Pension Application for Severenus Deygert (Selvenus Dygert)
State of New York
Montgomery County SS.
On this first day of September 1832 personally appeared before me, Henry Dieffendorff one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the County of Montgomery aforesaid.
Severenus Dygert, a resident of the Town of Wheeler, County of Steuben and State of New York aforesaid, aged Seventy one years Eleven months and twenty one days, & appears by Coppy [copy] taken by Church book kept by the Rev’d Mr. Ehle dec’d, who being first duly sworn according to Law Doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the Benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.
That he this applicant declares that he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated, vizt, belonging to the Regt Commanded by Col. Jacob Klock and Peter Waggoner Lieut Col. Enroled in the Company Commanded by Capt. Sylvanus Cook, (1) of Militia then Town of Palatine County of Tryon now County of Montgomery aforesaid—That the applicant declared that he is well aware that it is out of his power in rendering Justice to himself in describing every particular duty, no. of days of his Services & After an Elaps [lapse] more than halfe a centre [century] where he has kept no documents nor Memorandum of his Services, &c..
First that he has been ordered and Commanded to Watch and to Guard Fort Keysor and sometimes at Fort Paris, and so occasionally continued from the year 1777 in Spring of the year to the Close of the War, to Guard against the incursions of the Enemy Calculating at a Moderate rate averaging for Six years annually, two months duties and services performed merely at Two Forts, Near the Vicinity he resided As to drafts & Services and duties performed out and away from his place of residence.
This applicant declares, That he has been drafted at two different times to go to the Royal Grant to Guard and Watch against the incursions of the Common Enemy at Fort Ox, (2) once under Command of Lieut. John Zeilly (3) & once under Capt. John Keyser (4) He beliefs for two weeks each Time—at distance about 25 miles – he this Claimant also declares that he has been twice to Fort Blank [Plank] Watching & Guarding against the Common Enemy he beliefs Two weeks each trip to Fort Countreman (5) Once he beliefs about Eight days, service performed, the Commanding Officers he does not recollect. To Herkimer twice, he beliefs once under Lieut. Zielly & once under Capt. Breadbig. About three weeks each tour.
This applicant further declares that on the 22d day of May 1780 when the Inhabitants at Caughnawaga Town of Johnstown where apprized by the unsuspected Tomahawk, Merciless, Scalping knife, and Combustibles to set fire to the buildings &c of the Inhabitants, at, and at a distance, round about the Village of Caughnawaga all concurred to ashes by Sr. John Johnson with a large party Incendiaries from Canada, Murdering & Scalping, by taking Men, Women & Children prisoners commencing at day break in the Morning –That the applicant was ordered out [crossed out: under Lieut Zielly]. Marching from Palatine to Join Col. John Harper,(6) who had the Emediett [immediate] Command over the Militia, in pursuit of Sr. John Johnson with his murderous host & crew on that day to the Village of Johnstown, when seeing the Enemy Marching Across the Hall, Farm in into the woods, Women & Children returning out of the woods but a Number of men, taken Along to Canada, Prisoners.---
That this applicant further declares that in the same year on the 19th day of October 1780, then volunteered under Col. Brown, (7) when on his march to meet Sr. John, with a far Superior force than Col. Browns, that he then Emediently [immediately] at the commencement of Battle see Col. Brown fall to the Ground, Instantly dead, Brown’s Men, Militia & All retreating; when Col. Browns men were retreating, about 45 men killed and some wounded and after in the course of three hours, chiefly all the buildings, Grain and all Consumed by the flames, caused by the Incendiaries from Canada in not passing the buildings of the Applicant without burning & destroying all Which this claimants farm, then Joining the field where battle Commenced.—
Again this Applicant declares that on the 25th day of October 1781, then under the Emedient Command of Col. Marinus Willet in Battle at Johnstown, against Majr. Ross with his host of Incendieries, Tories & Indians from Canada which proofed [proved] a seareous [serious] Contest, Where the Enemy, forced leaving the field, attended with the loss of Many lifes & Prisoners taken on both sides. Again he in pursuit of the Enemy, the next day with Col. Willett after travelling the distance of about fifty miles, overtaking part of the Enemy, killing & taking a number of prisoners Until Marching up to the West Canada Creek where the Enemy halted, the west bank of said creek where Capt. Butler, one of the Tory Butchers and Murderers was shot & he was a rpice to our Indians.
That this applicant further declares, That when a large Party from Canada supposed at least three hundred strong at a distance about eight miles early in the Morning, awakening the Inhabitants about Fort Timmerman (8) up along the Mohawk river, with their usual Merceles weapons and Emplements. Murdering and incenerate, burning & talking Several along to Canada there kept in Captivity when this applicant with all The Militia was ordered out and in pursuit Under the Command of Col. Willett followed the Enemy for at least thirty Miles into and through the woods, but not over taken the Enemy he thinks late in Oct 1781.
That the Applicant further declares that he with all the Militia Under Col. Klock was ordered & Marching to CherryValle now Otsego County where Capt. Brandt & Capt. Butler (9) with their Incendiary Crew, having approached the Inhabitants on supprize [surprise] in the most shoking [shocking] cruel manner in committing Murder, on Men, Women, and Children, and even on Children Unborn. And after exhibiting the most Cruel Spectacle which inhuman beings could be Guilty off, with the corps [corpses] of dead bodies besides all consumbed and buried.
Again this applicant declares that in the summer 1780 he was under the Command of Genl VanRensselaer (10) & Col. Harper with all the Militia Col. Klock’s Regt to Guard; Capt. Saml Gray & Company, with their Boats from Fort Schuyler (11) to Fort Stanwix with Provisions for the supply of our Contenantle [Continental] Troops Situate in the Fort, that Capt. Gray was Apprized of the Enemy laying in wait for him & his Company with their boats, then halted at Fort Schuyler waiting for reinforcements from up along the Mohawk. Each boatman had his arms and accoutrements in readiness, to defend themselves if attacked that when Genl Van Rensselaer mett the boatmen, with him this applicant with the Militia went to Fort Stanwix, Guarding the boats & all safe to Fort Stanwix.
The Enemy disappointed as to their first object, than Emediately directing their course down the river Distance About 40 Miles to Fort Plain now Town of Minden but then part of Canajoharie, then burning & destroying, Murdering and taking Prisoners, Chiefly all that part Now Composing Minden Where the Militia mostly All had been with Gen. Van Rensselaer to Fort Stanwix. (12)
That this Applicant further declares, that at the time of Genl Sullivans Expedition and Genl Clinton (13) to the West, that this Applicant was ordered and Engaged with many others, transporting boats with his team to Lake Otsego, (14) where the Army or part of the same, went down the Susquehanna River in Summer 1779. Engaged for about three weeks continually.
That this applicant further and lastly declares that he considers it not in his power indoing Justice to himself, that after an Elaps of more than half an centre & when no thought could have entered into any poor Soldiers Mind neither a Militia Soldier or Enlisted Contenantle [Continental] Soldier, that the Govt at such late hour, would take notice of the Old worn out veterans to reward them with so much Gratitude that this applicant States that he would not have escaped in being in the Memorable Battle at Oriskany.
Had it not been for his father (15) who at that time was a noted man in the then County of Tryon and who at that Critical time was one of the Committee calculated to device ways and means in prosecuting the precarious war, and who at that time engaged to be the substitute for his son the present applicant and which was the last tribute the Father Ever had an opportunity in Advancing for him this Applicant, he was slain in battle vizt, his father & never saw him no more.
That this applicant flatters himself with one belief that sufficient is stated and declared, to Entitle him to the full Compensation Intended and contemplated by the late law passed, more particularly when he feels satisfied that he has complied, conformable to the Resolution passed by the then Old Congress in May 27th in the year 1775. Whereas it was Resolved that the Militia of New York be armed and trained and in constant readiness to Act at a Moments Warning, that it be recommended to the provincial Convention of New York to persevere the more rigorously in preparing for their defence as it is very uncertain whether the Earnest endeavours of the Congress to accommodate the unhappy differences between Great Britain and the Colonies by Conciliatory means will be successful—That this applicant declares that from and after the time he hath arrived to the age of Sixteen, he has kept himself always in Readiness at a moments warning well armed and equipt conformable to the foregoing Resolution of the Old Congress mentioned, as also in Obedient to his Superior Officers as well than the laws and Resolutions passed by the State of New York, Always ready at a moments warning, and in hopes his Honr, the Secretary of the War Department, will be satisfied that the applicant has been willing on each and every Emergency in attending Every requisition, when called Upon, in supporting the American cause of Liberty and Independence—And that he this applicant finding it impractible to testify or Swear to the No of days Months or years by Connecting the different Trips or tours called Upon but cannot refrain from Considering it but one term, the same alike that of an Enlisted Soldier, from the time involved armed and Equipt until the close of the war, and that he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a Pension or Annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State to his knowledge and further this applicant saith not. (Signed) Selvenus Deygert (16)
Subscribed and Sworn Before me this 1st day of September 1832. Henry I. Dievendorff a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in and for Montgomery County.
End Notes—Severinus Dygert S.23208