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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Declaration by William Polk concerning his military service in the Revolutionary War
Polk, William, 1758-1834
Volume 22, Pages 152-154


He was residing in April 1833 in Wake County, N. C., and stated that he was born in Mecklenburg County, N. C., July 9th, 1758, wehere he was living when he entered the service. In 1785 he removed to Davidson County, Tenn., “There occasionally living for three years,” then returned to Mecklenburg County, where residing until 1799, since which time he has lived in Wake County as the Mayor of the City of Raleigh, where now living. He has lost his commission as 2nd Lieutenant and as Lieutenant Colonel Commandant. His papers were seized at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, by the British. He died January 14th, 1834.

In April 1775 he entered the service of South Carolina as 2nd Lieutenant in the Company of Capt. Ezekiel Polk in 3rd S. C. Regiment, mounted Infantry, commanded by Colonel William Thompson, which marched from the rendezvous in York District to Ninety-Six, Dorchester and Granby, where they were joined by the Militia of S. C. The object was to oppose the embodied Tories at Ninety-Six, to which place they marched and pursued the Tories, to the great cane break, where an engagement occurred December 22nd, 1775. In this action he received a wound in his left shoulder with which he

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was confined 8 or 9 months. Immediately after his recovery, he was appointed Major November 26th, 1776, in the 9th N. C. Regiment of the Continental line, he having held his commission of Lieutenant in South Carolina troops from April 1775 to November 26th, 1776. He joined his regiment at Halifax, N. C. in April 1777, he having been on duty in the interior by the command of General Moore at Charleston, S. C., and Wilmington, N. C. The Colonel of the 9th regiment was John Williams and the Lieutenant Colonel John Luttrell. The command of the regiment from the absence of the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel devolved on Major Polk, which he marched to Georgetown, Md., now in the District of Columbia, where they were inoculated with the small pox; from thence, after recovery, they went to Trenton, N. J., to join the army under General Washington, which was going to the head of the Elk to meet the enemy’s advance toward Philadelphia. He was in the battle of Brandywine (Delaware, 11 Sept., 1777) and Germantown (Pennsylvania, 4 October, 1777) in which latter he was wounded by a musket ball in the cheek. He continued with the army at Valley Forge until the regiments were reduced, when he, with other officers, returned to North Carolina to superinted the recruiting service to fill up the regiment. The particular length of this service he cannot recollect, nor the precise day of its termination, but upon a further reduction of the regiment, in the Spring or Summer of 1779, he was put out of the service. The length of his service as Major was certified by the Secretary of the State of N. C. as 33 months, to which Mr. Polk referred as on the Continental establishment. He served after this as an occasional Volunteer in the Militia until the fall or winter of 1780, the day and month not recollected, when he received a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the 4th and then the 3rd regiment of South Carolina, signed by John Rutledge, then Governor of that State. His regiment was first mustered under the command of General Thomas Sumter on Broad River in S. C. The first active service under his new commission was an attack upon a Block House near Granby on the Congaree, which was carried by his own and Colonel Wade Hampton’s regiments. He was at the siege and reduction of Fort Motte and Orangeburg (the respective dates are probably Orangeburg May 11th, 1781; Fort Motte May 12th, 1781; Fort Granby May 15th, 1781). He was in the battle of Eutaw Springs (September 8th, 1781) where his
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horse was killed under him; at the reduction of Wathoo (or Mathoo—badly written) and the battle at Quimby (probably late in July, 1781) making his service as Lieutenant Colonel Commandant in S. C. State troops, ten months. On one occasion he was a Volunteer in the Militia between the fall of 1779 and the date of his commission at Lieutenant Colonel and as aid to General Caswell at the battle of Gates’ defeat near Camden (August 16th, 1780).