Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lawrence County, AL Early Records

From the Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Statements:
With permission from C. Leon Harris.

Pension Application of Frederick Gowen (Going): R4167
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris

The State of Alabama}
County of Lawrence} SS
On this 21 day of March 1838 personally st appeared in the Circuit Court now
holden for the said County of Lawrence Frederick Gowen a free man of Color a resident of said
County of Lawrence aged about 78 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 provision made by
the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832
That he served in the troops of the state of Virginia various terms of duty during the Revolutionary War, of which he will give as precise an account as his memory will permit him. that he was born in Bellfield on Maherin River [sic: Belfield on Meherrin River] in what was called Brunswick County untill after the revolutionary war when that part of it was struck off into a new county called Greensville. He does not know what year he was born as no record of his birth was preserved. I lived in Brunswick when I was drafted under No. 7. was then about 16 years of age but do not recollect how long it was before I was called into service I served as near as I can recollect five tours of duty of six weeks each. The first tour was under Captain James Robertson or Capt. Cock. Nothing memorable happen during this tour. We formed no junction with the regular army but spent the time mostly in Camp at Stone’s Mills [near Jamestown] & Cabin point [in Surry County]
The second tour was under one of the above named Captains. The third or fourth tour of duty was performed under Capt. Lewis[?] House, Major William Boys [sic: Boyce] of Surry and Col Austin commanding. This was about the time of the Battle at Guilford [Guilford Courthouse NC, 15 March 1781]. We had been stationed at Cabin point where I acted as a cook when we received order to march to Petersburg.
On the march I was sent by Major Boys to a house near the road to have some horses fed
and Corporal John Woodruff & a private were sent in company. the only reason I mention this is
that Corporal Woodruff was killed on our arrival in Petersburg. There we found great confusion,
the inhabitants were flying in every direction and our troops were ordered to form.
I was there ordered away with four horses, Maj Bais[?] Col Aufling Capt House & my
own to take care of them somewhere near the rendezvous ground which was in the direction of
Chesterfield Courthouse. I crossed Pocahontas Bridge and while in sight the British commenced
the attack – our troops came up and were preparing to act near Chesterfield Courthouse when
there was an alarm[?] that the British light horse were upon us and we immediately marched and at Richmond fell in with a part of Gen’l. Washingtons command called the Morgan’s army. [See note below.] In a short time I received my discharge & returned home where I found the country in great confusion from the march of the British army through it from Guilford.
I served two tours of duty under Capt. Turner Bynum There was nothing worth
mentioning except in the last We were stationed 30 miles South of Jamestown. Sugar Bynum
brother of the Captain was taken sick an returned home on the captain’s horse. Before the horse
was sent back we were ordered to little York, and I was directed to remain for the horse and
joined the army at York in some 8 or 10 days. I found my company stationed up the river to
prevent the British from returning that way. This was about a week before Cornwallis surrender
[on 19 Oct 1781]. that he has no documentary proof & that he knows of no person whose
testimony he can procure who can testify to his service.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or anuity except the present;
and he declars that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state
Frederick hisXmark Gown

Carmi Illinois 2nd December 1842
Sir [James L. Edwards, Commissioner of Pensions]
An old colored man by the name of Frederick Goin has come here well recommended from Alabama and has applied to me to aid him in geting a pension I suppose from what I can learn that a declaration for him has been forwarded to you from Alabama a few years ago. The object of these lines is to ask information from you whether that is the case and what are the objections that have to be removed before he can get the pension or whether his case is a hopeless one. he is quite inteligent for a person of his colour and age and I cannot doubt but what he served in the Revolution as he represents. That is, that being a free man of color he was subject to militia duty. that he belonged to class No. 7 in his company and was called out to serve five tours of six weeks each under Captains Robinson, Bynum, Cock & House. he resided in Brunswick County Virginia Will you please answer these lines and let me know whether it is likely I can do anything for him Respectfully your ob’t ser’t
Daniel Hay

The British under Lord Cornwallis entered Virginia beginning on 10 May 1781. On the
23 of that month Banastre Tarleton’s f rd eared Legion (probably the “light horse” referred to by Gowen) raided Chesterfield Courthouse and captured many militiamen. The “Morgan’s army” referred to may have been the rifle corps raised and commanded by Gen. Daniel Morgan,
although he did not join the main army under Washington until 6 July.

There is no further information in the file relating to the rejection of this application.

Original documents for the above can be viewed at Footnote.
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1 comment:

  1. The Turner and Bynam families are well represented in Jones Co. MS.
    Seeing the name Turner Bynam on the Pension Application rings true to me.
    Poldi Tonin