Application of Samuel Otterson S25344
Transcribed1 & Annotated by Will Graves
Declaration of Maj. Samuel Otterson2 in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832
State of Alabama, County of Greene
On the 20th day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred thirty two personally appeared in open court before Madison Crenshaw Judge of the Circuit court of Greene County, State of Alabama now sitting Samuel Otterson a resident of the County of Greene & State of Alabama of the age of seventy eight years since the first day of April last part 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 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated (viz): He received the commission of first Lieutenant in Captain Daniel MacKee's3 Company in June 1776 under the hand & seal of his Excellency John Rutledge4 then Governor & commander in chief of the Colony of South Carolina which said commission he now hath but it is so mutilated that the day of the month cannot be ascertained. Said commission was countersigned "By his excellency's command Wm Nisbett D. Secy." He states that under said Captain MacKee as 1st Lieutenant he went to an expedition against the Cherokee Nation of Indians. The Regiment to which his company belonged was commanded by Colonel John Thomas Sr.5 & that regiment & a regiment commanded by Col. Neille6 left Prince's Fort7 as well as he recollects sometime in July or August after the date of his commission [in] 1776 for Keowee on the river Keowee or Seneca after passing several Indian Towns, viz. Eastatoe & Qualatchee & Toxaway which we burnt & demolished and on arrival at Keowee we met with General Williamson's8 Brigade to which our regiments belonged who commanded in person. We lay there sometime & Williamson with some 6 or 700 hundred of his men had an engagement called the Ring Fight in which this deponent was not [a participant].
From Keowee, we moved down the river to Seneca on the Seneca River & remained there some Time preparing to take a tour to the middle settlements & valleys. When we arrived to the middle settlements, we lay all night in sight of the North Carolina Army.9 On the next morning, we left for the valleys (of the Tennessee River) & after we had got about two miles from where we encamped & left the North Carolina Army we were attacked by the Indians & had a severe engagement in which this applicant was [a participant]. Many were killed on both sides but the Indians were defeated or dispersed. From thence we marched to the valley Towns on the Tennessee River & destroyed them & were met by a Detachment from the North Carolina Army. From thence we marched to an Indian Town called Tugaloo on the Tugaloo River where we stayed 2 or 3 days & marched thence back to Seneca after destroying the Town of Tugaloo & there were discharged. The whole time we were out was about 14 weeks.
During the Year 1777, this applicant does not recollect certainly to have been in the service. In 1778 as well as he recollects he was stationed at Story's Fort10 [where he remained about] one month under the commission aforesaid with a small force. [H]e does
not recollect whether any higher officer commanded in the fort at this time. I was under the command & control of the same General & regimental officers as well as he recollects from this time until 1779. [H]e was a great portion of his time engaged in commanding scouting parties against the Tories. During these scouts, Capt MacKee was afflicted with rheumatism & the command of his company devolved on me & I was frequently joined by Capt. Gavin Gordon11 & after the division of Col Thomas's Regiment12 which was as well as I recollect in the latter part of the Year 1778 or early in 1779, I was frequently under Col. Thos. Brandon13 to whose regiment I then belonged [and engaged during this time] in Scouting parties. During one of these scouting parties, we intercepted & took 20 or upwards Tories who were on their way to St. Augustine to join the British Army. These we took to General Williamson's camp on Savannah River opposite to Augusta & he sent them to the jail at Ninety Six. Sometime after, I believe in the fall or winter of 1779, I was ordered out to Charleston but was stationed for two months ten days at the Ten Mile Branch within ten miles of Charleston under the command of Col. James Steen,14 the lieutenant Col. of the Regiment commanded at this time by Col. Brandon to which, since the division aforesaid, I belonged. [I]n Feby. 1780, Capt. MacKee resigned & on the 8th February 1780, I received the commission of Captain of a company of foot in Spartan Regiment of militia commanded by Col. Thomas Brandon of the 2nd Division which commission I now have bearing the date aforesaid by John Rutledge Governor & commander in chief as aforesaid countersigned "By his excellency's command Jno. Huger, Secretary." In 1780 this applicant with the exception of scouting parties does not recollect to have been in regular & constant service until the capture of Charleston some time in May 1780, after which the Whigs who would not take protection under the British both from Georgia & South Carolina took refuge in North Carolina where we rendezvoused on the river Catawba & elected Thos Sumpter15 our General. [T]his he thinks was in July from this circumstance (viz): "On the day after the election, we marched toward the house of a celebrated Tory by the name of Ramsour for the purpose of defeating some Tories who had encamped at Ramsour's mill,16 but before we arrived, the Militia from Rowan, N. Carolina had defeated the Tories & we turned our horses into a large field of oats belonging to Ramsour & the oats were just ripening. From thence we recrossed the Catawba & went down into the old Catawba nation of Indians & encamped some days. Thence we recrossed the Catawba & went to the British station at Rocky Mount & about the 28th July 1780 made an unsuccessful attempt to take the British & Tories. From thence we retreated across the Catawba & encamped at a Branch called Clem's Branch & about a week after our attempt on Rocky Mount, we attacked the British & Tories at a place called the Hanging Rock where I received a wound in my left arm which severed the bone between the elbow & shoulder about midway (on account of which wound I have been a pensioner since 1809—first on the list [of] S. Carolina & then transferred to the pension list of Alabama). [F]rom thence I was sent to Charlotte where I remained until I recovered of the wound which was in action in Novr. as well as I recollect when I resumed any command as Captain under General Sumpter & was in the engagement at Blackstocks on Tiger River where General Sumpter received a wound. [F]rom thence the army under Sumpter crossed Broad river & as well as I recollect divided out in scouting parties in one of which I got my arm rebroke in chase after a party of Tories under Brandon whom we killed with the exception of three whom we took prisoners. My arm being broken the last time by a fall of my horse soon got well & the
next engagement I was in was the siege of Buckheadunder General Greene& the day before that place surrendered, I was sent with my company under General Sumpter to Orangeburg which latter place surrendered after the fire of three field pieces on our part. One of the enemy was kill[ed] & none of our detachment were kill[ed] nor wounded except one or two who were struck by dead shells without any injury. The next engagement of any note that I was in was Ninety Six at the siege under General Greene. [T]he militia at this place was commanded by Brigadier General Henderson.After a siege of some weeks, the British General Lord Rawdencame to reinforce the garrison & General Greene raised the siege & retreated over Broad River pursued by the British as far as [the] Enoree [River]. This applicant states that he does not recollect of having been in any engagement of note after this period tho he continued in the service regularly until peace was declared which was some time after he was promoted to the office of Major which was the 5day of September 1782 as appears from his commission bearing the date signed by John MathewsGovernor & commander in chief of South Carolina which commission I now have in my possession. 17 18 19 20 th 21
This applicant states that he omitted to name that he & the regiment commanded by Brandon to which he belonged was under the command of Col. Morgan22 at the Battle of the Cowpens23 but that he with several others about thirty were sent out as spies some days before the engagement at the Cowpens & from some cause did not arrive until the Battle was over but in his attempt with the party under his command to regain Morgan's army, he learned the defeat & retreat of Tarleton24 & his forces & pursued about a hundred of them in their retreat until night at which period all of his men had fallen off by their horses giving out except ten men when we overtook the enemy & kill[ed] one, took twenty two white prisoners & twenty seven negroes, sixty head of horses, 14 swords & 14 braces of pistols. Amongst the white prisoners was an officer with the rank of Captain whose name he does not now recollect. Shortly after we had taken them, the balance of our party met us and assisted in taking them back. On our return with them, we learned that Generals Morgan & Greene were gone off with the prisoners taken at the Cowpens & we pursued them a distance of upwards of a hundred miles before we overtook them to deliver over the prisoners.
In answer to various questions propounded by the Court, this applicant answers that he was born in the province or Colony of South Carolina in a County called at that time Bartly or Barkley25 as well as he now recollects. Since the change in the government, it is called Union District & State of South Carolina. He was born on the 1st day of April 1754 & resided on the farm of his nativity on Tiger26 River except when on service until 1824, when he removed to Greene County in the State of Alabama where he settled [at] a place near the head of Trunell's creek, being a branch of the Tombigbee River where he has resided ever since & now resides. He has record evidence of his age: that is, he copied the time of his birth from his father's Bible into his own. [T]his was done after the blank left in his big family Bible was filled up. From the commencement to the end of the war, I was a volunteer always except when disabled by wounds & the small pox; ready to march & execute any orders given to me from my superior officers. The preceding statement contains the names of some of the officers who commanded where he served some of the regiments that he recollects & some of the general circumstances of his service, the commissions he received & the names of the persons who signed them is stated above & they are all now on the Clerk's table here in open court tho the
commission as 1st Lieutenant is so mutilated that the day of the month & some few other words are lost. He believes all in his neighborhood know he has been a pensioner for a long time & he believes they all suppose he was a revolutionary soldier & officer. Henry Story & Joseph Hughes knew that he was in the service & and officer commanding & they both served more or less with him each of them now live within seven or eight miles of him. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State except the State of South Carolina, the State of Alabama to which it was transferred from South Carolina.
S/ Sam. Otterson
Sworn to & Subscribed
in open Court the 20th day
of September 1832
Attest: S/ James Yeates, Clerk
1 Editorial Note: Punctuation and capitalization of words was modified slightly to aid readability. Bracketed insertions were made by the annotator.
2 Major Samuel Otterson was born April 1, 1754 in what was then Berkeley County, South Carolina and died September 11, 1837, in Greene County, Alabama.
3 Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1994, 631 (hereinafter cited as Moss, SC Patriots). He is listed as "Daniel McKee" (also as "Daniel McKay") with the notice that he served as a captain in the militia under Col. Thomas Brandon before the fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780.
4 John Rutledge (1739-1800) was the first president of South Carolina under the new constitution passed in 1776. He later served terms as the Governor of the South Carolina under the Constitution passed in 1778, U. S. Congressman, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and as the interim Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. See, David Paul Reuwer, "South Carolina's Supreme Court Nominee Rejected," Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, August 2005, Vol. 2, No. 8, posted at www.southerncampaign.org and James Haw, John & Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, The University of Georgia Press, Athens and London, 1997.
5 John Thomas, Sr. (1720-c 1811) was the commander of the Spartan Regiment. Moss, SC Patriots, 925.
6 Thomas Neel (1730-1779) was the commander officer of a regiment raised in the New Acquisition territory. Moss, SC Patriots, 719.
7 Prince's Fort was located just off of State Road 129 northeast of present day Wellford in Spartanburg County. The DAR erected a monument there that reads: "Site of Fort Prince. Built by the early settlers as a place of refuge during the Indian Wars 1756-1761. Occupied by the Whigs from Nov. 22, 1776 to March 17, 1777. The British under the command of Col. Innes were driven from the Fort by the Americans under Col. Edward Hampton, July 16, 1780. Amor Patriae. D. A. R."
8 Andrew Williamson (c. 1730-1786) was the commanding officer of the South Carolina backcountry militia from the inception of the war until the fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780. He led the South Carolina militia not only during the Cherokee Expedition in 1776 but also at Briar Creek, Stono Bridge and other engagements before taking parole in June 1780. Boatner, Encyclopedia, 1210. For a discussion of Williamson's campaign against the Cherokee Indians in the summer of 1776, see "Journal of the 1776 Cherokee Indian Campaign in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina" elsewhere in this issue (hereinafter cited as "Journal").
9 This is a reference to the army from North Carolina under the command of Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford. The North and South Carolina militia units engaged in a coordinated assault on the Cherokees. See "Journal."
10 This is probably a reference to the fortified home of George Storey located in the Fairforest area of South Carolina. http://tfamstor.tripod.com/p1-22.htm.
11 Gavin Gordon (c.1749-1815) was a lieutenant under Capt. McKee (McKay) and Col. Thomas Brandon. Moss, SC Patriots, 372.
12 In 1778, the Spartan Regiment was divided into two regiments with John Thomas, Sr. continuing in command of one regiment and Col. Thomas Brandon assuming command of the other.
13 Thomas Brandon (1741-1802) was the commander colonel of the second Spartan Regiment before the fall of Charleston. After the fall of Charleston, he served under Col. James Williams at Musgrove's Mill and King's Mountain and then under General Thomas Sumter at Blackstock's Plantation and various engagements. Moss, SC Patriots, 95.
14 James Steen (1734-1781) was a militia officer who served from the inception of the War until he was stabbed to death in Rowan County, North Carolina while trying to apprehend a Tory. He served as a lieutenant colonel under Thomas Brandon and James Williams at Musgrove's Mill and King's Mountain and was probably with Brandon's command at Cowpens. Moss, SC Patriots, 894.
15 Thomas Sumter (1734-1832) was first an officer in the South Carolina State Troops, then a Continental Line officer early in the Revolution. He resigned his commission in 1778. He remained inactive until after the fall of Charleston in May 1780, at which time he rallied the refugee Whig militiamen from South Carolina and led his men in many engagements with the British and Tories throughout the remainder of the War including Rocky Mount, Hanging Rock, Fishing Creek, Fishdam Creek, and Blackstocks' Plantation. Moss, SC Patriots, 908.
16 The Battle of Ramseur's (also Ramsauer's and Ramsour's) Mill was fought of June 20, 1780 and resulted in a Whig victory over the Tories gathered there. Mark M. Boatner, III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1994, (hereinafter cited as Boatner, Encyclopedia) 913-914.
17 This reference is probably to Fort Motte on Buck Head Creek in present day Calhoun County, South Carolina. Buck Head Creek is a tributary of the Santee River.
18 Nathanael Greene (1742-1786) was the commanding officer of the Southern Department of the Continental Army from December 2, 1780 when he assumed command from Gen. Horatio Gates in Charlotte, North Carolina, until the end of the War. Boatner, Encyclopedia, 453.
19 William Henderson (1748-1788) served in a number of roles in both the Continental Army and the State militia of South Carolina during the Revolution. In the late spring and early summer of 1781 when Greene commanded at the siege of Ninety Six, Henderson was a lieutenant colonel in the First Regiment. He did not attain the rank of general until later in the War. Moss, SC Patriots, 436-7.
20 Francis Lord Rawdon-Hastings (1754-1826) was a British army officer and Irish nobleman. Boatner, Encyclopedia, 918-921.
21 John Mathews (1744-1802) was governor of South Carolina from 1782-1783.
22 Daniel Morgan (1736-1802) was a Continental Army officer who commanded the Whig forces at Cowpens. Boatner, Encyclopedia, 735-737.
23 Lawrence E. Babits, A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London, 1998.
24 Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833) was a British Army officer was commanded the British Legion. Boatner, Encyclopedia, 1087-1089.
26 Tyger River
Don't know if the above helps in your search. It does offer, yet again, another variation of the spelling of surname MCKEE. I copied and pasted from the link (given at the beginning of my above post) which came up on a google search
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