Abernathy Document

The Revolutionary War Pension Application of John Abernethie

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Pension application of John Abernethie R10, of Cape Girardeau Co, MO Transcribed by Will Graves

State of Missouri, County of Cape Girardeau: County Court On this 22nd day of December year 1832, personally appeared in open court in the County court for said County before the Justices thereof now sitting, John Abernethie a resident of the Township of Cape Girardeau in said County and State aged about seventy eight years, 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 the Service of the United States under the following named officers and Served as herein Stated in February 1781 at the County of Wake in the State of North Carolina the said Affiant Volunteered and joined a body of Militia on the call of Thomas Wootten Col. of the militia of said County (Wake), acting under the Orders of Brigadier General Butler [John Butler] commanding of Hillsboro, District North Carolina Subject to the Orders of Major General Caswell [Richard Caswell], commanding the militia of the State for the purpose of joining Major General Green [sic, Nathanael Greene] to assist in the opposition to Lord Cornwallis. That the said militia of which this deponent was one under the command of said Col. Wootten assembled at Granville County and was marched from that place to Hillsborough under the Command of the said Major General Caswell in chief; to which place this affiant having been previously appointed at said Wake County by said Col. Wootten Deputy commissary of said Wake County: The said Col. ordered the said He applicant affiant as such Deputy to proceed with said troops from said Hillsboro, to General Greene's Army when Col. returned back: That said Applicant according to the said order marched with said troops to the High Rock Ford on the Haw River and joined the Army of General Greene at which place Col. Davie the Commissary of General Greene's Army Ordered said Abernethie to return again to the public store in said Wake County to have five hundred bushels of corn ground for public use; and have as much bacon collected at that place as possible, that he did so and loaded the Wagons, ground and forwarded the meal and What bacon could be collected to the Army; That said applicant continued in the Service aforesaid as such Deputy Commissary under said Col. Wootten in collecting and issuing supplies until the latter part of July 1781, at which time Col. Wootten, having resigned, said Applicant was dismissed and returned home; That the said John Abernethie was first appointed Deputy Commissary as aforesaid by Col. Wootten in September 1780 and immediately acted as such under him continually from that time in collecting issuing and assisting in taking care of the provisions for public service from said appointment in the last said September until the said joining the said militia herein mentioned before in February in active service and then continued in said Service mentioned as herein before described being in all in time from the said month of September inclusive the date of appointment in Service as aforesaid until the latter part of July 1781 as mentioned, in all about ten months; That said applicant has no documentary evidence; and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure, who can testify to his services; And I said applicant hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or annuity, except the present, and declare that my name is not on the pension roll of the Agency of any State, And to the interrogatories prescribed by the War Department and propounded by the Court, the said John Abernethie Applicant answers and says I was born in the Village of Edmun in North Britton in the year 1754 on the Second day of September and landed in Virginia October 1772, and went from there to said Wake County North Carolina in the same month of October. Yes I have my Original Indenture (Specifying my age) as an apprentice to the merchant business, at my house Seven miles from this place, and this County. When I entered the service I resided in Wake County North Carolina; in January 1788 I removed to the State of Georgia; and resided there until July 1800, at which time I removed to the then Upper Louisiana now County of Cape Girardeau and State of Missouri Where I have resided ever since and is my present place of residence. I Volunteered to go as mentioned being in Deputy Commissary an acting such as is herein mentioned and set forth at large Major General Greene commanded the Southern Army. The militia of North Carolina after Major General Caswell, was under the command of Brigadier General Butler and Eaton. I cannot designate the Several Regiments in consequence of the manner of my Service, and the organization of the militia regiments and in Service. The battle of Guilford was fought while I was Deputy Commissary was collecting provision in Wake County. I had an appointment, as Deputy Commissary from Col. Wootten, under whom I acted as mentioned until the resignation of Col. Wootten when that circumstance ended my Services in that Way. I never had any other discharge, and I have lost my appointment I am acquainted with the people in this County generally, particularly with Col. Bollinger, Robert English, Andrew Martin Judge of the County court, General Watkins, P. Reverend Thomas P. Green, Judge Henderson, Thomas Hubble and the judges of the Circuit Court, also a number of others, who I think can testify as to my character for Veracity and good behavior and my services as a Soldier of the revolution. In August 1780 the General Assembly of North Carolina being in Session at Hillsboro, that State laid a grain tax, and a bacon tax on the inhabitants of that State, also a money tax for the year 1780. The tax was one bushel of Indian corn for every poll And one peck of corn for every one hundred pounds Value North Carolina money; the bacon tax was the One fifth pound of all the bacon every person was in possession [of], the first day of February viz. 1781 the assembly also said that Commissaries should be appointed in each County by the County courts. The commissary was also authorized by law to purchase of provisions as well as to receive the grand & a contacts, and to give Certificates in Dollars and parts of Dollars Specie, bearing interest at six percent per annum until paid for the said purchases. I as Deputy Commissary wrote the Specie certificates, and they were signed by Col. Wootten the County Commissary I am personally acquainted with the two Senators & Representative from Missouri to the present Congress of the United States. Sworn and subscribed in open court December 22, 1832 S/ Jno Abernethie S/ B. Bacon, D. Clerk For P. R. Garrett, Clk Halifax County This May Certify that John Abernethie delivered me Isom Scott a Continental Soldier for eighteen Months do exempt him from Militia duty agreeable to act of Assembly in that case made and provided Given Under my hand the 29th day of June 1779 S/ John Whitaker, Col. Test. S/ J Branch North Carolina, Wake County This is to Certify that John Abernethie who was Balloted by the Company of Foot in said County that he belonged to into the Service has furnished a Substitute in his Stated agreeable to Vol. Given under my hand this 25th day of May A.D. 1778 S/ Michl Rogers, L. Col. State of North Carolina, Wake County The Bearer hereof Mr. John Abernethie is an Inhabitant of this County and has always enjoyed the Character of a Very Honest Respectable man and a warm friend to the cause of American Liberty Having now an intention to remove to the State of Georgia about his Lawful Business, all persons are Desired to permit him to pass unmolested, and to treat him with the friendly Respect which he is Justly entitled to. Given under Our hands the 10th of October 1782 S/ Thomas Wootten, Col. S/ Joel Lane, JP S/ Theoph[?] Hunter S/ Jno G. Thomas S/ Isaac Hunter Missouri, Cape Girardeau County Soon after the battle of Guilford, fought by General Greene against Lord Cornwallis (March 17th, 1781) North Carolina, General Greene detached off upwards of four hundred Militia man, whose time of service was nearly expired to the public Store in Wake County North Carolina under the command of General Butler, the General of Hillsboro district that State, and under him a Col. Thomas - the men were to continue at or near the Store until their time of service expired, they did so, and were discharged in due time. General Greene directed General Butler to endeavor to ascertain what route Cornwallis was taking from Wilmington in North Carolina - it was rumored that Cornwallis intended to march up to Hillsborough from Wilmington by way or through Dobbs, Johnson [sic, Johnston]& Wake Counties - Col. Thomas, Col. Wootten the Col. of Wake County and Commissary, turned out. Col. Wootten permitted me the Subscriber also to go, John Skinner a Dragoon on furlough, and two of the Militia man also turned out, six of us in all. We marched down the Wilmington Road from the public store about 40 miles and Johnston old Court-house, there we met Col. Ben Williams of Johnston flying from the enemy, the Col. was informed that Cornwallis intended crossing Neuse River at Col. Williams' ferry - the Col. told us that some days ago he had sent a friend of his well mounted to find out where the enemy was, & where he was bound to - the man returned in a very little time after we met Col. Williams, he told the Col. that the enemy had crossed Neuse below his ferry, and was on his way to Petersburg in Virginia, by way of Horn's Mill on Cotentiny [sic, Contentnea] Creek, thence on to Lemmon's bridge on Tar River, thence on to Halifax on Roanoke River, thence on to Petersburg - we left Col. Williams and pushed on to Horn's Mill-- on the third day early in the morning on the main road that lead from Smithfield the seat of Justice in Johnston County on to Halifax we met a young man who told us that he left his lordship's Army between daybreak and sunrise that morning, and that they were all preparing to start to Horn's Mill, in order to get meal and corn for the use of the Army & horses-- the young man told us it was only between 3 and 4 miles to the Mill - the man asked us who we were, Col. Thomas told him that we were a "small party in disguise" sent through the Country in order to find out where Greene and his rebel Army was, a young man told us that he understood that Greene & his rebel Army lay near Hillsborough - we bid the fellow goodbye, & he wished us good luck -we then started for the Mill, and then within about four hundred yards of where the road turned to the bridge over the Creek near the Mill, we discovered a man who came into the road and turned down the road meeting us - we met about 200 yards from the turn of the road, the man had a bag under him - Col. Thomas asked, if his Lordship and the Army had moved on from the Mill. The man answered, that his Lordship and the whole of the Army had started, except one troop of Tarleton's [Banastre Tarleton] horse, and one Battalion of Hessians, who were left as a guard to the Wagons, that were taking in meal &c., for the use of the Army - Col. Thomas told the man that his Lordship & the troops were on their way to Petersburg in Virginia, the Man said, that he asked one of the Dragoon Officers, where they were all bound to, the Officer answered we are all bound to Petersburg in Virginia by the way of Halifax on Roanoke River but how long we are to be stationed at Petersburg, he said he did not know - he asked Col. Thomas who we were, the Col. made him the same answer that he did the young man we met in the morning-- the man told the Col. that we were only between 3 and 400 yards to where the Guard & the Wagons were-- we all said that we were very happy to hear the good news he had given us-- the Col., told us to fix ourselves as [illegible word] as possible, so that we might have no hindrance, & that we might overtake the Army - we dismounted & some of us went into the bushes - the man wished us good luck, & we bid him goodbye-- if we had not met the Man (which it pleased God to send him to meet us) we should soon have been in full view of Tarleton's dragoons - Thomas & the dragoon, we all believed might have made their escape, but as for the rest of us, we should all four of us have been killed or taken prisoners - our horses were common plantation horses. As soon as the man got out of our sight we started for the public store in Wake [County] - Col. Thomas & the dragoon soon left us on their way to the Store, the Col. said that he should push on to General Greene with the intelligence we had got - on the third day we reached the public Store in Wake. Dec. 29th 1832 S/ Jno Abernethie, a Revolutionary Whig Sworn and Subscribed before me or a United States man Jany 3rd 1833 S/ Benjamin Bacon, J Peace In August A.D. One thousand, seven hundred and eighty, the General Assembly of North Carolina, being in Session in Hillsborough, laid a Grain Tax and a Bacon tax, also a money tax, on the inhabitants of that State, for that year, for the use of the troops in the service of the United States, & that State-- the Grain Tax, was one bushel of sound Indian Corn for every Poll, and one peck of Corn for every one hundred pounds in value of North Carolina Money or property - the Bacon tax was the one fifth pound of all the Bacon that every person had in his possession on the first day of February following, viz. A. D. 1781 - Congress had fixed the prices of Grain, Beef and pork. The Assembly appointed Col. Thomas Wootten the then commanding Officer of Wake County, North Carolina, for the year 1780 as Commissioner or Commissary of that County, to receive and issue out the provisions by him Collected in, to troops and persons in the Service of the United States and that State during the year-- and he was empowered by law to purchase provisions over and above the Corn and Bacon Tax - a Certificate in dollars & parts of the dollar in specie, bearing Interest at six percent until paid, for all the purchases, wrote by me & signed by him. Wake County Joined the Tory County of Chatham on the West, and also the Tory County of Cumberland on the South West, the other Counties adjoining to Wake were Whig Counties. The Commissary of the County was empowered by law to have a Sergeant and eight man as a Guard to the Store. Col. Wootten the Commissary of Wake appointed me John Abernethie the subscriber to this statement as his Deputy Commissary during the time he continued in Office - and also as Clerk at the public store, and as one of the Guard. I had to get a list of the polls and taxable property from the Clerk of the County Court for 1780. I had to make a list for us to collect by, the first column contained the person's names, the second, the polls, the third the Amount of the valuation of the taxable property, and the fourth column contained the quantity of Corn that each person had to pay, in Bushels, pecks & Gallons. In the fifth column I entered the number of pounds of Bacon that each person paid. In consequence of Cornwallis's marching to Hillsborough about thirty five miles from the public Store in Wake, a number of the militia of that County were drafted & turned out to join General Caswell, who was collecting the North Carolina militia to meet in Granville County North Carolina. We furnished the Wake men with provisions to last them for some time. We likewise furnished a division of the Hillsboro mounted infantry with provisions and forage for their horses & wagon teams. Wake County is one of the Counties that belongs to Hillsborough District, General Butler of the Brigadier General of the district. In February the North Carolinians met in Granville. Cornwallis with his Army staid but a very few days in Hillsborough, we believed that he was afraid of being made a Burgoyne - he marched on towards Salisbury - General Greene, who was commander in Chief of the Southern district - the district included Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The General ordered the North Carolinians to form a Junction with the Virginia Militia, and Col. Campbell's 12 month Virginians and for the whole when Joined, to march to the high rock Ford on Haw River, near which Ford the General with his Army were encamped. In great hopes of seeing Cornwallis made a Burgoyne, I obtained leave from Col. Wootten the County Commissary to go to Granville and Join Caswell's Army, as a volunteer, I did Join them - the troops then marched on to the high rock Ford by the way of Hillsboro, on our way we were Joined by the Virginia Militia, and Col. Campbell's 12 month regulars - after a few days we reached the high rock Ford, and Joined General Greene's Army, those of the militia that lacked arms, were furnished by the General - they were a fine body of men - General Greene had detached Colonels Washington & Lee with their dragoons, the Hillsboro and Halifax mounted Infantry, the Virginia and North Carolina riflemen on towards the enemy - in order to watch his motions. I went on with the Army to the high rock ford ( with Col. Wootten's permission), he directed me to call on Col. Davie the Commissary of General Greene's Army, and inquire of him if he did not want Bacon & Corn meal for the use of the Army (it being now in the month of March, we had collected in a great deal Bacon & Corn). If he wanted meal & Bacon, for him to send some wagons and that a quantity of these articles would be sent out to the Army, Col. Davie said, that they were pinched for provisions, and that these articles would be very acceptable if they were here, but he also said, that from the best accounts that he could get, Cornwallis was about marching down in the forks of Haw River and Deep River (the two rivers that make Cape Fear River) on his way through Chatham on to Wilmington (near the mouth of Cape Fear about 10 or 12 miles from the sea) in order to get Clothing &c for his armies he Col. Davie said that he expected that General Greene and his Army would in a short time move down into Wake County, he therefore said that he would give me a line to Col. Wootten, the Commissary of Wake, to have as soon as possible, five hundred bushels of Corn ground into meal, and to get all the Bacon, Wheat and Brandy, that he possibly could for the use of the Army when in Wake (I was personally acquainted with Col Davie) the Col., told me to push on to the public Store in Wake - as soon as I received the letter to Col. Wootten, I started off immediately for the Store, I was then about eighty miles from the Store the first night, my horse ran off, I had no time to spare to hunt my horse. I hired a man to hunt the horse for me. The men brought me my horse to the Public Store in about 7 or 8 days. I started off on foot with my musket on my shoulder and cartridge box by my side, to the Store, on the third day about sunset, I reached Col. Wootten's, he lived about 10 miles from the Store, a little to the right of the road that lead to the Store, by Wake Court house, the Store was about a mile to the North of the Court house. Col. Wilton directed me to call in the public wagons and send the Corn to different Mills to be ground into meal & collect in bacon as fast as possible. There were three mills in the neighborhood, two of them 3 miles off and the third mill only 2 miles distant from the Store. Col. Wootten having furnished me with a horse, I started that evening for the Store, and early next morning I called in the public wagons, and loaded them with Corn for the Mills to be ground into meal-- we had a good quantity of Bacon on hand, and Collected in a good deal more. We had about three bushels of Corn ground into Meal, when we were informed that Cornwallis instead of marching on to Wilmington at that time, marched towards Guilford Court house. General Greene having early got intelligence from Col. Washington of the enemy's movement, and having got his whole force together, he marched on and met Cornwallis at Guilford Court house - they fought the well fought bloody battle of Guilford, on the 17th day of March A.D. 1781. General Greene retired towards Roanoke River and Cornwallis marched on to Wilmington. Soon after the battle, General Greene detached between six and seven hundred Militia (to the public Store in Wake), whose time of service was near out - they were commanded by General Butler the Brigadier of Hillsboro District, & under him Col. Thomas - the men were all encamped in very thick woods, which commenced within about one hundred and fifty yards of the public Store. Butler would not parade the men, nor tell what number there were of them only to us at the Store-- we were all directed not to say what the number was, some of the Guard declared there was at least one thousand men encamped in the thicket, there was plenty of good springs convenient to the thicket & in it. General Greene directed Butler to send out a scout, and for them to go on towards Wilmington and endeavor to find out the route Cornwallis was taking - we heard just before we left the Store, that he had left Wilmington with his Army-- Col. Thomas, Col. Wootten, J. Skinner, a Dragoon (on furlough), myself (with Col. Wootten's permission) and two other men were the scout, six of us in all we started down the road that led to Wilmington & Newbern [sic, New Bern], to Johnston County Old Courthouse, there we found Col. Ben Williams who informed us that Cornwallis had left Wilmington, but whether he intended to march of towards Hillsboro through Johnston & Wake, he could not say - the Col., also told us that three days ago he had sent a man well mounted (he expected the man to return to the old Courthouse every minute) he had directed the man to go on towards the enemy and endeavor to find out the route the Army was taking - the man Col. Williams had sent out, returned to the old Courthouse soon after our arrival there, he said that he was informed that the enemy it was believed would cross Neuse River below Col. Williams' on his way to Lemon's Bridge on Tar River- the Col. said that he thought it would be best for us to cross Neuse at Lockhart's Mill and get into the Main road that lead from Smithfield (the Johnston County seat) on to Horn's Mill to the bridge over Contentnea Creek - and continued on to Lemon's bridge on Tar River-- we immediately started for Horn's Mill and on the second day early in the morning we met a young man within about 3 or 4 miles from the bridge - Col. Thomas asked him if his Lordship with the Army had moved on, he said that he left the Army before sunrise and that they were all ready to march up to the Mill on Contentnea Creek, he also said that a party had been sent up yesterday to have all the Corn ground into Meal that was at the Mill & near it, he asked us who we were, Col. Thomas told him that we were part of his Lordship's Army in disguise sent through the Country to endeavor to find out where Greene and his Rebel Army were encamped, he seemed very pleased indeed to see us, he said, that from the best accounts that he heard was, Greene with his Rebel Army lay somewhere near Hillsborough - he told us that he had taken protection from his Lordship. We bid him goodbye and he us - we then started for the mill - some little better than a quarter of a mile below the bridge near the mill, we found a ford (our road to the bridge led along the fence of an old field the road is on the west side of the Creek), at the ford on the Creek called Horn's Ford as we were told, Skinner the dragoon (being well mounted and in his proper uniform & armed as a dragoon said that he would cross the Creek, and ride out to the road that led up to the Creek on the East side to the mill from below, he did so, and told us that the road was tore up with a horseman, wagons & put them-- we then started up the West road, and when we had gone a small distance we saw a man on Horseback come out from the Mill across the bridge, we kept on until we met him with then about two hundred yards of where he came into the road from the Mill, he had a back and some meal in it under him, he being a friend to his Lordship so he told us, had [illegible word] to carry of his meal-- Col. Thomas passed the man if his Lordship with the troops had started yet, the men said they all had, except one Battalion of Hessians and one troop of Tarleton's dragoons who were left by his Lordship to aid in loading the wagons and guard them-- the man asked Col. Thomas who he and the men that were with him were, the Col. told him the same tale that he had told the young man in the morning, the man seemed very glad to see us, he said that we were not more than three hundred yards from the Mill, the Col., told the fellow that he was very glad to hear such good news, the Col. asked him if his Lordship still intended to Cross Tar River at Lemon's bridge, the man said that he asked one of the Officers of the dragoons of the route his Lordship intended to take, he said that the officer told him, that they were to continue their march to Petersburg in Virginia, by the way of Halifax on Roanoke, and that they were to be stationed at Petersburg but he (the Officer) did not know how long they would continue there-- (thank God, they continued there until General Washington made what was left alive of them, all prisoners of War, 17th of October 1781). We were very well pleased & happy at meeting the man, because if we had not met him, in all probability, we should have rid [sic] of in sight of the Mill - Thomas & Skinner might have made their escape, but the rest of us would have been killed or taken prisoners, Thomas & several of us got off the horses, in order as we pretended to fix our saddles, some went into the bushes - the man bid us goodbye & we him, he left us, when he had got fully out of sight, we rid [sic] down the road again to the ford of the Creek, Skinner rid [sic] over to see if any person was at Horn's-- Horn lived a small distance below the ford - he returned and told us that he saw neither men nor horses at Horn's we all crossed the Creek and went to the House, we got breakfast, and ate very fast, one half of us by the road side for fear of a surprise-- when done [with] our meal, we immediately crossed the Creek, and started on our way to the public Store in Wake, where we arrived on the second day in the evening - General Butler sent Col. Thomas on to General Greene to inform him of Cornwallis's route. Butler also discharged the Militia at the Store as soon as their time expired. I forgot to mention, that in October 1780 we commenced receiving of bacon and Pork in the season, we had Barrels made at the Store & Barrelled up the Beef, and also the pork, and sent them up to Hillsboro for the use of the troops that were on their march to the Southward. We continued collecting in Tax Corn & Bacon until July A.D. 1781 also purchasing provisions until time, and issuing out to the troops and others in the public service, until in July as above stated, Col. Wootten resigned his Commissary Office in that month, my time as Deputy Commissary &c also expired then. In August 1781 Col. Wootten was informed that McNeale [sic, Hector McNeil or McNeal] the man who commanded the Tories in Wilmington District (North Carolina) was about forming a Junction with Fanning [David Fanning], who commanded the Tories in Chatham, Randolph & Moore Counties (North Carolina) - there were two companies of the Wake Militia drafted, Col. Rogers of Wake raised a Company of volunteers. I was one who joined the volunteers - we Joined the drafted Wake militia and a company of Volunteers from Johnston County and at Cape Fear River we were Joined by the Chatham Volunteers & some of the Cumberland men - we were informed that McNeil with his men lay at McLane's Mill on Little River (a river that made into Cape Fear on the West side). We marched to the Mills, we were told there, that McNeil with his men had gone to the Swamp, but that if we stayed only half the day that McNeil would be sure to attack us - we then marched off from the Mill into the open woods about nine o'clock in the morning, we continued on the ground until sunset (August 10th, 1781), no enemy appearing we marched to the River, and in the night (moon shined very bright) we crossed at Fox's Island Ford - we marched out into the road and went down to the stubble field that belonged to one McCalester [sic, McAllister?], and encamped there. McNeil had sent some men over to take possession of Fox's Island, and early in the morning one of our sentries killed one of the Tory sentries, who was posted at the lower end of the Island-- there was one Ford below McCalester's, besides the one we crossed at, McNeil we were told had posted his whole force (about three hundred men) at these two fords. Our Officers did not think it right to attempt to cross the River - we had two hundred sixty men - we went down the River expecting that perhaps McNeil might conclude that we had fled and might follow us, he did not venture over to our side of the River - we stayed about three or four days after we left McCalester's. No enemy appearing and General Butler having sent an express to Captain Bledsoe [Lewis Bledsoe] & McCullers who commanded the Wake drafted men, to march to Hillsborough, we then returned to our homes. Soon after that I got married, I therefore went out into service no more, but continued to Join my class (of Ten men) in furnishing a substitute whenever a man was wanted. Myself and wife and some of my family are now living in Cape Girardeau County Missouri, where I have lived a number of years, on the second day of September last, I was Seventy eight years of age, on the 24th of October inst. my wife was Sixty seven years of age. By being [illegible word] &c, I am reduced mightily in my circumstances & being unable to work, I am compelled to beg the favor of his Excellency, the president & the honorable Congress of the United States to grant me a pension to support me and my wife, the few days that we have to be permitted to continue in this World. If I had not been reduced so low, I never would have begged such a great favor. If your Excellency and your honors should be pleased to grant me my request, it will be doing a very singular favor to an Old Revolutionary Whig. Your most humble servant. S/ Jno Abernethie Statement Cont'd In the month of May A.D. 1778, I furnished a substitute served a tour of nine months in the Army of the United States commanded by Major General Lincoln, the Commander in Chief of the Southern district. In June A.D. 1779 I hired a man to serve eighteen months in the Continental service - see my Certificate of the receipt of the soldier, signed John Whitaker, Col.. I considered that every Whig ought to do his best for the benefit of the United States, not only in the days of the Revolution, but at all times. S/ Jno Abernethie Missouri, Cape Girardeau County Personally appeared before me Benjamin Bacon a Justice of the peace in and for the County aforesaid John Abernethie of said County and State, who being duly sworn according to law, declareth and saith that, to the best of his recollection, he wrote a Letter addressed to J. L. Edwards Esq. Commissioner of Pensions (United States) City of Washington, dated he said Abernethie believes either on the last of August or the first of September last (about one or two days before the birth day of said Abernethie, viz., the second day of September, he was then Seventy Nine years of age) he thinks that the substance or a part of the substance of said letter was that Major General Nathaniel Greene the Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of the Southern district, did soon after the battle of Guilford (North Carolina) fought by him against Lord Cornwallis in March 1781, detached a number of Militia to the public provision Store in Wake County North Carolina, and for them to continue there until the time of their service expired, they did so the said Militia were commanded by Brigadier General Butler of Hillsboro District North Carolina, & under him a Col. Thomas as second in Command. General Greene directed General Butler to detach off a small scout, such as he could put confidence in, in order to find out the route Cornwallis intended or was taking from Wilmington in North Carolina, it was rumored that Cornwallis intended to march from Wilmington up to Hillsborough in order to endeavor to cut off General Greene's retreat to Virginia Cornwallis had gone to Wilmington to get supplies for his troops, they being by all accounts very bad off, his force was stated to be 4000 between foot, 300 Tories & Tarleton's corps about 300 men - General Greene's force only in all about 2200 men horse & foot - the following persons turned out as the Scout, viz. Col. Thomas before named, Col. Wootten, the commanding Officer of said Wake County, and provision Commissary of said County for the year 1780, the said John Abernethie, John Skinner, a dragoon & two militia men, six of us in all. We proceeded on our route near to Horn's Mill on Contentnea Creek North Carolina, where we had information from a Tory that had just left the Mill (we were about 350 yards from the Mill) the Tory told us that one of Tarleton's Officers told him that Cornwallis was then on his March to Petersburg in Virginia, by the way of Halifax in Roanoke-- the Tories said that Lord Cornwallis's wagons were near loaded with meal, the Guard was one troop of Tarleton's dragoons & one Battalion of Hessians. If the above is not the substance of the letter that the said Abernethie addressed to Mr. Edwards the pension Commissioner United States, City of Washington, dated as mentioned before - the letter must have contained the account of his Abernethie's being appointed by Col. Wootten the provision Commissary of said Wake County as deputy Commissary & that said Abernethie continued to act as deputy (except when permitted by Col. Wootten to go out with the troops) from September 1780 until July 1781 as also his being one of the public Store Guard and also stating that said Abernethie wrote (while acting as deputy Commissary) the Certificates & memo on the Margin of the Certificate Book, the same contained in the different species of provisions by us purchased - the Certificates were called Specie Certificates & bore interest at six percent per annum until paid, agreeable to law - the said Certificate Book was produced by North Carolina as one of her Vouchers in her settlement with the United States of her part of the Revolutionary Expenses. If one of these statements or both was not the substance of the letter addressed by him to Mr. Edwards, he does not recollect at this time what the substance of the letter was - but according to the best of my recollection was I believe the substance of the letter - the letter & this is in my own handwriting. S/ Jno Abernethie Subscribed and sworn to before me this ninth day of October 1833 S/ Benjamin Bacon, J Peace Note: this pension was apparently rejected by our then governmental officials because applicant could not produce documentary proof.