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The following is a petition made by Rowland Cotton in 1838 for military pension due him as a result of his service in the Revolutionary War. The pension was granted in the amount of $120.00 per annum. Please note his participation in many of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War: Siege of Boston, Harlem Heights, Monmouth, Trenton, Princeton, Germantown, Mud Island, Valley Forge and Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.


State of New York Erie County

[illegible] on this twelfth day of June in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight personally appeared in open court in the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Erie, in the State of New York, Rowland Cotton, a resident of the town of Attica in the County of Genesee in the State of New York, aged seventy-nine years on March 22, 1838, who being first duly sworn to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the pension made by the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he enlisted in the Army of the United States in the month of December 1775 in Captain Stephen Brown's Company in Colonel John Durkee's Regiment of Connecticut troops in the Continental service, for the period of one year. That immediately after his enlistment he joined his Regiment at Cambridge in the State of Massachusetts and remained at that place during the Siege of Boston until that city was evacuated by the British on the seventeenth day of March 1776. That he was then ordered with the rest of his Regiment to the City of New York in the State of New York and landed in the City on the tenth day of April 1776, where the Regiment continued until it was time to go into [illegible] in the [illegible]. In the month of July, he went with his Regiment to Poules Hook, near the City of New York in the State of New Jersey where he remained with Colonel Durkee's Regiment until the month of August when he was taken from Colonel Durkee's Regiment and placed in a Regiment of Rangers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton, who did patrol duty up and down the Long Island Sound from Throg's Neck to York Island, until the month of October, thereafter. That while he was attached to the Regiment of Rangers he was under the command of Captain Stephen Brown and during that tour of duty was present on the thirteenth day of September at a skirmish with some boats from some British men of war staying in the Sound, who attempted a night landing and were driven off. That on the fifteenth day of September the skirmishing party returned to Harlem to the Regiment where Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton then was. That the army that night commenced retreating up the River and Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton's Regiment caused the retreat of the army. That the next morning at sunrise Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton marched back to Harlem Heights with his Regiment attacked the British point and after firing seven rounds a man, a retreat was ordered. That on the retreat the Regiment met a reinforcement and returned and made a second attack upon the British right wing that Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton was there killed and [illegible, copy too dark] to the same ground from which it retreated in the morning. That it was there estimated by his Commanding officer that about four of the Regiment Rangers were killed. That on the seventeenth day of September Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton was buried by his Regiment under arms and this deponent attended as one of the troops at the funeral. That the remains of Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton's Regiment were then put under the Command of Captain Stephen Brown under whose charge they remained about two weeks when they were ordered to join Colonel Durkee's Regiment after which they did at the town of Bergen in the County of Hackensack in the State of New Jersey. That the army then retreated from Bergen to the English Neighborhood and Colonel Durkee's Regiment were stationed at Fort Lee where they remained until the general Retreat of the army through the State of New Jersey to the Pennsylvania line where they arrived the last day of November or the first day of December. That they remained doing duty up and down the Delaware River without tents or covering until Christmas morning when the army was provided with three days rest and ordered to cross the Delaware River. That Colonel Durkee's Regiment, composed part of the division under the command of General Washington. That he was present at the Battle of Trenton, with said Regiment where the Hessians were captured. That the next morning the army recrossed into the State of Pennsylvania with the prisoners. That they remained in Pennsylvania until the last day of December when the Regiment of Colonel Durkee again crossed and went into the town of Trenton. That his lieutenant expired on the first day of January 1777. That General Washington then offered a proclamation that any of the troops whose terms had expired might volunteer for the month of January and that for so doing they should have ten dollars bounty and their months pay. That this deponent with about two thirds of Colonel Durkee's Regiment volunteered to serve out the month of January. That on the second day of January the British army down and the American army retreated across the Assanpink Creek, where they encamped and remained until dark. That Colonel Durkee's Regiment was then attached to General Mercer's Brigade. That at dark the army took up their line of march and marched to Princeton, New Jersey, when about sunrise on the morning of the third of January an action took place in which General Mercer was killed and the army was defeated and many of them taken prisoner. That the army then marched to Morris County, New Jersey and Colonel Durkee's Regiment and the rest of the army were at place called Pluck River where he remained until the first of February when he was discharged and returned to Pomfret in the County of Windham in the State of Connecticut where he was first settled and resided.

That on or about the first of March 1777, he again enlisted in Captain Stephen Brown's Company in Colonel Durkee's Regiment in the Connecticut line in the Continental Army for the term of three years. That in the month of May following he joined the Regiment with his Company at Peekskill and then and there doing duty until the month of September following. That Colonel Durkee's Regiment then composed part of General McDougal's Brigade. That in September General McDougal's Brigade was ordered to march into the State of Pennsylvania and join the main army under the command of General Washington at Schuylkill. That they marched to Schuylkill where they remained until the third day of October thereafter at night, when they were marched to Germantown, where an action took place and the American army fell back to Schuylkill again. That the army remained doing duty in the State of Pennsylvania until the month of November when Colonel Durkee and Colonel Chandler's Regiments of Connecticut troops were detached from the army and order to Mud Island in the Delaware River nine miles from Philadelphia, where they remained until the evacuation of the Fort at Mud Island. While at Mud Island there was a Continental canon firing from the British ships of war until the Fort was evacuated during which Captain Brown his officer was killed. That the Regiment then went to Woodbury in the State of New Jersey and from thence into the State of Pennsylvania where they found the main army near a place called Crooked Billet. That Lieutenant Beriah Bill was appointed to the command of the company formerly commanded by Captain Stephen Brown. That the army continued doing duty in Pennsylvania until the month of December when they went into winter quarters at Valley Forge where they remained during the winter. That in the spring of 1778 the army marched from Valley Forge through the State of New Jersey. That on the twenty-eighth day of June they fought the battle of Monmouth, where Colonel Durkee was shot through both hands. That he was in this action attached to Major General Lee's division and General Varnum's Brigade. That that day the Brigade was under the immediate Command of Colonel Durkee and Colonel Durkee's Brigade was under the Command of Colonel Stewart. That from that place they marched to White Plains, where the army was encamped for some weeks and until the month of December when the Eight Connecticut Regiments went into winter quarters at Reading, in Danbury County in the State of Connecticut. That in the Spring of 1779 they were attached to General Parson's Brigade, the Regiment still being under the command of Colonel Durkee and opened a campaign on the Highlands near Peekskill on the Hudson River. That there was not much active service that season the troops remaining encamped along the River at various points. That in November the Brigade crossed the River with the army for the purpose of going into winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey. That a few days after the Germantown battle he was warranted as a Corporal of the Company to which he was attached, and when the army went into winter quarters at Morristown he was promoted to the post of first Sergeant in the Company. That in the month of February 1780, Colonel Durkee's Regiment and the rest of the Connecticut line including the Brigade of General Parsons and General Washington were ordered to the vicinity of Staten Island. That Colonel Durkee's Regiment was [illegible] at Westfield in the State of New Jersey. That Captian Bill resigned during the year and Captain Lemuel Clift of Plainfield in the State of Connecticut was appointed to the Command of the Company. That in the month of April he was discharged, his term of service having expired and his discharge was signed by Colonel Jonathan Miegs of the Connecticut line who was then in command of the Brigade which discharge was afterward destroyed by fire when his house was burned about the year 1810. That after his discharge he returned again to Pomfret Windham County in the State of Connecticut, his place of residence.

That in the spring of the year 1781 he again enlisted in the Connecticut line in the Continental Army in the Company commanded by Lemuel Clift at Plainfield in the State of Connecticut as a Sergeant. That he continued with Captain Clift as a Recruiting Sergeant until the month of June when he was ordered to join the Regiment in the Connecticut line formerly under the Command of General Durkee but which was under the Command of Colonel Thomas Grosvenor of Pomfret of the State of Connecticut. That he found his Regiment in the vicinity of West Point on the East side of the Hudson River. That he continued there until the Company opened upon the White Plains. That Colonel Grosvenor's Regiment and Colonel Olney's Rhode Island Regiment had a skirmish with the army at [illegible] Creek near Kingsbridge. After that he was encamped upon White Plains with the rest of the army. That in August Captain Clift and his Company were detached [illegible] of Battalion of Light Infantry and placed under the Command of Colonel Alexander Hamilton and then marched by land to the head of the Elk River where he embarked in vessels and was transported to Jamestown on James River and some marched from thence to Williamsburgh Virginia where he was united with the Division of the Army under the command of the Marquis De La Fayette. From Williamsburgh he was marched to Yorktown and was present at the siege of Yorktown and was part of the detachment that stormed the redoubt under the Command of the Marquis De La Fayette on the night of the 14th of October 1781. That they remained at Yorktown until the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and on the ninth day of November. Thereafter he embarked on board of vessels for the north and landed at the head of the Elk River from whence he was marched to the Hudson River, where he again joined the Regiment under the Command of Colonel Grosnevor and wintered in the vicinity of West Point at a place called the Connecticut [illegible]. That Captain Clift and his Company were continued in the Light Infantry and deponent was his orderly Sergeant, and in the Spring of 1782 was attached to a Regiment of Light Infantry under the Command of Colonel Smith in a Brigade Commanded by Samuel B. Webb Colonel in the Connecticut line from Wethersfield in the State of Connecticut and was the advanced guard of the army that Campaign. That at the Close of the Campaign Captain Clift and his Company were again attached to Colonel Grosnevor's Regiment which they joined at West Point, when they went into winter quarters in the latter part of December of that year. That about that time Colonel Grosnevor resigned his Commission and the Regiment was put under the Command of Colonel Zebulon Butler, who continued the Command until June 1783 when deponent was discharged at West Point. That the discharge was given by Brigade General Jedidiah Huntington by order of General Washington, which discharge was burned up on or about the year 1810, when deponent's house was burned. That the reason why he did not make his declaration in the County of Genesee is that he was resident there but about two years and is a stranger to the Court in that County. That previous to his removing to Genesee County he had resided in Erie County for the period of thirty years and was known to the court and many of the Citizens which made it more convenient for him to make his application in Erie County. He hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a Revolutionary pension or annuity except the present and he declares his name is only on the pension rolls of the agency of the State of New York as an Invalid Person for services rendered during the late War of 1812.

Rowland Cotton

Sworn to and subscribed
the day and year aforesaid
Cyrus K. Anderson, Clerk
By R.W. Padelfad, Deputy

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states.

[illegible] P. Stevens
Judge of Erie County Common Pleas

I Cyrus K. Anderson as Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Erie in the State of New York.


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