The War of 1812 as told by Stewart Megowan

The War of 1812

Testimony given by Stewart W. Megowan, to receive a pension

To the Honorable The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress Assembled -

Your petitioner Stewart W. Megowan would respectfully state that he is now residing in the City of Lexington Kentucky and is in his seventy-fourth year. That in the war declared by the United States againt Great Britain the 18th June 1812 he had the honor to raise and command a company of Volunteers from Lexington Kentucky in the Regiment commanded by Col. William Lewis which formed a part of the North Western army under the command of Generals Winchester and Harrison. That they rendezvoued at Georgetown Kentucky some time in August 1812, and in the few days thereafter proceeded to the North Western frontier, then a wilderness that they indured one of the severest winter campaigns ever experienced by men part of the time very badly clad and often without provision that he with his company remained with the army until after the battles at Racine in which a part of it was engaged sometime in February 1813. Those who were detailed to remain with Genl Payne at the rapids were then Honorably discharged and returned home to Lexington Ky. The various disasters in the North Western Army caused Govenr Isaac Shelby of Kentucky to call for volunteers to meet him at Newport on 31st August and on the 1st day of Sept 1813 over 2000 crossed the Ohio River armed and equiped as the law directs. That he raised and commanded another company from Lexington Kentucky on that occasion and joined the Regiment of Col George Trotter and proceeded to Canada under the command of Governor Shelby and General Harrison and was in the Battle on the River Thames on the 5th of October 1813 after which they returned to Maysville Kentucky where they were honorably dishcarged on the 2nd day of November 1813 after having served seventy one days and found themselves a portion of the time. In the latter part of the year 1814 he learned that the British Army was about to invade Louisiana and take the City of New Orleans. He had no time to raise another company but shouldered his rifle and went alone at his own expense to join the Southern Army. He decended the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and was fortunate to reach Genl Andrew Jacksons Army a few days before the great Battle of 8th Janury 1815. That he had the honor of being in that battle and of fighting 'onw his own hook' whenever he was most needed.

That in these three campaigns he spent the greater part of his estate; being in easy circumstances when the war commenced and in embarrassed circumstances when the war concluded. That from the fatigue and exposure incident to said campaigns his health was greatly impaired so much that he has never regained it, and with the loss of his health and estate he has had to toil and labour for the last 40 years for a lame support. The last four years he has been prostrate on his back and not able to get out of his room without assistance and is now in that condition, dependant on a poor broken down brother for the meat and bread he eats and the clothes to keep him warm. He feels that he has served his country faithfully all his life and has neve received for it. He can truly say that he has not one cent to his pocket and is not able to do anything to earn one, and is too proud to beg. In this condition, he requests your honorable body to grant him a pension for life sifficient to sustain and support him decently. He will not need it very long.


State of Kentucky Fayette Court.

Personally appearred J. M Pindle and O P Beard, residents of the city aforesaid person whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit and who being by me first duly sworn according to law say that they were present and sap Capt Stewart W. Megowan sign his name to the forgoing petition and they further swear that they have every reason to believe from appearance of the applicant and their acquaintence with him as they have known him upwards of 25 years past that he is the identical person he appears himself to be and that the statements made by him are true and they are not interested in the application.

J M Pindele

O. P Beard


I state that I have known the forgoing petitioner Capt Stewart W Megowan since the War of 1812-13. I believe every word he has stated to be true. I know he was in the North Western Army as stated in 1812-13. I have no doubt he fought in the battle of the 8th at New Orleans. He is also known to Vice President Breckenridge and Hon. J. B. Clay - as an honest, secure and truthful old Democrat. Now very poor and helpless and ought to have had a pension from the Government years ago. January 26/59

Leslie Coombs

Cadret in 1812 under Wincester

Captain of Spies 1813 under Gen Green Clay


Private 23

An Act for the Relief of Stewart McGowan

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, that the Secretary of the Interior be and he is hereby authorized and directed to place the name of Stewart McGowan on the roll of Invalid Pensioners and cause him to be paid the sum of twenty dollars per month, to commence from and after the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, and to continue during his natural life. Approved 3 May 1860

House of Representatives

June 1860

Dear Sir

You will please issue a certificate of Pension for Stewart Megowan of Lexington Kentucky under the specified act passed for his benefit this session of congress, allowing twenty dollars per month. Respectfully W. E Timms

To the Commissioner of Pensions