Memorial from James Campbell concerning his military service
Volume 22, Pages 811-814
THE MEMORIAL OF JAMES CAMPBELL.
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina:—
The Memorial of James Campbell Humbly Sheweth:—That, though with reluctance, your memorialist addresses you on this occasion, yet a combination of circumstances has banished his diffidence and forced him to make that application and state those matters of fact which you will find in this memorial. Your memorialist is conscious to himself that no indulgence could make him apply to
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your honorable body for any compensation where he thought justice and reason would not be on his side, and he is likewise conscious that this application does not arise from a wish of obtaining from his country more than his services in behalf of America deserve. To judge with fairness of the claim of your memorialist it is necessary to state and enumerate some matters of fact relative to the services he has rendered his country, together with obstacles that prevented his receiving adequate compensation. Your memorialist can with truth declare that his services in the late American war were a series of toils and dangers, from nearly the commencement to the end of it. Your memorialist first entered into the service of his country as a lieutenant in the army intended to suppress the Tories, that were defeated at Moore’s Creek Bridge; and immediately after this (in the same capacity) he went over the mountains on an expedition against the Indians, and shortly after his return he received a lieutenancy in Colonel Locke’s regiment of volunteers, sent from this State to the aid of South Carolina, and on his return home in 1776 he received a lieutenancy under the Continental establishment, in which department he continued in the actual service of his country, both in the Northern and the Southern States, until December, 1779; previous to which period he was promoted to the rank of captain.
From Charleston, S. C., he was sent to this State to collect deserters, and with leave to see his friends and to repair to his regiment as soon as convenient; but soon after his leaving Charleston, and before he had it in his power to return, the regiment he belonged to was taken in that city and made prisoners of war. A short time after your memorialist came to this State from Charleston, he was violently afflicted with the rheumatic pains, which terminated in incurable ulcers on his legs, which has been to him a painful and lingering disease, occasioned (as he verily believes) by his toils and hardships. Although your memorialist always lamented his separation from the regiment, yet when an exchange of prisoners took place, and he had orders to join his regiment again, his inveterate indisposition and low state of health absolutely put it out of his power. When the Commissioners met to settle with the North Carolina department, your memorialist applied for his pay and subsistance, but received pay to 31st December, 1780, only, which will appear by Mr. Simmon’s letter to the Hon. William B. Grove, Esq., herewith sent; which period, your memorialist believes to be a considerable time previous to the last orders he received to join his regiment. At
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the time your memorialist received his pay he considered the Commissioners in considerable arrears to him, but his low state of health put it out of his power to make any further inquiry about the balance due him from his country. Your memorialist, for reasons unknown to officers, for reasons incompatible with justice and the military law, was struck off the muster rolls for his inability to do duty, which inability was the immediate consequence of his former services, and your memorialist felt himself more injured in consequence of this transaction, as he never neglected doing his duty when he had enjoyed his health, and that he never deviated from a line and incorrupt integrity and patriotism for his country. About five years ago your memorialist understood that all officers whose names appeared on the muster rolls at the end of the war were entitled to receive a commutation of three years’ pay after the war, which your memorialist is deprived of in consequence of his name being struck off the muster roll as before mentioned; and as your memorialist never made a resignation or committed an act that merited a different treatment from the officers of the regiment to which he belonged, he conceives himself unjustly deprived of the emoluments due to him from his country; emoluments that other officers have received, who, in point of service for the country, could not come in competition with your memorialist. Your memorialist has further to add, that the bodily disability which he has already mentioned still continues to oppress and afflict him, the melancholy consequences of his toils and hardships; a disability which has banished all his hopes of being hereafter able to support himself or family, has not only hid from his eyes the prospect of competency, but that of moderate subsistence, also.
Your memorialist is in no situation to make application to the General Government; he therefore must rest his claim with the Legislature of the State of which he is a citizen, and trusts, after weighing his case, he will receive either a pension yearly, or a further compensation for his past services that will place him at least on an equal scale with Contiental officers of his grade; and your memorialist, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
NORTH CAROLINA—Moore County.
November 15th, 1800.
This day appeared (personally) before me, William Martin, one of the Justices of the Peace for said county, James Campbell, and
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being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that the matters of facts stated in the above and annexed memorial are true to the best of his knowledge and recollection.
Sworn and subscribed before me the day above written.