Burgess Clark

This information is contributed by John B. McGowan Oct, 1998

BURGESS CLARK  -  Abstract of Application for Pension and Bounty Land


for Revoluntionary War Service  -  (W2758  /  BLWt 34972-160-55)


Burgess CLARK made application on Oct.12, 1832 and stated that he was 69

or 70 years old. He was living in Chatham County, N.C. in 1777 when his

older brother, William CLARK, was drafted into a Company commanded by

Lieutenant James HEARNE and Lieutenant _____ GRIFFITH.  He [Burgess]

wanted to go with his brother even though he was then only about 14

years old and not subject of the draft.  So he became a subsitute for

Morgan MINTER for a tour of three months.  [If you had money enough and

didn't want to serve in the army, you could pay someone else to

subsitute for you.]  Burgess stated that his papers [for his service?]

were destroyed by fire when his house burnt more than 30 years before

when he lived in York District, S.C.  He served in a Regiment commanded

by Colonel MAYBURN from Orange County, N.C.  After he served his tour he

returned home and then enlisted for a second tour from Chatham County,

serving in the Company of Captain JOHNSON and the Regiment of Colonel

COLLIER.  He participated in a battle called "Gates Defeat". [Camden,

South Carolina, where General GATES fled the battlefield and didn't stop

until he got back to Virginia.]  


Burgess CLARK stated that he was born in 1763 in Goochland County,

Virginia and that his family Bible was taken by Tories when they

plundered his father's house in Chatham Co., N.C.  After the Revolution,

he moved to Richmond Co., N.C. where on Oct. 14, 1799 he was married to

Rhoda (Rhody) MORRIS by Curby SWINNEY, Esq.   They moved back to Chatham

Co., N.C., then to York District, S.C.,  to Lincoln Co., N.C. and

finally to White County, Tennessee.  He resided there for more than 30

years until his death on Oct. 22, 1851.  

Those who testified as to their belief as to his service as a soldier in

the Revolutionary War were:  [part of page missing]  (Wi)lliam KNOWLES,

Esq.,  (S)amuel A. MOORE, Esq., (Th)omas ROBERTSON, Col. David A.

(MIT)CHELL, Rev. Ozias DENTON, *Rev. Abel HUTSON, Henry (_____)TON,

Joseph CLARK, Sr. [Son] & (Der)ius (?) CLARK, Sr. [Son] give information

relating to the marriage of Burgess & Rhoda CLARK.  

Rhoda CLARK, Widow, applied for a Bounty Land Warrant on the Act of

March 3, 1855 (?).  Bounty Land granted to Rhoda CLARK, 160 acres, but

she had died, on June 27, 1856, before it was granted.  Letter from  J.

P. ROSCOE, Sparta, dated June, 1859, relating to 160 acres.  Mentions

that  no minor heirs were known, and that Samuel & Sally CLARK were the

only heirs at law (incorrect) and they have removed from White County to

Marcello Co. (?), Iowa since the death of their Mother.


[ * Abel HUTSON was originally from Hyde Co., NC, being one of a number

of families from that county which migrated to White Co., TN in the

early 1800's.  Others Hyde County families who moved to White County


SWINDELL and others. ]



This information was received by me several years ago from Mary Hudgens

of Sparta, TN and is hand written and very dim.  I have transcribed it

as best I can.   John B. McGowan   10/22/96






While serving in the Continental Army during the American Revolution,

during one particular battle, Burgess suffered a serious head wound by a

British sword which would end his fighting days.  As there were no

hospitals for treatment, injured soldiers were only administered basic

first aid and then sent home.  Often, a family member or neighbor

assisted the injured man home and both men would be released from the

army for the trip home.  Such a neighbor agreed to help Burgess travel

home, and the two departed on horseback.  

Only two days into the long trip home, Burgess' companion decided that

he no longer wished to provide assistance to him, thinking the sorely

wounded Burgess would die in the night.  The neighbor decided that

should Burgess awaken the next morning, he would just leave him. 

Burgess did awaken only to find the man staring down at him.  Cursing at

him, he said, "You have openned your old eyes for the last time.  I'm

going to leave you, so you're on your own now."  And with that he left,

taking the horse with him.  On his own now and his head wounds needing

attention,  he was able to get to his feet and start walking for home. 

He had not walked far before coming upon a footpath leading off to a

farmhouse in the distance.  He could see smoke coming from the chimney

and knew someone was there.  Starting down the footpath, he came to the

farmhouse.  The people living there took him right in and tended his

wounds, feeding and clothing him as needed.  The man of the house, a

continental army officer himself, was interested in the circumstances of

Burgess' situation.  After hearing what had happened, he sat right down

and wrote a letter back to the army to tell them of this occurance. 

Burgess stayed on with the family for a few days, resting , before he

regained enough strength to continue on with his journey.  

Not having any form of transportation, Burgess was grateful for the

kindness of these people, and even more so when they offered him an old

mule to help him on his journey.   Burgess had not gone far before he

met a group of soldiers heading in the opposite direction.  He was

surprised to find that the man who deserted him was now shackled and the

soldiers were taking him back to the army.  As was tradition,  such an

offence was punishable by the placing of the offender in the "hottest"

battle action.  Burgess never heard from his neighbor again.

Amos always  remembered his grandfather's hair sticking out in all

directions because Burgess could never get it to "part" correctly due to

the scars of the head wounds he had suffered.


Note:  Burgess Clark (1763-1851) was father of Rebecca (Clark) McGowan

(1815-c1897), father-in-law of his father, Bryant McGowan (1815-1899),

and grandfather of Amos McGowan's (1840-1929).   (Bryant McGowan, s/o

Joseph McGowan, Jr. (c.69-c1850's), was born in Hyde Co., NC, raised and

married in White Co., TN and settled in Caldwell Co., KY after the Civil




This is one of several family stories handed down from Amos McGowan to

his son Robert R. McGowan, and by him to his granddaughter Pamela

(McGowan) Tippy and grandson Perry McGowan and by them to me. John B.



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