JAMES COLE'S REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION APPLICATION - 1832
( James & Stephen Cole are sons of John and Jane Bounds Cole of Richmond County, NC )

Contributed by: Helen Lowe of Amarillo, Texas --- Posted October 21, 2005 by Myrtle Bridges



Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress June 7th A. D. 1832.

State of Tennessee
Carroll County

On this 10th day of December A. D. 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the 
Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County of Carroll now sitting. James Cole, a resident of the 
County & State aforesaid seventy seven 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 was born in the State of Virginia, County of Bedford, on the 5th Sept. A. D. 1755 and has now in 
possession the record of his age in the hand writing of his father who removed from said County & State 
in the year 1756 to the County of Anson then, now Richmond, State of North Carolina, when claimant resided 
until his Draft in Spring of 1776 and where he continued to reside until Spring 1831 when he removed to 
his present residence. In Spring of '76, supposed to be in the month of June, perhaps May in obedience to 
his Draft he marched under Capt. …., Davidson Lieut., and David Love, Colonel, against the Cherokee Indians, 
who, at that time, in the service of the British were butchering and scalping the white settlers in the 
Western part of N. Co., and proceeding on to Pleasant Garden, joined Gen'l Griffin Rutherford's army, and 
then through a … and mountainous country, by aid of Pilots marched on to the Indian settlements, and with 
the loss of few lives, destroyed some twelve or fifteen of their towns and perhaps as many of their men, 
but had no general engagements, as they generally fled at the approach of our Army: This done marched back 
and was discharged some time in the latter part of the month of October, or fall of November following, 
which is believed to be full six months from time of Draft, to time of discharge.

The Claimant states, that from the time of his discharge aforementioned, until the year 1780 he stood 
several Drafts, but was fortunate enough to escape being drafted, and volunteered in 1780 and was engaged 
in procuring and driving beef to Gen'l Gate's Army at Camden and was about a days ride of Camden when Gates 
was defeated. At and after this time the Tories became so numerous, bold and troublesome in this section, 
that claimant was compelled for safety to flee his county and went into the County of Wake, N.C. where he 
was taken sick of fever and continued so for about two months, when, getting well, he returned to his County 
of Anson, now Richmond, and volunteered under Capt. Crawford, and was again engaged in driving cattle for 
about two months, but for Gen'l Greene's Army, he thinks in 1781. From this time he was constantly in the 
service under Colonels Wade, Crawford, Williams and Childs, Maj. Wall, Captain Dejarnatt, Col, Marthen and 
others names not now recollected. Alternately now with one and then with another, and was in the first 
engagement with the Tories at Beaty's Bridge on Drowning Creek; in which battle the Tories were successful. 
They were commanded by Cols. Fanning and McNeill and we by Cols. Wade and Crawford. This engagement took 
place perhaps July 1781.  He was not in the second engagement at Beaty's Bridge  which took place a short 
time after the first, perhaps a month or two, having been taken sick, a day or two before, while on his way 
to the place.

After this, Claimant was engaged in scouting the country where circumstances required, upon Drowning Creek 
and Little Pee Dee and other places, but was in no engagements until several months after news of the 
surrender of Cornwallis, the Tories considering theirs a desperate case if taken still continued their 
depravations, and these were truly "times that tried men's souls."

This Claimant states that he got but one discharge that he now recollects and that was from Captains Hay, 
but took no special care of it, considering it of but little value and knows not what has become of it. 
That he has no documentary evidence whereby to prove the foregoing service, and knows of no person whose 
testimonies he can procure on this course who can testify to his services, except Matthew Covington whose 
affidavit is annexed, who can testify only to the service against the Cherokee Indians.

Claimant refers to the following gentlemen, his neighbors, who can testify to his character for veracity.  
Namely, Col. John Clark, Matthew Covington, William L., McNeill, & Thomas Crawford, all of whom were well 
acquainted with him in North Carolina, and since his removal to this place, but knows of no clergyman near 
him who was acquainted with him in North Carolina and in fact there is none near him who have become, 
particularly acquainted with him since he came to this country.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares 
that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State. Claimant verily believes and knows 
that the whole ans. of his actual service amounts to & exceeds two years. James Cole.
Sworn and subscribed in open Court the day and year first mentioned by and before E. Gwin, Clk.

We, John Clark & William L. McNeill & Matthew Covington residing in the County of Carroll, State of 
Tennessee, hereby certify, that we are well acquainted with James Cole, who has subscribed & sworn to 
the above declaration; that we believe him to be 77 years of age, that he is reputed and believed in 
the neighborhood where he has resided, and in that where he now resides, to have been a soldier of the 
Revolution and that we concur in that opinion. Sworn & subscribed in open Court the day and Year above 
mentioned by and before Edward Gwin, Clerk. (Signed) John Clark, Wm. L. McNeill & Matthew Covington.

And the said County do hereby declare their opinion, after the investigation of the matter and after 
putting the interrogations prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a 
Revolutionary Soldier and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that John Clark, William 
L. McNeill and Matthew Covington, who have signed the preceding certificate are residents of the County 
of Carroll and are credible persons and that their statements is entitled to credit. J. Edward Gwin. 
Thom Hamilton, J. P., (name illegible)…. Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County 
of Carroll, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceeding of the said Court in 
the matter of the application of James Cole for pension. 
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal of Office this 10th day of December A. D. 1832. 
Edward Gwin, Clerk.

State of Tennessee Carroll County On this 10th day of December A. D. 1832 personally appeared in open court, before the Justice of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions now sitting Matthew Covington, aged about 72 years who being first duly sworn according to Law, deposeth and saith, that he was well acquainted with James Cole who subscribed and sworn to the foregoing declaration, prior to the Revolutionary War, that the said Cole was one of Captain Hay's men in the expedition against the Cherokee Nation in 1776, and that he frequently heard of him during the whole of the Revolutionary War, perhaps was with him occasionally, and knows him to have been a true and faithful friend to the United States of America and actively engaged in her service. Matthew Covington. Sworn to and subscribed in open court, this 10th day of December A. D. 1832 before E. Gwin, Clerk
James Cole's Second Deposition. Amended Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, A. D. 1832. (much of this record is smudged and illegible) State of Tennessee Carroll County. On this 9th day of December 1833 personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions of said County now sitting James Cole, who states that he is the same person who made in this court his original declaration in order to obtain its benefits of said Act of Congress on the 10th day of December 1832 and his first amended declaration on this 9th day of September 1833; and ….for further amendment to the same and being still a resident citizen of said County of Carroll having been first duly sworn, he states that by ….of his old age this great lapse of time and his requirement for best of recollection and his cannot state at this present time when he entered into the services of the United States in 1780 or the precise duration of his service the first and succeeding tours as required by Law directed to him from the commissioners of pensions, but endeavoring to comply with that directive he will state such times and circumstances as he can recollect striving to attempt to illustrate the points to which his attention has been called as aforesaid This applicant in the month of May 1780 resided in Anson County No. Carolina, near the counties of Richmond, Cumberland and Moore in said State, and in consequence of applicant's sincere devotion to the American Cause manifested by conveying intelligence of the 1780 he again joined Capt. Wade's company of mounted gunners which was by that time reorganized and the Regiment commanded by Col. Crawford. From this time (1st Nov. 1781 applicant was constantly in the service until the Spring of 1782 (month or day not recollected) under the officers for the purposes and in the reason stated in his original declaration. And so this applicant states that he served this United States as a private soldier six months against the Cherokee Indians, and afterwards he was in the service as stated in this amended declaration from two to three months before the Battle of Camden, and about eighteen months after that went as herein before particularly stated, making in all to the best of his knowledge, belief and recollection at least two years and two months. This applicant knows of no person whose testimony can prove his service, except those to whom applicant will herewith transmit, to wit, Matthew Covington, Stephen Cole and Samuel Watkins; the affidavits of the two latters of whom he has been able to procure since the preparation of his original declaration. Sworn to and subscribed in open court the day and year aforesaid. James Cole. Edward Gwin, Clerk.
Stephen Cole's Affidavit Concerning James Cole's Revolutionary Service. 1833 State of Tennessee Robertson County Personally appeared before me John Hutchison, a Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid Stephen W. Cole, who being first sworn deposes and sayeth that he was born in the State of North Carolina, Anson County, on the 16th day of May in the year of 1760 and now a resident of Robertson County, State of Tennessee who testifying as to the service of his brother James Cole in the revolution states that from the long lapse of time and from old age and consequent loss of memory he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of service of this James Cole, nor all the general occurrences of his service, the actual situation of the country in which we then resided and defended it in such as to render it impossible to explain with precision the length of service of the said James Cole as any other pension in that section of country for a necessity of the citizens of that section were Tories, and from the commencement of the war until the close we were in the actual service of the United States in some way for we were obliged to be in actual service in their army or in scouting ….for we were not at home in any employ whatever, for them that attempted the likewise either killed by the Tories or taken prisoner and surrendered to the British, and numbers of those taken or surrendered to the British were … and consequently myself, brother James Cole and some ten or dozen of others came to the conclusion and entered into a … that we never would surrender under any circumstances whatever, but would stand up in the defense of the country as long as we could find ground to stand on or die in the attempt, consequently to the best of my recollection our service was as follows, to wit,….He states that his brother James Cole was a resident of North Carolina (then) Anson County and that he was drafted to the best of my recollection and enlisted the service of the United States in the year 1776, but the precise month he does not recollect this deponent states that his brother James Cole, together with himself sined [signed] together under Capt. William Hay, in a Regiment commanded by Col. David Love, Major Davidson under Gen'l Rutherford in a Campaign against the Cherokee Indians and several … four months and am of the opinion longer, but cannot testify in the positive that that fact. Again from the best of my recollection my brother James Cole in the year 1777 latter part or in the first part of the year 1778 in the County and State aforesaid volunteered his service and entered the service of the United States as appropriate under myself as Captain of a Volunteer Campaign and at different times and various places and served under different officers though a considerable portion of North and South Carolina (to wit.) Col. Crawford, Major Wall, Col. Childs, Col. Wade, Col Speed, Col. Medlock, Col. Williams, Col. Donaldson according as we would and could fall into the different armies at different places, and when and where we would fall into any branch of the army we would serve and were commanded by our superior officers, and were subject to their orders, commands, and when in our own district we were commanded by Gen'l Harrington served in various little skirmishes during our service but in no general engagement in one of those skirmishes with a party of Tories my Lieutenant Israel Medlock* was killed at Betty's Bridge** on Drowning Creek which divided the Counties of Anson, Cumberland, Montgomery, Richmond and Moore, it is impossible to define the length of the service of James Cole, myself and company under an particular Commanding Col or General unless we had been kept a journal for our services were employed in scouting and spying expeditions across the country in various directions from one army to another ascertaining the situation of the country and the movements of the enemy and conveying the intelligence from our branch of the army to another and until the war was ended or until the year 1783 perhaps in February making the service of my brother James Cole as a private in the Revolutionary War of the United States not less than five years. I have a personal knowledge of his service having served with him, we marched from Anson County, North Carolina when we entered the service through a considerable portion of both North and South Carolina at various times …. As necessity would require and further this deponent saith not. Stephen Cole. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th June 1833. John Hutchison, Justice of the Peace. *Note: An administrators bond dated 6 Oct 1782 shows Stephen Cole obtained the rights to administer on the estate of Israel Medlock, deceased. Stephen Cole, John Chiles and James Cole are bound to Alexander Martin, Esquire, Governor in the sum of one hundred pounds. Richmond County Estate Records Book III - Bridges **Note: On Saturday night August 4, 1781, Wade met the Tories at Beatty's Bridge on Drowning Creek. A sharp skirmish followed, with rifles cracking on both sides of the creek until nearly midnight. Soon the Tories had enough fighting and retreated, their losses amounting to twelve men killed and fifteen wounded. None of Wade's men had been killed, and only four had suffered wounds. Most of the time, however, Major Craig managed to keep the Whigs of eastern North Carolina off balance. He announced that he would seize and sell the property of all those who resisted British measures. By August 1, 1781, he declared, all the inhabitants of the area were to come into Wilmington and take the oath of allegiance to George III. If they refused, they would be suspected as being enemies of the King, and would be in danger of having their property confiscated and losing their lives. Few Whigs came in to take the oath. On August 1st, Craig marched out on an expedition to punish all those who had not complied with his requirements. Source: North Carolina in the American Revolution by Hugh F. Rankin - Department of History Tulane University.
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