History From America's Most Famous Valleys
The following is from William H. Pickard who donated the Pension Papers of John Henry Genter.
I'm happy that you think John Henry Genter's (AKA Hans Heinrich Guenther and a host of other spellings) pension application will make a worthy contribution to your excellent web site, I sure do. Ken Johnson sort of touched on the high spots of it in The Bloodied Mohawk but obviously couldn't print the entire document. I transcribed it from History of the Genter Family of East Springfield, New York by Mrs. Paul M. Ketchum, Mrs. Harold E. Archey and Mrs. William F. Kellogg. N.p.: Mrs. PM Ketchum, 1982. I obtained a microfiche copy of the book from the Family History Library US/CAN; Fiche No.6019116, Salt Lake City, Utah. I transcribed the application exactly as it appeared in the book and I have to think that whoever copied it from the original took pains to be as precise as possible.
I did add italics on a couple of occasions in order to clarify the names of Adolphus Pickard and Nicholas Weiser but those were my only inserts. It is a little disjointed in places (there are about 75 commas and only a couple of periods in the whole document) but if you read it over a couple of times it actually flows fairly well. It also helps that you understand the times and places he mentions. Also you have to remember that John Henry was 88 when he was deposed. Frankly I find his application to be a fascinating story. It doesn't appear that there was too much of the Revolutionary War in the Mohawk Valley after 1777 that he missed out on. For some background, John Henry married Lea Walrath daughter of Jacob W. Walrath, ca. 1779 at Stone Arabia and by 1800 or so had moved to East Springfield. According to Kate Gray's History of Springfield it is assumed that John Henry and Lea Genter were buried in the Middle Village Cemetery ( on Addie Van Alstyne Rd., north of US 20 and just west of E. Springfield) but a stone has never been found. I was there a few years back and there are lots of other Genters there. My 3rd great grandfather Abraham Pickard (1792-1878) married JH's daughter Magdalena (Lany). Abe and Lany moved from E. Springfield to Owasco, Cayuga Co. about 1820 and on to West Sparta, Livingston Co by 1835. Abraham's grandfather was Conrad Pickard (1727-1827). Conrad and his brother John both served on the Committee of Safety for the Canajoharie District during the Revolution and John was the quartermaster of the Tryon County Militia. There was another brother named William that I have been told helped build Ft. Klock. During the F&I War he was captured some where on the Susquehanna and taken to Canada. He returned to the Mohawk Valley with Butler's Rangers and fought on "that" side at Oriskany. By the way, I have an original land grant for the above John Pickard dated 1763 that gave him 400 acres on two lots in the Waggoner Patent. One was near Summit Lake and the other was near the cross roads of CR 36 and US 20 at East Springfield. It happens that this was where Conrad Pickard had already been settled, some say as early as 1750. His grave is still visible in a small pioneer cemetery along CR 36 about 1 mile north of the cross roads.
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832
of New York
On the 12th day of May 1837 personally appeared before me, David F. Sacia, one of the Judges of Montgomery County Court, being a court of record, Henry Genter of the Town of Springfield, a resident of said town in the County of Otsego, and State aforesaid, aged eighty-eight years past, who first being 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 7th, 1832. That Claimant declares and saith, that he was born in Europe and that he was constraint in coming over to America with the Army sent by the British Govt. at the time of the Revolutionary War, between the King & Parliament of Great Britain, and the thirteen Colonies of America . . . . . Claimant further declares that he belonged to a Company of Artillery under the General Command of Genl. Ritagle (Riedesel) who had the command of the Dutch Army, and that he was taken a prisoner by the American Army at the time of the surrender of Genl. Burgoyne with the British Army at Stillwater Junction in October in the year 1777 - although considering himself a Prisoner of War that he soon proceeded up the Mohawk River, and in the early part of Spring 1778, he came to reside in the Town of Palatine, in the vicinity of Stonearabia, Where eventually took an active part on behalfe of the American cause for liberty and Independence, although not called upon in taking part with the Militia, Claimant states that he generally did turn out under the Command of Capt. Severance Cook in whose seat he did reside first in the house of Sevarious Dygert, and at different other places in continuing in the same seat commanded by Capt. Cook, until 1781, when removed into the next adjoining seat Commanded by Capt. John Zilley, in the Regiment Commanded by Col. Jacob Klock and Lieut. Col. Peter Waggoner, from the beginning of his rendering United States Service to the termination of the revolution, that he generally volunteered.
Claimant in conformities to the recommendation of General Lafayette early
in the Spring of this year when at Johnstown that that Fort rebuild, when
claimant volunteered, aiding and assisting in erecting a fort around the house
of Harry (Henry) Kayser, Esq. Where the inhabitants from at a distance as
well as all around the farm, rejoicing to assist with an asylum where their
(li(f)es could be protected
To often volunteered with others running Scouts with others during said season, spying the enemy through the woods on the frontiers the pilots of said Scouts cannot recollect, only Sergeant Audolph Picket (Adolphus Pickard), he was their leading Pilot for at least thrice, and at various other times, claimant cannot recollect the whole Reg't. ordered out at the time of the General Massacre and desolation at Cherry Valley when Claimant was along with the Regt.
By order of the field Officer often stationed at Fort Kayser claimant at least has rendered garrison duty the length as placed opposite.
At the time of the expedition to the West, Capt, Nicholas Waser (Weiser) , Lieut. Bradt, Peter Bradt & others who previous to the war were obliged to leave their farms residing at Springfield during the war & well acquainted with the rout through the woods, from Springfield to Otsego Lake, Capt. Waser (Weiser) at the head, with tools to work in opening a road from Springfield down to the lake, a communication for carrying boats and baggage from the Mohawk River, a distance of at least 20 miles and for the section of Genl. Sullivans army under the Command of Genl. James Clinton army to march to Otsego Lake, and claimant says that they were (authorized?) and ordered to be well armed and acquipt, to guard against Indian Spies and British Tories, while at the opening of the road.
Claimant willing to be ordered and directed by his field officers to take
the exclusive charge of the Cannon at Fort Paris and says accordingly did
take charge attending it according to their orders, also sometimes out frequently
rendering Garrison duty as a private soldier at Fort Paris, Marching out sometimes
with the others of the militia in consequence of an alarm, guarding against
the incursions of the common enemy . . . . . He the said claimant declares
that during the said season, in attending to the Cannon at least rendered
the length of three months as an "artilist"? and at least 2 months
service rendered as a private militia soldier to the United States that inclusive
of the foraging first charge in opening the road to Otsego Lake, Claimant
claims 5 months, he finding it impracticable to be more specific . . . .
Claimant claims that he was Enlisted under the Command of Capt. Samuel Gray for 9 months sometime in March attached to a Company of Boatmen, but the particular time when ordered to Capt. Gray at Schenectady and when the boats were started for the first time from Schenectady to Fort Stanwix claimant doth not recollect, but claimant does recollect and remember that the Company were ordered ordered to Schenectady previous to the first day of April in said year and detained at Schenectady for at least 8 days before the boats were started and continued in the boat service under the command of Capt. Gray, a brave officer, until the 19th of October, when circumstances afforded him an opertunity being Engaged in Battle, what is generally called Col. Brown's battle, at Stonearabia at the time of the general desolation, at a distance of about 20 miles up alonng the Mohawk river and all of the old settled place of Stonearabia and __gaga, That Claimant states he did receive a wound in battle, although a slight wound to his thumb on his left hand, still disabling him, so much that he felt constrained by relinquishing the boat service for that season, and not until Christmas when he was restored, and his wound healed up, although from the first of April to the 19th of October but six months and nineteen days or 7 months from the time ordered out, he considers himself entitled, claiming the full nine Months.
Claimant further to state that the .Capt. Gray being engaged in battle on the 10th day previous, Capt. Gray with his Company of boats on their way to Fort Stanwix from Schenectady , when arrived at Fort Hunter discovering that Sir john Johnson, with about 1500 of his incendiary associates composed of Indians and Tories from Canada happened to be some miles from them, the enemy came the way through Old Schoharie, causing a general Conflagration as they went along, when leaving their boats at Fort Hunter Schoharie Creek, by taking the north side of the Mohawk River, when arriving in Stonearabia late at night, and that the same Capt. Gray and his brother Andrew and others of his boatmen was again by the dawn of the day on the 19th went about 6 miles and by the dawn of the day, had made discovery where the enemy had encamped that night, and again returned to Fort Paris in Stonearabia. There joined, under Col. John Brown and went into battle against Sir John, with only about 200 men, and Johnson as stated in history as having short of 1500 Indians and Tories, when Capt. Samuel gray with others in his boat were first engaged in battle under Col. Brown who was slain in battle and went again a distance of 8 miles up along the Mohawk again engaged in battle on Klocks & Failings field, when the Enemy left the field
The claimant further declares that after being engaged in Brown's Engagement and after making his retreat to Fort Paris, although wounded, he was charged to take command of the artillery, before the Enemy came in Sight , where soon after Sir John making a halt on a clear field, within Cannon shott, but, on causing a consternation in their ranks when the Enemy leaping out of reach of the artillery.
Claimant further declares, nothing to lengthen his service to the United States, but to satisfy his honor the Commissioner of Pensions, that Samuel Gray has not only been a Capt. of a Company of boatmen in the year 1780 but doth declare that the said Capt. Sam Gray had the command of Company of boatmen the year previous . 1779, when himself & Company went down the Susqehanna River under the Command of Genl. James Clinton, in joining that Section of the army under the Command of Genl. Sullivan, at the time of Genl. Sullivan's Expedition so called, to the West, and further declares that each and every boatman, .ly and most of the time had their arms and equipment with them when up and down the Mohawk River with their boats, and more particularly at this time which your honor must have seen in the declarations of hundreds, that in consequence of Capt. Samuel Gray with his boatmen and boats were stopped at Fort Schuyler in Utica, by Capt. Brandt with about 400 Incendiaries from Canada, who lay in wait between Fort Stanwix and Utica for Capt. Gray to come on with his boats. When the militia vizt. the two regts. Col. Clyde from the South Side of the River and Col. Klocks from the North Side of the Mohawk were ordered out to the relief of Capt. Gray with his boats and did guard them to Fort Stanwix when Capt. Brandt took a circuitous rout down the Mohawk to the Upper Part of Canojoharie, causing a Gen'l desolation of that place, or part of Canojoharie .
Went with a Guard, Guarding, with Provision from Fort Plain to Fort Stanwix, the only persons the Claimant doth recollect of the Guard was Nicholas Kapellor, and Godliefe Pickert, as for the others Claimant doth not recollect, both dead
At the time of the Johnstown Battle, Claimant says that he was engaged in Johnstown Battle under the Command of Col. Willett against Maj. Ross and Capt. Butler with their Incendiaries form Canada, at which time he again gott wounded in his left leg, vizt. a flesh wound, although wounded twice in two different engagements, one at the time of Col. Brown's Battle on the 19th of Oct, 1780, and the other on the 25th day of October 1781, and at each time disabled for some considerable time, but not so much so inducing your applicant to apply for an invalid pension, and never have, nor intend to, but "conjuring" his Honor the Pension Commissioner, that whereas having only charged for the days' service while engaged in the latter Battle, where again wounded at Johnstown your Honor will be pleased by adding 27 days to this time, making it one month in consequence of the loss of time sustained through his wound
At the time of Col. Willetts Battle, Col. Klocks Regt. Ordered out in mass calculated to join and reinforce Col. Willett at the time of the Tuslough Battle, but too late although traveling during the night, the Regt. Only arrived immediately after the Battle had subsided? passing unnoticed, Col. Willett took a different road in his return to Fort Plain. Claimant was stationed at Fort Paris generally under the order and directions of Majr. Fox as he states and declares that he had been rendering Service to the United States, during said period at Fort Paris, at least 2 months & fifteen days as an artillerist ..
And sometimes after discharging the alaruming Gun, and frequently so, shouldering his arms in perishing the Enemy with others of the Militia and their superior Officers This year the many occurences, murder, burning, and the taking of prisoners to Canada, generally by the Indians from Canada, almost continually, looking around the settlements which has produced and occasioned the inhabitants, seeking for succour, at their respective Forts, from the early part of Spring, until late in the fall, not only the inhabitants of Palatine but and the same in the town of Canojoharie.
That Claimant was considered the most Experienced Artillerist, who declares that he was ordered and instructed to be stationed at Fort Paris, that Generally after firing the alaruming Gun, he would almost at all and at each and every such occurrence , volunteer by joining the militia pursuing the Enemy, that it is with the deepest regret in finding it impracticable to specify this Service, more particularly but apparently as if Engaged in rendering United States Service from the Early part in Spring until late in fall, at least the same as Enlisted Soldier and that he at least during the said period did render the length of five months' Service to the United States as placed opposite.
He hereby relinquishes every claim Whatever to a Pension or Annuity Except the present? And declares that his name has been on the Pension Rolls for one year only, for the amount of $96 per annum, about 16 or 17 years past, but afterwards this pension was withheld for reason he could not swear that he was not worth $300.00 and otherwise his Name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State.
Sworn and subscribed this 12th day of May 1837 before me D.F.Sacia, Judge of County Courts. State of New York Montgomery County ss:
And I the said Judge do certify that I am personally acquainted with the above named Henry Genter and that his is entitled to full credit - And I the said Judge do hereby declare my opinion after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogations prescribed by the war Department that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier and served as he states. In witness whereof I have hereto put my hand this 12th day of May 1837--
D. F. Sacia, Judge of Montgomery County Courts
And do further certify that this named applicant cannot from bodily infirmity attend court to make this declaration. - May 12, 1837
F. Sacia, Judge of Montgomery County Courts
State of New York
Montgomery County Clerk's Office I do certify that David F. Sacia whose name is subscribed to the Jurats?__ of the foregoing declaration and certificate, was on the day of the date thereof a judge of the County Courts of the County of Montgomery and duly authorized by the laws of the said state to administer oaths and in and for the county aforesaid and that his signature subscribed to the same is genuine. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 23rd day of February, 1838
A.J. Comrie (?) Clerk
County of Otsego ss: Peter J. Walrath of Springfield in same county, being duly sworn before me the undersigned one of the justices of the peace in and for the said county deposeth and saith, that he this deponent was in the fort at Stone Arabia at the time when John H. Genter, now of Springfield aforesaid, was there. That he knew said Genter at that time, and understood that he was a soldier in the Army, and believes that he was so. That he saw Genter load and fire the cannon at the British, and it made a scattering amongst them. That this deponent understood that said Genter was in the Stone Arabia battle. That he has always known said Genter since that time, and has always understood that said Genter had killed an indian and a tory. And further saith not.
Peter J. Walrath
__ day of December AD 1838 Before me, and I further certify that the above
deponent is a credible person and entitled to belief.
Henry R.Tracy, Justice
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