Minutes of the New Hanover County Superior Court [Extract]
New Hanover District. Superior Court
Volume 15, Pages 784-789
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EXTRACT FROM MINUTES OF NEW HANOVER SUPERIOR COURT, OCTOBER TERM, 1832, HON. ROBERT STRANGE, JUDGE PRESIDING.
Wednesday, October 31st, 1832.
On this, the 31st day of October, A. D., 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Honourable Robert Strange, one of the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity for the State of North Carolina aforesaid, presiding in the Superior Court of Law for the County of New Hanover aforesaid now sitting, James Devane, a resident in New Hanover County and State of North Carolina, aged seventy-five years, the 1st of August, 1832, who, being 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:
1. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated under the Command of Captain John Devane, Thomas Devane, Lieutenant; Archibald Sellers, Ensign, in a regiment commanded by Col. Lillington, Samuel Swan, Major, in November, 1775, and left this term of service in May, 1776; that he engaged for six months a minute-man; that he resided in New Hanover County, N. C., when he entered the service; that he was a volunteer, or this applicant thinks it was called enlisting; that he was in the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in February, 1776; that he embodied at Black River Chapel and marched from thence to Wilmington, from thence to Rockfish Creek about ten miles below Fayetteville, then called Cross Creek, in Cumberland County, from thence he marched back to Elizabeth Town in Bladen County; that at this place he took boating and went down Cape Fear to its junction with Black River, thence up Black River to where Bear Branch empties therein, at which place he embarked and marched from thence to Long Creek Bridge; that while he was at Long Creek Bridge he was ordered up to Moore's Creek Bridge; that when he arrived at Moore's Creek Bridge he commenced making intrenchments, and an express immediately came ordering the forces up to Corbett's Ferry; that he thereupon marched towards Corbett's Ferry as far as over Colven's Creek when another express arrived ordering us back to Moore's
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Creek Bridge; that he then marched back to Moore's and commenced making intrenchments a little farther off than the first they had made; that Gen. Caswell and his forces arrived there that evening (being the evening before the battle) and crossed over, whereupon the bridge was partly taken up; next morning about twilight the enemy commenced firing at us; that they advanced and undertook to cross the Creek, in which a few succeeded, and among them Col. McLeod and a Captain Campbell; that all who crossed over were killed; that Col. McLeod advanced as far as the first piece of intrenchment that had been made before he was killed; that after the battle he was furloughed and went home, where he remained two or three days; that he then came to Wilmington where his company rendezvoused; that he was then employed in guarding up and down Cape Fear to prevent the British from landing who were on board their shipping in the River; that from Wilmington he marched over into Brunswick and encamped at Orton Mills; that while there, and when his six month's tour was nearly expired, Col. Lillington told this applicant he must go to work in the public Gun works near Black River in the upper part of New Hanover County, and gave this applicant a letter to Gen. Moore, who was then in Wilmington; that he then about the 1st of June, 1776, as well as this applicant can recollect commenced working in the public Gun works aforesaid and continued therein about twelve months.
Secondly. Under the command of Captain Thomas Devane in August, 1777, and was drafted for three months, but this applicant served only about one month and then hired a substitute; that he cannot remember his other officers; that during this month's service he was in and about Wilmington to defend that place and prevent the enemy, who were on board their shipping in Cape Fear, from taking possession thereof.
Thirdly. That he afterwards performed occasional tours of duty, called out as emergencies required till he was commissioned a Captain; that not recollecting the length of time he served in these short tours, he is willing to dispense with any pay he may be entitled to therefor. He received a commission as Captain in June, 1780, signed by Francis (Abner) Nash, Governor of North Carolina, and took charge of a company of men at Elizabeth Town, Bladen County; that this company had been marched there by Captain
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George McCulloch; that at Elizabeth Town he was under the command of Col. Johnson of Onslow County; that from thence he marched to Cross Creek and from thence to a place called Silver Run, which he thinks is in Cumberland County; from thence back to Cross Creek; from thence to Haley's Ferry on Big Pedee above Cheraw; from thence to Cheraw; from thence he was detached to Newbern to guard some prisoners thither; from thence he returned home; that he was in no battle while on this tour; that he served as Captain six months, took command in June, 1780, and his six months had expired before he was detached to Newbern by Gen. Harrington.
Fourthly. That he was ordered out by Col. Young in January, 1781, and took command of a company in Col. Young's Regiment, Thomas Bludworth, 2nd Colonel; Gen. Lillington, Chief Commander, and left service in July, 1782; that he was not in continual actual service from January, 1781, to July, 1782, but served at least four months; that he was in a skirmish at the Big Bridge across the North East in New Hanover County, in which the Americans retreated; that he took command of his company at the Bridge where he remained till the skirmish above mentioned; from thence he retreated to William Jones' plantation, a short distance below South Washington; from thence he marched back to the Big Bridge; from thence he was ordered with his company to Halfway Bluff on Long Creek to guard the Negro Head Point road; that at Halfway Bluff he obtained leave of absence; that about the time he left Halfway Bluff Cornwallis and his army came to Wilmington; that after the British evacuated Wilmington, this applicant was ordered with a few soldiers to collect wives and children of the tories and carry them to Wilmington; that he found the execution of this duty so disagreeable that he resolved to desist from it at all hazards, and would choose rather to be cashiered than to perform a duty so repulsive to his feelings. This applicant served with Continental troops at Rockfish Creek, below Fayetteville, under the command of Gen. Moore, who were also in Wilmington; the regular officers he knew were Gen. James Moore, Capt. Daves, Capt. Goodwin, Capt. Robert Railford, Capt. Joshua Haley, Capt. Joseph Rhodes, Curtis Ivey, Hardy Holmes, Capt. Porterfield, Lieutenant Kingsbury, Capt. Thoman Orrell, Capt. Joshua Bowman and Capt. Vance, also Capt.
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Bradley and Col. Read; that he has no documentary evidence, and thinks he can prove his service by James Lee of the County of New Hanover aforesaid, he was born in New Hanover County, N. C., the 1st of August, 1757; has a record of his age at home, was living in New Hanover county when called into service and has lived therein ever since the Revolutionary war; was a volunteer or what was then called enlisted in his first service; then drafted for three months; when he served as Captain he was a volunteer, the regular officers who were with the troops where this applicant served were Gen. Moore, Capt. Bowman, Capt. Davis, Capt. Vance and Lieutenant Kingsbury; the Continental regiment he knew was the 1st regiment of the North Carolina line; the militia regiments he knew were the following: One commanded by Gen. Lillington, one by Col. Caswell, one by Col. Johnson, one by Col. Brown, one by Col. James Kenan, one by Cols. Young and Bludworth, and two or three regiments under the command of Gen. Harrington. He does not recollect to have received a discharge from service when a private and if he did he has lost or mislaid it. He received a commissioned signed by Gov. Francis Nash and gave it to Lieut. John Bludworth to settle some rank or business among officers, its date being material in that particular, and it was never returned. The persons to whom this applicant is known in his neighborhood, and who can testify to his character for veracity and who believe him to have been a soldier of the revolution, are numerous and among them he will name the following—George Fennell, Owen Fennell, Bryant Newkirk, Rogers Lee, John Kerr, James Kerr, George Bannerman, Robert Murphy, Charles Henry and James McCalebb.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present aud declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
On the 31st day of October, A. D., 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Honourable Robert Strange, one of the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity for the State aforesaid, now sitting and presiding in the Superior Court of Law, for the County of New Hanover, James Lee, a resident of said
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County of New Hanover, who being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith, that he is well acquainted with James Devane the aforesaid applicant; that he knew him some time before the Revolutionary war; that this deponent served with the said James Devane a six months tour of duty under Capt. John Devane, Thomas Devane, Lieutenant, Archd. Sellars, Ensign; that they entered the service together, not very long before the battle of Moore's Creek bridge; that they were in the battle at that place; that they rendezvoused at Black River chapel and marched to Wilmington, and from thence to Rockfish creek in Cumberland County, about seven miles below Fayetteville, and from thence to Elizabeth Town in Bladen County; that at Elizabeth Town they took boating and came down Cape Fear to the mouth of Black River, thence up Black River to the mouth of Bear Branch, a little below Moore's Creek, where they landed and marched to Long Creek, and from thence they were ordered to Moore's Creek Bridge where a piece of intrenchment was raised: that they were then ordered and marched on towards Corbett's ferry on Black River to prevent the tories from crossing and got as far as Colvin's Creek, and having heard that the tories had passed over Black River they countermarched to Moore's Creek bridge and commenced making intrenchments a little farther off than the first they had made; that after the battle of Moore's Creek bridge the company to which this deponent belonged was furloughed for a few days and went home and again rendezvoused in Wilmington, and was then marched over in Brunswick County and encamped at Orton's Mills; that while at Orton's Mills this deponent recollects that the aforesaid applicant, James Devane, was sent off and put to work in the public Gun Works established and carried on in the upper part of New Hanover County on Black River; that this deponent was on several occasions at the place where the gun making business was carried on and believes that the said applicant did work in the said Gun Works. This deponent further deposeth and saith that he also served with the said James Devane under Capt. Thomas Devane; that in this service he was in and about Wilmington, guarding that place and up and down Cape Fear; this deponent cannot undertake to state the date of this service. This deponent knows that the said James Devane had command of a company in South Carolina opposite Cheraw
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Mills, at which place this deponent was put under the command of the said James Devane, having been previously under the command of Capt. James Foy; that he went in a detachment ordered to guard some persons to Newbern as far as the cross roads in Duplin County, where the said Capt. Devane discharged this deponent. This deponent further says that Capt. James Devane, the aforesaid applicant, commanded at the Big Bridge when a skirmish at that place happened in the first part of 1781; that this deponent soon after this time was under the command of Capt. James Devane aforesaid at Halfway Bluff on Long Creek in New Hanover County, his company being placed there to guard the Negro Head Point road; that from Halfway Bluff this deponent was detached to carry some pieces of Artillery to Kingston.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
And the said Court hereby declares it his opinion after the investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier and Captain and served as he states.