Thursday, February 25, 2010

Revolutionary War Pension

John L. Ward was born in Bute County, North Carolina on July 12, 1763. He was drafted on March 8, 1780 at Thomas Christmas's in Warren County, NC where Warrenton is now located. The following stories are included in his application for a pension.

Ward saw a little cabin on the road and called and received from the hands of an old lady a glass of milk. While drinking the same, the horse began prancing. "I looked behind, saw a cloud of dust arising. I then, with all speed, gave notice and information to the rear guard that the enemy was at hand. I then pushed for the river where I found the army nearly all crossed over. I forced [my horse] into the river. The enemy arrived t the bank and ordered me to stop or I would be a dead man, but I forced the horse in a still more rapid manner. They fired a volley of balls at me which so much alarmed the horse and myself, too, that I lost my hold on my horse. [However} both arrived safely on the opposite bank safe and sound."

Ward belonged to Gen. Caswell's regiment. On one occasion, as the colonial forces tried to evade Gen. Tarleton, Gen. Caswell and Col. Bufort went in different directions. Tarleton soon caught Bufort and "cut the men to pieces. He then pursued Caswell's Regiment. … Gen. Rutherford, who had previously joined Caswell's Regiment … had a fine Stallion and fearing that Tarleton would get him delivered the horse to the declarant, considered to be a first rate rider, and told him to lose his life sooner than the horse, …"

Ward was discharged from the army in 1781. He remained at home until the spring of 1782 when "Captain Thomas Battle, Hertford [County, NC] came up in Warren County to enlist Marines to man a schooner called Hagora fitted out as a privateer by Colo George Wm and others …Charles Whitehead, James Ransom, Sugar Jones and my self enlisted. My friends and Capt. Battle persuading me that a sea voyage would restore to me my health. We arrived at Winton [Hertford County] the 18 Apr 1782 where we were received by Capt. Battle and the crew. As soon as the schooner was ready for a cruise we set sail. I was appointed clerk and confined mostly below deck and having no knowledge of navigation know very little about the cruise on water. My health recovered and several prizes [were] taken. We landed at Edenton [Chowan County, NC] the last of June from whence I came home …"

This story came from John L. Ward's pension application. It was published in The Connector, newsletter of Tar River Connections Genealogical Society in the Summer 2006 issue. John Ward appears on early censuses of Warren County.

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