Pension Application for James Dickson
State of Pennsylvania
County of Erie
On this eighth day of August 1832, personally appeared before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas within and for the County of Erie now sitting James Dickson a resident of the Township of North East in the County of Erie and State of Pennsylvania aged seventy six years who being first duly sworn according to laws doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.
That in the month of February 1776 this applicant then residing in the County of Montgomery in the state of New York was drafted in the militia and called out to serve a tour of duty and was in the company commanded by Capt. Samuel Clyde in the Brigade under the command of Genl Herkimer and under the orders of Genl Clinton. He entered the service at the town of Cherry Valley in the said county and was marched to Johnstown in the same county in an expedition against Sir John Johnson and the Tories with him Sir John Johnson surrendered and this expedition closed in about eight or ten days and this applicant was then discharged.
In the month of May 1778, this deponent was again drafted and called out in the Militia by order of General Herkimer with a detachment of Militia consisting of about thirty men under the command of Lieut. James Cannon and was marched westward into the wilderness about forty miles to a settlement on Otsego river for the purpose of protecting the inhabitants from the Tories in the said settlement. This service was performed and several of the leading Tories were taken and brought to the jail of Montgomery County and there this deponent was discharged from service on that tour we were gone about two weeks on the above mentioned expedition.
In the month of September 1776 this applicant was twice drafted and was called out in the Militia by order of General Herkimer and marched to the German Flats to defend the Frontier. He was marched in a company commanded by Capt. Whitaker. He was marched from that part of Montgomery County then Canajohara [Canajoharie] Township now Cherry Valley to the German Flats a distance of about twenty five miles each of these (two) tours occupied about a week. He was then discharged from the service.
In the month of April 1777 Genl Herkimer directed Col. Harper of the Militia to select two men to go as spies to the About Creek on the Susquehanna river about forty miles from the residence of his applicant and through the wilderness. Col. Harper selected this applicant and one Howells and we went on the said tour and returned again in about seven days having accomplished the object of the expedition.
In the later part of the month of April 1777 this applicant was again drafted and called out by order of Genl Herkimer to suppress Capt. McDonald and his Tories on the Delaware River—He marched under the command of Capt. Whitaker. They performed the service, Cap. McDonald and his party came to terms and delivered up their persons as hostages for their good behavior who were brought and confined in the jail at Albany. This deponent was about nine days on said tour.
In the month of May 1777 this applicant was sent by order of Genl Herkimer with some others as a spy to Schuyler’s Lake about thirty six miles into the wilderness; this service they performed in about one week.
In the month of June 1777 this deponent was again drafted by order of Genl Herkimer to go on an expedition against Capt. Brant who was encamped in the Susquehanna River about two miles below the mouth of the Unadilla River with about two hundred Indians and one hundred Tories. This expedition was commanded by Genl Herkimer in person, this applicant was in the Regiment commanded by Col. Ebez Cox and in the company commanded by Capt. Whitaker. We held a parley with Brant, he agreed to disband his Indians and Tories and return to Niagara and entered into an agreement to that effect and we then returned. But Brant did not observe his agreement but shortly after resumed hostilities. This deponent was engaged in the said expedition for the time he was first called out in it till the time he was discharged about the period of one month.
About the last of July or first of August 1777 this deponent was again called out with the militia in mass under the command of Genl Herkimer to go to the relief of Fort Stanwix which was then besieged by Genl St. Leger. He was under the command of Capt. Whitaker and in Col. Cox’s Regiment. This applicant was then marched to the German Flats (then called Fort Dayton) where the whole force amounting to seven hundred men were rendezvoused. We then marched under the command of Genl Herkimer towards Fort Stanwix but were met near Oriskany Creek about four miles from Fort Stanwix by a detachment of the enemy under the command of Major Watts amounting to about 1400 men. We were ambushed and Genl Herkimer was mortally wounded. While the action was going on Lieutenant Col. Willett sallied out of the Fort and attacked the enemy in the woods. Then firing was heard by the party who attacked us and they returned back to the fort. We remained on the ground an hour after the enemy had left the ground but of our whole number but one hundred and thirty men were left fit for duty at the close of the action. Three hundred and forty-six of our man were killed and taken. We then returned to Fort Dayton and brought our wounded back to it. We expected that Genl St. Leger would come on down the river and remained at Fort Dayton about three weeks after the battle which was on the sixth of August; at the expiration of that time Genl. Arnold came on with about twelve hundred men to go and attack Fort Stanwix. I went with him on that expedition as far as German Town (where Whitestown now stands) where I was sent back to Fort Dayton on express. St. Leger evacuated the Fort and I did not join Arnold again but was dismissed shortly after. I was about one month on this last mentioned tour.
In the month of September 1777 I was again drafted to perform a month’s tour of duty in the Militia to serve under Genl Gates at Bemus Heights (at Saratoga) against Genl Burgoyne. I was in a company commanded by Capt. Cornelius Newkirk and commanded by Major Clyde. We marched to Bemis Heights on this tour and remained there till the month expired and were then relieved by other drafts and returned home.
After I returned home I was elected an ensign in the Militia and in October 1777 I was sent by Col. Campbell with fourteen other men to reconnoiter the Tory settlement on Butternut Creek twenty five miles from Fort Plain. Lieut. Cannon commanded this expedition and I was second in command. We performed the duty and were absent altogether about two weeks.
In the Month of February in the year 1778, he received an order from Col. Morgan Lewis then deputy Quarter Master General in the army of the U. States to raise a company of men to serve as Batteaux men in the service of the United States, to serve in the said service until the first day of January 1779 unless sooner discharged; the said order constituting and appointing this applicant to be captain of the said company the said order of Col. Lewis purporting to be made in pursuance of an order of Congress, at the time this deponent received the said order he was residing in the Township of Canajoharie in the County of Montgomery and State of New York. This deponent further states that in conformity to the said order he paraded and enlisted a company of thirty men to serve as before mentioned from the period of enlistment till the first day of January 1779. The said company of men were enlisted to serve in the service of the United States of America and to be subject to such orders as Congress and the same oath was administered to the men that were raised as before mentioned. He continued to serve with the said company until the first day of January 1779:--From the time the said company was raised until the first day of June.
We were employed in the Quarter Masters department in and about Albany on the first day of said 1778. We were sent down the North River to Fishkill and engaged in transporting Genl. Washington’s Army across the river after the battle of Monmouth and transporting provisions &c. Sometimes in going expresses by water on the North River in which service we continued till about the last week in August—when we were ordered back to Albany, this deponent was then ordered to Springfield in Massachusetts with a Brigade of teams with flour for the support of Burgoyne’s Army who were prisoners at Rutland in Massachusetts and continued in that service till about the last of October when the men belonging to the company were collected at Albany and ordered to Saratoga to cut wood for the public service in which duty we were continued till the term of our said service had expired and we were discharged at Albany on the first day of January 1779. The said company served generally under the command of Col. Morgan Lewis at FishKill under the direction of Col. Sludary Teay? at Tappan Bay under the orders of Major Shirtliff and Col. Carderton.
In the month of March 1781 [blurred]
In the month of June 1779, I volunteered to go with Genl James Clinton on the Western expedition under Genl Sullivan against the Indians. I went with Genl Clinton as a Pilot: We marched to the outlet of Otsego Lake and prepared boats along on the Susquehanna River we then raised a dam at the outlet of the Lake and kept it up about three weeks, we then pulled down the dam and after the water had run out about three days we floated off the boats and floated down the River. I went as a Pilot to the boats. We went down to Tioga Point where we joined Genl Sullivan who was encamped at the point. Sullivan & Clinton had nearly three thousand men volunteers and all, I then left the army and returned home. I was about seventy five days on this tour and have never received any pay for it.
In the month of May 1780 I was ordered out with the militia against Sir John Johnson and his army who had made an incursion into the Mohawk River. This expedition was under the command of Major Newkirk. We were out about one week on this expedition.
In the month of September 1780, I was ordered out in the militia under the command of Col. Harper to guard Sacondaga about fifteen miles north of Johnstown in Montgomery County, we were first under the command of Capt. Garrett Putnam and after he went home under the command of Lieut. Quackenbush we built a block house at Sacondaga and were about twenty days on this tour.
In the month of March 1781 I volunteered in the nine months militia service in the Regiment commanded by Col. Marinus Willett and was appointed as a supernumary officer. I served in this situation for the period of nine months and discharged in January 1782. I was attached for the greater part of the time to the company of Captain Marshall. He served at different points along and near the Mohawk River at Fort Plain at Fort Hunter, Fort Dayton and Ballstown—and was discharged at Albany. I received my discharge from Col. Willett which by accident was burnt twenty five years ago [?] with his commission.
During the whole of the above period of service my residence was in the county of Montgomery and State of New York.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present (and that for his service in the Batteau services as set forth in his application for that pension) and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
In answer to Interrogatorys, says that he was born in Cherry Valley State of New York on the 3d February 1750. That he has no record of his age but what he made himself.
Since the war lived in Cherry Valley. In 1789 moved thence to Westmoreland Co., Pennsa.—thence moved to his present residence in Erie County Pa. in 1802 where he has continued to reside since.—
That John W. Cord Esq. Delbert Tulle Esq are among his present neighbors who can prove his character. (Signed) James Dickson
Sworn & Subscribed in Open Court 8 August 1832. Edwin J. Kelso, Pro
Reply to a letter of inquiry dated December 16, 1928.
I have to advise you from the records of this bureau, it appears that James Dickson (son of William Dickson) was born February 3, 1756 at Cherry Valley, New York.
While residing in Montgomery County, New York, he served in the New York Troops, as follows—
In February 1776, eight or ten days in Captain Samuel Clyde’s Company on the expedition to Johnstown.
In May 1776, two weeks under Lieutenant James Cannon out against the Tories.
In September 1776, one week in Captain Thomas Whitaker’s Company, to defend the frontier.
In April 1777, one week in Captain Thomas Whitaker’s Company, to defend the frontier.
In May 1777, one week as Spy; and from June 1777 one month in Captain Whitaker’s Company, Colonel Ebenezer Cox’s Regiment, under General Herkimer to negotiate with Brant at Unadilla; and was called out under the same officers to the relief of Fort Stanwix, was in the battle of Oriskany and served one month.
From September 1777, one month in Captain Cornelius Newkirk’s Company, and in October 1777, two weeks as Ensign under Lieutenant Cannon.
From February 1778, Captain of a Company of Batteaumen in the Quartermaster’s Department under Morgan Lewis, Udny Hay, and Cardleton, and served until January 1, 1779.
From June 1779, about seventy-five days, Pilot to General James Clinton on the Western Expedition to join General Sullivan against the Indians.
In May 1780, one week under Major Newkirk in the expedition against Sir John Johnston. [Johnson]
In September 1780, twenty days under Captain Garrett Putman.
From March 1781, nine months as Lieutenant under Captain Marshall in Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment.
He was allowed pension on his application executed August 8, 1832, while living at North East, Erie County, Pennsylvania. It is not stated that soldier was married.
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