All the King’s Horses – Pension

Samuel Newell Military Pension

Two acts of congress offered pension benefits for which SN1754 was qualified. 05Jul1812 was intended to give some support to veterans disabled from war wounds. There was a wave of applications for this veteran’s support when the congressmen returned to their districts and the word spread. In June 1832, congress passed a pension for veterans of the revolution intended to honor them with some comforts during old age. As the congressmen returned to their districts, there was a surge of applications from almost every county. The surge went on as a trickle for two decades as some older veterans who did not choose to take the people’s money when they were young (70s) changed their circumstances and their minds. Further congressional actions in the next sessions brought out a wave of widows and children seeking pension support.

Mortality rates as they were in the eighteenth century, we might be surprised at the number of veterans alive in 1832. Consider that they were the strong and healthy men called to serve and thus outlived many of their peers. One might be suspicious that county clerks wanted to take care of their own and allowed more applications than they had true veterans. Good ole boys old enough to have been in the war might have gotten pensions just for living that long and being brazen enough to swear to a widely circulated history and placing themselves into some of the particulars. Good ole girls seemed to repeat the process placing their deceased husbands into more vague details of the war.

Congress acted from the majority views of Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond. Their view of war was the old Marquis order with trained regiments under congressionally approved generals, commissioned colonels and ranks with rosters and journals of the battles. They and the bureaucrats who administered the payments envisioned an old codger in a house in Trenton with a trunk full of papers among which he preserved his enlistment and discharge certificates, the DD214 of the times. There was a seven question form which showed in some counties, but not others. Some veterans made their depositions in the wave of applicants after the 07Jun1832 pension law and appeared again months later to restate their claims and use the seven question form. It still did not well fit the frontier militia.

Farther from the coast was the reality of the tactics which turned the tide of the war. Indian style guerilla fighting won out over the organized ranks of soldiers in formations. Accurate rifle shots won out over the speed of musket volleys. Frontier militia soldiers were similar to New Hampshire minutemen who stayed in readiness to be quickly mobilized. They differed in wider dispersal over much larger territories. Lexington and Concord minutemen were called out and in hours, they were done. McDowell’s militia hiked from Morganton (Quaker Meadow) to Elizabethton (Sycamore Shoals) and camped for five or six weeks before two more weeks back to BKM and several more weeks herding prisoners to Wachovia and the Moravian towns around Winston Salem before returning home to Burke County.

A clerk from New London thought more in terms of docks and ships and towns within walking distance. A clerk from Providence had thoughts of wagons hauling tons instead of pack animals carrying pounds. A New Haven clerk had a concept of Connecticut and Rhode Island sizes, but not of their constitutional equals of Virginia and North Carolina which had counties so large that both Connecticut and Rhode Island could fit into one county with room for Jersey and Delaware to boot. This might explain why bureaucrats belittled the militias of the southern state counties. The attempts to put round pegs into the square holes of DC regulation led to refusal of pension claims. Pension records show imprecise service dates from corn field to battle and home. Chain of command was by whoever sounded the alarm with whatever officer was in a state of organization to mount a campaign. A captain one month could be a private in a campaign a few months later. Battlefield promotions did not have Philadelphia lawyer records and endorsements.

Filling the blanks on a form documenting dates of service, chain of command, and rank was a problem for southern county officers. Finding supporting witnesses in Boston MA was not at all like a witness in Boston KY. The call of the wild spread veterans farther into the frontier, to towns which did not exist in 1776. The call of the wild in Boston MA was a new ship which sailed away for months, but returned to port with a crew much the same to a community much the same.

About half the southern houses survived two generations. Personal papers burned with the house fire. County court houses burned with all the public records. Appalachian Presbyterians expected a man to speak the truth. They demanded the truth when sworn. New Castle merchants required signatures. They kept captain’s logs, passenger manifests, bills of sale, signed receipts, and credit ledgers. At Newells Station, people knew whose horse was sold by handshake. Papers were expensive to acquire (note the trip to Williamsburg for blank journals and the cost of getting them to the Washington County court at Black’s Fort). Papers were costly to sustain (note various efforts at filing and indexing). Papers were of little concern to folks who could not even read what they said.

Confronted with much fraud, the DC clerks did what they could to prevent every living man of age 65 and over from receiving a Colonel’s pension for ten years’ service. Widows and orphans pressed their cases for years beyond the expectations of congress. I cannot believe how many depositions were honored. I am also shocked at how many personal cases were pursued by congressmen when they returned to DC.

As we see below, SN1754 lived among folks who listened when he spoke and relied on the truth of what he said. WC clerk Andrew Lewis wrote of his veracity. I doubt that Newell doubted that anyone would doubt his work, especially his sworn testimony. When his pension check arrived, I guess that he was thankful and appreciative. I’d guess that SN1754 did a job which people could trust and that he trusted the clerks and treasurers to do their jobs. I don’t know how much the frontier counties knew about DC records and computations. I doubt that copies of DC records were dispersed, just some notes and the checks with payments resulting from their computations.

Neither did SN1754 want to gouge the taxpayers. Some claimed that ongoing fights with Tories and Indians for years to come were still parts of the Revolutionary War. Pensions were granted on basis similar to SN1754’s service time as Major of Knox militia and Lt Col of Sevier militia. I found some Captain Joseph Black rosters and payrolls for his Knox and Blount County militia company in the 1790s and early 1800s. I found no surviving records of Newell’s Knox or Sevier County actions or administration. Newell’s Station might possibly have been a federal outpost commissioned by a Joseph Martin handshake in 1783, an extension of the war. SN1754 would have viewed it as a personal good insurance like Blacks Fort at Wolf Hill more than like Tellico Blockhouse. The Cherokees list Newells Station on their prayer list more like a place of war than of refuge.

Evidence is that Col (Gov) Shelby and Micah Taul wanted Sam Newell to have a pension. Micah described Shelby’s glowing letter of commendation in his memoirs, but I do not find it in the pension file. In Newell’s pension file are papers which divulge that he did not personally apply. They are written by Micah Taul, member of congress. With Col Shelby as eyewitness, they were approved. But they were written on Tennessee rolls showing Newell as Lt in the US Army (Shelby knew that he was a Lt at Kings Mountain, but missed that Gov Thomas Nelson later commissioned him as captain). Taul stated “his pride prevented him from applying for a pension”, but we see that Micah applied for Newell. Later papers were filed to show Col Campbell’s Regt in the Virginia militia and transfer from Tennessee to Kentucky rolls. But Samuel 1754 Newell knew all along that he was discharged as a Captain from the Washington County militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia, not the United States Army of the Revolution and that he lived in Kentucky in 1814.

A disability pension began March 1814 per the act of July 1812 for $8/month, the legislated amount for a private, though $20/month was the rate for an officer. Micah appealed and it was increased to $108.80 per year in 1816.
It probably caught your eye that the certificate says the law was passed on 05Jul1812 and you questioned if congress really did that on a Sunday when we can rarely get them to work on Fridays. In fact that is the date which the book of Army and Navy Pension Laws, published in 1854, gives for a pension act. But that act is a list of specific soldiers authorizing the amount each is to be paid. Samuel Newell is in fact on the list retroactive to 02Mar1811 for $8.00 per month.
The note “Papers supposed to have been destroyed by the enemy in August 1814” refers to the Red Coats sacking of Washington during the war of 1812. I do not understand the significance of “supposed to have been destroyed” was to pension papers for SN1754. Papers notwithstanding, the check was in the mail to the wrong state. Shelby’s letter and Taul’s forgery were no longer in evidence.
The Hungarian, the Czechoslovakian, and the Polish guys were great friends and neighbors in the hood. Their wives were great friends, too. They alternated week-ends so that the guys took care of the house and the kids while the gals could take a mommy timeout for shopping, opera, mother-in-law, drama, etc, Next week-end the guys could bowl, hunt, fish, etc without concern for their laundry and dish duties.

It was the coming girl’s week-end when the guys got together and schemed for a bonus hunting trip. They drew straws and the Polack came up short. Friday afternoon when the girls departed, all the kids went to the Polish house for pizza, movies, and a slumber party. The Czechoslovakian and the Hungarian went hunting until Saturday afternoon when they would return, pick up the kids, and finish the laundry before mommy returned.

Saturday night, the Polack was caught red handed. His buddies had not come back, not even a call from their cell phones or on the CB. Sunday morning, the wives called the Park Rangers to report two missing persons. The rangers started from the pick me up truck and tracked the hunters deep into the mountains. Signs of a big disturbance in the mouth of a cave was their first clue. They went into the cave to find remnants of clothing described by the Hungarian wife. A bloody momma bear with distended belly was sleeping not far away. They chopped her open to find Hungarian body parts.

Next they picked up another trail away from the cave. Not too far away they found a bloody sleeping papa bear with distended belly. But there were no clothing remnants matching the description from the Czechoslovakian wife. A Ranger got out his Bowie knife to slaughter the bear when his partner stopped him. Spare the bear. Everyone knows that the Czech is in the male.

When the Act of June 1832 authorized a service pension, not a disability pension, his family convinced Sam to apply for the generous new pension. Cousin Andrew Colville, Junior, then of Buck Creek, gave deposition to the court at Somerset. Sam Newell’s testimony was strained, first from the lapse of time and second from the need to cover for Shelby and Taul’s disability testimony. The resulting pension of $231.93/yr beginning March 1834. was calculated using Newell’s best recollection of time of service about which he was unsure and there was no documentation, but denied that he was a Captain of which he was certain, swearing that the Captain commission document was gone. In fact his commission by Gov Nelson as Captain was recorded in Washington County Court Orders on Thursday 22Mar1781.
Fifty years after the war, the population of veterans and widows was shrunk to financially inconsequential size to the nation as a whole. The amount of the pension was generous. Using $22.472 for the 1833 value of a 2010 dollar it was a supplement of $100 per week worth of today’s goods for a self-sufficient farmer with horses, children and grandchildren. It was a hundred per week with no mortgage, no phone bill, no electricity bill, no sewer tax, and no car payment.
Kentucky, Pulaski County Court
June 17 1833

On this 17th day of June 1833 personally appeared in open court before this Pulaski County Court now sitting as a court Samuel Newell Senr resident of Pulaski Court, Kentucky, age 78 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain benefit of the provision made by the act 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 stated.
That in the month of April in the year 1776, the day of the month not now recollected, while a resident of Washington County Virginia, I volunteered in the Company of Captain John Shelby to serve against the Tories on the frontier of North Carolina who it was said were about to unite with the Indians. I volunteered for no specific term but serve during the existence of the necessity which called me into service. We were marched to what is now Washington County North Carolina. We took about forty Tory prisoners. Sent about three or four to the United States Army. The balance took the oath of allegiance to the United States and were permitted to remain with their families. We were then marched by Captain Shelby home. Was engaged in this service not less than one month. Was dismissed by the captain but received no written discharge.
Then still a resident of Washington County Virginia, about the first of July 1776, I volunteered in the company of Captain Cock. I entered the service for no specific term again, but to serve as long as needs to serve against the Cherokee Indians. Which nation of Indians the leaders said were embodying themselves to make an attack on the white settlements. There was no field officer on this service. Part of five companies commanded by five different captains, namely Captain Cock, James Shelby, James Thompson, John Campbell, and William Buckhannon. After we were rendezvoused, we marched to Eatons Fork about five miles east of the Long Island Flats on Holston which banks we defeated the Indians altho they were upwards of two to our one according to information secured after the battle. After the defeat of the Indians we were marched by our officers to Fort Black where the town of Abingdon now stands. At fort Black, I was appointed sergeant under Captain Colville. I think I was appointed sergeant about the last of July, at least by the first part of August 1776 I was in the rank of sergeant under Captain Colvin continue in active service up to July 4, 1777. ranging and searching when ordered, Fort Black being the headquarters. I served in this service not less than twelve months, eleven of which in the rank of sergeant.
About the 4th of July 1777, I was appointed a lieutenant in the Company of Captain Colville. The company which I was serving was called on to furnish their quota of men to march against the Indians and I was detached with the men ranked as Lt commanding a part of the company. We were marched to Clynch River and were stationed at Cowan’s Fort and were there engaged in service 38 days which I recollect from having signed the discharge of the men as Lt. Commanding about twenty eight men. I received a Commission as Lt signed I think by Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia which has long since been lost or destroyed. After the men were discharged, I returned to the neighborhood of Fort Black but was ordered to be in readiness to march whenever called on.
In a very few days, I was again called into service by Col Arthur Campbell and as a Lt and commander of part of a company and was commanded to march to Glade Hollow Fort. On the Clynch to guard the frontier. Marched to said fort and made it our headquarters and was engaged in ranging and searching on the frontier. Was engaged in this service from loss of recollection and long lapse of time cannot say exactly, but not less than one month. There being no necessity to retain the soldiers on service, they were discharged and we returned to the neighborhood of Fort Black. As many as called for their discharges, I gave discharges.
Afterward, still resident of Washington County Virginia, I was ordered by Col Arthur Campbell to take command as lieutenant of a party of men to march against the Indians on the frontier. It was early in the spring, but the time I cannot now recollect. I marched with the men to the Clynch and was engaged in scouting and ranging during this service. I was engaged in commanding as Lt during this service not less than three months. Then I discharged the men and we all returned home.
Afterward still a resident of Washington County Virginia early in the year 1779, the time I do not now recollect, I was ordered into the service in the rank of Lt commanding a party of men and marched to the frontier on the Clynch River to guard the frontier against the Indians. After being out some time, the men were discharged and returned home. I served during this the time I cannot state but not less than one month and a half acting as Lieutenant.
Afterward, still a resident of Washington County Virginia in the fall of the year 1779 when the line between the states of Virginia and North Carolina was being run by order of the governors, I was ordered by the commander of the guard acting as Lt to command a party of men to protect and guard the commissioners running said line. I was engaged in this service as Lt not less than three months and was compelled from the scarcity of provisions and the severity of the winter to discharge the men and we returned home.
Afterward still a resident of Washington County Virginia, the time not now recollected, the Tories were embodying themselves on the head of New River on Reed Creek. It was supposed for the purpose of destroying the lead mines on New River then I think in Montgomery County. A regiment of soldiers was raised to suppress the Tories and as a lieutenant in the company of Captain James Montgomery, I volunteered, the regiment was commanded by Col William Preston, I was ordered by Col Preston after we were rendezvoused, to take command as Lt of 27 men to guard the lead mines where I remained on that duty until it was thought unnecessary to remain any longer. When we were discharged. I do not now recollect how long we served, but as Lt it was not less than a month and a half.
In a few days after my return from this tour, still a resident of Washington County, an express arrived apprising the head officers that Genl McDowell has been forced to retreat before the British forces under the command of Col Ferguson and desired assistance and I again volunteered the time not now recollected in the company of Captain Colville and was appointed first Lieutenant of the company. My recollection is that I still acted as lieutenant under the commission signed by Gov Henry as before stated. The regiment now commanded by Col William Campbell, the name of the ensign was John Beaty who was afterward killed in the Battle of Kings Mountain. After we were rendezvoused we were marched to and joined the army under Gen McDowell. We were marched through the state of North Carolina toward the Kings Mountain and while on that service in the rank of Lieutenant I was engaged in the Battle of Kings Mountain fought on the 7th day of October in the year 1780 in which battle I was severely wounded the effect of which wound still disables me and for which wound I have heretofore been in the receipt of a pension the certificate of which I herewith enclose and to my papers on file in the Department I here make reference. I was engaged from the time I entered the service until the Battle not less than one month and was unable from this wound aforesaid to return home until the 28th day of November.
Following in a short time after my return home still a resident of Washington County and before my wound had healed, Col Arthur Campbell rendezvous six hundred men to march against the Indians who had murdered while we were out on the Kings Mountain tour with whom I went and received this appointment of aid to take rank as lieutenant. We marched to the Cherokee nation of Indians. We crossed the Tennessee River the day before Christmas. We killed at this time about thirty of their warriors burnt fourteen of their towns and destroyed their corn and took some prisoners and was engaged in this service in the rank aforesaid from the time we commenced rendezvousing until we were discharged no less than two months but received no written discharge.
Afterward still a resident of Washington County Virginia, Col Campbell was called on by the Governor of Virginia to raise a company consisting of thirty nine and twenty foot About the last of January 1781, the company was raised and I was appointed Captain. I was issued a commission as best as I now recollect signed by Governor Nelson then governor of Virginia which commission has long since been lost or destroyed and the company was ordered to rendezvous on 20th of Feb 1781. And about the final week in March the company under my command started to the Rock Spring Station at the head of the Powell Valley where I remained in command as captain engaged in the service four months was employed during the time for ranging and scouting and was involved in several skirmishes with the Indians.
And was ordered by Col Campbell at the expiration of four months to discharge the men and return home to take command of a company to be raised to march to join the army to fight against Lord Cornwallis. But before the company was ready to march, Cornwallis had surrendered and the order for raising the company was countermanded.
And the said Samuel Newell Senr further states that he has no documentary evidence of his service and knows of no person by whom he can prove his service whose testimony he can procure except Andrew Colville who is a resident of Rockcastle County Kentucky, son of the said captain mentioned in this declaration who knows that this affiant was engaged in the service of the United States on several occasions but being himself too young to serve was not engaged in the war but was old enough to recall the part taken by the said Samuel Newell leave on many occasions he would produce _____ hereby relinquishes all claims whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any state or territory except the agency of Kentucky for the pension the certificate for which is herewith entered & hereby released

I was born in Frederick County state of Virginia, the 4th day of November 1754. I have a record of my age now in my Family Bible now in my possession transcribed from the Family Bible of my father. I was living in Washington County Virginia when called into the service Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, I removed to what was then Greene County North Carolina on the River French Broad I resided there until 1797 when I removed to Kentucky and settled on the farm upon which I now live and upon which I have resided since my removal to Kentucky. When I first removed, it was Lincoln. Afterward my residence was in Wayne County. And upon alteration of the line western Pulaski and Wayne County, my residence became part of Pulaski County in which county I now reside. I have stated in my declaration as ____tly as I can recollect, the way in which I perform the service according to my present recollection. I consider that information upon all the occasions mentioned in my declaration above the names of the officer called on me to provide service, I was always ready having the independence of my county at heart. I was never drafted. I have stated in my declaration above the names of the officers who were with the troops when I served, the regiments I recollect and the general circumstances of my service. I never received a written discharge. I received a commission as Lieutenant signed by Gov Henry as before stated which has been long since lost, misplaced, or destroyed. I received a commission as Captain signed by Gov Nelson as above stated which has long since been lost or destroyed. I am know to Martin Owens a clergyman living in Pulaski County and the nearest residing to my present residence. I am also know to William Fox, Clerk of Pulaski County and Circuit Courts and John Cowan, a justice of the peace who reside in my neighborhood to whom I have been known for 35 years and who can testify as to my character for veracity and their belief of my services of the Revolution.
Sworn to and subscribed on the day and year aforesaid
Samuel Newell Senr

I Andrew Colville age 66 years, a resident citizen of Rockcastle County Kentucky being first duly sworn according to law in open court doth on oath declare and state that he does of his own knowledge know that Samuel Newell Senr, the applicant in the above declaration was a Lieutenant under the father of this affiant who was captain. That as Lieutenant, he marched with the Company that was at the Battle of Kings Mountain, that he knew from his father that the said Samuel Newell Senr was engaged in the service, that he was in the Battle of Kings Mountain and was wounded and the said Andrew Colville further states that after the Battle of Kings Mountain he recollects that the said Samuel Newell was engaged or served out to go under Col Campbell against the Cherokees and understood that he do go on that service and the said Andrew Colville further states that the said Samuel Newell Senr lived less than ¼ mile from the affiant’s father and this Newell was frequently out, but how long he was engaged in the service he does not know. Upon the time that the men went to the Battle of King’s Mountain, his father’s company rendezvoused at his father’s residence among whom was the said Newell in the rank of Lieutenant.
Subscribed and sworn to on the day and year aforesaid,
Andrew Colville

Andrew was the son of Capt Andrew Colville, the brother of SN1754’s mother Elizabeth Colville Black Newell and Lt Sam Newell’s captain at Kings Mountain..

We Martin Owens a clergyman residing in the County of Pulaski and we William Fox and John Cowan residing in same, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Samuel Newell Senr who has who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be 78 years of age, and that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution and that we concur in that opinion. We further state that we have been well acquainted with said Samuel Newell Senr for the period of 25 years and that he has always been considered and regarded as a soldier of the Revolution, that belief was general, and that they never heard anything contrary ___ existed on the subject.

Stephen Hail
John Beaty
Samuel Tate then appeared in court and stated agreement with Colville, Owens, Cowan, and Fox

Then William Fox and Nathaniel Gaither certified the transcript of the court session to be accurate.

Sample militia commissions are inserted to illustrate those which Samuel Newell received by Patrick Henry as Lieutenant, by Thomas Nelson as Captain, by William Blount as Major, and by William Blount as Lt. Colonel. The first pictures a certificate returned to the county commissioners who recommended an officer. The second is addressed to the person being commissioned. It is likely the style which Samuel Newell could present to a doubter who he was inducting into his company planned to engage the army of Lord Cornwallis.

State of Indiana, Owen County, on 01Oct1844 William Newell personally appeared in the circuit court sitting in Spencer, a resident aged 41 years, Act of Congress 07Jul1838, for widow’s pension of Jane Newell his widowed mother, wife of Samuel Newell.
William T Newell deposes:
Invalid pension $8/mo. Act of congress 05Jul1812
$231.93/year Act of Congress 07Jul1832
Was on Tennessee list, transferred to KY act of 05Jul1812
Was on KY list, transferred to IN act of 07Jul1832
Samuel died 21Sep1841
Jane died 11Feb1843
Married 30Sep1782
Wanted both pensions for his mother’s estate.

Some letters through 1850 arguing amounts.
Tennessee document for eight and one half dollars per month.
Tennessee document for semi-annual instead of monthly payments.

11Sep1816 Congressman Micah Taul requested transfer from TN to KY pension rolls.

18May1842 JG Manly of Marshall Ill inq about Newell and Andrew Evans
12Feb1847 Manly repeats inq
28Jan1916 DA Criswell Tacoma WA inq
23Sep1922 Elsie Beattie Mills of Dallas TX inq
23Sep1924 J Melvin Evans of Garland WY inq about Newell and Evans
23Nov1924 Calla Smith, Souix City Iowa, inq also of Hugh Newell and James Newell
08Oct1929 Reuben Turner Jacobs, Columbia MO, inq
11Feb1930 Phil Tuttle, Burnside KY
27Jan1931 Harry Wait, Burside, KY inq.
20Feb1931 Sen. Alben Barkley (VP candidate) repeats Wait’s request
13Apr1931 Mayme Bryant Haas, Mt Vernon IN inq
17Nov1938 GL Moore, Winnetka, IL, inq
10Jan1939 Mrs F Evans Tibbals, Somerset KY

In open court of Knox County Indiana on 07Jun1832, William Sulcer alias Mathias Selser blurted “I can never forget the brave conduct of Colonel Newell upon that occasion.” Sulcer was describing his own service at the Battle of Kings Mountain. It was customary to refer to older officers as Colonel without regard to their rank at the time.
Pension application of William Sulcer [alias, Mathias Selser] W9687

Of the wound, I surmise that Sam carried a scar to his grave. Probably he lost his agility, the ability to run, and perhaps was self-conscious about his appearance when walking, maybe with a limp. His life showed that any disability was far overshadowed by his abilities..

As to the amount of the pension, the bureau ultimately agreed that Sam was due both the service and the disability pensions. He had been underpaid.

Washington County Court journals and Virginia records in Richmond prove that Sam Newell was a Captain. Despite Newell’s sworn declaration, the bureau denied his service as captain saying that there were no records of such. It makes one wonder why they awarded a pension based on his other sworn statements. They did not have Summers’ Annals of SW VA nor Google search. They did not have the advantage of Will Graves’ work at In fact, Newell was shorted even more than he might have known.

The War Department did have John Jameson’s and John Cock’s sworn declarations that Samuel Newell was a captain. The Sulcer comment that SN1754 was a Colonel was the “Kentucky Colonel” connotation of the word. The War Department did grant time in grade computations for other soldiers in the same engagements to be longer service than they chose to grant to Newell.

One might ponder to what extent political cronyism or political retribution played parts among federal pension awards. Andrew Jackson’s folks were in power. Newell had openly supported the Davy Crockett straight shooter and leave it up to the locals Whig ideas. Jackson had expansionist slave owners in his corner. Did the clerks in DC rule on pensions inconsistently due to incompetence or due to political influence? The Jameson file shows some influence from Richmond with the just awarded state Lt Col 6000 acre land grant in his file. SN1754 took one month for BKM while others claimed three months for the same campaign even though they were healthy handling baggage in the rear and he was in a doctor’s care. It took Benge six months to recover, but Samuel Newell’s near mortal wound took six weeks which he did not claim as service. James Crabtree was engaged a little over two months at the lead mines under Lt Samuel Newell. Newell did the same job in about six weeks. The clerks seemed to pinch down on the days of service at various ranks on Newell’s unpapered record but rounded up on the claims of other good ole boys. The William and Mary slave owners were in control in Virginia. The “round up the Indians frontier grabbers” were in control in DC. The brotherhood of mankind Liberty Hall folks were going about their business on the other side of the mountain.

Sam Newell seemed to think that the pension money belonged to those who were disabled. His wound did not prevent him from participating in the battle of Boyds Creek expedition or rangering in the Clinch River Valley. Later he would father 10 children, build a fort, author the constitution of the aborted state of Franklin, serve as Lt Col of the Sevier Co militia, as Sevier Co judge, as agriculture inspector, in the TN General Assembly, as sheriff, and as Wayne Co judge. He built a three story log house, operated a ferry, built and operated a commodity warehouse, operated a lead mine, owned mills and barge operation, raised and traded horses, and visited TN and VA. Approaching age 70, he moved to Indiana. He was disabled from putting on his pants without some irritation?

Sam Newell’s grandchildren coached their grandchildren upon a navel exposition to answer “Is that where the Indians shot you?” with “Yep, can’t show you where the Red Coats shot me.” They had no scar in the crotch as did Sam Newell.

Micah Taul wanted Sam Newell to have a pension. Sam had gotten him elected to congress. Micah got Gov Shelby to provide the testimony for a disability pension. Sam had to stretch himself in court on his service pension declaration day to cover Isaac’s and Micah’s statements.

3Apr1833 J. L. Edwards Commissioner of Pensions, War Department

Act of Jul5, 1832, pension rates per annum for sergeants $120, for lieutenants $320, for captains $480 for up to two years’ service, prorated down for less service..

From Samuel Newell’s testimony, the war department listed periods of service, but wrote “no time stated” for most of them. It was on a return to sender form letter which they decided to not send to Kentucky. Apparently they went back to see that the times were stated and wrote them into the margin of the form where the column intended for them was already filled. I placed them as best I could resolve back beside the service dates as shown below. Then I made a column of my estimated months adding time for “not less than”, mustering, and travel time to Newell’s stated on station time. They allowed a month for the Battle of Kings Mountain. I call it 2.2 months from 24Sep through 28Nov. I could have considered more time to round up the boys in Lee County and get them to the mustering ground.. They show a month and 8 days for 38 days on station at Cowans Fort without the time to prepare, go there, and return home. I show 1.5 months.

m.d mod
Apr76 Pvt 1 1.2 Capt John Shelby 40 tories caught in NC
Jul76 Pvt 1 1.0 Capt Charles Cocke Battle of Long Island
Aug76 Sgt 11 11 Capt Andrew Colville Blacks Fort ranger, spy
Jul77 Lt 1 1 Capt Colville Blacks Fort scout
Aug77 Lt 1.08 1.5 Col A Campbell Cowans Fort 28 men 38 days on station
Recruiting time and travel time
Lt 1 1.2 Col A. Campbell Glade Fort
Spr78 Lt 3 3.2 Col A Campbell Indian patrol
Spr79 Lt 1.15 1.5 Col A. Campbell Clynch patrol
Fall79 Lt 3 3.1 commanded Surveyors
Spr80 Lt 1.15 1.6 Capt James Montgomery Lead Mines Gilbert and Crabtree others claimed over 2 months
Fall80 Lt 1 2.2 Capt Colville Kings Mountain 24Sep-28Nov
Dec80 Adjt 2 2 Col A Campbell S of French Broad
Spr81 Capt 4 4.5 Gov Nelson 30H/20F Kentucky Road
James Simms claimed 6 months under Capt Newell.
Fall81 Capt 1.11 2 Gov Nelson Gen Cornwallis

Next if they had computed a year as a spy, scout, or ranger under Captain Colville with Sundays off and three other days off, like New Years, Christmas, and Independence Day you get 281 days, 9 months and 11 days at the rank of sergeant.

Next they added a column of numbers written in the margin marked Lt. They show carrying the 1 for the thirty days over to the month column. Then they add the up to 14 seeing the 4 as a 1 Clearly 17 months and 19 days as Lt and adjutant and captain, they count as 14 months and 19 days.

Who cares about private time anyhow? Let’s just forget about private months

Further there is the issue of service to the end of the war. I did not find that Samuel Newell’s militia commission was ever terminated. Though there was no evidence of further active service, Newell continued to serve the militia well beyond the Revolution serving General William Blount as Major and Lt Colonel. The Continental Congress laws for army service would not apply, but the Virginia militia provisions certainly do apply to Samuel Newell from beginning of the revolution to the end of the war.

Sn1754.COM provides the DC pension form which you can zoom upon to see the closer image.

So now ladies and gentlemen, we have a pension $46.83 as Sergeant plus 183.10 as Lt comes to $231.93, the amount DC sent to Kentucky for Col (by virtue of his Sevier County service and his age) Col Sam Newell.

Samuel Newell called his regimental adjutant job to Boyds Creek and Chota as 1st Lieutenant, not Lt or Ensign. Adjutant pay was clarified in later legislation and court cases to be the captain rate. The time to recruit, provision, arm, rendezvous, organize, train, and travel to station is uncertain. To command 28 men at Cowans Fort for 38 days, SN1754 first had to ride around asking men “Will you serve for three months at Cowans Fort?” Then when he had enough lined up, he needed to ride around and announce the rendezvous time and place. Then he needed to get bullets, powder, food, a wagon, horses, and perhaps borrow rifles. Col Campbell and Capt Colville probably helped. At rendezvous, Newell had paperwork of writing enlistment certificates, then organization of naming sergeants and corporals and assigning squads and writing rosters. Then there was reminding the men of general orders, mission statement, and special orders for the mission. After some hasty training, he issued ammunition and rations. Men who provided their own could be repaid by the county court. They “marched” to their station and began their service. At the end of 38 days on post, SN1754 determined mission accomplished and wrote 28 discharge papers. Then the men could return to Blacks Fort. Let’s say it took 45 days for 38 days on post. The DC clerk counted only the 38 days.

For the New River lead mine mission, Jacob Crabtree claimed two months. Newell apparently counted only the six weeks on station. DC allowed no time to prepare, travel, check out, and return home. Samuel Newell had good horses so I guessed 1.6 months instead of 1.5. That allows 1.8 days to go from Blacks Fort to Fort Chiswell and back with no time for mustering and paperwork.

Perhaps unaware of paperwork delays, SN1754 knew when he was doing the paperwork, planning, and commanding a company. The county put him to work as a lieutenant and he did the job. Timing of signatures, approvals, and journal posting was of little concern to Newell. His job was the defense of the realm.

The order to raise a company and go to Charlotte, then track, find, and attack Cornwallis’ Army required a six month enlistment with the additional attendant preparation for a longer trip farther from home. For a trip to a near-by fort, they might walk or ride. Their friends near the fort would welcome them and thank them for their protection. The soldiers could expect a few home cooked meals from the ladies in the fort. By the timing of assignments and the tenor of “ready to march,” let’s guess a month to get a company (probably again 30 horsemen and 20 infantry or numbers similar) ready. Transporting more clothes, more food, perhaps a cannon, some hand cuffs and leg irons, and dry gunpowder across mountains and streams means wagons and animals. Many of the woodsmen rode bareback on unshod horses. A long trip meant ponchos, blankets, saddles and horse shoes.

I recomputed the war department’s 9 months and 11 days as sgt, plus 14 months and 19 days as Lt.

Apr76 Pvt 1.2 Capt John Shelby 40 tories caught in NC
Jul76 Pvt 1 Capt Charles Cocke Battle of Long Island
Pvt 2.2 months $7.70
Aug76 Sgt 11 Capt Andrew Colville Blacks Fort ranger, spy
Sgt 11 months $66.00
Jul77 Lt 1 Capt Colville Blacks Fort scout
Aug77 Lt 1.5 Col A Campbell Cowans Fort 28 men 38 days on station
Lt 1.2 Col A. Campbell Glade Fort
Spr78 Lt 3.2 Col A Campbell Indian patrol
Spr79 Lt 1.5 Col A. Campbell Clynch patrol
Fall79 Lt 3.1 commanded Surveyors
Spr80 Lt 1.6 Capt James Montgomery Lead Mines others claimed 2 mos+
Fall80 Lt 2.2 Capt Colville Kings Mountain 24Sep-28Nov
Lt 16.3 months $244.50
Dec1780 Adjt 2 Col A Campbell S of French Broad
Spr81 Capt 4.5 Gov Nelson 30H/20F Kentucky Road
Simms claimed 6 months under Capt Newell.
Fall81 Capt 2 Gov Nelson Gen Cornwallis
Capt 8.5 months $170.00
Service pension $488.20
The 1832 law required that you renounce all other service pensions. In return you got the new pension based on half pay for your rank for two years’ service prorated. The limit on a pension was half pay for a captain. Generals and surgeons could not collect more than a captain. A year of service for a captain would net him a quarter of a captain’s pay for life. I am uncertain if the pay scale was held to 1783 rates or adjusted to 1814 or later rates. I think I used 1814 infantry rates when the higher cavalry rates were appropriate. SN1754 always provided at least one horse.

Many counties quit paying invalid pensions to people who got new service pensions. Some even collected a payback of the 1814 law for invalid war pension payments. Samuel Newell did not get his $108 pension for his Battle of Kings Mountain almost mortal wound after he got $231 of his $488 service pension, Actually the maximum pension was capped at the pay of a Cavalry Captain. I am uncertain where $488 falls on their pay scale. I think Tell Newell later collected the arrearage on the $108 invalid pension. He did not get the invalid pension re-rated for Captain’s Rank. I choose to leave it to SN2009 to sort out what the $108 should have been for 37 years and to adjust for inflation (about $24 for every 1814 dollar). The Treasury Department added interest to belated pension payments. Then he can get Obama to catch up on the service and invalid pension shortages all in one check.

Fold3.COM has obtained photographs of the Revolutionary War archives and places them on-line accessible for a fee. They showed some pages which the DC clerks did not send me when I bought a copy of the file. Curious among them was a matter from Lexington KY.

In 1823, two doctors certified that Samuel Newell’s disability was total instead of partial and that he was entitled to $204.00 per year instead of his approx. $100. Newell was being paid by the US Treasury through a Lexington Bank. I’d guess that a neighbor like Tunstall Quarles or Thomas Dollarhide who was going to General Assembly might have picked up Newell’s twice per year payment.

I wonder if the doctors ever saw Newell, or only the banker’s copy of the payment papers. If the treasury sent the money to Lexington, then paid Newell half, he would not have known. There is nothing in the file indicating rejection or payment of the new rate. Later in Spencer IN, Newell spoke of being short about a hundred per year which was going through the Lexington bank.

I found little about Dr. Warfield, just that he attended Transylvania University in Lexington. Dr. Richardson was into theoretical cranial treatment, pushing Mulberry trees for local silk industry, and deporting negroes to Liberia. His deceased consort was buried in Groveport OH.

I could not make out the name of the clerk of the bank or of Fayette County. Regional pension agents, county treasurers, and bankers kept records of the disbursements of the funds sent to them from the Treasury Department. Somebody would have endorsed each payment so that the bank could prove the flow of funds and balanced their books.

Some bank clerks were less than secretive about their business. Around Bronston in the 1950s, everybody knew who the pensioners from WW I and WW II were along with the amount of their payments. The parsons could know what tithes were paid or withheld from the collection plates.

It is hereby certified that Samuel Newell, formerly a lieutenant of Captain Andrew Colville’s company in the regiment of mounted infantry commanded by Col William Campbell, who it appears by that accompanying certificate was placed on the pension rolls at the rate of eight nine dollars 6 2/3 per month on account as he states of having received a wound in the left thigh while in the line of his duty and in the said service on or about the seventh day of October in the year 1780 at a place called Kings Mountain in South Carolina, is not only stile disabled in consequence of the said injury but in our opinion is entitled to seven dollars and ninety three and one third of a cent more than he already ——- as a pension being disabled in a total ——– from obtaining his subsistence by manual labour

Sworn and subscribed before me Chas Henry Warfield MD
This 8th day of September 1823 J C Richardson MD

I certify that the above deponents are credible persons.

Office B A States
Lexington Sep 9, 1823
J L Edwards Esq
Herewith you will please receive the certificate of examining physicians in the case of Samuel Newell an invalid pensioner on the roll of the agency considering his rate of disability for total
You will please communicate to me the order that may be made thereon by the Secretary of War
I am sir very respectfully
Your obt svt
Stassers Cosby (?)

This shows the ongoing $8 vs $9 and a fraction invalid pension payment to Samuel Newell. The 1938 letter from Spencer also shows the names of all the Owen County pensioners.

Another curiosity in the files is in various replies to people asking about the service record of Samuel Newell. They unanimously state that he was a captain. His pension payments, however, continued to deny that he was a captain or a first lieutenant.

Kings Mountain 07Oct1780 Overmountain Victory trail National Park History Battle Casualties Patriots