Pension Application for Benjamin Atwater
Private, Captain Ray’s Company, Col. Humphrey’s Regiment of N. York Troops.
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
State of New York
Montgomery County SS.
On this eighth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three—personally appeared before me David Spraker one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in & for the county of Montgomery & State aforesaid being a court of record Benjamin Atwater a resident of the town of Canajoharie in the County of Montgomery & state aforesaid aged seventy seven 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 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers & served as herein stated to wit, at the commencement of the Revolutionary War he resided in a place called the nine partners now cut up into towns of other names in the County of Dutchess & State of New York. That he enlisted at the Nine Partners aforesaid as a minute man into a company of New York State troops—but whether they were the same as militia does not know.—Enlisted as he thinks the first September 1775 in Capt. Hugh Hays Company—Lieut. Nathaniel Mead in Col. Cornelius Humphrey]s Regt—Mead in Col. Cornelius Humphreys Regt. For eight months—that he only served as a minute man until the first of January 1776 when they were called into actual service. Stood sentry, on guard & went on scouts & were regularly exercised until about the first of March—declarant went to New York City with the above named officers—staid in the city 10-12 days—than went up the East River to a place nearly opposite Hell Gate & there were said to be 3 Regts there—He thinks Lord Sterling had command of a portion of the American Army about that time. Thinks he laid in the North River a British ship called the Asia at this time—deponent worked at the fort—and Asia at this time—deponent worked at the fort—his tour on guard & in scouts—Deponent was discharged at said Fort minute—in the fore part as he thinks of May 1776—This distance from home to New York was about 80 miles--& thinks he was in service four months & 7 days--&returned home--& returned home—
In the month of September of the same year the day he does not recollect but thinks it the first part thereof in 1776—deponent volunteered at the Nine Partners aforesaid for two months—as a substitute for Stephen Atwater—in a company of Militia commanded by Ebenezer [?] & Lieut. John Wilson—Does not recollect the Cols. name.
They were marched to the Highlands—a distance of about 40 miles—to Fort Constitution on the East side of the North River. It was reported while there that a British officer was enlisting men on the other side of the river 6 miles from New Windsor deponent volunteered with others & went 6 miles in a boat & walked 6 miles further to a place where he was supposed to be secreted, at day break surrounded a tory house around by one M. Donald—went to the barn & found said officers & men he had enlisted secreted in the hay—took them prisoners & carried them to Peck’s Kill where they were imprisoned—Deponent returned to the Fort & was discharged at the end of two months at said fort & returned home having been absent tow months & one week from home—discharged in November the early part—Saw General Washington in this time—Deponent was out on short excursions which he cannot say separately & therefore must not count on it.
In the latter part of December of 1770 deponent volunteered again as a substitute for the said Stephen Atwater at the Nine Partners aforesaid on a requisition of Militia but entered for no certain & definite period—no did he know where he was going—until he with others 10 or 12 of his company were marched through Fishkill—Peekskill—to North Castle at a place called Horse Neck—80 miles – then were with the deponent—Benjamin Van Loon viz. Peter VanLoover--& Levi Smith—There was no officer with them except an Ensign whose name he does not recollect—They staid about a week at HorseNeck waiting for other companies to come up—after a week – other companies came up under the command of Genl Heath as he thinks—they arrived towards night—they were then marched in the night through White Plains & arrived near Fort Independence then in possession of the British –at day break—The next night deponent was called out to guard between the Fort & KingsBridge—To prevent the arrival of reinforcements of the enemy deponent was on guard two nights in succession—the weather was extremely cold—There was occasional skirmishes between the Fort & the American troops Genl Heath had the command of the American Army or that part of it to which deponent was attached—deponent has labored much to recollect the name of the Capt. & Lieut of the company in which he was formed where they were mustered & organized but cannot recollect—
The American troops were stationed on a more elevated ground than the British -- & under a redoubt—left by the British at one approach—Deponent became unwell—was affected with the jaundice and was some time under the Doctor’s care—and finally obtained a certificate & was discharged by the Col. Whose name he does not recollect—was discharged at the said redoubt, was discharged sometime in February 1777 as he thinks—or first of March—deponent was unwell & was a long time returning home—was absent from home as he believes at least 7 weeks, it was two more months before he had his health—The ensign above named was either taken prisoner or died.
Deponent was called out at the Nine Partners aforesaid in the month of October in 1775—under Capt. Hugh Ray, Lieut Nathaniel Mean—In Col. Humphrey’s Regt Huntingtown to a place called Quaker Hill distance 26 miles--& surrounded a barn there—but they escaped into a neighboring wood—the barn quartered by a tory named Murray Leister—was out & from home 1 week & discharged—at Quaker Hill NY aforesaid—Deponent was called out at Hillsdale otherwise called Nobeltown in Columbia County N. York in Oct 1777—about the time of the surrender of Burgoyne—He had surrendered when we arrived. Deponent was mustered with the company & with the Claverack Militia in Col. VanRensselaer’s Regt. But does not recollect the name of his Capt. or Lieut. were at Stillwater—through Albany & Troy –n drew provision at Stillwater was gone about 12 days & were discharged at the latter place & returned home-Deponent discharges are lost—knows of no clergyman who lives near enough to have any knowledge of his services by reputation—
The declarent saith that by reason of old age & consequent loss of memory he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his services but according to the best of his recollection he served not less in the above specified periods than the period mentioned below & in the following grade—to wit for eight months & seventeen days he served as a private—and for such service he claims a pension—that by reason of bodily infirmity he cannot without great inconvenience attend court—that he has no documentary evidence & that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his services except Mayhew Daggitt whose affidavit is hereto annexed—He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state—that during all the above specified periods he served in a regularly organized corps—commanded by competent authority—and was all the time--in field—in garrison or marching under military orders and that during all said periods—he performed no civil business. (Signed) Benjamin Atwater
Sworn to and Subscribed the day & year aforesaid before me. David Spraker a Judge of Montgomery County Courts.
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