Morrison's Pensions


In January of 1776, William enlisted as a private in Captain John Visscher's Company (Fourth Company) in Colonel Frederick Visscher's Regiment of Tryon County Militia (Third Regiment) while living at Johnstown.

Shortly afterwards, William with Frederick Sammons and several other militiamen were stationed at the home of Captain Andrew Wemple for three days.

In September, William with Frederick Sammons under Major John Bliven with a detachment of militiamen left Caughnawaga in pursuit of Loyalists heading for Canada. Major Bliven and his men caught up with the Loyalists one days march north of Ballston. The Loyalists had killed an ox and were putting the butchered meat in their knapsacks in preparation to continue their journey to Canada. The Loyalists were surprised by Bliven and his men and sixty-six of the Loyalists were captured without firing a shot. Fourteen of the Loyalists escaped and Wallace with Sammons with ten other men went in pursuit of them. After chasing them for two days the militiamen overtook the Loyalists and captured five of them and dispersed the rest. Major Bliven and his detachment took the seventy-one Loyalists to Fort Johnstown and put them in the jail at the fort.

In January of 1777, William drafted into Captain Samuel Pettingell's Company (Fifth Company) in Colonel Visscher's Regiment. About the first week of January William under Colonel Ebenezer Cox with a detachment of Tryon County Militia marched to Fort Ticonderoga where they were stationed until April when they returned home and were discharged.

On May 6th, William enlisted as First Lieutenant in Captain Derick Hanson's Company (Second Company) in Colonel James Livingston's Continental Regiment (First Canadian Regiment).

In August, William under Colonel Livingston marched to Saratoga (now Stillwater) and joined the encamped American Army under General Horatio Gates there. William fought in both Battles of Saratoga on September 19th and on October 7th. William also witnessed the surrendering of General John Burgoyne and his troops on October 17th.

In December William was stationed at Johnstown with the rest of the regiment.

In January of 1778, William was stationed at Johnstown until the end of March. In April and May William was stationed at Fishkill. In June he was stationed at Peekskill and in July he was stationed at Middleton, Rhode Island. In August to September he was stationed at Warren. In October to December he was stationed at Bristol.

In January and February of 1779, William was stationed at Bristol and from March to August he was stationed at Freetown. On August 19th, William resigned his commission as First Lieutenant in Colonel Livingston's Regiment and he went home to take care of his father's family.

In May of 1780, William enlisted as a sergeant in Captain Jellis Fonda's Company of Associated Exempts in Colonel Visscher's Regiment.

In the middle of May, William with Thomas Sammons and a few other militiamen went out on a scout and returned home after scouting for nine days.

On May 22nd, Colonel Sir John Johnson with 500 Indians and Loyalists raided Tribes Hill, Fonda and Johnstown. William was stationed at one of the forts at this time but his house was set on fire and it was burned to the ground.

In July William enlisted as a Lieutenant in Captain Hans Marcus Demuth's Company in Colonel Lewis DuBois' Regiment of New York State Levies.

On October 19th, Colonel Sir John Johnson with about 500 Indians and Loyalists were in the Mohawk Valley burning and killing. Colonel John Brown, who was in command at Fort Paris, marched out of the fort with about 250 men and engaged Johnson in a battle at Stone Arabia. Colonel Brown with about forty-five of his men were killed. Some of Brown's men escaped by crossing the Mohawk River and immediately joined General Robert Van Rensselaer's growing army. General Van Rensselaer on being informed of what happened at Stone Arabia ordered Colonel Dubois to pursue and attack Johnson.

William with about 300 men under Colonel DuBois crossed the Mohawk River and started in pursuit of Johnson. DuBois and his men caught up with the enemy at Klock's and Failing's Flats and another battle ensued. The battle lasted until darkness fell over the battlefield and the enemy retreated back to Canada. William was discharged on January 1, 1781.

In the spring of 1781, William again enlisted in Captain Fonda's Company.

On October 24th, Major John Ross and Captain Walter Butler with 607 men were in the Mohawk Valley burning and killing. Colonel Marinus Willett, who was in command at Fort Rensselaer, upon learning of this invasion, sent messengers to Forts Clyde, Paris and Plank for additional troops while he would gather what troops that could be spared from that fort and go in pursuit of the enemy.

In the morning of October 25th, Colonel Willett with his men marched down the south side of the Mohawk River and crossed the river over to Caughnawaga. Here Willett was joined by the troops from Fort Paris and Wallace also joined Colonel Willett and his men.

Colonel Willett ordered William Feeter and Wallace to go to Johnstown and search for the whereabouts of the enemy. The two scouts discovered the enemy encamped near Johnson's Hall and Wallace went to inform Willett and Feeter went to Fort Johnstown to inform Captain John Little of the enemy's whereabouts.

About a half hour later Willett with his men arrived at Fort Johnstown. The garrison informed them that the enemy was still encamped near Johnson's Hall. Willett with his men left the fort and proceeded to Johnson's Hall.

On arriving at Johnson's Hall Willett and his men charged the enemy and a fierce battle now ensued. Willett ordered Major Aaron Rowley with about 150 men to circle around and attack the enemy from the rear. Wallace under Rowley started on this maneuver and just as they reached the rear of the enemy, Willett and his men retreated from the field.

Rowley and his men kept up a hot fire on the enemy and minutes later Willett returned onto the field and the battle raged until darkness fell on the battlefield and with the enemy retreating. During the battle Wallace and Rowley were wounded and after the battle was over their wounds were treated.

Wallace served until the end of the war in Colonel Visscher's Regiment.

William was born in 1746 and he died on January 25, 1837. William is buried in the Colonial Cemetery on Green Street in Johnstown.

The following is Wallace's obituary which appeared in THE NORTHERN BANNER AND, MONTGOMERY DEMOCRAT, VOL. I NO. 33, TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 1837, JOHNSTOWN, PAGE 3, COLUMN 2.


In this village [Johnstown], on the 25th instant, that venerable patriot and revolutionary soldier, WILLIAM WALLACE, in the 92d year of his age.

Mr. Wallace was born in this town [Johnstown], and resided here during the whole period of his long and eventful life, having passed through nearly a whole century. He arrived to manhood before the commencement of the revolution; and when the breasts of the patriots, of that day were burning with indignation and zeal against tyranny and oppression, Mr. Wallace joined the spartan band, and devoted himself to the defence of his country, during the whole of that perilous struggle, and fought and bled for the liberty which we now enjoy. He was engaged in the battle of Johnstown, fought on the Hall farm near this village, where he rendered very valuable services to the brave col. Willett, the commander of the American forces in that engagement. He was promoted for his bravery to a lieutenancy in the revolutionary army, and was attached to the regiment commanded by the late venerable col. James Livingston. His country remembered with gratitude his important services, and granted him a liberal pension for his support in his declining years. At his birth, this county was very thinly inhabited, while all west of it was but a vast wilderness; but he lived to see it covered with a dense population and to blossom as the rose. Generations arose and departed during his existence, while nearly all whom he commenced the journey of life, have long since been numbered with the dead. He has at length been gathered unto his fathers.-

'How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest.'

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