Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Joseph Gowan/Gowin - 14th Regiment - American Revolution

The American Revolutionary War began in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. The date of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia was July 4, 1776. General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781, with the peace treaty being signed in 1783. After the war ended, provisions for benefits to veterans were established, in 1789. Many of the first applications, however, were destroyed by fire in 1800 and again in 1814.

The 14th Virginia Regiment was raised on September 16, 1776 in western Virginia for service with the Continental Army. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown, Battle of Monmouth, and Siege of Charleston. Most of the regiment was captured at Charlestown, South Carolina on May 12, 1780, by the British Army. The regiment was formally disbanded on November 15, 1783.

The 14th Regiment was formed in February 1777. Companies recruited men from Halifax, Pittsylvania, Hanover, Bedford, Albemarle, Fincastle, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Goochland, Louisa, Charlotte and Lunenburg counties. Field officers at Valley Forge were Colonel Charles Lewis, Lt. Colonel Abraham Buford, Major George Stubblefield, and Major Samuel Cabell.

Joseph Gowan/Gowin and his brother, William Gowin/Gowan, Jr., enlisted in Bedford County, VA in the beginning of the year 1777.  Joseph was age 17. They served eighteen months of their enlistment and was under the command of Captain George Lambert in the Fourteenth Virginia Regiment. According to acquired muster roles of 20 Dec 1777 and 1 Jan 1778, it appears that their neighbor, Isaac Wade, was assigned to the same unit.

After joining the Fourteenth Virginia Regiment, his unit joined the continental establishment at Fredricksburg and he fought at the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown and the Battle of Monmouth. The Fourteenth Virginia Regiment joined the Continental Army at Brandywine, Pennsylvania shortly after the battle fought there September 11, 1777. Under the command of Gen. George Washington, the army engaged the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania on the outskirts of Philadelphia October 4, 1777 and then were forced to withdraw about 40 miles west to Valley Forge. In bitter cold and without adequate supplies and rations, the 14th Virginia suffered throughout the winter. The Virginians were pitched into the ferocious Battle of Monmouth [New Jersey] June 28, 1778 and helped to carry the day against Gen. Howe and the English. It was in this battle that the famous Molly Pitcher took the place of her injured husband, a cannoneer and manned his gun, preventing its capture by the British.
Three days after the Battle of Monmouth, Joseph was honorably discharged. He returned home to Bedford County, VA where he married Judith Pollard, daughter of Francis Pollard and Elizabeth "Betty" Phelps.

The Law of 1818 provided that every indigent person who had served to the war's close, or for nine months or longer, would receive a pension. When the law was rewritten in 1820, many names were removed from the pension rolls because they were not indigent. Joseph Gowin first applied for a pension on 11 Sep 1818 in the circuit court of Madison County, KY where he stated he had fought in the American Revolution at the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. He was listed at age 58 on the application and stated that he had enlisted on or about the 1st day of January 1777 under the command of Capt. George Lambert and had served for 18 months, having been discharged in Monmouth a few days after the battle.

Colonel Buford, former Colonel of the 10th Virginia Regiment provided written testament: I hereby certify that Joseph Gowin now a resident of Madison County of the state of Kentucky enlisted about the beginning of the year 1777 as a private soldier in Capt George Lambert's company, that he joined the 14th Virg Regiment on continental establishment at Fredricksburg early in the Spring of the year following, that he was with said Regiment in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, that he was honorably discharged a few days after said battle at Monmouth, having served eighteen months which appeared to be the time he enlisted for. Given under my hand Scott County Kentucky Sep 7th 1818. A. Buford, late Colonel 10th Virg Regiment
According to court documents, Joseph was to be paid $8 a month to commence on the 11th day of September 1818. More than likely his pension ceased in 1820 because he was not considered to be indigent. He reapplied before the Madison County court on the 5th day of November 1821 to testify that he was a Revolutionary War soldier and the periods of time served, including providing his pension number 10256. His property was listed as owning a horse valued at $20, five cows and one calf the value of $30, and 40 head of hogs valued at $20, for a total of $70.

On 20 Nov 1821, he was again in court and stated that he was a farmer, but from old age disease and a bad knee unable to make a support by said occupation. He stated he had four children living with him, the eldest living with him named Elizabeth aged about 22 years, the second named Polly aged 20 years, the third named Susan aged about 18 years, and the fourth named Jenny aged about 16 or 17 years. He stated that his children are all able to support themselves by their own labor. He has a wife living with him aged about 63 years and very infirm for that age.
Annester Gowin testified that she is the mother of the within named Joseph Gowin and that she knows of him being enlisted in the service of the United States, and for the time mentioned. She is certifying that her son was absent for 18 months more after his enlistment. Charles Perrin said he knew of the above named Joseph Gowin enlisting in the service of the United States and served his time and that the said Joseph was a good soldier an an esteemed man of good character.

Joseph and Judith moved to Howard County, MO around 1820 and left his pension affairs to an attorney in Madison County, KY. At some point Joseph no longer received his pension and in 1823 an inquiry started to determine if the attorney was taking the money an not forwarding it on to Joseph. The attorney was found to be innocent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Madison Co, KY: Wills: Probate Records: Vol. A, page 378-379: At the estate sale of Isaac Sampson, recorded 6 OCT 1806, these persons were included in a list of buyers: James Gowen, Ephraim Sampson, Benjamin Sampson, Joseph Gowing/Gowin. Exact date of sale unknown. Appraisal was held 18 OCT 1805 [Vol. A, page 376, 377, 378.]