Thomas Tart

This information is contributed by Jerome Tew


On this 15th of august, 1833, personally appeared before us, James Bennett and John King, two of the justices of peace in and for the county Aforesaid, Thomas Tart, a resident of Sampson County in the state of North Carolina, aged 72 years. Who being first duly sworn according to Law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. That he entered the Service of the United States under the following named officers and Served as herein stated.

That as near as he can recollect, it was in the month of June, 1779 (Actually enlisted July 20, 1778), a draft was to take place in the Company to which he belonged, for the term of nine months, that the Company was to furnish six men, that in order not to stand the draft, the Company made up two hundred dollars continental money to any one who Would volunteer. Rather than be drafted he took the money and Volunteered under command of captain William Williams; and that himself And what men were drafted from the regiment rendezvous at Windsor, Bertie County and remained there about a week, and from Windsor they were Marched to the town of Halifax in Halifax County. Before they arrived at Halifax they met some continental officers who took command of the Militia. When they arrived a Halifax, there was a considerable army Stationed there. He was then placed in a regiment commanded by Colonel Hogan, Major Thomas Hogg, Captain Redding Blount and lt. Rueben Wilkinson. They were stationed there as much as three or four weeks. They then Marched from Halifax to west point fort on the north river, and as he Understood, to fill up the Third North Carolina Regiment. They marched Under command of the continental officers already named.

When the regiment got to New Kent County, Virginia, Lt. Wilkinson, got a parole, as he supposed, to visit his father in said county, and took him (Thomas Tart) along to wait on the lieutenant.

After staying with the father of Lt. Wilkinson for some time, they took off after the army, but never over took them until they got to West Point. They went through Richmond, Fredricksburg, Alexandria in Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Princeton NJ.

When they arrived at West Point they found their regiment back of the Fort on the commons. There was several armies stationed there and about the area. There was a large chain stretched across the river, as he reported, to prevent the British shipping from going up river. Thomas Reported that he was never in any battles but nearly all the time for Which he volunteered he had to wait on his captain and lieutenant.

Lt. Wilkinson and Lt. Yarborough of another company fought a duel, and Lt. Wilkinson was wounded in the left arm. They went up the river to a town called New Windsor and to the hospital. While there and the care of a doctor, time expired on our enlistment (April 20, 1779). Our Commander, Big William Matfoot, John Male, John Hoggard, Patrick Hoggard, And Nathan Cobb were all discharged and left for Bertie County North Carolina, Lt. Wilkinson sent Thomas to Philadelphia to find Colonel Hogan To get his discharge. Hogan by then was a general and he ordered Thomas To be inoculated for the Smallpox. Thomas was sent to the hospital in Philadelphia. And before he was over the Smallpox, he was taken ill with The Putrid fever and his life was for some time despaired of.

When Thomas was well enough to leave the hospital, he returned to General Hogan and this time obtained a discharge. He was told that he could go home, however he was still feeble and unable to make the long walk alone to North Carolina and was at lost as what to do. He was told that he might get a job aboard a ship to the West Indies on a trading voyage. Thomas signed up on the ship Clay ( actually named Jay), formerly called the ship Liverpool. (This 18-gun vessel with Captain Courter also had 100 men as American Privateers.)

They sailed from the port of Philadelphia in August of 1779, and when They were three days out from the Cape of Delaware, they captured an English Brig (called Pitt) laden with rum and sugar for the English Army at Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was sent to Alexandria Virginia. They then Sailed to an island called St. Eustatius in the West Indies where they unloaded their tobacco and stores.

They loaded up with salt and returned to the United States. The ship was Commanded by Captain Steerman Coulter, John Douglass, and Lt. Tanner A. Fisher. When they got as far as Chester on the Delaware River the ice prevented her from going any farther. (About Jan. 1780. Ed.) Thomas then Went into Chester and worked with a shoemaker for his vituals while he waited for the prize money from the ship's load of salt. When all issues were resolved he returned to his father's home in Bertie County in may of 1780, being absent one year and ten months.

Questions asked Thomas Tart by James Bennett and John King, Justices of The Peace, during the application for this pension.

Question 1: Where and what year were you born? Answer: I was born in Nansemond Country in the state of Virginia, the 7th of February, 1761.

Question 2: Have you any record of your age, and if so, where is it? Answer: I have it on a slip of paper from my father's (Nathan Tart) large Family Bible.

Question 3: Where were you living when called into the service? Where have you lived since the revolutionary war and where do You now live?

Answer: When I was called into the service, I lived with my father in Bertie County. I was absent by land and sea for one year and ten months. After my return, I married. I moved to the state of Virginia near where I Was born. I stayed one year, then I moved back to Bertie County and from thence about thirty-three (33) years ago (1800), I moved to the place That I now live on the north side of Kill Peacock Swamp and east side of The Great Coharie, Sampson County North Carolina.

Question 4: How were you called into the service, were you drafted? Did You volunteer? Were you a substitute and if a substitute, for whom? Answer: When the draft was pending for a term of nine months, our company Was to furnish a quota of six men. The company offered to give any men that volunteer two hundred dollars Continental Money. Rather than run the Risk of being drafted, I took the money and volunteered for a term of Nine months.

Question 5: State the names of some of the regular offices who were with The troops where you served, such continental and militia regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service? Answer: Colonel Hogan and Major Higg commanded the regiment where I Served, and Captain Redding Blount and Lieutenant Rueben Wilkinson Commanded the company to which I belonged. I have no recollection of any militia or regiments, nor do I remember who the officers were that commanded At West Point. Our regiments were encamped on the commons back of the Fort, and the soldiers of the fort and the soldiers of the regiment had No communication with each other. My employment was to wait on the Captain and lieutenant.

Question 6: Did you ever receive a discharge from the service and if so, By whom was it given and what has become of it? Answer: I received a discharge from the army from Colonel then General Hogan in Philadelphia After my return from waiting on Lieutenant Wilkinson. I know not what has Become of it. When I received it, I had no idea of it being of any advantage to me, and I then entered on board the Ship Clay by Letter of Marque on a cruise to the West Indies.

Question 7: State the name of person who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief of your service as a soldier of the Revolution? Answer: I know of no person who can testify at this time as To my service as a soldier of the Revolution. A few years back I could have done so. I don't know whether any of them are yet alive or if alive, I know not where they live. As to my character for veracity, I will state the names of Thomas Thornton Sr. and Westbrook Lee, who have know me for about thirty-three years, the time that I have resided in this county.

We Thomas Thornton, Sr. and Westbrook Lee, farmers residing In Sampson County in the state aforesaid do hereby certify that we have know and are well acquainted with the applicant Thomas Tart who has subscribed to the above declaration, that we believe him to be seventy-two years of age, that he is believed and reputed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concur in that opinion, and that we believe him to be a man of veracity. Sworn and subscribed to the day and year aforesaid: Westbrook Lee and Thomas Thornton, farmers.

We John King and James Bennett, Justices of the Peace as aforesaid do hereby declare as our opinion, after the investigation of this matter and After putting the interrogations prescribed by the war department, that The above named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he States; we further certify that Westbrook Lee and Thomas Thornton who signed the preceding certificate are very respectable farmers of the county; that they are creditable persons, And that statement is entitled To credit. We further state that we have know the applicant and believe him to be a man of veracity. Given under our hands the day and year above written. John King, JP and James Bennett, JP.

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