Pension Application for Jacob Coons (Koons)
Declaration: In order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
State of New York
Cayuga County SS.
On this twenty-first day of March in the year 1843 personally appeared before us Augustus F. Ferris a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the County of Cayuga and the State of New York Jacob Coons, (Sometimes spelt Koons) a resident of the Town of Brutus in the County of Cayuga aforesaid aged 81 years on the 26th day of April last past, who being by me 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, and at the different times herein after Stated.
First. He entered the Service at Petersburgh, Joining Greenbush, then his residence in the latter part of July or forepart of August (he does not recollect which) in the year 1777 as a Volunteer for the term of three months under Capt. Crosby or Crasman, (1) he has forgotten which name as also the Cols. Name. His first march from Petersburgh or Greenbush, was up the East Side of the Hudson River to a place called Old Hoosick; thence through the edge of Cambridge in Washington county, then Albany; thence to the Hudson River at BatenKiln and nearly Opposite to Bemis Heights in the Town of Stillwater in the County of Saratoga, then Crossed the River to Bemis Heights and Served the Main Army under Genl Gates, (2) and lay there until the first Battle, which commenced by skirmishing which lasted till about noon, when it became general and lasted until night. Then Genl Gates and Burgoyne withdrew with their Armies to their Camps—Sometime in the fore part of October Skirmishing became frequent. After Burgoyne attempted to retreat a Second battle (3) Commenced about mid day and lasted until night—Genl Arnold (4) was wounded. The Americans were Victorious. Two days after this Battle, Burgoyne and his army retreated to Saratoga—Genl Gates then divided his Army and ordered one division to March up the West Side of the River and the other on the East Side Side [sic] in pursuit of the British Army—This deponent was with the division that marched up the East Side of the River and was at the Surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga (5)—After Burgoyne had surrendered himself and Army as prisoners of war, which was on the 17th of Oct. 1777, and the necessary arrangement were made this deponent with the rest of the Army under Genl Gates marched bringing with them Burgoyne and his army as prisoners, to Albany thence to Greenbush, where this deponent was discharged the first Nov. 1777 having served the full term of his engagement—He has forgotten the names of the officer who gave him his discharge, but believes it was Capt. Crosby or Crosman.—
Second. He entered the service at Greenbush, that being his residence at that time, the last of June or first of July 1780, as a Volunteer for the term of three months under Capt. Defreest or Defrees (6) and Marched West until they joined Genl. Van Rensselaer (7) near Schenectada: then up the Mohawk River on the South Side to a place called Charleston; thence to Canajoharie in pursuit of Sir John Johnson (8) and a party of Indians and Tories. Here Sir John Johnson and his party crossed the Mohawk to the North side and here this Deponent Staid [stayed], two or three days, under Genl Van Rensselaer and then returned with his Company to Greenbush, where he remained in Garrison until he was discharged by Capt. Defriest or Defrees, which was the latter part of September or forepart of October as he believes –He thinks he did not Serve the full time of three months under Capt. Defriest.—
Third. He left Greenbush, then being a resident of that place near the Middle of July 1781 and went to Schoharrie and entered the Service as a Volunteer for the term of nine months in a company commanded by Capt. Loop (9) or Look, he has forgotten which, in Col. Willett’s Regt. After entering Loops or Look Company he Staid in Garrison at Schoharrie, three or four weeks, then was ordered to March to the Mohawk River, there he joined Col. Willet with some other troops and marched thence to Tripes Hill [Tribes Hill] in pursuit of Col. Ross and a Company of 600 or 700 British, Indians and Tories but did not arrive until they had crossed the Mohawk River. At this time an Express arrived from Johnstown to Col. Willett and was Killed by a British Indian, on the top of Tripes Hill—Col. Willett ordered his troops to March immediately to Johnstown about 12 miles distant soon after their arrival the battle Commenced. Col. Willet Soon was forced to give way until reinforced by a Company of Stone Arabia Militia—Then the Battle became general and Continued until Night—During the night Col. Ross and his party made their escape up the Mohawk River.—In the Morning Col. Willet ordered a pursuit to be made which continued five days or until Col. Willet and his party arrived at West Canada Creek—Here Ross had encamped over night at a place Called Mount Farmer and Just Crossed the Creek and were on the opposite side—Here this deponent saw Col. Butler killed by the Shot of an American Indian (10), across the Creek—The Indian immediately Spring into the creek, Crossed it Scalped him and returned in Safety—Col. Willet then marched back to Johnstown and took up his quarters. Near the last of December according to this Deponent’s best recollection, he, this deponent, one other private and a Sergeant by the name of Savage were detached by Col. Willet and sent through the Woods on Snow Shoes, as Spies to Oswego, and were gone fifteen days—On their return Col. Willet, with about 500 men, (11) marched up the Mohawk River thence for Oswego and was gone about four weeks before he returned—During his absence this Deponent with about Sixty or Seventy others remained in garrison at Johnstown—After Col. Willet returned he took up his winter quarters, and lay in Garrison at Johnstown until about the first of May 1782 and then Marched to Greenbush: where this deponent was discharged by Capt. Loop or Look, having served nine months, being the full term of his Engagement—
He further States on his oath aforesaid, that he has no documentary Evidence of his Services and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his Services—And in answer to the interrogatories, prescribed by the War Department he says, First, that, he was born at Nobletown in the County of Columbia and State of New York on the 26th day of April 1761. Second. He believes there is a record of his age in Schoharrie—Third. He lived at Petersburg, and at Greenbush where he entered the service—Since the war he has lived at Greenbush, Schoharrie, Otsego County on the Susquehanna River, and has lived in Cayuga County about thirty years and now lives in the Town of Brutus in the said County and never out of the State of New York.—Fourth. He always entered the Service as a volunteer and served as a private.—Fifth. He knew Genl Schuyler, Genl Gates, Genl. Arnold, Gen. Van Rensselaer, Col. Gansevoort and Col. Willett. He can not, from age and loss of memory, recollect many of the Officers names, and that he can not give a more Clear Statement of the general Circumstances of his Service or of the particulars, than he has given above. Sixth. He has received three honorable discharges. One from Capt. Crosby or Crosman, one from Capt. Defriest or Defrees and one from Capt. Loop or Look discharges are all lost, he does not know what has become of them.
This deponent further states on his oath aforesaid, that in the year 1835, William B. Goff Esq., made out a set of Pension papers for him, and had them duly authenticated and mailed for the Pension Office at Washington and has never heard from them after, which induced him to believe that his claim was rejected and he knew nothing to the contrary until a short time since, he was advised by Mr. Robert Gates from a letter he had received from the Pension Office that his paper had never reached that office, which fact has induced him to make the present application for a pension.—And, that from the time he received such advice from Mr. Gallt he has not until now, been able to present his claim for want of means to defray the expense he is very poor and infirm, also a cripple from the loss of his right arm which renders him totally incapable of Sustaining himself by Manual labor and that he has no one to render him any assistance until the present time.
He hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity, whatever, except the present, and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State or Territory. (Signed with his mark) Jacob Coons
Sworn and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid before me. Augustus F. Ferris, Judge of the Court of Cayuga Co.
End Notes—Jacob Coons R.2291 by James F. Morrison
1. So far I haven’t found any captains by either name and with no Colonel’s name I have searched several of the Albany County Militia Regiments and found nothing.
2. Major General Horatio Gates.
3. The Battles of Saratoga were fought on September 19 and October 7, 1777.
4. General Benedict Arnold was again wounded in the leg. He had been wounded in the leg att the Storming of Quebec on December 31, 1775. If you visit the Saratoga National Historic Park near Schuylerville on Route US 4 there is a monument there for him and his wound. The monument depicts a leg with a boot and an epaulet, but it does not have his name on it.
5. Saratoga is now present day Schuylerville, Saratoga County.
6. Again with no first name of the Captain it is hard to determine which captain or regiment he served under. A Captain Philip DeFreest was in the Fifth Regiment of Albany county Militia and Captain Jacob DeFreest was in the Sixth Regiment of Albany County Militia. Both companies were formed in 1775 and there appears to be no changes in the company officers during the war.
7. Brigadier General Robert VanRensselaer.
8. He is referring to the October 1780 raid. Sir John Johnson attacked and destroyed the Schoharie Valley on October 17th, burned around Fort Hunter on the 18th and October 19 destroyed Stone Arabia. Later in the day the second battle was fought at Klock’s Field, present day St. Johnsville.
9. Lieutenant Peter Loop in Captain Elihu Marshall’s Company in Lieutenant-Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of New York State Levies for 1781. Jacob’s name is not on this company’s payroll or any other company in this regiment. He gave a good account of the Battle of Johnstown which was fought on October 25, 1781. The Stone Arabia Militia he mentions were under Captain John Breadbake from Colonel Jacob Klock’s Regiment of Tryon County Militia, Second Regiment.
10.The skirmish at West Canada Creek took place on October 30, 1781. Captain Walter Butler was killed and not his father Colonel John Butler.
11. The Fort Oswego expedition was in February of 1783. I have not been able to find any enlistment for any year for Jacob Coons in Colonel Willett's Regiment.