New Marker for African Americans who fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain

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Last weekend, I went camping at King’s Mountain National Park with my son and lots of cousins.  It was a beautiful two days and we hiked on the gorgeous trail around the Revolutionary War battlefield.  While hiking, I noticed a new marker, placed there just a few days before, memorializing three African Americans who fought at the battle: Esaias Bowman, John Broddy and Andrew Ferguson.  When I got home I looked into these three soldiers and found some interesting information, but I found the most interesting one was Andrew Ferguson (1765-1855).

There are two applications that I examined on Fold3, one for a pension and one for bounty land.From his pension/ bounty applications Ferguson  acknowledges that he is colored and born of a free father and free mother.  Andrew states that he and his father, Andrew Perley, were from Dinwiddie County, Virginia and were captured by the British who whipped them with a “cat o’ nine tails”.  They both escaped and joined Nathanael Greene’s regiment, who were in the county at the time. Father and son participated in a good portion of the battles of the southern theater.  Andrew Ferguson relates that he was wounded at Camden in the leg but was able to fight at Ninety-Six, Kings Mountain, Pacolet River, Musgrove’s Mill, Eutaw Springs, Cowpens and  Guilford Courthouse.  It was at Guilford Courthouse where he was seriously wounded in the head and Doctor John Sidney placed a silver plate in the fracture.  Andrew was discharged shortly after Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown.

The bounty letter also mentions that he was in the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania and in the pension application there is a reference to the notorious Tory, Bill Cunningham, also known as bloody Bill Cunningham (for  the massacres of patriot militia he perpetrated in South Carolina).  He shot and killed an American near Andrew, then escaped.

Andrew Ferguson was given a small pension and would move to Monroe County, Indiana sometime after 1820. Both he and his wife were very poor and the first pension letter was in 1838 when he was 73.  The bounty letter was in 1851.  Then he wrote another one in 1855 when he was supposedly 90 years old!  He finally received his bounty for 160 acres in 1856, but by then he and his wife had already died without heirs.

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Andrew Ferguson’s pension letter in 1838.

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Andrew Ferguson’s first bounty letter in 1851

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Andrew received 20 dollars a year.

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Unfortunately his land bounty of 160 acres came too late.

Book Bonanza

books! books!!

Just put on the shelf some great new genealogical titles that were generously donated from the Wilson County Genealogical Society. In case you can’t read the pics, here’s their titles:

  1. Marriages of Some Virginia Residents, 1607-1800, Vols. A-Z
  2. Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Records
  3. Jamestowne Ancestors, 1607-1699
  4. Surry County, VA Tithables, 1668-1703
  5. Surry County, VA Wills and Administrations
  6. Early Virginia Families Along the James River, vol. III
  7. Indexes to Irish Wills
  8. Spotsylvania, VA Records, 1722-1838
  9. Marriages and Death Notices from Camden, SC Newspapers, 1816-1865
  10. Deeds of Gates County, NC 1819-1828
  11. Deeds of Gates County, NC 1828-1833
  12. The Register of Albemarle County, Surry and Sussex Counties, VA, 1739-1778
  13. Virginia Tithables from Burned Record Counties
  14. Some Marriages in the Burned Record Counties of Virginia
  15. Virginia Revolutionary War State Pensions
  16. Emigration from Southside Virginia

The Last Revolutionary War Veteran

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Captain George Fishley (not a zombie) one of the few veterans to attend the opening of the Bunker Hill monument in 1843.

The South Carolina Digital Newspaper Blog has an interesting post about the search for the last Revolutionary War veteran during the late 19th century.  These remaining veterans were tracked by using Revolutionary War pension records.  After Samuel Downing died in 1867 in New York State at the age of 100-106 (see his death notice in the Columbia, SC Daily Phoenix) many presumed that there were no veterans left.  But when others surfaced and in 1871 the Daily Phoenix stated that there were still two left but one had been struck from the pension records because of the Civil War and that unnamed person lived in New Bern, North Carolina.