Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for William Forgason

State of New York
Montgomery County SS

On this twentieth day of September in year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two personally appeared in open court before the judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County now sitting at the Court House in said County at Johnstown William Forguson a resident of the Town of Glen and the County & State aforesaid aged seventy two years 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 7, 1832.

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.

That in the year 1777 this deponent enlisted into a company Commanded by Captain Daniel McKene (1) for nine months in a Regiment commanded by Col. Harper. That he was called and denominated a nine months man. This deponent served his nine months by being [?] at Johnstown in a picket fort built round the Jail part of the time and the residue he served at a Block House at Sacondaga. That Captain Walter Vroman (2) commanded at the Picket Fort at Johnstown and part of the time at Sacondaga, this deponent thinks that Captain McKene resided at Cherry Valley when he enlisted and Col. Harper also. That in the year 1778 he went as a substitute for one drawn from a class of Militia &served four months under Captain Demoods (3) Company under the command of Col. Harper.

That Col. Harper made his said quarters at Fort Plain. That this deponent served his time principally at Fort Plain, Fort Dayton, Fort Plan, Fort Herkimer & the German Flats. That the greatest part of the time he was stationed at Fort Dayton where Captain Demood resided and that which the deponent was stationed at the Fort before mentioned he was sent out on scouting parties to watch the movements of the enemy & to make reports to the Commanding officers. That during the same season he went three or four times to Fort Stanwix to drive up cattle & take up provisions for the Winter. [blot] the deponent thinks & believes that Major Gansvoort (4) then had command at Fort Stanwix but deponent not certain.

This deponent further says that in the year 1781 his father moved from Montgomery to Dutchess County about fourteen miles east from Poughkeepsie and there this deponent enlisted again for nine months in Captain Phelps (5) Company. That Captain Pheps Company was marched from Dutchess to Montgomery County as far as Fort Plain & there joined [?] under Col. Willett. That this deponent did not march with the company from Dutchess to Fort Plain but stayed at Dutchess in consequence of being lame about six weeks and then marched with about twelve of the company who had been lame & sick & stayed for [?] up to Fort Plain & then formed the company of Captain Philps again under the command of Col. Willett.

That after this deponent was had joined Col. Willett news came that the enemy lay at Turlock in the now Town of Sharon in Schoharie County and Col. Willett ordered out his forces & marched for that place, passed through Canajoharie & up to Bowman's Creek & on to Turlock & engagement took place between the Americans and British in which the Americans succeeded. The principal part of the British forces were Indians & Tories but does not recollect who commanded them. But Col. Willett commanded the Americans & Capt McKene the American officer was killed & his son was shot in his mouth which knocked out a part of his teeth The Americans drove off the enemy & buried the dead and then returned to Fort Plain their former station. The battle was fought sometime in the summer which he believes to be in July. That in the latter part of the year 1781 this deponent was in a Battle fought in Johnstown between American & British. Major Ross commanded the British & Col. Willett the Americans. In the first of the Battle the Americans gave way & then made a sally & drove the British & pursued them as far as the East Canada Creek. That the American forces were then divided & distributed in various places. Some men were sent back to Fort Plain & the various forts up the Mohawk. Some were sent to Johnstown and some to Fort Hunter on the Schoharie Creek. That this deponent was ordered to Fort Hunter and was stationed there a while under Lieutenant Duel & then at Johnstown at the Picket Fort and then this deponent got his discharge for the service of nine months at the fort January 1782. That his Captain Pheps was discharged & from the regiment some time after the Turlock Battle (6) but before the Battle at Johnstown before stated.

That independent of the enlistment; this deponent & had been drafted from the militia (6) to serve for short periods of time in the Johnstown Fort & Fort Plank up the Mohawk and has been ordered out on alarms on a variety occasions as the American service required. That in the year 1782 he was engaged as a militia man to draw provisions for the Continental Troops from Fishkill Barracks down to the Fishkill Landing that he served about eight days in that business. The teams & the men were pressed from Dutchess County to draw provisions as aforesaid and this deponent further says that from the year 1777 he was engaged, as the occasion of the country required in the American cause—whenever called upon.

This deponent further says that he was born in the year 1760 as near as he can ascertain from an old Bible now in his possession which has been so much defaced as not to be entirely legible—but he recollects that he was seventeen years of age in the year 1777. As he then understood it. That he has no other record of his age but the Bible before mentioned. That this deponent lived in Warrens Bush in the town of Florida in Montgomery County where he first entered the service & continued to live there until his father moved to Dutchess County in the year 1781 & continued to live there until the war was over except when in the service in Montgomery County—About two years after the war this deponent moved from Dutchess County to Florida in Montgomery County [can't read the last page, copy too poor]

[Several times are unreadable but what I can pick up he mentions living now in the Town of Glen, serving as a substitute, being drafted and serving for a class and he supposed that his discharge was destroyed. Signed by Duel at the Johnstown Fort.]

And he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to be Pension or Annuity except the present And declares that his name is not on a Pension Roll of the agency of any state or of the United States. And this deponent to prove by William [J?] Newkirk & John McGraw who can testify to the veracity of this deponent and their belief that this deponent served as a soldier of the Revolution. (Signed) Wm. Forgason

Sworn and Subscribed the day & year aforesaid. Geo. D. Ferguson, clerk.

End Notes

1. William is mistaken in several points in this tour. The year is 1779. The Captain is Robert McKean in Colonel Henry K. Van Rensselaer's Regiment of New York State Levies. McKean did serve under Colonel John Harper in 1780 but not William.

2. Walter J. Vrooman served as a Lieutenant in Van Rensselaer's in 1779 and as a Captain in Colonel Harper's in 1780. Lieutenant Vrooman did at times command at Fort Johnstown and the Sacondaga Blockhouse in 1779 and 1780.

3. Captain Hannes Marcus Demuth [given variously as Demotte, Damewood, Demood, Demont, Demout, etc.] in Colonel Lewis Dubois's Regiment of New York State Levies.

Captain John Breadbake and Captain Demuth were sometimes included on Harper's returns to Governor George Clinton but they were DuBois's companies but Colonel DuBois was not in the valley yet.

William served as a corporal in Demuth's Company

4.  Peter Gansevoort was Colonel of the Third New York Continental Regiment but neither he nor his regiment was at Fort Schuyler [Fort Stanwix]. They were there from March 1777 until May 1779.

Colonel Good Van Schaick and the First New York Continental Regiment were at Fort Schuyler from April 1779 until late September 1780.

From late September to late November Colonel Harper's Regiment of New York State Levies were there. They were replaced by the Fourth New York Continental Regiment until January 1, 1781. When those of the Fourth Regiment became part of the Second New York Continental Regiment that was not discharged or transferred to other regiments.

5.  Captain Anthony Whelps [often called Welps or Phelps] Company in Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of New York State Levies.

Forgason's name does not appear on the payroll for Captain Whelp's Company or on nay of Willett's other companies.

His details are accurate as Captain Robert McKean being mortally wounded and his son Samuel McKean being shot in the mouth at Turlock [New Dorlach, present day Sharon Springs]. His facts as to what happened at the Battle of Johnstown on the 25 th of October 1781 are accurate. He mentions Lieutenant Banamiel Duel who was a lieutenant in Whelp's Company.

I cannot explain how his name does not appear on any payrolls or muster rolls for Willett's Regiment.

According to Colonel Marinus Willett's letter and orderly Book, Fort Rensselaer 1781, Document number 15705, New York State Library, Albany in the regimental order dated Albany, 21 st May 1781 “all those that may arrive from Dutchess County except a sufficient number to form a moderate Company for Capt. Whelp.”

6. He served as a private in Captain William Snook's Company in Colonel Frederick Visscher's Regiment of the Tryon County Militia [Third Regiment].

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