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Back to Table of Contents                                                                                                                                                                    The first pension application: Samuel Beard, Service in Virginia, Number S2980: West Tennessee

Samuel Beard of Henderson in the state of Tennessee who was a private in the Company commanded by Captain Prior of the Regt. Commanded by Col. ___ in the Virginia line for 6 months.

Inscribed on the Roll of West Tennessee at the rate of 20 Dollars ___ cents for annuity to commence on the 4th day of March, 1834.
Siege of Yorktown

Certificate of Pension issued the 6th day of June 1834 and sent Hon. W. C. Dunlap.

Arrears to the 4th of March 1834 $60.00

Pensions allowance ending 4 Sept $10.00

Total: $70.00

{Revolutionary Claim

{June 7, 1832

Recorded by D. D. Addison, Clerk

Book E 3 Vol. 7 Page 82

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.

The State of Tennessee, Court of Pleas and Quarter, Henderson County{ Sessions August term 1832 on the 14th day of August 1832: Personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the county of Henderson in the state of Tennessee, aged about seventy eight years, Samuel Beard, a citizen and resident of the said county and state aforesaid, aged seventy eight years last June, who being first 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.

This declarant entered the service of the United States about 3 or 4 weeks after the Battle of Guilford Court House as a volunteer militia private from the County of Botetourt in the state of Virginia, his place of nativity, in the company of volunteer Militia from the said county and state commanded by Captain Jos. Prior, his lieutenant was John Beard, his brother in this company. This declarant marched from Botetourt County to Bottoms Bridge below Richmond on James River and joined the army under the command of Brigadier General Muhlenberg, but to what Regiment he was attached or who was the immediate Commander of the same, this declarant has no distinct recollection. Consequently, he can make no statement on oath.

This delcarant declares and states that at the time he joined General Muhlenberg's Brigade on James river, that General Washington, Rochambeau and Lafayette with the regular army [were] on the opposite side of the river. A few days after this the whole army including this brigade moved on to Little York [Yorktown] and invested the town as soon as Lord Cornwallis was captured. The company to which he belonged was discharged and this declarant returned home. The company to which this declarant belonged was drafted from the Regiment commanded by Col. Skillings [Skillern] of Botetourt County. this declarant further declares that anterior to this period that he once volunteered under Captain Alexander Handley who commanded a volunteer company made up from the aforesaid Regiment commanded by Colonel Skillings. In this company this declarant marched onto the border of North Carolina. This tour lasted only for about six weeks and wa some short time before the battle of Guilford but how long this declarant does not now recollect. This declarant states that he has no documentary evidence nor does he have any person by whose testimony he can produce who can testify to his service. This declarant hereby relinquishes his every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed in open Court 14th Aug 1832.

[Signed] Samuel Beard

Mr. Felix W. Henry, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County of Henderson in the state of Tennessee and John Cooper residing in the same county hereby testify that we are well acquainted with Samuel Beard who has furnished said names to the above declaration, that we believe him to be of seventy eight years of age, that he is respected and believed in this neighborhood where he now resides to have been a Militia soldier of the Revolution and that we concur in that opinion.

Sworn and scribed to in open court the day and year aforesaid

Felix W. Henry {Seal}

John Cooper

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinions after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department tat the above named applicant was a Militia Revolutionary soldier and served as he states, and the Court further testifies that Felix W. Henry is an acting Justice of the Peace of the county of Henderson in the state aforesaid and that John Cooper who has also signed the same is a resident in the same county and state and is a credible person and that their statement is entitled to credit given under our hands in open court this 18th day of August 1832.

Jn T. Brown JP ______

Saml G. Bell JP ______

I, John A. Wilson, clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter sessions do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the open court in the matter of the application of Samuel Beard for a pension.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office this 18th day of August 1832

John A. Wilson, Clerk

Jn Mclellan DC

State of Tennessee, Henderson County:

I, William A Barton, chairman of the court of please and quarter in and for the county and state aforesaid do hereby testify that John A. Wilson who has signed the preceding certificate and was at the time of signing the same clerk of the said court and that his said certificate is in freeform of the law, that full faith and credit due and should be given to all his official use as to such. Given upon my hand and seal this 17th day of May, 1834.

Wm A. Barton {Seal} Chairman


Capture of Yorktown
The preceding was the first application filed by Samuel Beard. He was then sent documents by the War Department requesting more information from him. He then went back into the Court of Henderson County on the 14th of April, 1834 and filed an amended application, which follows below. It appears that he had not previously detailed his service against the Indians on the frontiers of Virginia, not supposing that this was a part of the Revolution service covered under the Act of Congress. The amended application goes into further detail of his activities as a scout on the frontiers of Virginia 1779-1781.

The Amended testimony of Samuel Beard in order to obtain this benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832:

On the 14th of April in the year of our Lord 1834, personally appeared in open court of record Samuel Beard, it being the awarded court action and for the county of Henderson in the state of Tennessee and also a correct record of Samuel Beard, a citizen and resident of the county and state aforesaid, aged seventy nine years in June 1832 who being first duly swoarn according to law doth upon his oath make the following amended declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832.

This declarant states that in his former declaration he omitted to mention his previous services of the United States on the frontier of Virginia in the neighborhood of the Warm and Hot Springs and the adjacent mountains. This part of the county he believes is now included in the counties of Bath and Greenbrier, but not supposing or having been apprised that he was entitled to anything for those services under the present Act of Congress.

First Tour of Service: This declarant states that in the year of 1779 in the month of April or May of that year, he entered the service of the United States as a private Militia volunteer soldier from the county of Botetort in the state of Virginia in the Regiment commanded by Colonel John Dickerson or Dickinson. This Regiment was composed altogether of volunteers from the said county of Botetourt and the service of which was for the protection of the frontiers of Virginia against the invasions and savages of the Shawnee Indians who were then persisting in large bodies those frontiers which as before state were in the neighborhood of the Hot and Warm Springs and composed so he believes the counties of Bath and Greenbrier. The companies composing this Regiment were detailed in those frontiers in order to guard the area security and at the same time by regarding the line of observation to give more efficiency in checking those invasions and at the same time chastising those savages. This declarant states that he faithfully served from the month of April or first of May 1779 until the month of April or first of May 1781 as a private Militia volunteer soldier during all of which tour of service he acted as a spie. This making two entire years of service in the United States.

His officers were Colonel John Dickerson or Dickinson, the commander of the Regiment. His captain was John Beard, his brother who afterwards served as lieutenant under Captain Prior. His Lieutenant was by the name of John Patterson. His major's name not recollected. The companies of this Regiment acted as Scouts and were not stationary and moved wherever danger called and the emergency of the frontiers required their services in the summer, spring, and fall. They were in continental and active services in the winter. They forted or rather took up new quarters in forts upon these frontiers. From this tour of service as here stated, this declarant received a written discharge, which he has long since lost, never supposing that it would have been of any asset to him, which was signed by his Colonel, John Dickerson or Dickinson.

This ends the first tour of Samuel Beard.

Second tour:

This declarant states that in the month of April 1781 he assisted in the service of the United States as volunteer Militia private soldier in the regiment of Botetourt Militia commanded by Colonel Skillings or Skilling in the company commanded by Captain Jos Prior. His Lieutenant was John Beard, his former captain in the Indian unrest and his brother, as before stated that in their tour of service. Although most of the company to which he had joined was drafted, this declarant was a volunteer.

This regiment commanded by Colonel Skillings in a body never marched or joined the Army, as called upon the repectively stood their draft and served accordingly by being detailed off when called upon by companies. This tour of service commencing in April, the eighth day of the month 1781 and ending in -- 1781 making the tour of service from nine to ten months as the War Department in their wisdom may think most meets for the historical parts as to their tour of service and to the journeying of the Army under General Muhlenberg at the Bottom bridge and James river when Washington, Lafayette and Rochambeau on the other side of the river (James) so by leave to refer to his former Declaration and of which that is prayed to be taken in part.

This Declarant states that no one being in his neighborhood on whom he could call to testify, being ordered of the resolution applied as under the directions of the Secretary of two respectable citizens, to-wit, Felix W. Henry Esquire acting Justice of the Peace of Henderson County and John Cooper of that same county, respected citizen.

For the short period of service as stated in his former declaration under the command of Captain Alexander Handley, the department may or may not allow.

This declarant states that of the time of his joining Captain Prior's company he furnished a wagon and team for the purpose of conveying provisions for the Army and which some months after conveying the provisions of Capt. Prior's company was constantly employed in conveying provisions for the combined armies of Militia and France before Yorktown in Virginia.

This declarant states that he was respectively discharged by Major __ Wilson, his Christian name not now recollected.

Thus ends the first tour of service including the second tour under Captain __ Joe Handley it being so short (six weeks) this declarant claims nothing for the same unless the department thinks proper to give him.

Sworn to in open court. April 14, 1834 Samuel Beard

Ed Tarrant, CLK XX

Questions by the Court: with notes from us.

1. Where and in what year were you born?

In the county of Botetourt in the state of Virginia in the year of 1755. [note: There was no Botetourt County when he was born, it was formed in 1769. He was born in old Augusta County, Virginia, in the part that became Botetourt County in 1769. Botetourt was later divided to form parts of Greenbrier, Bath, Rockbridge.]

2. Do you have any record of your age and if so where is it?

I have the record in my mother's bible put down by my father, now at my son's house a short distance from my residence. [On the 1830 census four years previous to this answer, Samuel is listed in Henderson County, Tennessee, and he lived not far from his son James's home, listed on the same page. If any descendants know of any family Bible that might still exist, please share that information with us.]

3. Where were you living when called into service, where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live?

Whilst in the service of the United States the whole tour being for two years and eight months and in all of which served was private soldier, lived in Virginia, from there to Kentucky and now in Tennessee. [We have proven that Samuel and his brothers lived in the Southwest Territory in the 1790s before they moved up to Green and Adair Counties, Kentucky. Back then, control of the Territory shifted back and forth. Some people in the years to come would refer to it as Virginia, some North Carolina, and some Tennessee. It was really a southwest extension of the Valley of Virginia, and being a Virginian, Samuel no doubt considered it a part of Virginia when he lived there.]

4. How were you called into service, were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute, and if so for whom?

In all my tours of service was a volunteer.

5. State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops where you served Continental and Militia regiments and the general circumstances of your services.

Though __ by the department, he again states that in his services in the frontier of Virginia including his first tour, his Colonel was John Dickenson, his Captain John Patterson, Lieutenant ?? of Botetourt County and which service lasted for two years. During this service I had no communication with the Army contending with the British, consequently knew none of the officers, but when I joined the Army under the command of General Muhlenberg and which Army the day after the arrival of our company which was then on the opposite side of James River commanded by Generals Washington, Lafayette and Rochambeau and when crossed over to our side, Colonel Scammell was Adjutant General of the Continental Army and fell before York in making a desperate attack upon one of the bastions of the British.

6. Did your war record __ a discharge from the service and if so by whom was it given?

In my first tour of service on the frontiers of Virginia from April or May 1779 to April or May 1781, in both tours I was only a private militia soldier and secured my discharge from Colonel Dickerson as before stated. My second discharge is from Captain Jos Prior dated at the city of Yorktown, Virginia. Both discharges I have long since lost.

7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution.

As heretofore in my former Declaration I can refer to Felix W. Henry, Esquire, an acting Justice of the Peace of Henderson County and the state of Tennessee and John Cooper of the county and state aforesaid. Also to James Rush?, James Millican and Albert Quincy.

And the said Court do hereby state their opinions after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department [that Samuel Beard] was a Revolutionary War soldier and served as he states and the Court further certifies that is appears that Felix W. Henry who signed the preceeding certificate in the original declaration was at that time an acting Justice of the Peace in the county of Henderson and state of Tennessee and that John Cooper who signed the same was a resident of said county and state; that they are credible persons and that their certificate is entitled to credit.

Joshua Haskell, Judge of the 8th Judicial Court

Sealed in and for the State of Tennessee and now presiding in Henderson County

I, Edward H. Tarrant, clerk of the honorable circuit court held in and for the county of Henderson in the state of Tennessee, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the amended proceedings of the said court in the matter of the application of Samuel Beard for a pension. In testimony whereof I have present set my hand and private seal. E. H. Tarrant, CLK of the Circuit Court, This 14th day of April, 1834, State of Tennessee. [SEAL]

I, Joshua Haskell, Judge of 8th Judicial Court held in and for the State of Tennessee and as such in Henderson County do hereby justify that Edward H. Tarrant who has signed the preceding certificate is and was at the time of signing the same clerk of said office and credit ought and should be given to applicant hereto as such and I further certify that this is my seal of office to the circuit court of Henderson county although it is a court record. Joshua Haskell, Judge of the 8th Circuit Court

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