Pension Application for Lewis Jacobs
State of Vermont
District of Addison SS.
On this 7th day of September 1832, personally appeared in open court before the Probate Court for said District of Addison, a Court of record now sitting, Lewis Jacobs a resident in New Haven in the County of Addison, aged eighty years on the 10th day of the last month, who being first duly sworn doth, on his oath make the following declaration in addition to and explanation of his former declaration made before the county court for the County of Addison on the 5th day of July 1832, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated—
At North Castle, Westchester County New York, where I then lived in the year 1776, I entered the service as a volunteer, about a week previous to the battle of White Plains, in a company commanded by Capt. Sacket in a regiment commanded by Colonel Malcom of New York—I was present at the battle of White Plains in the right wing of the army, the crops of volunteers, to which I belonged, were ordered to go & take possession of some baggage belonging to the American Army, which for some time was in the direction of the fire of the British army.—We were in plain view of them and saw them put the match to their field pieces, as a detachment of the British came round the Court house upon us, & retreated to load again; their fire event over our heads; after firing about fifteen guns, they [?] back and we went & took possession of the baggage—None of our troops were killed; after the battle I was employed in guarding the lines, at White Plains & North Castle and continued in the service at this time not less than five weeks.
I had before this engaged as a minute man, and although, I was not all the time in the service, I was holden to be ready whenever called for—Some weeks after my return, from the service above mentioned, as I think, about a month.—There came a call for troops and I volunteered, under the command of Colonel Thomas. I do not now recollect under what Captain I was, and we marched through White Plains, to within about two miles of Fort Independence, near the East River, where we encamped, was much fatigued and built fires & were cooking our victuals, when orders came from General Parsons, who commanded the detachment to put out our fires and prepare to march – as I was well acquainted with the country, I was employed to conduct General Parsons, & the troops towards the fort. The forepart of the night which was dark & rainy, we marched to within gunshot of the fort & encamped until morning—about daylight, when the rain had closed off—we were discovered from the fort a cannon shot was fired at us, which killed one of our men, who stood next but one to me—A shot was returned from our troops which also killed one of the enemy—Upon which Gen. Parsons ordered the troops to retire and we returned to the lines and I continued in the service at that time not less than four weeks. The above mentioned fort was built on the ground where General Montgomery’s house stood.
The same fall, after the weather had become cold, I volunteered with about one hundred under Colonel Thomas, and marched toward Fort Independence, for the purpose of serving the picket guard, --But before we reached the fort, daylight came on, and we found that we were too late and were ordered to retreat & marched back a short distance to the fork of the roads, and these secreted ourselves behind a stone wall, and soon after a patrole of three hundred British Dragoons marched toward where we were:--In the meantime we were ordered not to fire until they came opposite to us: And when they came up against us we fired and jumped over the wall upon them. As I jumped over I was within a few feet of one of the dragoons, who turned upon me with his cutlass drawn, but I pointed my bayonet at him & was near enough to reach him with it, and ordered him to dismount—upon which he threw down his cutlass at my feet, & dismounted & was taken prisoner. We took in the whole eight prisoners—the rest were so much alarmed with our sudden appearance & shouts, that they immediately fled.—At this time I was absent in service two weeks.
The next year if I am not mistaken in my recollection of the time, I volunteered again and was stationed as a guard at King’s Ferry for ten days from King’s Ferry I went to Sing Sing, where I was kept on guard three weeks. Capt. Sacket had the command of the company, but I was not attached to any particular regiment, and was not under any Colonel. While at Sing Sing, on a Sunday morning, I witnessed a battle in the river between a number of British and American Row gallies—in which the British obtained the victory and principally destroyed our gallies.
The services above mentioned, I well recollect and know that I have not stated the terms of service too long—but within a few years my recollection has very much failed, and I am not at all certain I have stated correctly the years in which the two last mentioned services were performed.—Form 1776 to the end of the war I was engaged in a corps of minute men, liable to be called out at any time. And at the enemy ,and especially the tories annoyed that neighborhood, I was very frequently called into service, and was indeed all the time in the service, [?] that when not needed for active duty, I was permitted to labour at farming on my own property and furnish myself with provisions.—I was organized with others into a company of minute men, under the command of Capt. Sacket who when called upon, sent a non-commissioned officer to notify us of the time & place of meeting for the expedition. At one time I was stationed, with thirty or forty others as a guard at [Manneck?] to intercept the communication of the cowboy’s & tories with a British vessel, then lying in the East River,--which was carried on by them for the purpose of carrying off provisions to the British—for which purpose the British vessel was stationed there.—His service was not less than four weeks.—I was much of the time stationed also on guard at North Castle, and was employed on Scouts & in guarding the lives—At one time, while stationed there, I went out on a scout, to Reconnoiter the country, being separated from the other troops & alone about 6 or 7 miles from North Castle, on the road between King’s Bridge & White Plains, I was surprised by a British guard of five, and taken a prisoner and carried to New York—and put on board a British transport, then lying at Staten Island—on board which were from 500 to 600 tories going out, as British soldiers on some expedition—at this time the British General Howe was preparing to go out of the harbor at New York on an expedition to Philadelphia—for the purpose as has been supposed, to create a diversion of the American troops. – General Burgoyne, at that time coming from Canada through the lakes into the United States—From this transport vessel, I was put on board another British vessel. The next morning, a British officer on board spoke in my hearing and said “My lads, who understands a sail boat”—To which I promptly replied that I did—upon which he delivered to me a written order, on the Commissary in New York, for some provisions, and I went on board a sail boat, with another American then in the service of the British as a common hand & unarmed, and a British soldier under arms.—
As soon as out of the reach of the British vessel, I requested the soldier to let me see his gun, which he handed to me. – And I then ordered the British soldier to strip off his red coat, and lie down in the boat & kept still, on penalty of being thrown overboard. This order he obeyed.—And the wind & tide being in our favor, instead of going into New York, I steered up the East River toward the sound.—and as we passed, between New York & Brooklyn, the British guard ship, Asia lay there—and she fired a gun after our boat—then forward--& then attempted to fire at us, but the ball hit the water & bounded over our boat—And before the British could get out their boats, to pursue us, we got around Corlear’s Hook, & out of their sight. We then passed up through Hurl-Gate—and being well acquainted with the places, where the British guards were stationed, & landed just at night, at a piece of woods, under cover of the bushes & was in a Salt marsh—and reached North Castle before day the next morning, leaving the British soldier to find his own bay back with his boat. While at North Castle and at other places, on the lines,--which embounded the whole of the years mentioned—and while laboring a part of the time on my own account, I was frequently, and always in my turn, on guard, during the night.—The company, to which I belonged, being in turn on guard every night and I was in fact on duty the whole time. Before the war, I owned a farm & resided at Morrisinia but was driven off by the British who remained in possession of that place; and was not able to return home to my farm until the close of the war—and I had no regular employment during the war, except as a soldier. That whenever no on active duty, would as I could find opportunity and was able to supply myself with provisions, so as not to live at the expense of the country.—While thus employed form home, in the service of the Country, the British & tories destroyed a good house & barn & cider mill & orchard on the farm, which I owned at Morrisinia and carried off seven horses, several cows, & all the property within their reach—so that I was left in a very destitute condition. The farm & other property to which I have referred above had belonged to my father, but my parents being old, I had taken it on a condition that I should support them. When the war commenced, I was obliged to flee from home with my parents, & a sister with three helpless children whose husband & father was in the American Services, as captain of a Privateer—and I had all these upon my hand to provide for as well as I could—and they resided, during the war, at North Castle.
Although I am not now able to recollect exactly the periods of my active service, I am free to say on my oath, that the whole period, in which I was on active duty during the war, was not less than two years, and I have no doubt that it was nearer three years.
In the service first mentioned, in this declaration the year next to which I belonged, after the battle of White Plains was under the command of Colonel, afterwards, General Thomas, I find, on examination of my declaration made before the County Court on the 5th July last, this service is said to be performed under the said Thomas—and no mention is made of Colonel Malcolm, who had the command during the battle—I find also some other apparent error, awing I suppose to the great hurry & confusion, and the general terms in which that declaration was drawn up, by the attorneys and in part perhaps to my own confused recollection or statement or both. In making my present declaration, I have endeavored to recollect as many particulars, as I am now able, and to state them as deliberately as possible, and although I may have erred, as to the time when events took place, and some unimportant incidental circumstances, I have entire confidence in my recollection of the events & facts themselves, and of the length of time, so far as I have stated.
I was born, at Morrisinia, West Chester County, New York on the 10th day of August 1752. I know of no record of my birth made at the time. Soon after I had a family I make [made] a record of my age in my family bible, according to the information obtained from my parents, which I still have in possession. I resided with my parents at Morrisinia until driven off, at the commencement of the war by the British, and during the war we resided at North Castle & other places on the lines—at the close of the war, I removed to Courtland’s Manor, where I resided two years, and then removed to Ferrisburgh, Addison County Vermont where I resided until last spring, when I removed to New Haven in the same county—I never had any written discharge. I refer to Rev. Joel Fish, Jonathan Hoyt Junr. & Justices Pur & Solomon Brown, Esquires Frederick Eno & Martin Eno, Esq. in my present neighborhood in New Haven—to Benjamin Ferris, Daniel March & Theophilus Middlebrook Esquires, who were my neighbors in Ferrisburgh, who can testify to my character for veracity and their belief of my services as a soldier of the revolution.
And the said Lewis Jacobs hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and he declares, that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state. (Signed with his mark) Lewis Jacobs
Sworn to & subscribed the day & year aforesaid. Saml Swift, Judge.
Return to opening page of Morrison's Pensions