have only been in my present neighborhood about three months and that those few who know me in that neighborhood are John Ives McMillan, Jonathan Meases, Agnes McMillan and Duncan McMillan, Archibald Murphy and the persons with whom I was acquainted in the neighborhood where I lived before I came to my present are numerous. Some of them are William H. Beatty, Daniel Melvin, Robert Melvin, Malcolm McInnes, James McDuffie, Peter Cromartie, James Cromartie, Hugh Murphy, and George Downing. I believe all the foregoing persons will testify to my character for veracity and that they believe I was a soldier of the Revolution.
Sworn to and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid.