Posted By:Steve Erwin
Post Date:February 19, 2011 at 06:55:17
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Forum:American Revolution Forum
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The Pension Application Of David Eirwin, Natl Archives Microseries M804, Roll 907, Application #R3369
DAVID EIRWIN, residing in Hendricks County, Indiana, aged seventy-five years:
       “That he was drafted into the army of the United States in the summer
of the year of the Battle of Camden [1780] and served as a private in the
company of North Carolina militia commanded by Captain ROBERT MCLAIN,
Lieutenant JAMES CRABTREE, other officers names belonging to the company not
now recollected. The declarant, at the time he entered the service, resided in
the lower part of Guilford County in the state aforesaid. He was drafted for
three months. His company assembled at the time aforesaid near the High Hills
of Santee River. They ranged through the country until the Battle of Camden,
upon different scouting expeditions.”
“That about one week previous to that engagement his company joined the main
army commanded by General GATES near their place of rendezvous, at the High
Hills of the Santee River, and with his company, incorporated with the main
army, moved towards Camden. That the engagement began about 10 o’clock in the
night previous to the main engagement. That in the morning his Company was
brought to act in the battle [per Heitman, August 16, 1780]. He had 40
cartridges, and fired about 20 rounds before the militia broke ground. That out
of his company, one man was killed and two wounded.”
“From extreme old age and subsequent lapse of memory, he is unable to remember
the names of any other of the regular as well as the militia officers with whom
he was acquainted, and being illiterate, has since these events been unable to
refresh his memory by reading, and for many years past has been deprived of the
opportunity of conversing with those who knew anything of these events that
transpired at the times referred to and to which he shall have occasion to
       “From the before described engagement, he returned to his father’s in
Guilford County, where he stayed a few days, when he received orders to meet
with his company at Bell’s Mill, 10 miles from his father’s residence, where
they assembled, and in a short time thereafter, he was with the rest of his
company, was discharged by his captain, and received a written discharge from
him, which has long since lost, having served the term of three months. The day
on which the before described battle took place he cannot recollect, but he
remembers that on his return home, he subsisted on “ration ears” and that it
must have been in August or September.”
       “That in the last of September or first of October of the same season
after the Battle of Camden, the declarant volunteered for three months into a
company commanded by Captain WILLIAM YORK, of the North Carolina militia, then
residing with his father at the place aforesaid. That he served these three
months as a private, except a short time he served as a sergeant, not less than
two weeks. The officers he has entirely forgotten. The company assembled at one
widow M. or W. ?Gee’s? and then marched to Litteral’s Barracks, where they
remained nearly three months, when they took a scout up Deep River, until the
three months expired, when he received a written discharge from his captain,
which he has long since lost. That during this campaign he was in no
engagement, nor met with no regular troops to his recollection.”
       “That in the summer of the year succeeding the Battle of Camden, the
declarant again volunteered into the company commanded by Captain YORK, while
residing in the place aforesaid, for three months, to serve as a private in the
light horse. The principle object or rather cause of raising this company was
to watch a body of disaffected, or Tories, commanded by one Colonel FANNING,
and to which a brother of this declarant belonged, by the name of JOHN ERWIN,
some years older than declarant and who resided about 20 miles from his
father’s residence. The company assembled at Captain YORK’s. He does not
recollect any other officer, except one Colonel DOUGAN was occasionally with
the company. They were constantly engaged in their scouts or marches. The
declarant with the company went down Deep River, up and down Tar River and Cane
Creek in pursuit of FANNING. Near the close of the campaign, they came down on
one side of Deep River and discovered FANNING’s forces on the opposite bank.
There were shots exchanged from each side of the two forces, but owing to the
width of the river at that place, no harm or injury resulted to either party.
At the close of the expedition, he received a discharge from Captain YORK,
which he has lost, certifying his faithful service for three months in this
last campaign.”
       “That shortly after the termination of the last tour of service,
Captain YORK informed declarant that he, with others of his company, were about
to proceed to the house of declarant’s brother, JOHN, who had been associated
with FANNING and to take him a prisoner, and proposed to declarant to go with a
body of men and take him, himself, and command the expedition and thereby save
his brother’s life and have him sent to Charleston to be exchanged for some
prisoner there who was attached to the cause of liberty. Declarant accepted the
proposition, and took a body of men and proceed to the residence of his
brother, where they arrived in the night, surrounded the house, and declarant
entered the house and took him prisoner and he had him delivered to Captain
YORK, or to some other officer who had him with others, sent to Charleston for
an exchange of prisoners. He served about one or two years. In this last
adventure the declarant was not engaged but a day on such a matter…etc.”
       “…He is well acquainted with JOSHUA HADLEY [a Continental officer], the
only living witness who has any actual knowledge of his services as a soldier
of the Revolution…”