Richard DREWRY   

Declaration for Rev War Pension 1843
State of Tennessee
Gibson County

On this 9th day of March A.D. 1843 personally appeared in open court before the Circuit Court of said county and state, now sitting Richard DREWRY a citizen of the county of Weakley in said state. Aged eighty years on the 8th day of September last, 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 7, 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named Officers and served as herein after stated.

He entered the service as a Militia Man soon after he arrived at the age of sixteen in the county of Southampton, Virginia under Captain ______MITCHEL in the year 1778, and served to the best of his remembrance an eight weeks tour.

From the great lapse of time and the decay of memory he is unable to state the month or the day of the month on which his service commenced or closed, but he believes his first tour commenced in 78 and ended in 79.  In this tour he belonged to a regerment commanded by Col. John Book WELLS and Major WELLS, perhaps a brother to the Colonel and was second in command.

During this tour he was marched down to the county of Nansemond or Isle of Wright he cannot recollect which, and stationed for some time at a place called Mead Mill near the town of Suffork.  While at this place they were reinforced by a regerment of riflemen from western Virginia, commanded by Col. DECK and he well remembers that while they were there something like a meeting took place in this regerment.  The men asserted that their term of service had expired and declared their determination to leave and return home at all hazards, but through the influence of the officers it was quelled and they were induced to remain until they were relieved by other troops from the same section of the county from which they came.

From Meads Mill they were marched down below Suffork to a place called Jenico where they remained for considerable time, during which the weather was exceedingly cold.

His second tour of service he believes was in the summer of 1779 or 80 but he cannot be certain which, nor in what month it commenced or ended. He can only state positive it was in summer, and that it must have been during one of the years above named and continued for about six weeks.  This part of his service was in a company of Militia commanded by Capt. Arthur BOYKIN, which was attached to a regerment under the command of Col. Benjamin BLOUNT of Southampton County, Virginia.  They marched down to Blackwater Bridge where the road crosses from Southampton Court House to Norfolk at which place they were stationed for a considerable length of time and were frequently sent out in small detachments in various directions to annoy and hold in check the British foraging parties.

He states that his third tour of duty must have commenced he feels confident in the fall of 1781 near the close of the war. This period of his services was under the command of Capt. Howel MYRACK whose company belonged to a regerment commanded by Col. LAWRENCE.  He is by no means so certain as to the names of the last mentioned officers as he is in regards to those under whom he first served. He cannot possibly remember precisely in what month or on what day of the month this tour commenced or terminated or how long it continued, but he believes it continued from six to eight weeks. 

They were marched down to Surry Old Court House, where they were stationed for some time.  From there they were marched over to Williamsburg, crossing the James River at Jamestown called Old Jamestown.  At Williamsburg he saw General WASHINGTON and he believes he saw LaFAYETTE also, but of this he is not so positive.

He remembers distinctly that there was at place a fine band of musicians.  The troops remained at Williamsburg but for a short time, and from there they were marched to Yorktown.  He aided for some time in the erecting the works preparatory to the siege of that place and could relate some striking incidents which occurred there until the surrender of  Lord CORNWALLIS.  Unfortunately a few days before that glorious event which it would have afforded him so much pleasure to have witnessed, he had an attack of the ague and fever which rendered him unable to perform his duties and an older brother having learned his situation came down and took his place.  Being there relieved he returned home leaving his brother to share the honors of that memorable triumph. 

He remembers that among the troops at Yorktown during his stay there was a troop called the black company or black regerment composed of colored people.

He further states that he has no documentary evidence and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension or amount, except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension rolls of the aging in any state, district or territory in this country.

He deems it proper to state further that he make this application before the Court of Gibson and not in the county of Weakley where he resides because the place of his residence for the past sixteen years was until recently in the county of Gibson and was cut off and annexed to Weakley and the greater number of his old acquaintances and friends who have known him longest and best and on whom he relies to prove his character validity and integrity reside in Gibson County.

Sworn to the date and year....(signed) Richard DREWRY
aforesaid J. B. BLAKEMORE - clerk
[It appears that a list of persons that testified in Richard DREWRY’S behalf is missing due to the statement of the Judge below.]

As stated in said certification that they are all creditable persons and their statements are entitled to the fullest credence.

Wm R. HARRIS - Judge

State of Tennessee
Gibson County

Circuit Court March term 1843

I James B. BLAKEMORE, clerk of Circuit Court of said county and state do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of said court in the matter of application of Richard DREWRY  for a pension.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and (seal) affixed my private seal, there being no seal of office at office in Trenton this 9th day of March A.D. 1843

J. B. BLAKEMORE - clerk

Answers Richard gave to the court

After the above declaration was read to the court, Judge HARRIS asked Richard DREWRY several questions pertaining to the above. We do not have the questions, but here are the answers  he gave in court.

Answers to the several interrogations propounded to the applicant by the Court as prescribed by the War Department:

Answer to No. 1:  I was born September 8, 1762

Answer to No. 2: The record of my age is lost, it was kept in an old prayer book owned by my Mother for many years but what became of it, I do not know.

Answer to No. 3:  In Southampton County, Virginia. After the close of the War I resided in the counties of Southampton and Sussex in the State of Virginia until 1799 when I removed to Tennessee. For sixteen years past, I have resided where I now do.  It was in the county of Gibson in this State until by a recent act of our legislature it was cut off from Gibson and attached to the county of Weakley.

Answer to No. 4:  The Militia at the time I was called into service was laid off in the county into sections or divisions and were called out as occasion required by times or in rotation.  When I arrived at the age of sixteen years I was enrolled and drew for the division to which I should belong. If my memory serves me right I fell into lot No. 8.

Answer to No. 5:  I do not remember that I saw any regular officers or served with any continental troops until I was marched to Williamsburg where I saw General WASHINGTON and other officers whose names I cannot state.  I remember distinctly that while I was at a place called Meads Mill we were reinforced by a regerment of Mountain Riflemen, as they were called, whether they were regular Continental Soldiers or Militia I cannot state positively but presume they must have been Militia from the circumstance of a meeting in the corps to which I have referred to in my declaration.

Answer to N. 6:  I received no regular discharge but I received certificates from my commanding officers of service which I kept until provisions was made that these certificates of  service and all such should be received in payment of taxes.  I then disposed of them to persons that had taxes to pay, I believe at that time I had none or very little of my own to pay.

Answer to No. 7:  I am acquainted with Mr. HUNTSMAN, Mr. CROCKETT, Mr. WOODFIN, Dr. HESS, Mr. FITE and many other persons whom I might name if it were necessary.

 I William R. HARRIS one of the Circuit Judges in and for State do certify that the foregoing contains the answers of Richard DREWRY the above named applicant for a pension to the several interrogations which I put to him in open court in prescribed manner of the regulations of the War Department, this 9th day of March, A.D. 1843

(signed) Wm R. HARRIS
Judge jc

I, Adam HUNTSMAN, formerly a member of Congress from Tennessee, do certify that the Circuit Court of Gibson County in said state is a court of record.  That the honorable william R. HARRIS is the presiding judge of said court and James B. BLAKEMORE is the clerk thereof and that the forgoing signatures of said judge and clerk are genuine. This 9th day of March, 1843.

(signed) Adam HUNTSMAN

Unfortunately all the efforts of Richard’s declaration failed to get him the pension from the War Department at this time. At least six months service was required to qualify and Richard fell short by a few days.  However, an Act of Congress approved March 3, 1855 extended bounty-land warrant benefits and provided for warrants of 160 acres of land on the basis of 14 days service or service in battle. (National Book of Archives 10 Stat. 701) This new act allowed many more applications in behalf of additional soldiers and their heirs and also in behalf of some who had only been entitled to 100 acres in the past.

Notes by MaryCarol

Richard DRWERY died in 1850, but his widow, Jemima, received 160 acres of land for his services in the Revolutionary War on bounty land warrant number 34620-160-55. It was executed by Jemima DREWRY on April 10, 1855 - sold in 1859 - 2 years after her death. The grandsons, especially John J. Drewry, probably handled the paperwork as he also sold another 160 acres in the same Barry county of Missouri in 1860.

The Family story that has been passed down through the generations says Richard Drewry got a 640 acre land grant for his services in the Rev War and that this land was his Gibson/Weakley homeplace.

Richard purchased his land in Gibson/Weakley from Adam Huntsman (deed for 596 acres 1829, recorded 1830) . He also purchased his land in Nashville area in early 1800’s (see deeds). We know by his declaration above that he was given some pay chits at end of War but no mention of him ever receiving any 640 acre land grant. 160 acres is all the U.S. Government gave a private. Both the US Government records and the Virginia records have been searched, without finding any mention of Richard Drewry and land grants.  Because Jemima got the 160 acre land grant after Richard died it is my opinion that family members remembered something about that and thus the story started.  Technically, he did get a 160 acre land grant in Barry County, Missouri, but he was dead by then.

Richard was 16 when first served, just turned 19 when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. He states that he received “chits”  from commanding officers to pay taxes, which he gave to others as he had none or little.  If he had applied for a land grant, he would have gone through the process before, and would have known he needed at least 6 months service. He did not get married until 1788 so he was not head of household until then. Also, his father’s will written in 1781 lists him as minor to be bound out until of age which was 21. Our Richard was a teenager during the Rev War, but then LaFayette was a general and only 19.

1st tour....end of 1778 shortly after turning 16 (sept. 8, 1762) into winter of 1779 “cold”. about 8 weeks.  Under MITCHELL  met riflemen under Col DECK.

2nd tour....Summer of 1779 or 80 about 6 weeks. Under Capt Arthur BOYKIN who was under Col Benjamin BLOUNT....    both of Southampton Co., VA.

3rd tour....Fall of 1881 about 8 weeks. Capt Howell MYRACK [myrick] Reg’t com by Col LAWRENCE.. Marched to Williamsburg & Yorktown, helped build the earth works at Yorktown, built fortifications & fought, got sick, older brother took place for surrender of Cornwallis. Older brother William ?

Congress officially declares Rev War over April 11, 1783.


Excerpted from "Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions," Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., originally published in 1838, expanded in 1852 to include later records. Reminder: These are partial records. In many cases, the applicant, widow or heir applied successfully at a later date.

“Rejected  application for pension”......[this would have been his 1843 declaration]

Richard Drewry
TN - Trenton, Gibson
****8-16-2008 - I found  Richard's bounty land warrant - No. 34620 - sold by Jemima (John J.) in 1859 - 160 acres in Barry County, Missouri. We have known there was one - just not where it was located.