Wednesday, February 24, 2016

David Arnott (Arnold
Revolutionary War Pension Application
Halifax County

On February 19, 1829, in Halifax County, NC, David Arnott (or Arnold) applied for a Revolutionary War pension. In order to secure the pension Arnott related the following about his war experience:
            He enlisted in early 1778 to complete the term of a private, Bythal Haynes, who had deserted. This term was to last until April 1780. His commander was Lieutenant Fitzgerald or Gerard. The regiment was led by Colonel James Hogun.
Within the regiment, the company of light horse commanded by Captain Cosmo Medici or Medicie, was severely lacking in equipment such as bridle bits, stirrups, saddle backs and such. David Arnott, a blacksmith, was assigned to the Quarter Master General to make the necessary items. He continued in this job until the North Carolina Brigade returned from the north on its way to Charleston, SC, which was in February 1780.
            David recalled that he marched to Charleston with Lieutenant Col. Davidson’s company in the 1st NC Regiment commanded by Col. Clark. He was at Charleston when it was blockaded by the British and continued to serve until April 1780 when he was discharged in Charleston, SC. It would seem that he barely missed the end of the “Siege of Charleston” which began on April 1 and ended with Gen. Lincoln’s surrender to the British on May 12, 1780.

After the War
            David Arnold had returned to Halifax in 1880 and continued to work there as a blacksmith until he applied for his pension in 1829 at the age of 75. He had been turned down for a pension in 1827 because of a question about his name and had not applied again because “by his own labor as a blacksmith he was enabled to provide for himself & family, and though earnestly urged by his friends, he never could consent to throw himself upon the bounty of his Country, so long as he was able to provide for his household by his own exertions: -- neither did he conceive his circumstances so utterly hopeless as to justify it.”
            A schedule attached to David Arnold’s application for a pension listed the property he had amassed over a lifetime:
“One tract of Land containing 256 acres
One Negro woman & child
One set of Blacksmith Tools
Three unimproved Lots in Gainsborough
One cow, calf & yearling
One cart, a few hoes, an axe and some household furniture of little value.
All the above property except the Blacksmith Tools have been conveyed by deed of trust now of record in this Court for the benefit of Thomas Burges Esq. to secure the payment of a debt which is justly due him amounting to $1245 with interest on $1025 until paid.”
            In the end, “the infirmities attendant on disease & old age render him incapable of much exertion – that his family residing with him consists of three daughters, to wit: Mary about 28 years old, Dorothy 21 & Martha 14. -- that they were tenderly raised & only accustomed to perform the ordinary duties relating to housekeeping … .”

His Name Was A Problem

        Mr. Arnott had difficulty being approved for his pension because he applied as David Arnott while he was listed on the muster rolls as David Arnold. James Grant wrote on David Arnott’s behalf that he had known him as David Arnold for 20 years and had never known that David himself spelt his name Arnot. Grant went on to say that “I found him when I first grew into manhood, a very worthy, respectable man, residing in the County of Halifax, & from the Circumstance of his being uniformly called Arnold, I think the mistake arose,”…  from the spelling of his name.
            William Hill wrote that he had examined the Warrant Book and found no David Arnot, but had found David Arnold, and that he believed, based on the fact that Arnold received a warrant for 274 acres of land, the quantity allowed for 3 years service, and other facts in the application, that David Arnot was the same as David Arnold.
            David Arnold received a pension of $8 per month for his service during the Revolution.

[Taken from the Pension application of David Arnot (Arnold or Arnott) S41417 which was transcribed by Will Graves and can be found on the internet at  Southern Campaigns American Revolution Pension Statements and Rosters]

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