Revolutionary War

Johnson County was so far away and so new that there were none here to enlist to fight for the freedom of our country from the English. But a number who had served from different states came here afterward and we have many descendants of Revolutionary soldiers now living among us.
Alexander Beggs was a Revolutionary soldier and at one time a resident of Union County and he drew a pension as such. His widow, Elizabeth Beggs, held certificate No. 13,389, dated at the war office Washington, D. C, July 1833; signed by John Rabb, acting as Secretary of War. Alexander Beggs died in 1837. The court of Johnson County ordered the clerk to certify the same to August for paying pension at Carmi, State of Illinois.
Mary McMahan was certified to as being the widow of John McMahan, a revolutionary pensioner. It was recommended by the court of Johnson County that she be allowed a pension from December 1823, the date of his death, till October, 1837. The court certified to her application to the war department.
Hezekiah West stated that he served in 1780 as a private in Captain Frost's company of Mounted Rangers, in Col. Winn's regiment, for one month in 1781, in Captain Robert Frost's company of foot, three months; in 1782 in Captain John McNeal's company of Mounted Rangers, in Colonel Davis Hopkin's regiment three months. He was allowed a pension December 3, 1832, at which time he resided in Johnson County, Illinois.
Jacob Harvick — From sur. File No. 32, 289 Revolutionary War Pension office, we find Jacob Harvick was a resident of Surry Co., North Carolina and volunteered as a private, early in 1781, under Captain Hulet or Hewitt, in Colonel Phillip's regiment and served three months. In the fall of 1781, he again entered the service as private in the North Carolina line, under Captain Charles Gorden and served one year. He was allowed a pension on application executed July 3rd, 1833 while a resident of Johnson County.
William Wiggs or Weggs, from the papers in the claim Sur. File No. 32,608 ; it appears that Wm. Wiggs was born in Wayne County, North Carolina, about 1758. He served as private 1775 for thirty-five days in Captain William Fellows' Company; in 1779 for five months under Captain John Canada, and in 1781 three months under Captain Joseph Sessions and was in the battle of Guilford. He was allowed a pension on his application executed April 26, 1833 while residing in Johnson County, Illinois.
Randolph Lawson — In the rejected claim R. 6, 205; it appears that Randolph Lawson was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina, in the fall or winter of 1752, and while living there, volunteered in the summer of 1780, under Captain Cox or Gholson and guarded baggage during the battle of Camden, also he again volunteered in 1781 under Captain Duck or Cox and guarded baggage during the battle of Guilford, and that he did not actually engage in either battle. He applied for pension, executed April, 1835, while living in Johnson County, Illinois, but his claim was rejected as he did not furnish sufficient proof of six months military service as required by the act of June 7th, 1832, under which he applied. His children are referred to but their names are not given and that of his wife is not stated.
Daniel Chapman — In the Spring of 1775, he volunteered in West Chester County, New York for the nine months under Captain Sackett, who joined the regiment of Colonel Thomas. The population of the county had an unusual proportion of tories, who in the latter part of 1775, as well as during the following winter, were very active and aggressive in plundering and burning the buildings occupied by the patriots, to prevent these depredations he was involved in a number of skirmishes, one of them occurring at New Castle, Westchester County, where his captain was taken prisoner. After his term had expired he was detained two months longer before he received his discharge. In the spring of 1776 he again volunteered for nine months under the same officer, Captain Sackett having been exchanged and was employed in the same partisan war fare as no regular British troops were stationed above New York City until after it was occupied by the enemy September 15, 1776. A Colonel Holmes, who had lived in Bedford had joined the British and with a body of Tory horsemen destroyed the buildings in that town except his own house.
A deserter brought the information that Col. Holmes was coming to destroy them. To prevent this, Chapman, with a party of forty-five or fifty others volunteered under Lieutenant Mosier. His party was surrounded by four times its number of Tory horsemen, yet by forming a hollow square they received the attack at the point of their bayonets, with a great slaughter, of men and horses, killing the horse of Colonel Holmes and badly wounding him. The enemy was repulsed by the patriots without the loss of a man.
Early in 1777 Chapman, being well acquainted with the country, volunteered as a scout and received the appointment of 2nd Sergeant under Colonel Weisenfelt in which capacity he served one year; having occasional fights with parties of the enemy. He continued with Colonel Weisenfelt until the main army, late in August, 1781, marched south to meet Cornwallis, in Virginia. He was in conflicts at Dobbs Ferry where there was a small fort, which to some extent prevented the enemy's vessels from passing up the river.
William Copeland — Adjutant General's office, Washington, D. C. It is shown by the records of this office that Wm. Copeland of Virginia served as a private in Captain William Smith's company 11th, Virginia Regiment, commanded successively by Colonel Daniel Morgan, Major Thomas Snead, Captain William Blackwell, Captain Charles Porterfield and Lieutenant Colonel John Cropper, Revolutionary war. He enlisted November 23, 1776, to serve during the war, was promoted to Corporal, in December, 1776, transferred about November 1878 to Captain Charles Porterfield's Company, 7th Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel Daniel Morgan transferred about May 7, 1779 to Captain John Marshall's company, same regiment, and he is reported on the company muster roll for November, 1779, dated at Camp Morristown, December 9, 1779 as discharged.
The service of Copeland and Lawson had not been established at the time the Tablet was placed in the Court Yard at Vienna in 1919. William Copeland is buried in this county, tradition says, on the Alfred Hook farm.
John Damron, maternal grandfather of Captain Mark Whiteaker was a pioneer of New Burnside Township, this county and has many descendants here. Benj. Gill was also a Revolutionary soldier and resided in Johnson County. They are buried in Williamson County at the Drake Cemetery, just across the line of Johnson. Their graves were marked by the government as Revolutionary Soldiers through their descendants several years ago. Daniel Chapman's grave was marked as a Revolutionary Solider by his family. Jacob Harvick and Hezekiah West's graves were marked by the Daniel Chapman Chapter D. A. R. of Vienna.
They have not yet been able to locate the graves of the other men whose revolutionary services have been established.

Extracted 30 Apr 2016 by Norma Hass from 1925 History of Johnson County written by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 171-174.

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