Revolutionary War Pension Record
Nathaniel Davis of Caldwell County in the State of Kentucky who was a private in the company commanded by Captain Davis of the reg’t commanded by Col Gray in the Virginia line for 1 year.
Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky at the rate of 40 dollars per annum to commence on the 4th day of March 1834.
State of Kentucky Caldwell County
On this 29th day of May 1833 personally appeared in open court, before Matthew Lyon, Stephen Grove, Mourton A Rucker, & Isaac Grubbs Esqrs justices of the county court in and for said county and state, now sitting, Nathaniel Davis, resident of said county, aged seventy nine 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 entered the service as herein stated: That on the 1st day of May 1776 I first entered the service as a spy in the county of Washington, State of Virginia, under capt John Davis (my brother) and under Col. Robert Craig. The nature of this service was as follows: At the time I am speaking the Indians were exceedingly bold and troublesome on the frontiers and for several years after the Battle on the Big Canhawa at the mouth of the New River in 1774 (where Lewis was killed) the Indians, (Shawnee & Cherokee particularly) kept p a constant warfare and the frontier inhabitants had to organize themselves and keep up a constant force. In the year 1776 the Indians were more than common bold and troublesome and the inhabitants had to build forts to defend themselves. The Flat Lick fort, Blackamore’s fort, and the Eye Cove fort were the names of some built on that frontier. It became necessary for each company to appoint one or more spys and the company to which I belonged elected me for that purpose and on the said 1st day of May 1776 I undertook that duty and continued as such until sometime in the month of August following when immediate danger for the present ceased and I returned again to the company, which about this time rather relaxed their guard and dispersed to their homes. By some arrangement I know not how, some of the frontier counties of Virginia were required to defend themselves and the frontiers and were excused from serving any where else. Again in the spring of the year 1777 and in the month of April I was again appointed a spy to the same company and Regiment and continued in this capacity until late in the fall and I think in the month of October. It was only necessary to keep out spys during the spring and summer as in the winter time they were not troublesome. I was ordered to spy down the North fork of Gorstein(?) and towards chick mountain and generally remained two or three days on a trip and would then return to the fort (Blackamore’s) and report. Sometimes I provided towards the Rye Cove fort and in every direction that was necessary. By this time I became, what was termed a good spy and on the following spring was again selected from the same company and took upon me the office as well as I remember in the month of May and continued until September following. In all these tours I often ran many risks and discovered many dangers and discovered and updated much information to the fort and to the company. I continued to live in Washington County until the Winter of 1779 when I moved into the state of North Carolina in Sullivan County ?? ?? month of the Waslanger? In the month of September 1780 between the 4th and 10th I was drafted from the county for a tour of three months under captain George Macfield and I served in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Isaac Shelby (afterwards Governor of Kentucky). The object of this expedition was against a colonel Ferguson who was marching a detachment through North & South Carolina. We rendezvoused on Doe River at the foot of the yellow mountain. We marched to the top of the mountain and there mustered and rev?? and immediately proceeded to King mountain and there met the said Col Ferguson and fought a battle with him in which our troops gained a great victory. Ferguson was killed and a great number killed and wounded – I cannot state the number. A number of prisoners were taken, for the night – after the battle I was one placed to guard them. This battle was fought on the 7 or 8 October 1780. From this place we went to the shallow ford of the Ladkin and there the prisoners were taken from our guard and conducted on. At this place we were discharged and permitted to return home which was on the 27th or 28th of October 1780. Twas not the fall three months for which we were drafted but at the time it was allowed on such. In the Battle of King’s Mountain, Col. Wm Campbell, Col. John Sevier, Col. Shelby, Col. Cleveland and Col. Williams commanded the American forces the two latter were from South Carolina. This is the amount of my services. Being in need I have thought it proper to present them – if worthy why well, if not, why let-it-go. I declare that I have no documentary evidence in my possession which would prove my service nor do I know of any now living by whom I could prove it. It is likely many are living, but I do not know of them. I hereby relinquish my claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declare that my name is not on the pension roll of the Agency of any State whatever.
Where born? August County State of Virginia 4th day of July 1753
Record of age? I have not. But my father had and I had access to that until within a few years and I distinctly remember it.
Where living when called to service? During service as spy: lived in county of Washington State of Virginia. In last service, lived in Sullivan County North Carolina where I lived a few years and then moved to Tennessee and lived there about 39 years and then moved to where I now live in this county and have been here but about 2 years.
How called to service…? As spy – I was selected by company or my captain. In the expedition to King’s Mountain I was drafted.
Names of officers…? Never served with any regular troops.Col Sevier, Campbell’s, Shelby’s, Clevelands and Williams.
Receive discharge? No written discharge
Persons in neighborhood: Geroge Kesterman, Bailey Baker, Andrew Collie, Wm King Luke Nichols, Eli Griffith and many others.
Princeton KY 26 Oct 1833
Hon Sec War
Inclosed you will please find the declaration of N. Davis again sent in with the amendment suggested by the Department. It is hoped no further difficulty will occur. I regret to put the Department to the trouble of re-examining any claim I send on as I am confident the trouble is enough without that. But such is the disposition of many old men that knowing their memories are impaired, they will not fix their terms of service al-alo? Being afraid of “doing wrong”.
I ?? the pension Cert of James Clinton – the Government never bestowed its bounty on one more worthy. In the case of Capt Armstrong I fear his evidence will fall short – of what is required. I will retain it – a while with the intention of procuring the evidence of James Armstrong of Maury County Ten for which he has sent expressly.
Very respy You ?? Servant Thos Haynes
[1929 letter from Jennie Grayson – Mrs J C Grayson; asks for pension record of Nathaniel Davis born in Albermarle County VA with wife Susannah Gowls[can’t read her last name], went from Virginia to Tennessee and later to Kentucky.]