Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for James N. Lighthall

State of New York
Schenectady County SS.
            James N. Lighthall formerly a soldier in the service of the United States now a resident of the City and County of Schenectady being duly sworn deposeth & saith, that on the fourteenth day of June in the year 1775, during the war of the revolution, he enlisted into the service of the United States under Captain Cornelius Van Dyke, (1) in a Regiment of New York State troops, commanded by Colonel Goose Van Schaick, that he was in the expedition which marched to Canada under the command of General Montgomery, and was attached to the said Captain VanDykes Company which belonged to the Second Battalion of said Regiment, which was commanded by Major Peter Gansevoort—That sometime the last of November in the same year, his term of service for which he had enlisted expired, & he reenlisted at Montreal in the Province of Lower Canada under Captain Barent Ten Eyck and was attached to his company in the Regiment aforesaid, and went with the army on the expedition to Quebec, where Montgomery fell, that he remained attached to said company and regiment until the American Army retreated from Canada to the United States in the month of May in the year 1776.  That his term of service having expired he again enlisted, in the same year at Schenectady, into a company of New York State Rangers commanded by Captain John A. Bradt (2) on the twelfth of June, that he remained in said company until the beginning of the year 1777—when he enlisted to serve during the war under Captain Aaron Austin (3) in the Third New York Regiment on the Continental establishment commanded by Colonel Peter Gansevoort.  That he remained attached to the said company and Regiment until the consolidation (4) of the New York Regiments took place in the year 1780 (except for a short part of the time he was attached to Capt. [Sice’s?] Comp. where he was attached to Captain Cornelius Johnsons Company in the First New York Regiment on the continental establishment, commanded by Colonel Goose Van Schaick—To which company and regiment he continued attached until the Fourteenth day of June in the year 1783, after the Peace, at Snake Hill otherwise called NewBorough Huts but near New Windsor in the State of New York, where he was regularly discharged from the service, his discharge being signed by General George Washington and also by the said Captain Johnson—That he has retained the said discharge in his possession until within the last four or five years since which time it has by accident been lost or otherwise destroyed—This deponent further says that he was in the service of the United States as aforesaid during the war of the revolution from the time of his first enlistment until his final discharge in the whole making eight years service—That he is by reason of his reduced circumstances in life in need of assistance from his country for support—and that he has never received any pension,  or had any allowed him for his services aforesaid, by the Laws of the United States, and further he saith not.  (Signed with his mark) James N. Lighthall (5)
            Sworn before me this 31st day of March 1818.  John Yates, one of the Judges of the Court of common pleas for the County of Schenectady.

End Notes—James N. Lighthall

  1. Captain Cornelius Van Dyck’s Company was authorized to be raised on June 28, 1775 in Colonel Goose Van Schaick’s Second New York Continental Regiment.  Captain Van Dyck’s and Captain Barent J. Ten Eyck’s Companies were raised from Albany County as part of their quota for Continental Army service.  After a failed attempt to take the City of Quebec by General Richard Montgomery, the American Army laid siege to Quebec.  Most enlistment in 1775 were for 6 months and as most of the enlistments ran out on January 1, 1776, re-enlisting men for the army in Canada became a priority to keep the invasion of Canada from failing but eventually when a British fleet with reinforcements arrived in the spring the American Army lifted the Siege of Quebec and retreated back to Fort Ticonderoga.
  2. Captain John A. Bradt’s Company of Rangers operated in Albany County.
  3. James enlisted as a private in Captain Aaron Aorson’s (for some reason even in some period records his last name is given as Austin) on April 5, 1777 in Colonel Peter Gansevoort’s Third New York Continental Regiment for during the war.  It is odd that James does not mention being in the Siege of Fort Schuyler in August of 1777 or of being in the Sullivan-Clinton Indian Campaign or 1779.
  4. On January 1, 1781 the First and Third Continental Regiments became one and James once again served under Colonel VanSchaick who is not Commanding the First New York.  The Captain was Cornelius T. Jansen who is often referred to as Johnson.  Again James says nothing about the Siege of Yorktown on October 1781.
  5. In another declaration dated May 15, 1820, he gives a list of real and personal property, and mentions the following family: Charity—wife, son—Nicholas at sea age 32, son –William a soldier at Sackett’s Harbor  age 29, daughter Betsey—age 28 married and moved away and grandson Robert Meade age 19.

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