60. John THOMASSON Sr.
Pension Application of John Thomasson: S7713
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris
State of Virginia}
Bedford County} SS
On this 18th day of October 1833 personally appeared before [blank or faded] one of the justices of the peace for the said [several illegible words] John Thomasson a resident of the County and State aforesaid aged ninety [illegible word] 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 the 7th 1832. that he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. In the year 1778 he thinks but by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory he cannot state positively the year the month or day he was drafted as militia man in the County of Albemarle and marched from his residence in said County to the barracks in the same County under the command of Captain Shelton the other officers he does not recollect he was engaged at the barracks in guarding General Burgoyne and the hessians that were taken with him [see note below] and he remained at the said place until he was discharged after having served a tour of three months. The day he was discharged he cannot recollect the date of though he served not less than the time [two or three illegible words] his discharge if it was a written one which he does not remember is now lost or mislaid. during his tour of service he was a private soldier and was during this time in no civil employment
About the beginning of the year 1781 the month or day he does not remember for the reasons before stated he again was drafted from the County of Bedford whither he had then removed and was marched to [North] Carolina under the command of Captain Jonathan Richardson [or Richeson] and was attached to the Army under the command of General Green [sic: Nathanael Greene] and belonged to the Regiment commanded by Col Charles Lynch. The other officers of his company and Regiment he has now forgotten his memory being very deficient and he cannot therefore state the names of the places by which he passed on his route to Carolina he was in the battle at Guilford Courthouse which he thinks was in the month of March [the 15th] 1781. that after the battle the Americans retreated to an Iron Works the name of which he has now forgotten [Troublesome Iron Works]. At this place they remained as well as he recollects one week[?] And when General Green found he was not pursued he left the Iron Works and followed on the trail of the British as far as across deep River [at Ramsey’s Mill in Chatham County NC]. the other places he marched to he does not now recollect. he served during this tour four months when he was discharged but the day he was discharged he does not now recollect for the reasons before set forth. if he received any written discharge for this tour it is now lost or mislaid he was during the time engaged in no civil employment and as a private soldier served not less that the term above mentioned
In the summer of the year 1781 but the month or the day he cannot now remember for the reasons set forth he enlisted in the County of Bedford under Captain Beard (the other officers he does not recollect) and was marched to New London then in the same County but now in the County of Campbell where he remained a few days when Captain John Trigg’s company came to the same place. he was marched through the Country a distance of upwards of Two hundred miles to Williamsburg and from hence to Little York and was there during the siege and the final surrender of Cornwallis [19 Oct 1781]. he only remembers the names of General Washington and General Lafayette amongst the officers. After having served a tour of four months he was discharged. he has no written discharge and if he ever had it is now lost or mislaid he was during the time in no civil employment and acted in the capacity of a private soldier He has no documentary evidence of his service but refers to the testimony of Martin Woody, George Asbury and Thomas Wright who are living witness to part of his services though the services are not fully proven by them. Their affidavits are herewith exhibited relies upon them to establish with his own declaration the services as above set forth. he knows of no person now living by whom he can fully prove the same. The whole of his services will amount to not less that Eleven months for which he claims a pension as a private soldier. He was born in the County of Louisa and State of Virginia in the year he does not recollect he has no record of his age. he makes the following answers to the several interrogatories prescribed by the War Department
To the first Interrogatory he answers
I was born in the County of Louisa and State of Virginia
To the Second he answers
I have no record of my [age]
To the third he answers
I was living in the County of Albemarle I have lived since the Revolutionary war in Bedford County Va where I now live
To the fourth he answers
I was drafted Two tours. the other I volunteered
To the fifth he answers
See the Declaration above for an answer to this and the Sixth interrogatory also.
To the seventh he answers and states the names of Francis Beard, John Beard & Samuel Hancock as persons who can testify to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution. he cannot however [illegible word] the certificate of a Clergyman as required because there is no one living in his immediate neighborhood and he is little if at all known out of his neighborhood; he himself is unable by reason of old age and bodily infirmity to attend in Court and there to make the above declaration personally as he lives at the distance of twenty miles from the Court house
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.
John his X mark Thomasson
NOTE: General John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga NY on 17 Oct 1777 and by “convention” arranged with Gen. Horatio Gates his Hessian troops were to be allowed to return home. The Continental Congress refused to honor those generous terms, however, and the 4000 men in Borgoyne’s “Convention Army” were detained first near Boston and then at the barracks at Charlottesville from Jan 1779 until Feb 1781. Contrary to Thomasson’s declaration, however, Burgoyne was never imprisoned.