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Biographical Description

John Edwards was born in Baltimore, Maryland in September 1750. As a child he moved from Maryland to Hanover, Pennsylvania, and then to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. By 1771, John Edwards lived in Bedford County, Virginia, where he married Ruth Crabtree. In October 1776 he enlisted as a sergeant in the Bedford County Regiment of the Virginia Militia and went on an expedition against the Cherokee Indians in present-day Tennessee. After a six month tour he was discharged, but he reenlisted in April 1777 for three months as an orderly sergeant in the same unit, this time stationed in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. In the fall of 1778 he enlisted as a orderly sergeant for a three month expedition against the American Indians on Virginia's southwestern border. In May 1781 he enlisted for three months as an orderly sergeant in the Bedford Militia and marched south to South Carolina, where he saw combat at the Siege of Ninety-Six. Later in August of that year, he spent about fifteen days marching to join General George Washington's army at Yorktown, but arrived too late to take part in the British surrender.

By 1790 John Edwards and his family were residing in Burke (later Buncombe County), North Carolina. In 1792 Ruth Edwards submitted a bill divorce against her husband to the Buncombe County Court, which was admitted. John Edwards went on to live in Washington County, TN with his sister and brother-in-law while Ruth remained behind in North Carolina with the children.

In 1833 John Edwards made an application for a veteran's pension based on his services during the Revolutionary War. The U.S. Pension Office granted his claim, awarding him $77.50 a year from March 1831 until his death for his fifteen months and fifteen days he spent as a sergeant in the Bedford County Militia. He died in Washington County, Tennessee on October 16, 1833.