Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for Joseph Newman

            Deponent first entered the service of the United States in the Revolutionary War under an enlistment for three years the latter part of the winter in December 1776 at Colerain, Massachusetts; the 4th Regiment of Continental troops, the Company of Capt. Olvard. Chapin was Ensign. Garns was first Sergeant.  Deponent does not recollect the other officers’ names.
            The British had possession of Boston at the time he enlisted, they evacuated it in March.   General Washington was commander of the army at that time.  The Company to which deponent belonged stayed at Boston till the spring.   He believes they left Boston and came to New York by water.  He and his company came in two Regiments to Albany but he does not recollect the Colonels or other officers that had command of the troops.
            General Schuyler was along. The company to which deponent belonged was commanded by the same officers above mentioned.  The detachment stayed at Albany two days and then marched to Saratoga where a part of the troops took charge of boats loaded with provisions for Ticonderoga.  The remainder of the troops went by land.  He had charge of the boats.  He was stationed in the garrison at Ticonderoga till that fort was evacuated by the American Army, sometime before harvest the next summer. 
            Following in the year 1777, the American Army, under the command of St. Clair and he thinks General Schuyler had chief command, continued to retreat before the enemy into the State of Vermont.  He was in the Battle between the Americans and British at Hubbleton and at the next battle at Bemis Heights.
            Before this battle, he was wounded and taken off through the woods towards Montreal.  The Indians continued their march till about midnight when they halted and build a fire.  While they were engaged, deponent heard them say-"they would make him dance".
            He ran from them. It was very dark and he got lost and wandered in the woods four days subsisting on roots and other vegetables-
            (Note: after being very confident that he was wounded and taken prisoner before the Battle of Bemis Heights, and before taking Burgoyne, it was pointed out the inconsistency.  But the deponent stated with considerable confidence that he was taken prisoner at that battle, as his deposition had been drawn up out of court.)
            Deponent came to a settlement in Bennington in the State of Vermont where he stayed a few days and then went to Colerain where remained about a week.  He went to the Colonel in Chelsea and told him about his being made prisoner and escaped and offered to go on to Albany to the army.  But the Colonel told him he need not, however he went to Albany with a view of joining his Company again
            Deponent was told that the American Army had gone south.  Then came up the Mohawk River to the place where he now resides.  At that time the place was called Snyder’s Bush in the county of Montgomery.  It was in the fall of the year 1777 when deponent arrived at the now Town of Manheim. 
            Soon after was enrolled in a company of Militia commanded by Capt. John Keyser, Lieutenant Mark Bellinger, John Smith was Ensign and John Miller First Sergeant.  He was frequently out on scouting parties to different parts of the town and county- he helped build two block houses and picket them.
            In the spring of 1778, after deponent came to Manheim, he was out on a scouting party of Militia of his neighborhood when they went north into what is now called Jerseyfield in pursuit of Indians & Tories.  They were out five or six days.  The Scouts were commanded by Sergeant John Miller.  His next service was on a scouting party to Anderstown, about six miles west of Fort Herkimer & about sixteen miles west of Manheim.  The Indians and Tories had burned Anderstown a neighborhood on or near the Mohawk River.  At this time he served about a fortnight and part of the time at Fort Herkimer, commanded by Col. Bellinger.
            He said he had forgotten the season of the year in which this service was rendered and  cannot recollect all the Scouts he was out on but ordered to hold himself in readiness at all times.  They were called out quite often.  Sometimes they were out for one day, sometimes two and sometimes a week or more.  He would work a few days and then was obliged to run to the fort.
            He had his home a little more than two years in Manheim discharging the aforesaid duties when he was taken prisoner by the Indians. It was the 2nd day of April but he cannot state the year.  He knocked one Indian down but he was taken prisoner of war by two Indians.  They immediately stripped him but deponent had a whip in his hand and knocked down one of the Indians. The other raised his tomahawk to strike, when deponent clinched him and threw him down.  He would have killed him when, Capt. Sefrenus Casleman a Tory came up and told him he would blow him through if he did not stop.  He was then forced to go with Casleman and the Indians about three miles north where they found another party of about sixty Indians and & Tories and several prisoners. They all started immediately for Canada.
            On the trip he was compelled to carry a load of provisions, as much as he could carry and walk with until the provisions were gone.  He got very little to eat, and he had to subsist on bark & twigs of trees.  They were five days in the woods when they came to a place called by the Indians, Carlton Island, where there was a fort occupied by the British.  When they came near the fort the Indians & Tories formed two lines.  The prisoners had to run between them and each Indian & Tory gave them a blow.  (Run the gauntlet)   He was knocked down twice and then his master called out to the Indians and Tories not to kill him. Then he ran through the line without much more injury.
            He was kept at Carlton Island about three weeks, then moved to Niagara where he stayed till he was exchanged, about three years from the time he was taken prisoner.
            While at Niagara he saw Stephen Eysamler who was also a prisoner.
            With other prisoners, he was exchanged at Saratoga where they had been taken under a British guard.  He then returned to Manheim.  During the time deponent was a prisoner he suffered great hardships for want of food and clothing.  He was compelled to labor very hard and was often whipped & abused.
            Some of the regular officers who were with the troops where he served, viz: General Schuyler; General Arnold- Major Coffin, General Herkimer, Colonel Bellinger, Major Eysler, Colonel Cox.  He never received a discharge in writing from the Army or service and is unable to obtain a witness to state in detail his services in the State of Massachusetts because he is poor and very infirmed.

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