Pension Application for Benjamin Akeley
State of New York
County of Saratoga
On this first day of January 1834 personally appeared before the Court of Common Pleas in and for the said County of Saratoga in the State of New York now sitting at the Village of Ballston Spa in said County, Benjamin Akeley of Edinburgh in the County of Saratoga, aged Seventy five years who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provisions of the Act of Congress, passed June 7th 1832. That he entered into the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.
To the 1st question. When and in what year were you born? He answers, in Fredericks Town in the County of Westchester & State of New York, April 5th 1758.
To the 2d Question. Have you any record of your age; and if so, where is it? He answers & says In my Family Bible, Copied from my Fathers Family Bible by my Father and is now in my possession at Edinburgh aforesaid.
To the 3d question. Where were you living when called into service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live? He answers and says, that at the commencement of the Revolutionary War he lived in Frederick’s Town in the County of Westchester & State of New York where he lived until the year 1792 & moved to Cooksakie in the County of Albany & State of New York where he lived until the year 1802, and moved to Edinburgh in the county of Saratoga and State of New York where he has lived ever since and where he now lives.
To the 4th question. How were you called into service; where you drafted, did you Volunteer; or were you a Substitute? And if a Substitute for whom? He answers and says, that In June 1st 1775 when he resided at Fredericks Town aforesaid he entered into the service of the United States and a Volunteer private in Captain George Lanes Company of Infantry in Colonel ______ Luddington’s Regiment of New York State Troops or Levies, that he Enlisted for six months at the place aforesaid & served from the said first of June 1775 until the 1st of December 1775—under the aforesaid officers in the following manner, he repaired to Peeks-Kill was mustered & joined his company and said officers, and performed garrison duties at Peeks Kill & Stony Point and between those places on the lines. There were several Regiments of Militia & State Troops at Peekskill and Stony Point he recollects the names of General Sullivan, Gen’l Arnold & Colonel Drake. General Washington was at White Plains, that he served as aforesaid for six months the term of his enlistment & was discharged at Peeks Kill, his discharge signed by Colonel ___ Luddington, his discharge was consumed in his house at Cooksakie more than 30 years ago with other papers & effects of said service he has no documentary evidence nor does he know of any person now living who can testify to the same.
In 1776 April—When he resided at Frederick’s Town aforesaid he enlisted into the Continental Service as a private soldier under Captain John Deusenbury Lieutenant Duesenbury, In Colonel ______Humphrey’s Regiment of the New York line for one year and served as a private from April 1776 until April 1777 in the following manner to wit: That he enlisted & joined his company at Peekskill under the aforesaid officers, were employed in Patroling the lines from PeeksKill to White Plains, made our head quarters at VolunTown’s Hill—where we continued on duty as aforesaid until the American Troops under General Washington were on Long Island, he this deponent with his Regiment went over to Long Island, sometime in June or July to the best of his recollection, but did not continue there many days when they were driven to New York City by the enemy & from New York City he with the Army Retreated to White Plains when the Enemy took Possession of New York and served on the lines. Stationed at VolunTown’s Hill in Tens and served as aforesaid until the Period of his said Enlistment was expired. When in April 1777 he received an honorable discharge signed by the said Colonel Humphrey at VolunTown’s Hill having served for one year under the aforesaid officers and returned home to Frederick’s Town. His discharge was destroyed in his house at Cooksakie consumed more than 30 years ago.
In 1777 1st June when he resided at Frederick’s town aforesaid, he again entered into the Service of the United States and served as a private in Captain George Lane’s Company of Infantry in Colonel Luddington’s Regiment of New York Militia, that he entered as a Volunteer & did duty in guarding the lines from White Plains to Peekskill, and were Stationed at PeeksKill, but were out on the lines to Guard and Watch the movements of the Enemy to White Plains &c that he served Constantly as aforesaid under the aforesaid officers from the said 1st of June 1777 until the 1st of September 1777—For three months I served as a private the full term of my Engagement and received a Verbal discharge by the said Captain Lane at Peekskill aforesaid, that immediately after his said discharge, he at PeeksKill at the request of Captain Lane again entered& continued his services in manner aforesaid & served as a volunteer private under the aforesaid officers from the said 1st of September to November having served at least two months and served as a private at Peekskill, Stony Point & between those places on the lines in manner aforesaid and in November 1777 was dismissed at Peekskill by the said Captain Lane. He received no written discharge, there were several Regiments of Militia and Continental Troops who served where he served, he recollects, only the names of Colonel Humphrey, Colonel Cortland—and Adjutant Townsend of the Militia (besides the officers before named) of his said services he has no documentary evidence, nor does he know of any person now living who can testify to his said services, that in 1792 he removed near 140 miles & the others, some to one place & some to another scattered he does not know where but knows that several of them are dead & if any are not living he does not know where to look for them, that he is very poor and unable to go in search.
In 1778 – when he resided at Frederick’s Town aforesaid & being enrolled as a private in Captain John Drake’s Company of Infantry in Colonel Samuel Drake’s Regiment of Militia at Frederick’s Town aforesaid, a draft of our Regiment was called for, to guard the lines, he this deponent did not stand the draft but entered as a Volunteer private in August 1778 he with the Drafted & volunteer Militia marched from Frederick’s town to Crompond & were stationed in private Houses, continued there on duty until we were driven off by the Enemy’s Dragoos, who came upon us at day break at unawares & captured a number of our men, our officers & a number of the privates escaped in different directions, he this deponent & ____ Post a private escaped to the woods, a dragoon pursued us to the forest about 40 rods when he wheeled & returned, we turned about and fired at him & brought him to his horse’s neck to which he obliged & escaped to his company, the dragoons set fire to the Meeting house & several private Houses which were consumed & evacuated the place in about two hours & made off with their Prisoners across Groton River immediately after, our scattered officers & privates, returned and formed at our Former place in Crompond, and several Militia men of about Crompond came in to our assistance on the alarm & we together pursued the enemy, but they made their escape, our station continued at Crompond & he with his company continued on duty patrolling the lines to Croton River & to the north on the lines until December 1778 & when he with his company was dismissed by the said Captain Drake at Crompond having served three months in manner aforesaid, there were no other troops (except our company) who served where we served. I received no written discharge. He has no documentary evidence of his said services nor does he know of any person or persons now living who can testify to the same or any part thereof.
In 1779 in August, when he this deponent resided at Frederick’s Town aforesaid he again entered into the service of the United States as a Volunteer private in Captain George Lanes’ Company of Infantry in Colonel Luddington’s Regiment of New York State Militia & served as PeeksKill & FishKill from August to November 1779, three months. Marched with his company to FishKill under the immediate command of the said Captain Lane, where we were stationed, where we continued on duty, patrolling the lines for one month & a half month when he with his company were stationed at Peekskill & continued on duty as aforesaid in patrolling the lines & had several skirmishes with the enemy at and near Kings’ Ferry -- & continued on duty in manner aforesaid one month & a half month.
When in November 1779 he was dismissed by the said Captain Lane at Peekskill, having served as a private at Fishkill, Peekskill &c for three months, there were a great number of Militia & Continental Troops who served where he served at FishKill &c but he does not recollect the name of names of any of their officers, he has no documentary evidence of his said services nor does he know of any person now living who can testify to the same.
To the 5th question. State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the Troops where you served; such Continental and Militia Regiments as you can recollect and the general circumstances of your services. He answered & says—He can answer no farther than he already stated herein.
6. To the Question, did you ever receive a discharge from the service; and is of, by whom was it given and what has become of it? He answers & says that he received three discharges one for six months in 1775—in 1777 for one year & one discharge for one year 1781—all which said discharges were consumed by fire at Cooksakie in his House as herein before stated, that he received no other written discharge during the period of the Revolutionary War.
7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, and who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief of your services as a Revolutionary Soldier. He states the names of Andrew Albro, Hiel Savage, Colonel John Rhodes, Wing Allen, Warren White & Eli Beacker.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a Pension or annuity, except the present and declares his name is not on the Pension roll of the agency of any state. (Signed with his mark) Benjamin Akeley
Sworn to, and subscribed the day and year aforesaid in open court. A. Goodrich, Clerk
In 1780 in May 1st, he enlisted into the service of the United States at Continental Village about 10 miles west from Frederick’s Town, where he lived, for one year as a Continental Teamster in Captain John Brown’s Company Conductor of Continental Teams under Major Thomas Campbell, a Commissary over the Continental Teams & c., he this deponent was employed by Major Campbell, & took charge of a Continental Team of Two horses & wagons &c and served in conveying Continental Stores of Provisions, arms, ammunitions & officers Baggage &c to Peeks, White Plains & other places on the River. Wherever the army or part of the Army moved to from time to time & drew regular rations & encamped with the continental Troops embodied at the different Stations our general head quarters was at Continental Village. That he was on duty in manner aforesaid under the aforesaid officers from the 1st of May 1780 until the 1st of May 1781 and was honorably discharged signed by the said Major Thomas Campbell at Continental Village, his said discharged was consumed by Fire at Cooksakie.
There is no clergyman residing within the Town where he lives.
Letter responding to a request for information, dated June 29, 1937.
Reference is made to your letter of June 5, 1937, requesting the military and family history of Benjamin Axley, a Revolutionary War soldier shown on the 1840 index of pensioners as living in “Edinburgh County, New York”.
A careful search of the Revolutionary War records of this office fails to show a claim for pension on file pension claim, S.22619, made by a Benjamin Akeley who lived in Edinburgh, Saratoga County, New York, and the following is an abstract of said claim.
Benjamin Akeley was born April 5, 1758, in “Frederick’s Town”, Westchester County, New York. The names of his parents were not given.
He served as follows, with the New York troops, as private with the exception of one enlistment when he served as corporal; from the first of June 1775 (stated he was not certain it was 1775), served three to six months in Captain George Lane’s company in Colonel Henry Ludenton’s regiment; from April, 1776, served one year in Captain John Dusenbury’s company in Colonel Humphrey’s regiment; from the first of June 1777, three months in Captain George Lane’s company in Colonel Ludenton’s regiment; from the first of September, 1777, two months in Captain George Lane’s company; from about August 1778, three months in Captain John Drake’s company in Colonel Samuel Drake’s regiment; from August 1779, three months in Captain George Lane’s company in Colonel Ludenton’s regiment; from the first of May, 1780 (stated not certain as to the year) he served one year as teamster in Captain John Brown’s company, conductor of continental teams under Major Thomas Campbell, a commissary over the continental teams.
Benjamin Akeley lived in Frederick’s Town, New York, until 1792 when he moved to Cooksakie, (probably meant for Coxsakie), Albany County, New York. From there he moved in 1802 to Edinburgh, Saratoga County, New York.
He was allowed pension on his application executed January 1, 1834, at which time he was living in Edinburgh, Saratoga County, New York, and he was living there in 1838.
Benjamin Akeley had a son, John Akley (personal signature Akley), who was living in 1835. There are no further data relative to the soldier’s family.
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