Skip to main content

Declaration

In order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed 7th. June AD. 1832.

State of North Carolina
Granville County}

Court of Pleas & quarter Sessions

August Term AD. 1832.

On this 10th day of August AD. 1832 personally appeared in open court before Maurice Smith James Wych & Lewis Green member of the court of Pleas and quarter Sessions of the county and State aforesaid, now sitting, William Taburn Senr. a free man of color, who was born in North Ampton County in the State of North Carolina on the North side of Roanoke river, his father's name was William Taburn, and his mother was Judey Allen; his age hise is unable to state nor does he know whether any Register was ever made of his age who is now very poor and decrepid, and almost blind, barely able to distinguish day from night, and an Inmate of the Poor House of Granville County 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 7th. 1832.

That he entered into the Continental service of the United States when he was about the age of twenty or Twenty one years under James Saunders as Captain, his other Company officers he cannot recollect but he remembers that Col. William Taylor commanded the Regiment. The other field officers he cannot recollect—He entered the service by Enlistment for two years and a half—The destination of the detatchment of which I belonged was for Wilmington North Carolina, and our Place of rendesvoux was in Williamsborough in this County—Here we were mustered for a Short time, and as soon as preparation could be made, the Company marched off to Wilmington—There being great difficulty in procuring baggage Waggons for this company and I owning a pretty good one and Team and the depparture of the company being delayed for the Want of a waggon, I was importuned again and again to let my waggon go with them, but I felt great repugnance to this course, but Col. Taylor and Captain Saunders joining in entreaty to effect this object, I at length consented and accepted their proposal to discharge me from my Term of Enlistment on Condition of sending my Waggon to carry the Baggage But I had some difficulty in getting a driver; by arrangment with said officers a man by the name of John Davis who also had a waggon to accompany the Soldiers agreed to; and did take charge of my waggon upon condition I would tend and cultivate his crop for him in his absence—This contract was fully and honestly complied with on my part, and Davis took my waggon and Capt. Benjamin Hester drove his waggon went with the detatchment and brought my waggon back, and delivered it to me. I cannot state the day, month or year in which these occurrinces took place, but it was at an early period of the revolution—I hever took any discharge or written Evidence of this Service—I do not know of any person now living by whom these facts can be proved.

I next engaged by draft in a southern tour of five ^(5)^ months service under Richard Taylor as Captain; the other company officers and the field officers I am unable to recollect—We marched from Oxford Granville County by Cross creek now Fayetteville to Charleston S.C. or near to it; we thence marched to the river Savannah and joined the American army—I am unable to recollect who was the Commande[r] in chief but I rather think that Col. Lytle was the Colonel of the Regiment to which I belonged—This circumstance recurs to my memory from the fact that Col. Lytle had me put under Guard for a whole day for getting drunk and cursing him—While in Service in that country an engagment took place between the British and our men—They were too hard for us and we had to retreat indeed we were routed & put to flight—and I made the best of my way Home—On my arrival at home I found that my captain had returned before me—The precise time I was in actual Service I do not know, but it could not be much Short of the Term of Draft—I rather think but am not certain that while on this tour, we engaged in an additional Term of Service, but of this I cannot speak with recollection—I rather think the battle in which the Americans were routed as before spoken of was that of Briar Creek

My next tour of duty was again by Draft from Granville county under the Command of Jones Fuller Captain, Thomas Bradford Liuftenant and Blake Maulder ^Ensign^—Capt. Fuller had received a  wound in his Instep and became unable to travel and Shadrack Parrish took the Command of our Company We marched to Hillsborough, & were then put under the Command of Col. Farmer, Lieuftenant Colonel Harrison & Major Sharpe—My memory is refreshed as to this last fact and that of Parrish taking the place of Fuller by talking with Thomas Jordan & soldier who served in the same company with me—From Hillsborough we marched through Salisbury to the Catawba about Beatie's ford and joined our army under Genl. Davidson—The Enemy were on the opposite Bank of the River—

I was stationed at Cowan's ford when the attempt was made to cross the River at this place as well as at Beaties form three miles above—I was stationed very near General Davidson who rode upon a Black horse, when he received the course Ball that put a period to the life of the ablest, kindest & best officer that ever commanded in an army—As soon as he was struck by the Ball He called out "Help me down down, Boys, I am a Dead man—give the news to the men at the Island and above" and expired—We were soon thrown into confusion by the death of ^our^ beloved General, the Enemy took advantage of it, crossed the River—overpowed our men and put us to flight we scampered for life, and made our way, as well as we could to the widow Torrance's lane when we were stopped & formed into order of Battle by our Company & field officers. It was raining like a Torrent, Tarlton with his light Horse, pursued and here overtook, and charged upon us—our guns were so wet we could not discharge them and we were all put to flight in the utmost confusion—I ran and escaped as well as well as I could—I fell in with an old Horse without Saddle or Bridle and was unable to get hold of & mounted him—I travelled that day and night and near day stopped at a house to get somthing for my horse and myself to eat—I was there informed that I was only about twelve miles in a North West direction from the Widow Torrance's lane where we had been beaten & put to flight—I then bent my course so as to escape the enemy & coming near to, but north of Salisbury, learned that the Enemy had just passed through that town—I directed my course up the river and crossed the aYadkin high up and passed along through Salem, thence a winding and crooked course, so as to avoid the enemy until I got entirely clear of them and then struck a direct course toward home—Shortly after my return home I was attacked by sickness and was unable to Join the Company under my Captain who had crossed Dan River passed down the Roanoke ^crossed over^ at Taylors ferry & had come on to Harrisburg—Being too unwell to travel I remained at home when they marched to Hillsborough. In a short time I was so much improved in health and strength that I set out to join the army and at Johnson's old Store on Little River, I met the reminant or a part of our company returning home. I was informed by then that as the term of service was within a few days of expiring, and there was great demand for arms to supply the new recruits who had joined the army without arms ^they were discharged^—I returned with them and in a few days afterwards we heard of the Battle of Guilford—

In the summer of 1781 I performed another tour of three months duty by Draft I was commanded by Wm. Hargrove Searcey captain, the other officers I cannot recollect. We were drafted and marched from Oxford in Granville County to Hillsborough thence to Cross creek, from which place Genl. Butler marched ^us^ to the Raft swamp in the neighbourhood of which the enemy consisting of British & Tories were collected in Considerable force. After being in Service sometime Capnt Searcey obtained a furlow or discharge and left the Army and I took his rifle—Shortly after, I was selected by General Butler as a cook and continued in that character until I was discharged, which was upon the reception of news of the Capture & surrender of the British Army under Cornwallis at York town—If I ever took a discharge, which I believe I did not, it is lost or mislaid—

Fowler Jones, Harris Hicks, Edward Jones Senr. & James Haskins & William Hargrove Searcey—are the only persons living that I know if, who are living and served in this campaign with me

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of any state or Territory—

Sworn to & subscribed the day & date first above stated in open Court

his                    

William X Taburn Senr.

mark                   

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion after investigating the matter as prescribed by the War Department that the above named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Thomas Jordan & Fowler Jones who have signed the preceding certificate are residents of Granville County aforesaid & that they are creditable person & that their statements is entitled to credit

James Wyche chmn. pro. tem.

Maurice Smith J.P

Lewis Green J.P

Wm. Taburn Senr
7330.