As a genealogist attempts to reconstruct the life of ancestors long since dead, he often wishes that some detailed record had been made while the person was still living. This was the case with George Reed. In 1847 he narrated the following description of his experiences in the American Revolution to support his claim for a pension.
State of Indiana, Warrick County on this 7th day of October A.D. 1847 personally appears in open court before the Circuit court now sitting George Reed a resident of Warrick County in the state of Indiana aged eighty-seven years who first duly sworn according to law doth upon his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of congress passed June 7th 1532. That he entered the service of the United States under the following officers and served as herein stated. From old age and from the great length of time that has elapsed since the happening of the circumstances which he herein relates, he cannot with certainty state the exact period of time but he believes that it was in the summer and as he believes was in the year 1780 that he volunteered into the militia of North Carolina in Onslow County of North Carolina for the term of three months. That the company into which he volunteered was mounted and that this was the only company of mounted men in the regiment to which he belonged. His officers were Col. Thomas Bloodworth, Maj. James Love, and his Captain was Capt. John McLamma. During this term of his service, the headquarters of his regiment was at Bluford's Bridge on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina and about 10 or 12 miles from Wilmington at which time the British held that place. The most of his time was spent during this term of his service in scouting and in trying to prevent the foraging parties of the British from coming into the country. A part of the time he was engaged in guarding and feeding the cattle of the American troops. About twenty days before this term of his service was ended, he with five others viz. John Wilkins, John Ferrell, Sandy Rouse, John Lohen and William Bowen were staying all night on the Edenton Road about 12 or 13 miles from Wilmington at the widow Colier's house with some cattle which they were driving to headquarters for the use of the American troops. On the same night, a detachment of American troops was staying at Rouse's house on the same road and about four miles toward Wilmington from where he was staying with his five companions. On this night, a party of British commanded by Majors Craig and Mauson attacked this detachment of Americans and defeated them. Major James Love, Capt. John McLamma with several men were killed. Among them was John Ferrell, the father of one of the men that was with this declarant. Also among the killed was the quartermaster and a lieutenant whose names he has forgotten.
A part of this same detachment of British, on the same night, attacked him and his companions at the widow Colier's house and, after a short resistance, they were all taken prisoner by the British. He received from this skirmish two wounds from a bayonet; one on the side and one in the leg below the knee. William Bowen was mortally wounded by a bayonet thrust in the neck and died the next day. This same party of British, on the same night, took one Col. Arnett a prisoner at the house of John Spial's when he was lying sick. This Col. Arnett had, before the war, been a treasurer or collector for the king and he always understood that there was a reward offered for Col. Arnett. He saw him the next day as they took him in a carriage to Wilmington where he, Col. Arnett, died in about a week afterwards. On the next day, just before night, this declarant was, with his other companions, set free on parole and under a promise to the British major to go into Wilmington and "take protection". This promise they all violated except Sandy Rouse who, he heard, did "take protection" to save his property. This declarant was hauled in an oxcart to his father's which was about forty miles from Wilmington. The wound in his side was dressed by Col. Thomas Bloodworth who was a doctor. When he probed it he said it had penetrated to the hollow. This wound, however, soon got well but his wound in the leg below the knee was sore for a long time. The bone was injured by the bayonet and ever since that time his leg has occasionally broken out causing him a great deal of pain and loss of time. This declarant was unable to serve the balance of his term for which he had volnteered which was about twenty days.
In the next spring and as soon as the wound in his leg would permit he again volunteered in the same county into the militia of North Carolina. His officers were Col. Johnson, Maj. Snead and Capt. Zepheriah Ward. This term he was posted and served his whole term at Blufords bridge when his regiment was again posted.
About two months after the expiration of this second term of service, he again volunteered into the militia of North Carolina in the same county of Onslow for another term of three months. His officers were Col. John Spiar; the man at whose house Col. Arnett was taken, Maj. Ephraius Battle and Capt. Amos Love and for about two three weeks was again posted at Bluford's bridge when that post was taken command of by a regular officer by the name of Rutherford and who he thinks was a general. The regiment of Col. Spiar was sent onto the Edenton Road where he stayed until the British evacuated Wilmington. When he was sent home on furlough he stayed at home for about two or three weeks when the company was again called out and sent to guard the commissary stores at widow Rouse's. He stayed there until all the corn was fed away to the cattle and hogs when he was sent with the cattle across the southwest fork of New River towards Charleston to a swamp called the Black Swamp where he served the balance of his term in herding the cattle which were then sent off to General Green. This was about the end of the war.
He recollects that he was lying at home wounded when the battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought. He recollects seeing a regular officer on Edenton Road whose name was James Campaign and General Green. General Sumpter was once in the neighborhood but thinks he was a captain on his way with some 18 months men to join he did not get to see him. He recollects Col. Crai? and Col. Mitchell who were colonels of the militia regiments and who were with him at the bridge. Also a Col. Hill who commanded a regiment of militia.
This declarant has no documentary evidence. Neither does he know of any living person by whose testimony he can procure who can testify to said services. And he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any state. Sworn to and subscribed in open court the 7th day of October AD 1847.
1. Where and in what year were you born? Answer: In King William County, Virginia, on the 12th day of June 1760.
2. Have you any record of your age and, if so, Where is it? Answer: I have none now. The book in which it is recorded is destroyed.
3. Where were you living when called into service? Answer: In Onslow County in the state of North Carolina. After the war, I removed to Charlotte County, Virginia, and lived there until 1799. I then moved to Kentucky where I lived until about 1815 when I moved to Warrick County, Indiana, where I now live and where I have lived since 1815.