Pension Application for Israel Harris
State of New York
County of Washington SS
On this 29th day of August in the year of our Lord 1832 personally appeared in open court before he Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the County of Washington aforesaid at the Courthouse in the Town of Salem County of Washington and State of New York, now sitting, Israel Harris aged eighty five years, 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.
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served a the times and in the manner herein stated as well as after the lapse of times he recollects.
1775 In May volunteered under Colonel Ethan Allen to march with a party of volunteers and siege apart? the Fortress at Ticonderoga. Marched from Williamstown in Massachusetts to Castleton in Vermont, thence to Ticonderoga in New York and entered the fortress at that place, on the morning of May 10th. In a few days returned home to Williamstown aforesaid.
1775 The last of May enlisted as orderly sergeant into the Company commanded by Captain, Lemuel Steward, Lieutenant, Ezekiel Blair, 2nd Lieutenant Nathan Smith; for the term of six months attached to the Regiment of Massachusetts State Troops commanded by Field officers; Colonel James Eason, Major John Brown.
Same month said Regiment commanded by Col. Easen marched to Fort Ticonderoga aforesaid and commenced building boats for an excursion northward. In August following the whole Army consisting of four Regiments Commanded by Brigadier Gen’l Montgomery sailed from Ticonderoga to “St. Johns” in Canada and laid siege to the Fortress so called. Said siege lasted three months and four days when the Garrison surrendered to Genl Montgomery on the 4th day of December 1775. Towards the close of December Colonel Eason’s Regiment was discharged at St. Johns whence they proceeded to their homes.
1776 Was ordered in the first part of October as orderly sergeant in the company of militia commanded by Captain M. Smedly Lieutenant Jude Williams and 2nd Lieutenant Timothy Bigelow to muster at Williamstown aforesaid. Said company belonged to a Regiment of Militia commanded by Colonel Simonds of Williamstown aforesaid said company marched to Ticonderoga in New York and said Israel Harris continued then in person and by substitute at his own expense four months at the expiration of which time said Company was dismissed and returned home in January.
1777 About the first of July, marched as orderly sergeant in Colonel Simonds Regiment of Militia in the Company commanded by Captain Samuel Clark, from Williamstown, Massachusetts, to Fort Ann in the County of Washington New York; in the vicinity of said Fort, they encountered a detachment of Genl Burgoyne’s Army and a severe engagement ensured in which the enemy were routed and driven back. On the following day the British having been reinforced, another severe engagement was fought which resulted in the retreat of Colonel Simonds to Fort Edward in said County. Genl Schuyler being Commander in Chief, ordered one half of Simonds Regiment to return home (in which was included said Israel Harris) to hold themselves in readiness to march at a minutes warning. About one week after a detachment of the British Army under the command of Colonel Brown, advanced to Bennington in Vermont. In the mean time Colonel Simonds had returned home, where he received and express from Genl Schuyler with orders to take the field with all the force he could muster and for them to march to Bennington to oppose Baum. The said Israel Harris was included in this muster and subsequently upon the 16th of August in the engagement which resulted in Baum’s Defeat and death. Genl Stark had command of the American Troops in this battle. After the said battle Colonel Simonds Regiment was dismissed and this Deponent returned home. The last of August Colonel Simonds was again ordered to take the field with his whole Regiment of Militia and was stationed at Pawlet in Vermont and subsequently marched by scouting parties along the frontier through hills and adjoining farms to Whitehall. The object of this march was to cut off the retreat of stragglers and all communication betwixt the British General Burgoyne and Canada. The above campaign continued three and a half months during which this deponent was Lieutenant, in Captain Jude Williams Company of militia in Colonel Simonds Regiment. Then they dismissed and returned home to Williamstown in Massachusetts.
1778 Upon or about the 1st May was appointed Lieutenant to serve in a [?] granted by the General Assembly of Massachusetts, in Colonel Woods Regiment –a term of eight months from their arrival in camp. Arrived in camp at Peekskill in New York about the 16th of May. Previous to this was occupied by order from 1st of May till 16th in [?] and marching. Afterwards were encamped most of the ensuing summer at White Plain NY. Sometime in September following the British Army [?] pursuing their cause eastward through the Sound, General Nixans Brigade was dispatched by land to watch their movements. Previously Colonel Woods Regiment had been annexed to Genl. Nixan’s Brigade. Said Lieutenant Harris marched in this expedition as far as Farmington in Connecticut. The British Army soon after returning to New York to Winter Quarters--Woods Regiment was ordered back to Pakskell into winter quarters. Remained there until 1st February 1779 when said Regiment was dismissed to return home.
1779 About the middle of May was appointed was appointed Captain of the 2nd company of Militia in Colonel Simonds Regiment and Commenced scouting the next day by order of Col. Simonds to supply deficiencies in the regular army. Wes there employed with the rank of Captain and in actual service with command upon the frontiers of Vermont in the latter of November. Three months. [This record ends here.]
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832, being a declaration in addition of his Declaration made in August last prefixed to this and intended to meet and alleviate the objections made by the war department to that declaration and to add some additional facts, circumstances and evidence.
State of New York
County of Washington
On this fourteenth Day of March 1833 in the Court of Common Pleas, holden in and for the County of Washington and being a court of record before the Judges of the same court Israel Harris personally appeared in Open Court who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following Declaration in order to and in amendment of his previous declaration made in this court in August last—in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832—that he was eighty six years old in February last—That at the several times when he entered or was called into the service of his country as stated in his declaration made in August last, or as herein after stated he lived in the Town Williamstown, County of Dunshire? And State of Massachusetts—that he continued to reside in that town until the year after the close of the Revolutionary War—That he then moved to the Town of Rutland in the County of Rutland and State of Vermont, that he continued to reside in Rutland until sometime in the year, 1806 when he removed to the Town of Hartford in the County of Washington and State of New York, where he now resides and has ever since continued to reside—That he never received any written discharge from service on any one of his tours of duty—But was discharged with his Regiment or Company as stated in his original declaration he performed the following services which were omitted to be stated in his original Declaration because he supposed without them he should be entitled to a full pension.
In January in the year 17?8 he was a Sergeant by his Commander Colonel Simonds sent with a small guard as a scouting part to Whitehall in the County of Washington aforesaid and was one week absent and engaged in this tour.
Sometime in the Spring thereafter he was sent again by Colonel Simonds from Williamstown when he resided to Lansingburgh then called the [?] city on the Hudson River as a Sergeant with a guard on a scouting party and was engaged on this duty eight days.
And that in May 1777 he was again sent by Colonel Simonds as a Sergeant & went as a volunteer under an officer of the regular Army and he thinks with a guard or small number of men on a scout across Connecticut River [?] be in New Hampshire and was engaged in this duty one week—on these three small tours he was sent from Williamstown where he then resided—that he received his directions from Colonel Simonds, under whose orders he was and he understood that Colonel Simonds in giving these orders was under the directions of superior authority—the object of these scouting parties was to search out, detect & guard any cause the Tories or Straggling parties of the enemy, but more particularly against the former the Tories—on these parties I had no superior officer with me.
I am not able to be more particular in naming the field and company officers under whom I served that is done in my original declaration in August last and hence after in this declaration.
And this deponent Israel Harris saith that by reason of old age, and the consequence loss of memory he cannot positively swear & declare as to the precise length of his service but according to the best of his recollections he served not less than the periods mentioned below and in the following grades.
1775 In the year 1775 for eight months as a Sergeant on my volunteer tour in Janur’y, the fortress at Ticonderoga as I was one month in service—this expedition was as far as I know and believe without any commissioned officers, all were under the direction of Colonel Ethan Allan, I know of no company or other field officer other than Col. Allen unless Col. Benedict Arnold who was there, as such, on the organization after the taking the Fort this Declarant was appointed and acted as Sergeant and remained there on duty till a detachment was dispatched down the lake to St. Johns and took and returned with a boat or vessel loaded with provisions –Immediately after this Declarant returned to Williamstown, he enlisted and served as a Sergeant as stated in his original declaration but his regiment was not dismissed till January 1776 The Army at Ticonderoga that moved on to St. Johns was the Brigade of Gen. Montgomery—Consisting of a Massachusetts Regiment Col. Easton -- a Connecticut Regiment Col. Waterbury a New Hampshire Regiment Col. Bradley a New York Regiment commanded as this declarant thinks by Col. Livingston, the above named &b Col. Ethan Allen, & Capt. Mc Pherison the generals aid even with the troops when this declarant served for one week on scout to Whitehall and eight days on scout to the New City on the Hudson served as a sergeant also as a sergeant on the tour of four months stated in the original declaration for one month personal service and three months by a substitute.
That this Declarant can now recollect who were with the troops when he served on this expedition, are Gen St. Clair Commandants, Colonel Patterson—Sloan & Pool of the Regular service as the thinks and his Colonel Col. Simonds and Captains Smidly – Low—Clark and Douglass of Col. Simonds Regiments.
1777 For one week on a scout as Sergeant—Also as a Sergeant for one month & a half. Officers with the troops on this expedition—Col. Simonds his own Colonel & Colonels Brener and Long of the Regular service with these Regiments at Fort Ann at Fort Edward & Gen. Schuyler at Fort Edward—at Bennington Gen. Stark, Col. Simonds, Col. Herrick with a Regiment of Regulars and Co. Warren of the Regular service as he believes.
His second expedition for two months as a Lieutnant & more officers with the troops. Col. Simonds Commander Captains Williams, Parker, Low, Clark Douglas and Bemis.
1778 For nine months as a Lieutenant. He served in General Nelsons Brigade, Regiments in said Brigade commanded by officers with the troops, Col. Wood, Col. Brown, Col. Putnams & Col. Upton. These colonels were present & general officers—Gen. Washington, Gen. LaFayette, Gen. Lincoln, and Gen. ???. The survivors in his Regiment were Col. Ezira Woods, Col Hale, Major Cushman, Captain Enoch Frolin for three months as Captain this duty was principally with Col. Simonds Regiment and this declarant collects no other officers but of his regiments and no other regiment or corps with them.
This Declarant says that his commissions and warrants except his commission attached have long been lost or destroyed.
This declarant believes his neighbors would generally testify in favour of his character for truth and veracity and their belief that he served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War against the Common Enemy, but now names –Rev. Amos C. Tuttle, Deacon Timothy Allen, Gen. Wm. Covil?, Col. Caleb Brown, David Doone and Seeale D. Brown esqr, Capt. Moses Cook, Messrs Lemuel Griffin, Calvin Townsend, Russell Smith and Lyman Broughton.
And this declarant says that no certificate of a commissioned officer can be obtained for either terms of his service above specified to his knowledge or belief, now dies he know of any living witness of any part of his service except Joseph Morse of Poultney in Vermont whose deposition is annexed to this his supplemental declaration.
And this declarant does (now as hereto has done) relinquished every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present—and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state.
(Signed with his mark) Israel Harris
Sworn to and subscribed the day & year aforesaid. I. S. Leigh Clk
State of New York
County of Washington
I Joseph Morse of the Town of Poultny, County of Rutland and state of Vermont, being duly and lawfully sworn doth depose and say that he is now in his seventy seventh year of his age. That he is and long hath been acquainted with Israel Harris, Town of Hartford, County of Washington and State of New York formerly of Williamstown in Massachusetts, the applicant for a pension the annexed, original supplementary and additional declarations—That he lived with and in the family of Captain Israel Harris from the time the deponent was fourteen years of age till his twenty fourth or twenty fifth year, with the exception of an occasional month or two, that he this deponent lived with the said Israel Harris during the whole period of the Revolutionary War. And he knows that the said Israel Harris was always ready during the whole period of the Revolutionary War to start at a moment’s warning on any service that the interest of his country and the good of her cause required.
That he perfects recollects Israel Harris volunteered in 1775 with Col. Ethan Allen to surprise and take the fortress at Ticonderoga and that he was absent about one month—and that he then understood that he signed on that occasion as a Sergeant—that immediately on his return Israel Harris enlisted and an Orderly Sergeant and from thence to St. Johns in Canada, this deponent perfectly recollect the starting of Capt. Stewart’s Company from Williamstown with the said Israel Harris as his sergeant—that he was absent on this expedition at least seven months making in all eight months from that year.
This deponent knows that in the fall of the year of 1776, Israel Harris went again to Ticonderoga with Col. Simond’s Regiment as a Sergeant and served according to this deponent, believes for at least a months and in garrison duty at Ticonderoga in the ensuing winter this deponent for about three months served as the substitute for the said Israel Harris and this deponent further says that he was present and in the same company with Israel in 177 at Fort Ann and Fort Edward and at Bennington that he knows that on these occasions the said Israel Harris served as a Sergeant as he has stated in his declaration which have been read to him—and he thinks he thus served for at least one and a half months—that after the Battle of Bennington, Israel Harris was promoted to the office of Lieutenant in the company of Captain Jude Williams in Col. Simonds Regiment—that about this time and very shortly after the Bennington battle he, this deponent went to Connecticut and thinks he must have been absent during Israel Harris’ two months service in that role (or part of that time) as he has but an instance recollection of that tour of duty—but he has never been desolate of the fact that Israel Harris did this service as he has stated, having full confidence in his integrity—and having himself some slight recollection of that service.
That on or about the first of May 1778 Israel Harris was appointed as Lieutenant in Capt. Noels’ Company – That he immediately commenced recruiting and served on the expedition to Becks Hill as stated in his declaration that he was engaged in recruiting and was absent on this expedition at least nine months—And that he always understood and believed and still believes, he was during this absence engaged in the service as he stated.
That in 1779 Israel Harris was appointed Captain in Col. Simonds Regiment and was engaged as such in recruiting and in actual service in Vermont with Col. Simonds Regiment in all at least three months—That when he was out on his expedition this year this deponent was with him as his waiter.
And this deponent further states that during this whole period of the Revolutionary War Israel Harris’ residence was in Williamstown in Massachusetts—and that in all his expeditions he started from that place—that Israel Harris is now and always has been a man of fair and impeachable character for integrity, truth and veracity—and further this deponent saith not.
(Signed) Joseph Morse
And I further certify that the above deponent, Joseph Morse is a man of fair character, for integrity, truth & veracity. Isaac. W. Bishop Justice of the Peace
Sworn before me this 11th day of March A.D. 1833. Isaac W. Bishop, Justice of the Peace.