July 6, 2017 at 7:02 am #9152
Hi everyone, my name is Jamie Odom and I have always been a big history buff. I have especially been interested in the Revolutionary War because it officially started the birth of our country and the characters during the War on both sides were very interesting. Even though I have always been interested in the Revolutionary War my interest of course peaked a little more after I found out that my 6th great grandfather was actually in the War along with his brother. About 7 years ago while I was doing my family history research I ran across Revolutionary War pensions. This is where the person that fought in the war gave a sworn statement about what happened to him during the battle that they were in. This was usually in order to get disability benefits. I find it funny that they were trying to get disability benefits way back then. Anyway I found out that my 6th great grandfather was in the Battle of Eutaw Springs which took place on September 8, 1781 in South Carolina. The sworn statement mentions that after the battle he was sent to guard prisoners. It’s funny that this is the only battle that he participated in. After finding this out I did more research on the family during that time period and found out that his brother, John Swanson served in the war the entire time ! Not only did John Swanson serve in the war but he ran across a somewhat controversial figure from Hollywood’s Patriot movie that really got me scratching my head. Do you remember Colonel Tavington in the movie ? Well in this sworn statement there is a Colonel Tarleton that is described in a light horse brigade dispersing an American contingent of soldiers. Since you are all history buffs I thought it would be cool to attach this sworn statement and tell me what you think. The writing is of course really old but you can make out Tarleton’s name 2nd page, seventh line. Anyway I ran across this web page and decided why not give you guys a try. It’s always fun to find people with the same interests as you. There are more pages to this statement but the first two pages just about sums it up. I tried to decipher the story below for those of you that are not very good with writing during that time period.
This is as much as I can decipher. “John Swanson’s contingent under CPT Jones marched to Salsbury to the Catumba River. I think it says that they skirmished with the British Army under Cornwallis. General Davidson I guess on the American side divided his troops leaving 300 down river to a place called Cowans Ford. At the bottom of the first page it goes on to say that “where General David’s son had a considerable engagement with them in which he was unfortunately killed. Troops under that command were defeated. The American side headed as fast as they could towards Salisbury. About 6 miles from Catawba Colonel Tarleton with a party of British light horse. Tarleton attacked and dispersed them. This threw the Americans into great confusion. This was about all I could pick up off of this. If anyone is good with deciphering this stuff I would love to know what it exactly says along with the other 4 pages I have !
Regards, JamieJuly 6, 2017 at 8:11 pm #9153Chance HudsonParticipant
Welcome to RevWar Talk! This is a great piece of history you have here and it makes it even better that it’s personally related to you. Keeping digging because you’ll never know what you may find. I had several ancestors who were involved in the patriot cause in the Carolinas.July 7, 2017 at 5:33 am #9154
Thanks Hudson, I think the Carolinas during this time period is super interesting because they seem to be at odds with each other. It seems like the Carolinas had a lot of loyalists which really throws a wrench into the general story we were taught at school. I kind of wonder if my 6th great grandfather was kind of on “the fence” so to speak. Maybe he had to fight that one battle in order to protect his land which turned him in the last couple of years of the war. Anyway it’s all really interesting.
Regards, JamieJuly 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm #9155
Hello Jamie, welcome to RevWarTalk!
What an exciting family history, and the documentation to help bring you even closer to it makes it even more amazing. It’s pretty special to know how our ancestors helped play a part in creating the place we call home today. I am excited to read through the statement you attached and see if I can transcribe some bits, it’s fun to learn from primary sources, very cool!
It is interesting to think about the breakdown of loyalists and patriots, and what might have swayed people to choose sides. I’d imagine there were a fair amount of loyalists (that we don’t really hear more about). And likely a fair amount of neutral folks that might have wanted to be open patriots though wanted to play it safe. Did your 6th Grandfather have a lot of land? Was he a farmer?
Hudson has some great family connections too
Thanks for sharing!
DanJuly 9, 2017 at 4:50 am #9156
Thanks Rev War !
I did some checking on William because to tell you the truth it’s been a while since I have delved into the research. My next project was to look more into him but I have not gotten around to it. Anyway I went back to what I do have on him and I think that he may have been living with his father or on his father’s land. His father was a Richard Swanson from Brunswick County Virginia and was some kind of land speculator (not sure what land speculator actually means. About a year ago I found out that my great uncle had done some research on the family years ago and I was sent a manuscript of what he found from a long lost relative on ancestry!. He notes in the manuscript that Richard was “apparently a land speculator”) I did an ancestry search and found that Richard was issued a land grant for Edgecombe, North Carolina in 1761 and William was born in Edgecombe. I am sure that they were probably farmers. They did seem to use their land to move to other areas. I have noticed that they moved a lot and used their land to their advantage. They started off in Virginia-moved to Carolina-Moved to Georgia during the Civil War (didn’t go very well for them)- moved to Alabama- moved to Oklahoma and then moved to Texas which is where I am from. I have wondered if William was some kind of closet loyalist but maybe he just didn’t want anyone taking his land or maybe his father was a loyalist and didn’t want him involved (I have been watching the show “Turn” and it kind of makes you wonder. Who knows ! Are there any good books on this subject I could read ? Thanks again and that would be great if you have the time for transcription. ! By the way for anyone interested I do family history research for people that need help. It’s free. Just something that I enjoy doing on the side. I can find transcripts like the one I uploaded on just about anyone’s family if they served in a war.September 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm #9158
Hello! I was able to spend some time transcribing (some words are a bit of a mystery), though also at times fun piecing the history together. Not everyhing might be spot-on accurate, so surely updates/suggestions are welcomed.
It is interesting to read the journey of a soldier, and how it all ties into some of the more familiar names/events in history.
State of North Carolina
County of Wilkes
On this 30th day of October 1832 personally appeared in open Court before the Court of (word-word-word) of the County of Wilkes State of North Carolina (word-word) a John Swanson a resident of the County of Wilkes, State of North Carolina, aged seventy on years, who being (word) duly sworn according to law (oath on the earth?) make the following declaration, (several words) June 7th 1832.
That he was born on the 11th Day of April 1761 in the County of Edgecombe and State of North Carolina, the second of which he (word) from that made by his father, in his family record, where hi lived (word) he was about twelve years of age, when he moved north his father to the County of Wilkes, in the said state, when he moved north the fall of the year 1780, when he was (word-word) for a three month time, and entered the service of the United States, in the (word) County of Wilkes, in a company of militia commanded by Captain Ethelred Jones (External note: Was an Ensign. 1780-1781, a Captain under Col. John Hinton, Jr. Early 1781, attached to Lt. Col. Thomas Farmer (Orange County Regiment). aka Dred Jones), and (word) at Hillsboro: where they joined the regiment under Col Thomas Farmer –
after remaining at Hillsboro a few days they marched (word) to Salisbury where they joined the troops under Genl Davidson and marched in a short time to (word-word) on the Catawba River, where they met with the army under Lord Cornwallis, attempting to offer a (word) – after a (word) skirmish of that (word-word-word) the opposing armies, Genl Davidson divided his troops and (word) about those hundred under command of Col Farmer, of whom the (word) was one he provided with (word-word-word-word-word-word) the (word) about few miles to a place called (word-ford?) where a portion of the British Army were endeavoring to (word), and when Genl Davidson had a (word-word) engagement with them, in which he was unfortunately killed, and the troops under his command totally defeated and (word) – the Americans then headed on foot as they could towards Salisbury, without (word) keeping the main road.
Endeavoring to keep themselves together – about six miles from the Catawba Col Tarlton with a party of British light horse (word) a small body of the Americans, of whom they (word) way one and attacked and dispersed them after (word) a few (word). (word) they succeeded in making their escape (word-word) having shown the Americans in the great confusion, they (word) these (word-word) after they (word) the (word) when the small party to which these (word) was attached not knowing where they would find the remaining (word) of the army, and (word) the British to (word) them every day and these term of service being about to expire, they proceeded home (word-word) this (word) believes he served about the middle of February 1781 – In the month of April, this (defendant?) reenlisted himself for twelve months (under a regiment made by the State of North Carolina for (word) number of twelve months (word), and (word-word-word) from whence they (word) marched under the command of a Sergent, to Hillsboro, where they were placed under the command of Captain (Elmer?) Dickson –
after remaining at Hillsboro a short time, they marched to a small farm in the County of Granville, then called Harrisburg, (was supposed to be (word) where they were stationed for some time, during which time the (word) from the (word-word—word) at that place on the final day of June 1781 at that place, this (defendant?) took what was called “the (word-word) oath” – From Harrisburg they marched back to Hillsboro from there to Salisbury under Genl Farmer and from there through Charlotte, Camden (word) to the High Hills of Santee where they joined Genl Greene – after joining Genl Greene they marched back again to Camden, and after they…
-DanSeptember 11, 2017 at 1:16 am #9159
Thanks Dan, I really appreciate the work you have put into this. I can attach this to John’s ancestry profile. I am sure it will help other families to piece his story together. You mentioned it is interesting to see a soldier’s rendition of historical events. That’s what I love about family history research is the fact that in a way you can get up close to the big names in history through the typical soldier’s stories.September 11, 2017 at 4:09 am #9160
Hi Jamie, you’re welcome. Thanks for sharing those images.
Absolutely, we often hear the recounts of historians; getting the first-person account makes for a special connection, and the history a little more real
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