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McLain Patriot Bio

Compatriot Randy McLain submits his patriot ancestor's affidavit used to secure a pension for his service in the Revolutionary War.

Alexander McLain (McLean)


State of Missouri, County of Cape Girardeau.

A declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress of the 7th of June, 1832. On this 18th day of March in the year 1833, personally appeared before the county court of the County of Cape Girardeau, aforesaid Alexander McLain, a resident of the Township of Byrd in the County of Cape Girardeau, in the State of Missouri, aged seventy-seven years and seven months, who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. That he volunteered in the month of August in the year 1777 under the command of Captain Robert Alexander in the County of Lincoln, State of North Carolina, that he mustered into the service of the United States under the command of said Captain in the town of Charlotte, State of North Carolina and entered a regiment under the command of Colonel Frank Lock, that from Charlotte he with said regiment marched to the Ten Mile Springs (so called) ten miles North of Charleston, State of South Carolina that at the Ten Mile Spring, the regiment aforesaid, lay together with a regiment of militia under the command of Colonel Sanders, that after they had remained there a few days, Major Horry came to the place above mentioned from Charleston and proposed to raise from said regiments, a company of riflemen for the term of nine months, that this applicant volunteered to make one of said company; that after the company was completed, permission was given for the officers to be chosen by the company of their number, that one William McKenzie was elected by said company as their Captain, that as soon as the company was raised he this affiant with said company went to Charleston and returning lay at the Ten Mile Spring until after Christmas following. From then on he with said company marched under the command of Colonel Marion and with Colonel Frank Lock to Purysburg on the Savannah River, that after remaining at Purysburg about two months as he thinks, that from thence he marched with the company with Major Horry to join General Ash at a place called Brier Creek; that the said troops arrived at Brier Creek, that the company to which he belonged and two artillery companies with two six pounders crossed over and were ordered to halt until the arrival of the militia under the command of General Rutherford, but before the militia under the command of Rutherford as aforesaid came up General Ash had met his defeat, and came and met us near or above the mouth of Brier Creek, that this affiant with the companies above mentioned remained at the mouth of Brier Creek until the troops under the command of General Ash had crossed over the Savannah River and then marched to the Two Sisters Ferry (so called) on the Savannah River and after remained there about four weeks he went with the companies to Beach Island on the Savannah River that he there received his written discharge under the hand of Captain McKenzie for the service of said term of nine months that having been wounded, was discharged before the nine months had fully expired that afterwards he this affiant volunteered again in the summer of 1780 to make two companies of mounted riflemen to be raised by order of the governor of North Carolina for the purpose of joining General Gates who at that time was marching on from the North to South Carolina, that he this affiant mustered into the company of Captain Mattocks the very day that General Gates arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina. One Major Chronicle had the command of the mounted riflemen above mentioned that the two companies of mounted riflemen were not all assembled when General Gates left Charlotte, but it was arranged that the said companies should join him (Gates) at Rugeley’s Mill, that after they were assembled they the two companies marched for that purpose. But before reaching the mill General Gates had been defeated and this affiant with the two companies met him returning and also returned. That as he with the two companies had volunteered until the war should be over; he with the two companies were employed in ridding the country of Tories sometime under the command of Marion and Horry and sometimes under the command of General Sumter, that he with his company was at Ramsour’s Mill in Lincoln County, North Carolina, but was not until the engagement with the Tories was over from thence he marched with General Sumter to South Carolina and from thence was marched up to Charlotte under the command of Major Chronicle and were used to intercept foraging parties through the country, that afterwards the said companies under the command of said Chronicle and Colonel Cleveland on the Catawba River for the purpose of meeting Colonel Ferguson at that time recruiting in Rutherford County, that from thence he this affiant marched to Gilbertstown in Rutherford County aforesaid, and from thence to a place called the Cow-Pens near Broad River there joined what called the mountain men three regiments under the command of Shelby, Sevier, and Campbell, and from thence to Kings Mountain near the line between North and South Carolina and there met Colonel Ferguson, was in the engagement at Kings Mountain continued with his company until the defeat of Ferguson taking his men prisoners at which place Captain Mattocks and Major Chronicle were both slain, that after that Major Joseph Dickson was appointed by the authority to command said companies and Samuel Martin appointed captain of his (affiant’s) company, and were employed to range the country arresting Tories and remained under Major Dickson until Tarlton came after General Morgan and met with him at the place called the Cow-Pens and there had an engagement and took all his footmen. Then pursued the foraging parties belonging to the army of Cornwallis until he arrived at Guilford, was there in the engagement and after that affair he this affiant with the company marched with General Green until he entered South Carolina and was then discharged by the said Dickson and Martin as Major and Captain.

That, the said company executed to Samuel Martin their Captain as aforesaid a power of attorney to draw their pay from the State of North Carolina, that said Martin went off and was never heard from again by this affiant.  That he has no documentary testimony by which he can establish the aforesaid facts.

That he the said Alexander McLain does hereby relinquish all claims of any other pension except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension rolls of the agency of any state. That he, said Alexander McLain, removed to the County of Cape Girardeau in the State of Missouri nearly thirty years since, where he has remained ever since.

And to the interrogatories propounded by the war department and put by the court, the said Alexander McLain answers and says

I was born in the then County of Rowan in the State of North Carolina on the 10th day of May 1755.

I have my age recorded in my family Bible at my house about seven miles from this place. I copied it from the family records kept by my father in his Bible.

I volunteered the first time under the command of Captain Robert Alexander, entered the service at Charlotte, North Carolina, and at the Ten Mile Spring near Charleston joined as a volunteer under Major Horry for nine months; the second time I enlisted or volunteered to make up two companies of mounted riflemen under the command of Captain Mattocks to continue during the war.

I was acquainted with General Sumter both when a militia officer and also when he became a regular officer; with General Rutherford a militia officer with Marion and Horry regular officers at various places with General Green when at Guilford and with General Morgan at the Cow-Pens. I was acquainted with Captain William McKenzie by whom I was discharged from the first term of service for nine months.

The last tour of duty I served under Captain Mattocks until he fell at Kings Mountain and then the balance of the time under Captain Martin by whom I was discharged; that one Chronicle was our major until he fell at Kings Mountain and then one Dickson became our major as before stated, with all of whom I was well acquainted.

I received a written discharge. The first time from Colonel Marion, the last time from Captain Martin, both of which discharges I considered of no importance or value and from the great length of time they have probably been destroyed or lost and are not in my possession.

I am known by General Johnson Ranney to John Hays receivers of public money at Jackson, Missouri, to General M. W. Watkins, to Peter R. Garrett, esq., Clerk of the County Court, to Henry Sanford, esq., Clerk of the Circuit Court, to James Thompson, to the Reverend Thomas P. Green and to the Rev. George B. Rigby, all of whom live near to me and I believe can testify as to my character for integrity and honesty and of their belief of my services as a soldier of the revolution.

Sworn to and subscribed in open court this 18th day of March A.D. 1833. Benjamin Bacon, D. Clerk, for Peter R. Garrett, Clerk. Alexander McLain.

We, George B. Rigby, a clergyman residing in the County of Cape Girardeau, and Peter R. Garrett, a citizen of the same county, hereby certify, we are well acquainted with Alexander McLain who has subscribed and sworn to the foregoing declaration. That we believe that he is seventy six years of age; that he is respected and believed, in the neighborhood where he lives, to have been a soldier of the revolution and we concur in that opinion.

Sworn and subscribed in open court, this 18th of March 1833. Benj. Bacon, D. Clerk, for P. R. Garrett, Clerk. G. R. Rigby, Peter R. Garrett.

Thomas Hill of lawful age being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that when he this deponent, volunteered into the company of Captain Alexander in the County of Lincoln in the State of North Carolina in the month of August in the year 1777, he this affiant, being then not quite sixteen years of age, Alexander McLain who has submitted the above declaration was also a volunteer in said company, that the said McLain and Thomas Hill were messmates and so continued to be at different times for more than six months, during which time they marched with the troops under the command of Colonel Frank Lock and was with him at the Ten Mile Spring near Charleston when said McLain joined a rifle company; but that the said rifle company to which said McLain belonged, still continued with Colonel Frank Lock. They had permission to mess together as before and then marched to Purysburg and after remaining a while marched or was sent to assist General Ash at Brier Creek; soon after at the expiration of six months or perhaps more he said McLain having been disabled by a wound was discharged, the said Hill continuing out his term of nine months and was then discharged; and further saith not.

Sworn to and subscribed in open court March 18th, 1833. Benjamin Bacon, D. Clerk, for Peter R. Garrett, Clerk. Thos. Hill.

Filed March 18th, 1833, Benj. Bacon, D. Clerk, For Peter R. Garrett, Clerk.

Cape Girardeau County Court March term 1833. On application of Alexander McLain for a pension for revolutionary services. Declaration and certificate on oath filed. And now at this day comes the said Alexander McLain and makes his declaration in _____, _____ in open court together with the certificate annexed sworn to and prescribed, and the said court do hereby declare their opinion after the investigation of the matter, declaration and certificate annexed together with witnesses _____ and after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the war department, that the above named Alexander McLain, the applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states. And the court further certify that it appears to them that George P. Rigby who signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman, a resident in the county and Peter R. Garrett who has also signed the same, is a resident of the same county, and is a credible person, and that their statement is entitled to credit, and it is ordered by the court, that the said declaration and certificate annexed as sworn to, be filed as of the record of this court and a copy thereof and of the proceedings herein properly certified be furnished said Alexander McLain for the information of the war department.


State of Missouri, County of Cape Girardeau set.

I, Peter R. Garrett, Clerk of the County Court, within and for the County of Cape Girardeau aforesaid do certify that the foregoing pages marked 1 to 9 comprise a full, true and perfect copy of a declaration and certificate annexed here filed, as also a copy of the proceedings of the said court thereon. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and official seal at office this first day of April in the year of our lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty three

Peter R. Garrett, Clerk, by Deputy Benj. Bacon.


State of Missouri

County of Cape Girardeau

I, Andrew Martin, one of the justices of the county court, for the County of Cape Girardeau and President Protem thereof, do certify that the foregoing certificate of Peter R. Garrett as clerk of the said court, by his deputy Benjamin Bacon is in due form of law and by the proper officer. Given under my hand at Jackson, April 1st, 1833.

Andrew Martin, President Protem, County Court

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