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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Declaration by Richard Allen concerning his military service in the Revolutionary War [Extract]
Allen, Richard, 1741-1832
September 04, 1832
Volume 22, Pages 97-101

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(Extract from the declaration for pension (dated Sept. 4, 1832), of Col. Richard Allen, a resident of Wilkes County, North Carolina.)

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ That he was born on the 26th day of November, 1741, in Baltimore County the State of Maryland, the record of which is made in his old family Bible; that he continued to reside in the said County until he was twenty-one years of age when he removed to Frederick County, in the State of Virginia, where he lived about seven years, and then removed to Rowan County (now Wilkes), in North Carolina which was in the month of September, 1770. In the month of October, or November, 1775, he entered the service of the United States as a volunteer for six months in Capt. Jesse Walton’s Company of minute men (it being the first company ever raised in the county of Wilkes), of which company he was appointed first Sergeant. Immediately after the company was raised and organized they marched to Salisbury, where they remained about sixteen days engaged in training and exercising the men, after which they were discharged and returned home, where they arrived a few days before Christmas.

On the 13th day of February, following, they set out upon their march for Cross Creek or Fayetteville, having understood that the Scotch Tories were committing great depredations in the country round about that place. On their way they were joined by Col. Martin Armstrong with the Surry militia at a place called old Richmond. After joining Col. Armstrong they continued their march until they reached Randolph County, where they were joined by Col. Alexr. Martin of the Continental line with a small body of troops under his command. From thence they pursued their march direct to Cross Creek or Fayetteville. The day before they arrived at that place a battle had been fought between the Tories under Gen’l McDonald and the Whig militia under Gen’l Moore in which the former were defeated with considerable loss and a great number taken prisoners. The prisoners taken in this engagement were delivered over to Capt. Jesse Walton and his company who were ordered as a guard to convey them to Hillsboro’. They immediately set out with the prisoners for that place but before they reached it they were met by two companies of Light Horse under the command of Captains

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Mebane and Shepard who took charge of the prisoners, when Capt. Walton and his company were discharged and returned home, where they arrived the 29th March, having been gone near two months.

After their arrival at home they met twice every week and continued to train and exercise themselves until their term of six months had expired. Not long after the expiration of his first term this deponent was chosen an ensign in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Benj. Cleveland, and very soon afterwards they received orders from Col. Armstrong to go against the Indians who were committing great depredations upon the frontier of the Western part of North Carolina. In this expedition they served about two weeks principally in scouring the frontier settlements. Soon after their return orders were received by Captain Cleveland from Col. Armstrong to take his company and go in pursuit of Col. Roberts (a Tory Colo.), who had embodied a number of Tories on the North-west side of the Blue Ridge. They immediately set out in pursuit of Col. Roberts and continued to pursue him and his company without being able to overtake them until they advanced considerably into the State of Virginia, when they learned that Roberts had disbanded his men and that they had dispersed. Upon receiving this information they returned home, having been gone about three weeks.

Early in the year 1778, Captain Benjamin Cleveland was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel and this deponent was appointed to succeed him as Captain of the company which commission he held until the close of the war. In the latter part of the year 1779, a call was made for troops to march to the defence of Charleston. A draft was made from the militia in Wilkes for the company and a draft also made from the Captains of Companies for a Captain to command that company. The lot fell upon this deponent and he accordingly repaired with his company to Hamblin’s old store, where they rendezvoused on the 13th of January, 1780. As soon as they could organize and make the necessary preparations they marched direct to Charleston, S. C., where they joined the third regiment of North Carolina militia, commanded by Col. Andrew Hampton. After joining the regiment they were stationed about two miles from the city at the smoky camps where they remained a considerable time and until a report obtained currency that the Tories intended to set fire to the town and thereby enable the British to effect a landing.

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Upon hearing of this report Gen. Lincoln ordered all the troops into the city where they remained until the term of service of this deponent and his men expired, when they were discharged and returned home, where they arrived sometime in the month of April, 1780, having been gone between three and four months. From the month of April, to September, 1780, this deponent, with small detachments, of the men under his command, served three short tours, the precise length of each not particularly recollected, one of which was against a body of Tories assembled near the head of the Catawba river, another against Col. Bryan (a Tory Col.), who had embodied a band of Tories in the Southern part of the State, and the other against some Tories on the north-west side of the Blue Ridge. In these three tours this deponent believes he served about two months. In the month of September, 1780, information was received by Col. Benjamin Cleveland that Maj. Ferguson of the British army was advancing from South Carolina with a large body of British and Tories, upon which Col. Cleveland immediately issued orders for all the Troops within the County of Wilkes to rendezvous at the Court House. This deponent with what men he could collect repaired thither immediately and after the troops were organized they all set out on their march to meet Maj. Ferguson. Upon the way they were joined by Col. Campbell with a body of troops from Virginia as also by Cols. Sevier, Shelby, and McDowell, with troops from North Carolina. After a junction of the troops was formed, as most of them had horses, it was proposed that all those who had horses or could procure them should advance immediately upon Ferguson. This deponent had a horse and was anxious to proceed with the main army but as a great many were on foot and would necessarily be left behind, it became necessary that the charge of those should be committed to some officer. The command of the foot men was first offered to Col. Jos. Herndon but he positively refused to accept it unless this deponent who he said had more experience than himself, could be detailed to stay with him. In this state of affairs Col. Cleveland thought proper to order this deponent to remain in charge of the foot men and he acordingly done so. They continued their march, however, with all possible speed in the direction of King’s mountain but was not able to reach it in time to engage in the battle, it having been fought and the Americans with their prisoners being on their return some short distance before they met with them. When they rejoined the army

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they continued with them and assisted in guarding the prisoners until they proceeded as far as the Moravian towns in the County of Stokes, and after remaining there a considerable time they were relieved by Col. Winston with a detachment of fresh troops and Col. Cleveland and his men returned home, which place they reached some time in November—the precise time not recollected—but they were in service in this expedition about two months.

About the latter part of January, 1781, an express arrived at Capt. Benjamin Herndon’s, in Wilkes, from Gen. Davidson, informing that Lord Cornwallis was approaching the State from South Carolina and requesting that as many troops as possible should be collected immediately to oppose him. This deponent collected all the men under his command that he could get and set out with the other troops from the County in order to rendezvous at Salisbury; but when within about fourteen miles of Salisbury they heard that Lord Cornwallis had crossed the Catawba and was then in Salisbury. Upon receiving this information they changed the direction of their route and marched towards Salem in order to join Gen. Green who was at that time supposed to be on Dan river or near the borders of Virginia. When they had advanced as far as Person County, North Carolina, they received orders from Gen. Green to return and endeavor to form a junction with Gen. Pickens, who was expected to be advancing from South Carolina through what is now East Tennessee and to inform him of the situation of affairs, as also to conduct him through the country so that he might be within a convenient distance of Gen. Green’s army and to co-operate with him if necessary. They did return and this deponent met with Gen. Pickens at Mitchell’s river in the County of Surry, and conducted him to Salem where they joined Col. Locke with his regiment. When they left Salem Gen. Pickens and Col. Locke with the respective troops under their command separated, the former taking the direct road to Hillsboro’ and the latter taking a route leading higher up the country. This deponent was attached to the troops under Col. Locke and when they had proceeded as far as Stony Creek in the County of Guilford or Rockingham, information was received from Gen. Pickens that a large number of Tories had embodied themselves with Col. Pyles, and requesting Col. Locke’s troops to repair with all possible dispatch to meet him at Trollinger’s ford on Haw river. Col. Locke with his troops set out immediately but before they reached Trollinger’s ford Gen. Pickens

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had engaged with the Tories and defeated them. As soon as they heard of the defeat of the Tories they turned their course and marched directly for Gen. Green’s army which they met with near the High Rock. After remaining with Gen. Green a few days Col. Locke’s regiment was discharged and returned home together with some others of the troops. In this expedition this deponent served a month to five weeks.

In addition to the service above enumerated this deponent performed a number of short tours (amounting perhaps to twenty), against the Tories in various parts of the Country, and disarming and arresting suspected persons and bringing them to trial, but it would be impossible for him to specify the particular periods of these services.

This deponent further states that he was duly commissioned as an Ensign and Captain as stated in the foregoing declaration. He cannot now recollect by whom the Ensign’s commissioned was signed, but he believes the Captain’s commission was signed by Governor Caswell—both of which are lost or mislaid so that they cannot now be produced. ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗

Sworn to and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid.