Pension Application for Simon J. Vrooman
W.6370 (Sally) State of New York County of Oswego SS.
State of New York
County of Oswego SS.
On this 29th day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two personally came before me Simon J. Vrooman of the Town of Oswego in the County and State aforesaid unable by reason of bodily infirmity to appear in Open County and aged seventy two 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 7th 1832.
That he has a record of his age at his own house in a large family Bible by which it appears that he was born in the City of Schenectady and State aforesaid on the third day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty. That he resided in the City of Schenectady until he entered the Public Service which he did under the following named officers and served as herein stated according to the best of his recollection.
This deponent entered the public service in the quarter masters department under Col. Christopher Yates of the City of Schenectady aforesaid & he [?] quarter Master General in the month of March 1777 then stationed at Fort Ann. At the time of this deponents entering into the service as aforesaid, the Government had erected a sawmill to supply the Garrison at Ticonderoga with boards and lumber which were wafted down to Skeensboro. Two companies of Boatmen were likewise employed in constructing a causeway through the [?] woods to Fort Edward for the purpose of sending wagons with stores to Fort Ann and Ticonderoga. When we had completed one and a half miles by the 4th of July on the 4th of July, Col. Yates send a boat to Skeensboro with Col. Pierce the PayMaster of the Army. When they came to Skeensboro, they met part of the troops from the [?] first landing about 1000 in number commanded by Col. [?] Our Gun Boats and schooners engaged the enemy a considerable time as we supposed by the firing which we heard at Fort Ann Mr. Piece sent back his boat having put a sick Lieutenant on board Col. Yates sent an express, Lieutenant Abbott to the commanding officer at Fort Edward to inform him of the evacuation of the Garrison by the enemy. Genl Schuyler immediately repaired to Fort Edward from Albany on the 7th day of July early in the morning. Col. Henry Van Renselaer was sent with the Greenbush Militia to help the boat up Wood Creek where he had advanced ½ a mile he met the enemies advance, formed his men in line and a severe action took place which continued until their ammunition was nearly expended. Col. Henry Van Renselaer was badly wounded as also Captain Montgomery who was taken prisoner with his surgeon while the latter was dressing his wounds. I was sent to Fort Edward to take charge of the baggage wagons. Fort Ann was evacuated and burnt about 3 days after. The Schenectady Militia were sent under a strong guard to fall trees and fill up the road to stop the progress of the Enemy. Genl Schuyler was engaged every day in saving and returning all the Public property that was at Lake George and destroying all the Barracks and buildings that were there. He remained at Fort Edward till all the store were in the boats ready to go to Albany. We then crossed the North River moving slowly and with continued skirmishing until we arrived at Saratoga about the 5th day of August—at which time we heard of the dreadful slaughter of the Militia at Herkimer by Col. Marinus Willett and Lieutenant Stockwell who came out of the Fort.
On a very dark night Genl Schuyler sent Genl Arnold with 1,500 men myself among the number to drive Genl St. Leger from Fort Stanwyx by a forced march we soon arrived at Herkimer & where we formed a detachment from a Regiment under command of Col. Dayton of New Jersey. He sent a party of men in the night to ShoeMakers Tavern and took Walter Butler and John J[?] Schuyler prisoners was then sent by Genl St. Leger to the inhabitants to give then British Protection Genl Arnold convened a Court Martial and Butler was condemned to be hung when the time of execution arrived the officers intruded and the execution was postponed. Genl Arnold told Schuyler he would be hung also but he pleaded for his life and was directed to go to the Fort and inform Gansvoort that Arnold was coming with a large force to drive St. Leger away. Schuyler went to St. Leger and told him that they were coming with a large force and would cut him off if he did not leave the Fort. They immediately returned to Wood Creek as fast as they could when the boats were all gone except one, the men all got drunk and had one month in the Fort. Schuyler went to the Fort and gave information, whereupon Gansevoort sent a party to Wood Creek and found all as Schuyler had told him.
The Garrison had been 21 days in close siege. Arnold went on with the Army to the Fort and then returned to Stillwater when we met the Army advancing from VanSchaicks Island where it had been stationed while we were gone to the Fort. Genl Stark had obtained a victory at Bennington while we were at the west so that Genl Schuyler after obtaining two victories over St. Leger, Colonels Sheen? Baum & Brigma[?] delivered the command to Gates. We Staid a few days at Stillwater and made a floating bridge over that North River. Genl Arnold and Col. Yates with 1500 men went in search of a better position for the Army to encamp and fortify and the next day the army was in motion for Beekmans heights where we erected breastworks and redoubts. At this time the two Armies were only about 10 miles apart daily [?] a general engagement. On the 10th September our Scouts discovered the enemy in full force taking the Highlands near the River [?] a way for their Artillery and Baggage. Col. Morgans riflemen met them there[?] active cannonaded each army trying to out flank the other and fresh troops arriving continually to the assistance of each, about 2 hours before sunset the conflict was terminated and [?] till after dark. The field was left to the enemy at [can't read a line] Arnold said to Col. Yates “We have met Burgoyne with one single line of men in front and one in the rear when I made change front? when I thought necessary. Our Loss is not so great as I expected. I have the return of every regiment engaged in the action, the number killed and wounded are 316? 63 killed the remainder mostly wounded in the legs and arms. One field officer, Major Cohran has been killed. Col. [?] was wounded but not badly. Our army offered to renew the engagement the next morning but the enemy avoided it until the 7th October. On that day the enemy sent a strong body of troops to the west of our camp to take away a quantity of forage from a farm, ¾ of a mile distant. A little after noon our men attacked them and drove them from their position and their cannons. I then saw Col. Koscinsko calling to our men to haste and prevent a rally of the enemy. Fraser tried to rally them but they ran to their works. Arnold followed close after him and ordered them to ground their arms. They fired at him and shot his horse and broke his leg and he was carried to his quarters on a litter.
Our army followed close upon the men until we got possession of their works—except Frasers Recoubt on the verge of the hill. The next day was spent in cannonading the enemy and I think some were sent to prevent the enemy from crossing the river. On the 9th in the night the enemy retreated to their old breastworks on Schuylers farm and we erected several batteries and kept a brisk cannonading until they surrendered the 17th Oct. 1777, to the number of 1,300 men including [?] Tories and Canadians who were allowed by the terms of the capitulation to go to Canada. I think Col. Yates told me we had taken 1,300 stands of arms [?] pieces of artillery besides ammunition [?]
Our army was drawn upon the side of the hill on Genl Schuyler's Farm and we had a full view of the prisoners as they started on their journey to Boston? On their retreat they destroyed everything. Major Genl Lincoln was wounded the morning after their defeat while riding on horseback within sight of Frasers Redoubt we then returned to our respective homes after a service of about 7 months. In the year following March or April 1778, I was again in active employment in the same department being engaged in building boats for the General army at Schuyler's Farm we had from 100 to 150 men, part carpenters in that employment during a period of between three and 4 months. In the month of August in the same year I entered the Militia service of the State of New York as a private—In Captain John Mynderses Company Col. Abraham Wemples Regiment and of which Jelles Fonda was Adjutant—James H. Peck was Second Lieutenant of the same company which I served. We were stationed at Fort Paris in Stone Arabia Montgomery County New York during the whole period of my service this season comprehending a period of three months. While at Fort Paris the Greenbush Militia were put in confinement in the guard house & kept them from returning home they were confined one or two days and finally got out and ran home at the time of which desertion one man was shot and died next day. In the spring of the year following say in the month of June 1779 I went with Quarter Master Col. Yates to convoy bateau freighted with provisions, baggage, and ammunition by the way of Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna River for Tioga Point whither Genl James Clinton's Army had gone by land to join Genl Sullivan at that place where they went about the same time, our [?] was from Schenectady to Canajoharie by water then on by land to the head of Lake Otsego. Genl Clinton went to the foot of the Lake and staid 6 weeks and built a dam until the lake rose 6 feet and then went down the river to the Point Tioga we were engaged about 1 month in this employment.
I afterwards entered the Militia service in the same company and with the same officers as the preceding year and we were stationed 5 or 6 weeks at the German Flats at Fort Herkimer, while we were at [?] Village on the Mohawk River and Genl James Clinton with the troops. 2 spies were discovered by the Inhabitants who shot George Cough one of the spies and took the other two by name Harry Hare and Newburgh [Sergeant Newbury] who were tried by Court Martial and hung. Genl Clinton desired to save the life of Hare and told him to plead the Court that he had come to see his wife and family and that would have him but he did not do so and he was executed. The Army celebrated the 4th of July at the lower end of the lake and had a very splendid and brilliant celebration. In the month of August of the Year 1780 I was drafted in the Militia service of the New York State Militia and received my commission of Sabaltern from the Council of a [?] in the Company of Captain John Burnett in the Regiment of Col. Lewis Dubois of Dutchess County. Elias Ven Benschoten was a Major and Captain McBride of Orange County was in the same Regiment we were ordered to Fish Kill and remained there with Lieutenant Jacobus Peck and 40 men and kept [?] guard over Ensign Moody and some other English prisoners when Moody was removed to Fort Put at West Point we were ordered down the river to Dobbs Ferry an entire Brigade commanded by Col. Malcolm was ordered to this place. The other Colonels were Weisenfelt and Livingston, while at Dobbs Ferry the Vulture Sloop of War passed up the river to Tappan Bay. We kept guard here a few days and went thence up the River to West Point and then embarked in sloops for Albany having received notice that the Enemy was expected to lay waste the Northern and Western frontier. On our arrival at Albany Malcolm's and Weisenfelts Regiments were ordered up the North River and Dubois and Livingstons Regiments were stationed at the several forts west at Schoharie and along the Mohawk River.
The company in which I served was stationed at Fort Plain. Major Miles Hughes was stationed at Fort Stanwyx with 200 men. Capt. Burnett proceeded to Fort Stanwyx with a drove of cattle, while we were at Fort Plain an Oneida Indian named Nicholas who had been with Johnson and others of the enemy came into Fort Stanwyx with a [can't read several words here] and gave notice of the approach of the enemy. [?] immediately dispatched a messenger to Fort Plain and I was sent on an express to Schenectady and returned to the Fort the third day. The next night I mounted guard. The enemy during this time ravaged Schoharie County. While stationed here we had two engagements in one day, one at Stone Arabia with 300 men under Col. Brown who attacked an enemy of 1200 men and was defeated. Col. Brown some officers and 53 men were killed we then marched down the river 4 miles and found the enemy had crossed the river at the commencement of Browns action, the troops then returned to Fort Plain crossed the River and were joined by some men who had escaped from Browns defeat at this juncture we received a reinforcement of the Albany Militia under Genl Van Renslaer we then had an action with the enemy 4 miles above Fort Plain. Major Van Benschoten commanded the flank with the levies Van Renslaer and Dubois commanded the Militia. The enemy forded the river that night. Garnt W. Vanschaick a Lieutenant in the militia was [?] we again marched 4 miles down the river and the next morning we marched to Herkimer in pursuit of the enemy and remained at Herkiemer6 weeks until we were relieved by the troops under Capt. Dunscomb and Lieutenant Freligh and Hyatt of the York line at which time I returned to Schenectady. During the 6 weeks we were at Herkimer a body of the enemy appeared in sight of the Fort and took Captain Daymuth and his two sons prisoners. This period of service was about 4 ½ months.
In the beginning of the month of April 1781 I received a Commission of Sabaltern in Captain John Gross Company in Col. Marinus Willetts Regiment and was stationed at Fort Plain. I made several excursions into Schoharie County twice with Captain Putnam. On one of these excursions in the month of June we discovered the enemys track and followed it to Bowmans Creek. We sent word to Col. Willett and requested him to bring all his men. The next morning at Sunrise after Col. Willetts arrival we had an action 6 miles distant from the creek Col. Willett had 150 men under his command. Capt. Kean was killed and 15 or 16 men killed and wounded. Col. Jellis A. Fonda was with us in this campaign after this action we returned to Fort Plain. In the summer we were ordered to Eat Canada Creek and remained there 3 or 6 weeks thence we marched to Fort Stanwyx and evacuated that Fort and returned to Fort Plain. Captains Harrison Skinner and Putnam were in this Regiment. Captain Woodworth and Lieutenant Wilson went out with 42 men on a scouting party from the German Flats and were all cut off except 4 Indians who made their escape and returned to the Fort. In October we made another excursion into Schoharie County under Captain Jared Putnam with Lieutenants Victor Putnam, Timothy Hutten and myself after one night Captain Putnam returned to the Fort. Two of the men then asked for a furlough to go to the river and see their families. They found the enemy within 4 miles of the Fort and after warning the people on the river were both taken prisoners on their return. We then pursued the enemy under Captain Putnam as far as Caughnawagha, they having laid waste Warrens bush on their way down crossed the River our troops crossed the river a little above Caughnawagha pursued them to Johnstown, we overtook the enemy at this place and had an action with them. We had 228 men under Col. Willett. The enemy retreated, and our troops pursued until they took shelter in the woods. Captain White was taken prisoner Major Rowley was wounded Lieutenant [?] was killed. We remained all night at Johnstown and the next day marched to Stone Arabia and the day following bring the 1st November to the German Flats. We were joined at this place by 40 Oneida Indians we then crossed the Canada Creek, slept in the open field and marched the day following in the the [sic[ intention of heading the enemy and continued for 24 hours. After a march of 20 miles, we came to Hurricanes and the next morning fell in between the main body and the rear guard of the enemy and took some prisoners one of which was killed. We pursued the enemy all that day towards the Black River Country and after crossing Canada Creek on our return we fell in with the rear guard of the enemy. One advance guard fired across the creek and killed some of them. Captain Butler was among those killed. We continued our pursuit until in the night when Col. Willet supposed we were about 20? miles north of Fort Stanwyx. We then returned to Fort Plain and remained there until late in December and then I returned to Schenectady. This compreheaded a period of 9 months and this deponent further says that he removed from the City of Schenectady to the South part of Montgomery County about the year 1787 that he removed from thence to Herkimer County about the year 1791 and that he removed from thence to his present place of residence in or about the year 1812. And this deponent further says that he does not recollect whether he was drafted into the service or not. That he does not recollect of receiving any discharge from service but was dismissed each time with all his company when drawn up on Parade. That he does not remember who signed his commission and has lost it but believes that it was signed by George Clinton that he is acquainted with the Revd John McCarty pastor of the Episcopal Church in the village of Oswego and with Rudolph Bunner a gentleman residing in the Village of Oswego and he hereby relinquishes all claims whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not to his knowledge on the pension roll of the agency of any state. (Signed) Simon J. Vrooman
Sworn and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid. J. Turrill First Judge of Oswego County Courts.
Letter in Pension Folder
December 10, 1937 Mrs. Eula R. Spencer The American Red Cross 125 ½ South Ohio Street Sedalia, Missouri
Mrs. Eula R. Spencer
The American Red Cross
125 ½ South Ohio Street
The data contained herein were obtained from the papers on file in the Revolutionary War claim for Pension W.6370, based on the military service of Simon J. Vrooman in that war.
Simon J. Vrooman the son of Jacob Vrooman was born August 3, 1760 in Schenectady, New York. The name of his mother is not shown.
During the Revolutionary War the residence of Simon J. Vrooman was Schenectady, New York. He was taken from the companies of carpenters which were under the command of Captains Nicholas Veeder and Jacob Vrooman, said Simon's father, and in March 1777 placed under Colonel Christopher Yates, Deputy Quarter-master General, served seven months during which he was in the siege and battle of Fort Stanwix and in both battles of Stillwater and at the surrender of Burgoyne and in several skirmishes. He also served three months from March or April 1778 under the same officer. He enlisted in the summer of 1778 and served three months as private in Captain John Mynderse's Company, Colonel Abraham Wemple's New York Regiment. He served one month from June 1779 under Colonel Yates, Quarter-master. He enlisted in the fall of 1779 and served one month in Lieutenant James H. Pecks' New York Company and three months as private in Captain John Mynderse's New York Company. He served three days in the summer of 1780 under Major Wemple and went on an expedition to Beaverdam. He then served two or three days in Captain John Mynderse's New York Company. He served four and one half months from June 1780 as lieutenant in Captain John Burnett's Company, Col. Malcolm's and Lewis DuBois' New York Regiments; was in the battle of stone Arabia and an engagement four miles above Fort Plain. On April 27, 1781 he was commissioned lieutenant in Captain Lawrence Gros' Company, Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of New York Levies; he went out on scouting parties under Captain Jared (evidently meant for Gerrit) Putnam; was in an engagement six miles from Bowmans Creek and an engagement at Johnstown and served to January 1782.
About 1787 he moved from Schenectady, New York, to Montgomery County, about 1791 moved to Warren, Herkimer County, New York, and in 1812, moved to Oswego, New York.
He was allowed pension on his application executed October 29, 1832 at which time he was a resident of Oswego, Oswego County, New York.
He died January 2 or 3, 1844 or February 3, 1844 in Oswego, New York.
Soldier married August 10, 1795 in Warren, New York, Sally the name is also shown as Sara and Sarah, Clark or Clarke, of said Warren. She was born October 15, 1787 in Rutland, “Bay State”. The names of her parents are not given.
Pension was allowed on her application executed September 28, 1849 at which time she was a resident of Oswego, New York. She died September 30, 1849 in Oswego, New York.
The following names of the children of soldier and Sally are show: Elizabeth W. Vrooman Born July 1, 1796. Jacob Vrooman Born May 4, 1797. John W. Vrooman Born May 22, 1799. Jacob G. Vrooman Born September 27, 1801. Henry D. Vrooman Born June 30, 1804. Walter E. Vrooman Born July 8, 1807.
Elizabeth W. Vrooman Born July 1, 1796.
Jacob Vrooman Born May 4, 1797.
John W. Vrooman Born May 22, 1799.
Jacob G. Vrooman Born September 27, 1801.
Henry D. Vrooman Born June 30, 1804.
Walter E. Vrooman Born July 8, 1807.
In 1851 John W. Vrooman and Walter E. Vrooman were residing in Oswego, New York. The four other children were then deceased. Said John W. Vrooman was the only child who ever married.
In 1832 one John S. Vrooman was Clerk of Schenectady County, New York, his age or relationship to soldier not stated.
Very truly yours, A.D. Hiller, Executive Assistant to the Administrator
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