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WILLIAM ARMSTRONG S30831

State of Kentucky, Caldwell county, SS. On this 20th day of August 1832 personally appears in open court before William Lauder, Morton A. Rucker, Coleman Ratliff, and James Weller, justices of the county court of said county, now sitting at the courthouse in ( ?).

William Armstrong, a resident of said county of state, age seventy nine years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make this following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed January 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and serves as herein stated. That in the year 1780 in the county of Lincoln, state of North Carolina (where he then lived) he was drafted in the militia of that state for a three month tour against the British in South Carolina. That he was commissioned the Captain of the company from Lincoln and commanded as such in the expedition that the rendezvous of the troops wans near Charlotte, and his company was placed in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Alexander and Gen. Griffith Rutherford commanded the Brigade, and Wm Rankin was Lieutenant of that company. From Charlotte we marched down the Yadkin river and there across Black river to Rugley's Mill (a tory) and there encamped for the night, but about 12 at night, the line of march was again formed and we proceeded towards Camden that same night the advanced guard had skirmishing with the enemy guards. That we joined the main army during the night and at dawn of day, the battle of Camden commenced. That Rutherford's brigade and perhaps others were divided into platoons before the battle began and the Captains had command of their platoons instead of their companies; and that this applicant commanded a platoon on that memorable day, instead of his company. He states that he fought during the whole of the battle and knows he done his duty. The battle lasted but a short time, yet long enough to defeat Gen. Gated, who according to general opinion, acted dastardly on that occasion. The Continental troops or a portion of them was commanded by Gen. De Kalb, who was killed in that engagement and I well remember, he was much lamented, and his untimely fall produced much sympathy. I remember my own feelings to this day and the circumstances are fresh in my remembrance. I will mention that on our way to Camden about 40 prisoners (British and tory) were committed to my charge as Captain of the company, who were guarded by my company until they were sent( above?) here for safekeeping. That shortly after the battle, I and my company were discharged by Col. Dixon (if I mistake not) after having served our term of service. At this time the tories were very numerous and had almost overrun the country. I was appointed Captain of my company in Lincoln, and shortly after the battle of Camden I called out my company to volunteer in defense of the county but to my mortification I found but twelve men good and true the rest having joined the tories. With these I again entered the service as Captain and immediately joined Colo. Dixon and remained under him for about two years. During which time my company was sometimes large & then smaller, as I could get men to serve; and during all the time the service was most dangerous and laborious. The tories had the (?) in point of numbers, and many times we were unable to approach them and frequently had to act defensively, owing to the want of men. The force under Colo. Dixon were incessantly employed against the tories and scouting parties of the British marching from point to point as occasion required to relieve the country, and had many skirmishes and engagements. Frequently I acted in the capacity of a spy, and had command of a spy company. I sometimes had only eight men under me, and was sent out to (Saris's, Savis's ?) Mill in Rowan County for the purpose of discovery, and on arriving there we found 42 footmen & 15 dragoons there before us. They had discovered our approach and lay in ambush & fired on us as we entered the creek, and we were obliged to retire through a contiguous old field and reserved our fire for more urgent necessity, as we expected to be pursued, but strange as it may seem, when we reached the other side of the field, we halted and looked back and discovered the enemy retreating in some haste. This movement of theirs was unaccountable, unless they supposed a larger force was near at hand. They threw out their forage & precipitortely retreated and we in turn pursued them five or six miles, and might have killed and taken them all, if Colo. Dixon had sent reinforcements as I had requested by messenger but the reinforcements did not arrive in time to effect the object. About this time our service was uncommonly severe Cornwallis was marching through the country from Charlestown toward Virginia, and almost everyday we encountered some scouting party, and not with standing all our exertions the country suffered much, and it was impossible for our force to afford complete protection to the inhabitants. I myself suffered materially by them, having while out in service, been robbed of everything I had, and having lost five horses at one time by the tories. I continued under Colonel Dixon, in the service till the close of the war,(???????), indeed near three years but the precise time, he cannot fix. I forgot to name one circumstance : At the battle of Ramsour's, Gillefall commanded the wigs, and was killed there, ours, the regiment to which I belonged would have been in the action, but the express did not arrive in time this action was fought the 20th of June, as well as I remember. I was a captain, regularly commissioned as such during all the time of my service in the revolution, which could not be much short of three years. I could name many persons who served with me in the revolution, but I suppose they are all dead. I know of none living. In the Camden expedition one Cathey & Rutlege served in my company, and whether they are dead is a little uncertain but I suppose they are as I have not heard from them in a great while. I further state, that I know of no person now living who has a personal knowledge of my service there is an old acquaintance (an old soldier too) living in as adjoining county, Livingston, named Tho. Brashier, who knew me in South Carolina, particularly since the war, and by him (and others) I can prove my character and standing in that county, and by him I suppose I can prove the existence once, of my said commissions as a Captain in the revolution, which I kept many years, whose affidavit I can probably procure. I further declare that I have no documentary evidence in my possession now which would prove my service as I have lost my said commission a good many years ago, nor do I know of any such evidence, unless the Secretary's office of North Carolina will (affirm?) it, but I have no means of examining it. He here by relinquishes every claim what ever to a pension on annuity except the present and (declares?) that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state whatever. And the said court propounded the several interrogatories as directed by the war department, and answered as follows:

Question 1. Where and what year were you born?
Answer I was born at Frog's marrow, State of Pennsylvania on the 14th of February 1753

Question 2. Have you any record of your age, and if so where is it?
Answer I have my Father's record of my age, drawn off ina Bible of my own, at my own house.

Question 3. Where were you living when called into service, where have you lived since the Revolutionary war and where do you now live?
Answer I was living in the county of Lincoln, State of North Carolina (to which I had moved from Pennsylvania when quite young) when I first entered the service, and after the war I moved from there to Greenville district, South Carolina (and the reason of my moving was this: I could not live in a neighborhood where nearly all had been tories there was no good blood between whig & tory). I lived in Greenville district until about thirty years ago, when I moved to this county & here I have lived ever since.

Question 4. How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer, were you a substitute, and if a substitute for whom?
Answer I was drafted in the expedition to Camden, but for the rest of my service I volunteered.

Question 5. State the names of the regular officers who were with the troops when you served, such Continental and militia regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service.
Answer I served all together in the militia and with the militia except in the Camden expedition, and there I knew Gen. Gates, DeKalb and several others, but I was only a short time in Gate's army and did not become acquainted either with the officers or regiments, except the head commanders. (He has provided and related the general circumstances of his service substantially as is set forth above).

Question 6. Did you ever receive a commission, and if so by whom was it signed and what has become of it?
Answer I did receive a commission as captain ,signed by Governor Caswell, as well as I now remember, Of North Carolina, under which I held the office of captain during all my service. After my Camden expedition I was recommissioned, by Governor (Burke?) as I think, and under the last commission I performed the volunteer service, which commissions are both worn out and lost.

Question 7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood in your present neighborhood who can testify as to your character for (?) and of their belief of your service as a soldier of the revolution.
Answer I have lived so long (?) them I reckon they all would vouch for me. I will name Hon. C. Lyon, (Bou?) G. Rice, (?) B Penberton, George Robertson, and Rev. John Barnett and others if the court require it.

Sworn to and subscribed
the day and year aforesaid
  his
William Armstrong
mark
Mr. John Burnett, a clergyman residing in the county Caldwell and state of Kentucky, and George Robison and Kinsay Robison residing in the same county, do hereby certify, that we are well acquainted with William Armstrong who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be seventy nine years of age, that he is reported and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concur in that in that opinion, and we further certify that owing to the palsy in his hands and arms, he is unable to write his name.

Sworn to and subscribed
the day and year aforesaid
  John Barnett
George Robison
Kinsay Robison

And the said court do hereby declare their opinion after the investigation of the matter, And after (?) the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant (Wm Armstrong) was a solider of the revolution and served as he Stated. And the court further certifies that it appears to them, that John Barnett who has signed the (precceding?) certificate is a clergyman, resident in the said county of Caldwell, and that George Robertson & Kinsay Robertson, who have also signed the same are residents of the same county and are credible persons, and that their statements is entitled to credit.

M.A. Rucker
James C. Weller
Colemand Ratliff
Wm. Lauder

Transcribed by Carol Buckler, bucklercarol
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