REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION CLAIM STATEMENT OF JAMES HEMPHILL
PRESENTED BEFORE THE JUSTICES OF THE COUNTY COURT OF
LINCOLN COUNTY TENNESSEE ON 16 OCTOBER 1832
TESTIMONY OF JAMES HEMPHILL, SR.
State of Tennessee, Lincoln County October 1832 on this 16th. day of Oct. 1832, personally appeared in open court, before the Justices of the county Court of Lincoln County, Tennessee now-sitting, James Hemphill a resident of said county and state, age eighty-three years the 19th day of November next who being first duly sworn according to said oath on his oath makes the following declarations sign 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 officer and served as here in stated. Some time in the month of December 1775 he served two months in the regiment commanded by Col. Thomas Neel in Camden district South Carolina, the company to which he belonged was Commanded by Capt. William Bratton and Lt. Hugh and John Bratton, Major Kirkpatrick also commanded in said regiment in the same month our regiment joined the forces under the command of Col. Richardson on the Congaree River, a few miles from which Columbia is now situated. A larger body of Tories near Ready River were collected -against whom we marched. We had some skirmishing with the Tories and took several prisoners some time in June 1776 I volunteered under the same officers to go against the Cherokee Indians who had murdered several people and burned happy houses on the Seneca River. Our regiment was then under the command of Gen. Williams or Williamson I now forget which was his name -we destroyed three of Indian towns on the Seneca River which town I think was called Eastatoe Sugar town and Kershaw. We had two fights with the Indians one called the Ring fight about five miles from Sugar town. Another skirmish with the Indians placed to guard the squaws and children who after firing fled and succeeded in their escape by the night putting our warriors out against the Cherokee- I suppose about two months. In November or December 1777 our regiment was drafted to go against the Creek Indians on the South side of the Ocmulgee Rlver in Georgia. We marched through Ninety six District and camped on the Savannah River about twenty miles above Augusta -but we had no battles with the Creeks. We moved out on this expedition about two months. I was in the same regiment and camp and under the same officers except that I commanded as 2nd. Lt. having been listed in the place of John Bratton -In May 1779 one half of our regiment was again drafted, Col. Neel commanding. Capt. William Bratton being elected Major. Hugh Bratton captain and myself 1st. Lt. in our company -we marched down through the head waters of Edisto by orders of Gov. Rutledge to avoid being taken by the British who were in our way by going a direct course and joined the army commanded by General Lincoln at Bacon's Bridge off Ashly River. The army was engaged in reconnoitering the enemy and were marched about several places in that vicinity not now remembered until about the first of August when our army attacked the British who had fortified Cherokee's on Stono River where our army suffered considerable loss and failed in driving the British from their fortifications. Shortly after the Battle at Stone the North Carolina troops came in and our regiment was discharged, we were out on this campaign about three months. Samuel Watson was also with our regiment during this campaign as Lt. Col. Some time in the summer of 1780 having moved to Mecklenburg County in North Carolina after the taking of Charleston by the British, our regiment then under the command of Lt. Col. Watson and Major Brat ton (Col. Neel having died) joined the forces commanded by Col. Sumpter and a few days afterward moved down to Hagler's Branch in S.C. and after staying there between one and two weeks went about eighteen or twenty miles to the mountains having understood that there were several British Dragoons and Tories in that neighborhood and when we had a battle with about four hundred British and tories commanded by a Capt. Huck of whom we defeated very badly. About three weeks afterwards we marched to a place called "Rocky Mount" where the British were encamped. Commanded (as I now think by a Col. Bull with whom we had a battle but not decision of victory for either side) .Three or four weeks afterward I was in the battle on the Catawba River, near the mouth of Fishing Creek where Col. Sumpter's army and us among the rest were defeated. We crossed the Catawba after our defeat. Returned to Mecklenburg County North Carolina. I think I was in service during the year 1780 between four and five months. In May 1781 I again volunteered. Major Bratton being Col. of our regiment and I being still 1st. Lieutenant and marched down about 100 miles to a place called Fridays Fort where the British and Tories were in-camped. When we joined the camp under Col. Lee. Shortly after we arrived the British surrendered. After this our regiment was principally engaged in scouting parties in destroying the British outposts. I was not engaged in any other battle. I think we were out about four months on this tour. I never received any written discharge. I was acquainted ( in addition to the officers already mentioned with Gen. Marion, Col. Brandon Hill, Lacy, Winn, Lee, Washington, also Gen. Morgan and Count Pulaski. I have no documenting evidence nor do I know of any person by whom I can prove to verify to my service. I was born in Ireland Londerry County on the 19th. of November 1749 and came to America in Aug. 1767. I lived in Camden District S.C. at the time I entered the service. I have no record of my age but speak from information and recollection. After the Revolutionary War I lived in York and Chester Districts in South Carolina until 1815 when I moved to Williamson County, Tennessee and lived there about nine years and then moved into this county where I now live. I had a commission both as 1st. and 2nd. Lieutenant which were gjven by Gov. Rutledge of South Carolina but they are both now lost. I would refer for my character for veracity and to Dr. Alexander Rosborough and Capt. GWC Edminston and would also state that there is not any Clergyman in my neighborhood to whom I can refer. I hereby relinquish every claim what ever to a pension or annuity except the present and disclaim that my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of army.
Sworn to and subscribed this day and year.
Testimony: Bobby Inge, Clk.
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