Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for Marks Casler

R.1785
            Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress Passed June 7, 1832.
State of New York
Herkimer County
            On the eleventh day of October, personally appeared in open court before Michael Hoffman, John Mahony & Augustus Beardslee, Judges of the Court of Common Pleas now sitting, Marks Casler,(1) a resident of Little Falls in the County of Herkimer and State of New York aged sixty-six 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, time as herein stated.
            Deponent has always been informed & he believes true that he was born in the now Town of Little Falls in said county on the twenty sixth day of April in the year 1766 & has always resided & does still reside in the said town of Little Falls that there is a record of his age in said town that was made by the minister of the Dutch Reformed Church who baptized deponent when an infant as he has been informed and believes true.  Said record is now in the keeping of George Rosecrantz a son of said minister.
            In the spring of the year 1779 a house about three miles west of Fort Herkimer in now Town of Little Falls, & was ordered by Col. Peter Bellinger (2) as deponent believes to taken possession of as the militia and converted into a fort & picketed for defence which was done and then garrisoned by fourteen or fifteen men besides.  Several families that moved into it for protection & safety from the Indians and Tories; deponent had been living with the daughter of Col. Bellinger whose husband was killed in the Battle at Oriskany and was ordered to & did go & help guard said fort then with twelve men appointed to take turns in standing sentry the fort was commanded by Lieutenant Jacob Petrie & Ensign Patrick Campbell. (3) The guard each night consisted of six men, this deponent stood sentry every other night from the time the fort was garrisoned till the fall of the following year in November which was about eighteen months.
            That deponent during that time had to & did take his turn standing sentry & keeping guard in the day time till November of the year 1780 deponent was sent with Joseph Bellinger (4) to the grist mill for flour deponent about one mile east of the fort & was on their return home when they were fired upon by a party of Indians & their horse killed deponent & said Bellinger were taken prisoners, the Indians started immediately for Canada.  They were eight days in the woods before they came to Ogdensburg.  Deponent & said Bellinger had but very little to eat & suffered very much from cold & fatigue.  They had to lie on hemlock boughs at night & wade through streams of water in many places up to their chins in this march & the snow most of the way was up to their knees.  At Ogdensburg deponent & said Bellinger were sold to one Capt. Robinson (5) & taken down the river to Montreal.  Deponent & said Bellinger was kept prisoners at Montreal about two years & were then sent to Quebeck.  They stayed about three weeks at Quebeck & then were put on board a transport to be sent to New York, but the weather being very cold they were obliged to go to Boston the vessel arrived about the first of December and deponent and six others started for home where they arrived there a few days before Christmas.  Said Bellinger who was taken prisoner with deponent has been dead rising of twenty years & deponent is there fore deprived of his testimony.
            That he was born in the Town of Little Falls (then Town of German Flatts) in the County of Herkimer, & State of New York in the year 1766.
            That he has a record of his age in this family Bible made by himself on the information of his parents, which he believes to be correct.  That he resided in the now Town of Little Falls when he entered the service & since the revolutionary war he has continued to reside in the same place & now resides there.
            That he was called into the service as stated in his previous statement, being commanded by Col. Peter Bellinger to go on duty with a company of which mention has been herein before made.
            That some of the general officers who were with the troops in the section of county where he served are Colonel Peter Peter Bellinger, General Nicholas Herkimer, Major Clapsaddle, Colonel Frederick Bellinger. (6)
            That he never received any written discharge from the service.
            That he is known to Peter Bellinger & George H. Feeter, residing in his present neighborhood & who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of my services as a soldier of the Revolution.
            That he cannot produce any witness in court who knows of his service except Peter P. Bellinger & that the affidavit of Catharine Bellinger hereunto attached is presented because she could not be produced in court by reason of her age & ill health and as she resides at the distance of seven miles from the courthouse and that there is no clergyman with whom he is acquainted & who resides in his neighborhood, who can testify to his character and services.
            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 the agency of any state.
(his mark) Marks Casler
            Sworn to & subscribed the day & year aforesaid, in open court Oct. 11th 1832.
Julius C. Nelson Clerk
            We, Peter Peter Bellinger and George H. Feeter the first of the Town of Danube and the last of the Town of Little Falls in Herkimer County.
            Do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Marks Casler who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be sixty six years of age; that he is reputed & believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concur in that opinion.
            Sworn & subscribed the day & year aforesaid.
(signed) George H. Feeter and Peter P. Bellinger

State of New York
Herkimer County
            Personally appeared before me John Dygert a Justice of the Peace in & for said county, Marks Casler who made the declaration to which this is attached & of which this forms a part, & being duly sworn saith that Peter P. Bellinger, a witness whose affidavit is attached to this declaration has since the same was made removed with all his family out of this county to a place called Black Lake & deponent cannot procure an amendment of his affidavit for that reason & deponent has no way to communicate with him on that subject & has not heard from him since he left the county, that he has stated in his former declaration, the manner & length of his services as far forth & as particularity as he is able to do. That the witness Catharine Bellinger, whose affidavit is also attached cannot state the dates of any of deponents service, nor the time & manner of his service with any more particularity than she has already done as she informs deponent & which he believes true that deponents memory has so failed within a few years that he is now unable to state precise dates with any certainty.  Deponent saith that he entered the service first as a private soldier, early in the spring of the year 1779, but he verily believes that it was in the month of May 1779 & that he continued to so serve as in his previous declaration mentioned continually until the month of November in the year 1780 when he was taken prisoner in the manner before stated & he was in service as a soldier when so taken having only been off of actual service for the ??? of going to mill that he went off of guard to go to mill when he was taken and deponent claims to be allowed for one year & six months actual service in which he was not engaged in any civil employment, before he was taken prisoner and for two years as for actual service, while he was a prisoner which was from November 1780 until December 1782 in which time he endured & suffered more hardship & privation, that while in the actual service as a soldier, deponent cannot find any witness who can testify more definitely to the length of his imprisonment than he has already done, as the man Joseph Bellinger who was taken with deponent has been long dead.
(Signed with his mark) Marks Casler
            Sworn to before me this 2d day of July 1833. John Dygert, Just. Peace

End Notes

  1. Marks Casler (Kessler, Cassler, Castler, Ceasler, etc.) would have been only 13 years of age in 1779.  He name therefore does not appear on any muster rolls as he was too young to legally enroll in the militia as a private.
  2. Colonel Peter Bellinger of the Fourth Regiment of Tryon County Militia.
  3. Jacob Petrie (Petry, etc.) was ensign of Captain Jacob Small’s Company in Colonel Bellinger’s Regt.  Patrick Campbell was ensign in Captain Frederick Frank’s Company in the same Regiment.
  4. John Joseph Bellinger was the 22 year old son of colonel Bellinger.  John J. served in Captain Frank’s Company as a private.
  5. Rebel prisoners at Quebec—1778-1783, Chris McHenry, Compiler, 1981, Page 39 lists Joseph Bellinger age 22, taken 12 Oct. 1780, NY.  In service at Col. Campbell’s, Montreal.  John Carter was also listed on this page, age 20.  Mark Castler age 14, taken 11 October 1780, NY, in Service at Mrs. Porteous’s, Montreal.  Return of Rebel Prisoners in the Province of Quebec 22 July 1782.  From: Public Papers of George Clinton, Vol. VI, Page 726, letter dated Albany March 27, 1781 lists John Jost Bellinger, son of Col. Bellinger and Mark Kessler as prisoner in a list of about 50 or so prisoners.
  6. Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer of the Tryon County Militia Brigade, Major Augustinius Clapsaddle of Bellinger’s Regt. was killed on the 6th August of 1777 at Oriskany and Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Bellinger of Bellinger’s Regt was captured at Oriskany. 

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