Revolutionary War Pensioners
who fought in the Battle of Johnstown


The following pensions were included with the Battle of Johnstown article written by James F. Morrison.  They appear in the form as contained in his piece- rather extracts of Revolutionary War Pensioners who fought in the Battle of Johnstown.  They have been separated only for the purpose of keeping web pages relatively short and easy to load.  Spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. appear as they appear in documents transcribed from.

Enos Morse
, Pension No. W20264 (Mass.), age 71 years, October 16, 1832, Town of Riga, Monroe Co., N.Y.  Private in 1781 in Capt. Samuel Clark's Company in Col. Elisha Porter's Regt. of Mass. State Levies.  Enos enlisted on July 18th and was discharged on Nov. 2, 1781.   Half of the regiment under Colonel Barnabas Sears was stationed at Saratoga and the other half under Major Aaron Rowley served under Col. Marinus Willett in the Mohawk Valley.

    "In the latter part of said applicants term there was an alarm that the British were on their march for Fort Stanwix - This applicant & troops about three hundred in number were immediately marched for Schenectady to intercept them - They soon learned however that the British had arrived in Johnstown - they then directed their course for that place - Here they found & engaged the enemy about seven hundred in number including Indians & tories.  The attack was commenced by a division of one hundred men under the command of Major Rowley - they were employed in flanking the enemy when the attack was made by Colonel Willett.

    This applicants division soon attacked the enemy in his rear - At this time Colonel Willetts division had been wholly repulsed & his men being young had retreated for the fort.

    The action soon became severe & lasted more than an hour - Major Rowley was wounded the second fire - but continued during the action to give orders & animate his men.  Notwithstanding the superior force of the enemy they succeeded in repulsing him & 1taking about forty nine prisoners & a field piece taken from Colonel Willetts division.  A short time before the close of the action Colonel Willett returned with about twenty men & joined in the action.  Soon after this applicants division made its attack he was ordered by his Captain to pass to a company supposed to be under the command of Captain Moody in Colonel Willetts division; and request him not to fire; as they were so situated that if they did this applicants division would receive their shots - He started & on approaching the company he called to an officer whom he supposed was Captain Moody  & made the request - he was answered that Captain Moody was not there, but Butlers Rangers.  They immediately opened to the right & left & fired a field piece - The effect was only to turn this applicant about in the direction of his company with force as to give him a good blast on his way back - It was a company of the enemy who were in possession of a Field piece taken from Colonel Willetts division - this was the first intimation they had that Colonel Willett was not in the field or had retreated - The attack by this applicants division was sometime continued supposing they were assisted by Colonel Willett - This applicant with  a part of his company went with the prisoners to Albany."

Jeremiah Mason, Pension No. R6996, (N.Y.), 66 years old, Sept. 21 ,1832, Town of Johnstown, Montgomery Co. Private in Col. Frederick's Visscher's Regt. of Tryon Co. Militia.

    "That his parents resided in the town of Johnstown and in the village and that his father and brothers were also in the army.  That he was in the battle fought by Colonel Willett at Johnson Hall in Johnstown and was one who helped bury the dead after the battle."

Isaac Mason, Pension No. W18479, Vernon, Penn., April 13, 1833, Col. Frederick's Visscher's Regt. of Tryon Co. Militia.

    "That he entered the service of the United States in the year that Cornwallis surrendered as a volunteer together with his father and two brothers.  Our house and property had been burnt  by the Indians & Tories sometime previously, he enrolled himself in Captain Putnam's Company of New York Militia.   Wm Wallace was Lieutenant and on the 1st May entered the service, at Johnstown, in the garrison or stone fort, being the County Jail fitted up for that purpose.  Major Little was called the garrison Major, and resided in the fort.  Col. Vader who resided near Johnstown also commanded, there was also a Major Scouten.  Col. Willett had the chief command, he commanded the forces from Fort Stanwix to Schenectady.  We performed constant duty on guard and on Scouts.  On the 22d day of October which date he marked on a tree & saw many years after.  The whole force of the Country was called out under Col. Willett to oppose Major Ross and Captain Butler and a party of British and Indians, there were somewhere about 400, men of all descriptions under Col. Willett, we left garrison in search of the enemy, leaving Eleven old men to take care of the Fort, we missed the enemy, who took a road by Tripes Hill and surprised the town and garrison, and attacked it, but were repulsed with the cannon, the force under Col. Willett, came up, about 8 rods of them under fire, and then fired, charged and broke their lines, they retreated, formed again, broke our line and took our cannon, Lieutenant Wallace commanded, the youngest of us, among whom deponant was, we formed in the line, the cannon was retook, the British retreated and were pursued about 8 miles.  We took about 40 prisoners, Lieut Wallace commanded 49 person, most of whom were under 16 yrs of age, several of whom were killed."

    Isaac is in error as to his enlistment in Col. Willett's Regt.  Only Isaac's brother John is listed on the Company Muster Roll for Capt. Garret Putnam's company in Col. Willett's Regt.  John was wounded in the left side at the Battle of Johnstown (Pension No. W18479 N.Y.).  Jeremiah Mason Sr. served as a private in Capt. Jellis Fonda's Company of Exempts in Col. Visscher's Regt.   William Wallace was serving in this same Company and regiment and this is probably the same company that Isaac and Jeremiah Jr. was serving in as they were under 16 years of age.  Their brother-in-law William Scarborough who was in Putnam's Company with John Mason was killed in the Battle of Johnstown.  William Wallace signed affadavits in both Isaac and Jeremiah's pensions and stated that he saw them engage in said battle and that he gave them orders.  Isaac's description of the battle is close to Col. Willett's description of the battle.

Martin A. Van Alstine, Pension No. S23036 (N.Y.) Town of Root, Montgomery County, N.Y., age 83 years.  Col. Samuel Campbell's Regt. of   Tryon Co. Militia (First Battalion).

    "That this deponant was also during said war but the precise time he cannot now remember engaged int he service of the United States at Johnstown in Montgomery County (then Tryon) for two days & that during that time an engagement took place between the Americans under Col. Willett & the enemy & that deponant was engaged through the whole of that battle  - that the deponant volunteered on that occasion & that another bullet passed through the clothing of deponant just above the waist band & raked the skin of deponant.

    And this deponant further now says that he now remembers that at the Johnstown Battle Col. Willett put deponant under the particular command of a man by the name of Walace, & deponant thinks he was a Captain & that he was a brave soldier."

Hugh Connelly, pension No. S28690 (N.Y.), Jefferson, Schoharie Co., N.Y., age 73 years, February 5, 1833.  Private in Captain William Snook's Company in Colonel Frederick Visscher's Regt. of Tryon County Militia (Third Battalion).

    "When the Indians and Tories burnt Florida they retreated as far as Johnstown there we came up with them and had a sharp engagement at first the Indians drove us then we were reinforced by the Stone Roble Militia commanded by Capt. MacMaster then we drove them and killed a number on both sides next morning he helped bury thirteen his mess mates were killed.  We then pursued them as far as Canada Creek there Capt. Butler was killed that commanded the Tories.  We then returned Back the Indians that were with us had the scalps that they carried on a pole."

Abraham J. Quackenboss, Pension No. R8537 (N.Y.), Town of Glen, Montgomery County, N. Y., aged 72 years, Sept. 19, 1832.  Private in Capt. Jacob Gardinier's Company in Col. Visscher's Regt.

    "And this deponant further says that he was engaged in the American service the time the Battle was fought Between the Americans and British at Johnstown at the Hall Farm that Captain Jacob Gardinier was his Captain.   The Americans were commanded by Col. Marinus Willett and the enemys forces by Major Ross.  That this deponant discharged fourteen rounds during the Battle and the Americans retook a cannon which had been lost during the Battle, that on our side one Rowley was shot in the lower part of the leg, the day after the Battle was fought this deponant assisted in Burying the dead.  In the morning the day the Battle was fought this deponant was sent on express from Cagnawaga up the Mohawk River to notify some of the American troops near flat creek a little southeast from Canajoharie that the British forces were at Warrensbush in the Town of Florida & on their march to Johnstown."

Peter Van Alstine, Pension No. S14762 (N.Y.), Town of Glen, Montgomery Co., N.Y., age 74 years, March 11, 1834.   Sergeant in Capt. Rynier Van Evera's Co. in Colonel Samuel Campbell's Regt.

    "Marched from that place (Fort Plain) to Johnstown to attack Major Ross & Butler who were on their way to take that place with the British & Indians when this deponant was engaged in the Battle which took place at Sir William Johnson's Hall & was commanded by Major Rowley who had William Wallace for a guide.  After this Battle was fought they returned the next day under the Command of Captain Van Evera to Fort Plain."

William Feeter, Pension No. S13013 (N.Y.), February 11, 1833, Little Falls, Herkimer County.

    "In October the British Indians & Tories under the command of Major Ross & Walter Butler made their appearance on the Mohawk river in the (now) County of Montgomery the alarm sprede through the country deponant & two other young men Started from Stone Arabia & went down the Mohawk river about twelve miles & Joined Col. Willett at a place called Anthony's nose, Willett proceeded down the South Side of the river a few miles below Caghnawaga when Willett met an express who informed him that the enemy were on the north side of the Mohawk river & on their way to Johnstown.  Willett returned up the river & crossed over to Caghnawaga where he sent deponant & one William Wallace as a scout to ascertain the Situation of the enemy - they proceeded to Johnstown & discovered the enemy a little distance west of Johnson Hall they were building fires & encamping.   Wallace returned to inform Col. Willett & deponant remained at the Jail with six persons who went under the command of one Capt. Lidle when they saw Col. Willett advancing preceeded to the place where they had built their fires and saw them retreating into the woods about half a mile north of Kingsborough deponant & his party pursued as fast as they could run & came up close to the woods & halted.  Col. Willett sent a party of men under the command of Major Andrew Fink to join Capt. Lidles party & enter into the woods & fire upon the enemy & then retreat & had the enemy out into the field.  they entered the woods a short distance & were fired upon by the enemy & one or two of their party killed they returned the fire & they enemy retreated & deponant & his party pursued them about half a mile into the woods.  When they came up to the main body of the enemy - deponant & Major Finck were in advance of their party & were fired upon by the enemy who stood on the top of the hill above them the balls struck in the trees ten or fifteen feet above deponants head.  Deponant fired at an Indian not more than twenty paces distant, & the Indian fell.  Major Finck then called out to his men to retreat as the enemy were surrounding them, & they retreated into the open field & were followed by the enemy, deponant & his party joined a company under the command of Capt. Moody who had comand of a cannon they made a stand a short time when they saw a large body of the enemy going through the woods to surround them & cut off their retreat to the town - & this deponant & his party left the cannon & retreated to the town & joined Col. Willett who had rallied his men & had received a reenforcement of Militia.   Willett advanced to meet the enemy , & again took the cannon & the enemy were driven from the field & retreated during the battle several of deponants friends & companions from Stone Arabia were severely wounded  & deponant was requested to go to Stone Arabia to inform their friends & bring them to Johnstown to take care of the wounded.  Deponant started immediately & went in night to Stone Arabia about 12 miles & ate nothing from early in the morning till late at night when he arrived at Stone Arabia.  The next morning deponant returned to Johnstown to join Col. Willett, who deponant learned had gone in pursuit of the enemy & deponant followed Col. Willett to Fort Herkimer and stayed at the fort one night.  All the militia had gone with Willett in pursuit of the enemy & deponant returned home to Stone Arabia.  This between the Enemy & col. Willett at Johnstown deponant verily believes was in the fall of the year 1782 as above stated but by many of the Revolutionary soldiers it is said this battle was fought in the fall  of the 1781 which deponant thinks incorrect."

Jacob Tanner, Pensions No. S11513 (N.Y.), April 18, 1833, Town of Sharon, Schoharie County.  Private Captain Garrett Putnam's Company in Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of Levies.

    "That he remained there until the beginning of October 1781 when two of Colonel Willetts companies were dispatched to the town of Sharon now a town of Schoharie County lying South of Montgomery County, for cattle for the use of the Soldiery stationed at the afore mentioned place the two companies were commanded by Captains Putnam and Gross - they marched through the wilderness fifteen miles to Henry Heines Mills where they remained over night night   Not being able to obtain any cattle the two companies started the ensuing day upon their return to the fort.  The deponant and one Frederick Olman neighbors had families residing at Currystown in the County of Montgomery who were exposed daily to some struggling club of Indians advised by the commanding officers to return to the fort by the way of their homes  - The deponant and his comrad Olman and the company separated near the present site of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sharon and while on their way were benighted in the cedar swamp in the North of Sharon when they were obliged to stay during the night - On again advancing the suceeding morning about one hundred and eighty yards they were surprized by a party of Indians eleven in number and a white tory by the name of of John Har who had lodged the same night within about two hundred yards of them in the same swamp - As soon as the Indians discovered them they pursued this deponant and Olman about about three miles when they crossed the Indians by prostrating themselves flat upon the ground  on the top of a hillock while the Indians curved around the hill into the valley below - Deponant and Olman took advantage of this circumstance and immediately started in a different direction and pursued their course without interruption until they arrived at Currytown but before they reached their houses deponant and Olman were captured by a company of Indians in ambuscade who were headed by Henry Brandt a cousin of Colo. Joseph Brant who took them after making prisoners of Mr. Olmans father and mother, to Fort Hunter where they were with deponant put under guard the 24 Oct., 1781.  On the succeeding morning Deponant, Olman and his father in law together with thirteen other prisoners were drove back of Johnstown where they were detained for two days - From   this place deponant with others were escorted as prisoners by the savages to fort Niagara and then kept as a prisoner until spring of Seventeen hundred and Eight two - "

Frederick Ulman, Pension No. S14743 (N.Y. & Penn.), February 5, 1833, Town of Carlisle, Schoharie County.  Served as a private in Captain Garret Putnam's Company in Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of Levies.

    "In the year 81 1st April saith he listed again in the same Company for the term of 9 months was stationed at fort Plain fort Plank and near there Continued until Oct.  Then Being in a Scouting party about 20 miles from his stationary place and being in the town of Root then and there himself and Jacob Tanner were taken prisoners By a party of Indians and tories being the 24th day of October in the year 81 (A place called Warnsbush was Burned on the 25th)   Recollects the next day after he was a prisoner he was taken Near Johnstown, and being in the woods near there and kept by the Enemy - he at this time through the trees saw his late Col. Willett marching towards Johnstown with his Regiment at which place (Being 25th Oct.) he had a Battle.  Conquered the Enemy - the Enemy Retreated kept him prisoner with them and was present when at West Canada Creek, Butler then of the Commander of Indians and tories was shot Dead, and Recollects that he felt happy that It took place - "

Stephen Shew, Pension No. W1090 (N.Y.), September 4, 1832, age 71 years, Rutland, Jefferson County.  Served as a private in Captain John Little's Company in the Third Battalion of Tryon County Militia (Colonel Frederick Visscher's Regiment).

    "That in the year 1781 while in the Militia service as above stated the enemy made their appearance near the Fort in Johnstown, the claimant being among the number in the Fort was the first to fire upon the enemy and in Company with several others rushed from the Fort to pursue them, but were soon ordered back by Capt. Little to guard the Fort, while at the same time kCol. Willett with his Regiment in pursuit of the enemy arrived at the Fort Immediately followed, over took and attacked them in what is commonly called the Hall field, a little below the village, where a bloody battle ensued and continued untill evening - that early the next morning the applicant in company with several others followed the enemy, overtook two of their rear guard and took them prisoners  - conducted them back to the Fort and gave them up to the regular authority of the American Army as prisoners of war."

Jacob Shew, Pension No. S22985 (N.Y.), July 4, 1848, Village of Broadalbin, Fulton County.  Served as a private in Captain Garret Putnam's Company in Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of Levies.   Stephen's brother.

    "Again, in the fall season of the same year a battle was waged near Johnstown between a party of Indians and tories, about four hundred in number, and Colonel Willett with his regt. and many others.   This applicant being out with a scouting party the same day, consisting of twelve in number, viz:  Capt. Little, John Eikler, John Brothers, Peter Yost, Henry Shew, this applicant & others whose names are forgotton; on hearing the firing immediately turns their course towards Johnstown, and came in as a reinforcement before the battle was over.  This is what is commonly called the Hall Battle."


Battle of Johnstown

Rosters of Men who fought in the Battle of Johnstown on October 25, 1781

Letters to Head-Quarters

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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:37:28 PDT