Jun 6, 2021
Joseph Applegate (1760-1836) was my 5th great granduncle. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War (2nd Battaltion, New Jersey), and gave an account of his experience to a local court in Ohio in the early 1830s in an effort to gain a pension. Joseph had no documentation of his service, so the court in Ohio had to determine if his story was true. The court believed that Joseph was truthful and, as a result, was granted his pension.
The document was handwritten and was very difficult to read. I transcribed that document and I am posting it here because I believe it gives the reader an idea of what it was like to be a soldier of the American Revolution.
The following account was taken during Joseph’s declaration to obtain a pension on November 12, 1833 by the Court in Columbiana County, Ohio:
“He [Joseph Applegate] entered the service the first time in the year 1776, about the month of June in said year and continued one month, when we were relieved by the other company and we went home – the Commandment of our regiment (number not known) was Colonel Robert Nixon, the Lieutenant Colonel’s name was Seuddard, the Captain of our company was Isaac Koons – that he resided when he entered the service in New Windsor Township in the county of Middlesex County and the State of New Jersey – we marched from there to Hattenfield [Haddonfield] from thence to Elizabethtown from thence to Fox Pond, from thence to Elizabethtown Port, where the enemy were near being on Staten Island, so near that we could hear them hail their country and at which place the enemy killed two of our picket guards, and at which time there were sixteen of us (of whom I was one) attempted to take a Privateer, but we failed. Captain Smock commanded us.
That he entered the service the second time three months after the exposition of the first month and continued one month when we were again relieved by another Company that Captain Chambers, commander of our company, during said month and Colonel Scudder commanded the Plymouth. That he resided in the same county and state as aforesaid that we marched from thence to Hidestown [Heightstown] from thence to head quarterly at Newark, the enemy were then on Lory Island and Staten Island. There were some erofs firing or skirmishes.
That he entered the service the third time immediately before the Battle of Monmouth and continued one month when we were again relieved by another company, it being usual for militia companies to relieve one another that we marched to Monmouth and got there upon the day of the Battle – that General Washington commanded the troops there. That Captain Koons or Conley was our Commander and Colonel Nixon commandment of the regiment. That he resided in the county and state aforesaid.
That he entered the service the fourth time in the Winter of the year 1777 and continued for the space for four months – that he was engaged during that time in driving “baggage wagons” that he loaded at Trenton and drove to Kings Ferry on the North River where we unloaded - that Jonathan Akard was our wagon master during the three first months and during the last month William Hale was our wagon master, when we drove from Trenton to Philadelphia and part of us were engaged in “carting wood” and others “providing for the soldiers”.
That drove wagon one month more under Samuel Abbott in the year 1778 – that were engaged in hauling provisions and loaded at Morristown and Trenton and drove to Kings Ferry on the North River where we unloaded.
That he was engaged in the service for one month or more in scouting parties along “Toms River” sometimes two weeks at a time and sometimes three weeks at a time – we were these “minute men” and were compelled to go wherever warned”.
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