This handwritten transcript of the record by Amelia Carter Kennedy is full of misspellings and inconsistent spellings. If the word is a common one, such as a state name, than the correct spelling has been used throughout in typing. If it was a surname, than all variations are used. Abbreviations and capitalizations have been maintained. This was not an ancestor of mine.
Survivors File 13400, Rev. War. Wm Hibbard
William Hibbard of Hebron, aged eighty-one 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 offices & served as herein stated.
I enlisted (as Sergeant) in a Company of Militia Commanded by Capt. Mc Charachan raised in Westmoreland, a place or Township so named in the State of Pennsylvania, the said territory (so then called Westmoreland) was settled by people from Connecticut & Connecticut claimed & exercised jurisdiction over the territory, & it was annexed to the County of Litchfield in said state of Connecticut & sd Westmoreland continued annexd to sd Litchfield County until the dispute between the States of Pennsylvania & Connecticut were settled, relative to sd territory & was finally Determined (by Commissioners appointed by the United States) at Trenton in New Jersey.
The Company as I stated was commanded by a Capt. Mc Characan [sic] & he was killed in the Wyoming Battle. The first duty I was called upon to perform was as a spy. Col. Dennison of Kinston then in sd Westmoreland, now County of Luzerne in sd State of Pennsylvania, commanded the Regiment that was raised on sd tract called (then) Westmoreland as aforesaid – the settlement then consisted of Eight Townships, the inhabitants in which amounted to four or five thousand, the settlement was called the Wyoming settlement on the Susquehanna River. In the summer of 1777 in the month of June Col. Dennison afores’d ordered these men of which number I was one, to go up the River towards the Indian settlement, to make discoveries: Up the Susquehanna lived a numerous body of Tories and half blood Indians, connected with the six nations, who were very bitter in their feelings toward the United States & particularly against the Wyoming Settlement aforesd.
My orders were from Col. Denison [sic] to see if the Tories had removed and gone off, as they had been previously warned to Depart the Country or they would be forcibly removed – also to what discoveries we co’d up and upon the River, to discover if we co’d, if the Indians were in the vicinity of the River, and generally to obtain all the Information relative to the enemy that we co’d. I started in [blank space left as if for date] 1777 in Company with two other men, in a canoe, as were directed, to proceed with great caution, and with as much secrecy as possible. We paddled to Canoe up the River in the night: in the day time we concealed the canoe, and made excursions on Land, on the Banks of the River and its neighborhood. In this way we proceeded up the River as far as Tioga point, at that time a Wilderness, as was most of the Country above the Wyoming Settlement. In our course up the River we Discovered the Tories were mostly gone off: their log cabins were uninhabited. We discovered that they had gone to the six Nations and to the notorious John Butler, Indian Agent under the English.
The length of time I was engaged as a Spy I cannot now precisely recollect, it was at least two months or more. We traversed the River more than one hundred miles in the manner I have stated. We returned back in the course of the Summer & made report to Col. Denison Apl. 2nd who was well satisfied (as he said) with our doings. Both the men with me at that time are dead. One of them was killed by the Indians. The service I then performed was one of difficulty and danger. When we made our report that the Tories &c had gone off, and the manner of the Indians, Col. Denison gave orders that the Company sho’d be upon the Alert: the Company was kept out patrolling & scouting in small parties, as we were in constant fear, that the Tories, Refuges & Indians wod attack us.—The settlement to which I belonged were in general (with few exceptions) very patriotic: they had raised nearly a regiment of men for the Continental Army and they were then with Genl Washington’s Army.
In the month of July 1778 the Indians and Tories under the aforesaid John Butler came down upon us. They began their depredations by burning out buildings, taking and killing our cattle &c—The sd John Butler and his Indians &c Rendezvoused at Wintermoots (?) house, so called: which the owner had fortified under pretense of Defense against the Indians, when in fact he was a Tory and Piloted the Enemy & turned Traitor against us. As soon as possible, the Inhabitants that were capable to bear arms, collected by order of Col. Zebulon Butler who commanded & the Militia under Col. Denison afterd Rendezvoused at Kingston afors’d – the said John Butler sent a message to Col. Zebulon Butler, the purport of which was (as I understood) that if all the inhabitants that were friendly to the United States wo’d Immediately quit the settlement, and give up all they had (except the clothes they wore) so the said John Butler wo’d prevent the Indians from Destroying the settlement & murdering the Inhabitants & these were his only terms: these terms Col. Zebulon Butler and Col. Denison refused to accept.
There were some divisions what was best to be done: but it was finally concluded by the officers to march up the River and prevent if Possible, the Indians from coming into the settlements – in the afternoon of the 3d of July (for I never shall forget the Day) we marched up the River Susquehanna about five miles from Kingston on the West Side of the River, where we met the Enemy. Under the pretense of a parley, the sd John Butler had so disposed his Indians (as they proved to be much more numerous than our force, or than we apprehended) so as to surround us. About one hour before sunset, the battle began, and at first with the appearance of a success, as our men fought bravely (I was in the center) when (unfortunately the left wing endeavoring to change their position to meet a body of Indians, who came out of a swamp near by and were flanking that wing.) At that moment a voice was heard commanding a Retreat. As was supposed by many in that division to proceed from their Commanding officer (but it was a voice from some Tory) that Division broke and run. This was our ruin, and we were soon in great confusion. (I was in the center). In consequence of the flight of the west wing we were immediately surrounded by the Indians: as they gave us no quarters it was a complete Butchery: out of about fifty men, of which the company I was in consisted, thirtysixwerekilled.
I fled with what few escaped and I consider (to this day) my escape almost miraculous. The particulars of my escape I forbear to mention. My family lived about five miles from the Battle ground. During the night I reached my family (a wife and three children) all Infants: one of them but two days old. I immediately put my sick wife and children into a boat (I lived near the River) and fled down the River. I succeeded in passing the falls with difficulty and reached in safety Harris’s ferry now Harrisburg in Pennsylvania, where the inhabitants treated me and my family with the greatest kindness. Otherwise we sho’d have perished, as we had nothing but our clothes that we took in our flight & had no change. In one day were reduced from a competent Estate, to absolute poverty. My wife died soon after our arrival at Harris’ Ferry aforesd from great fatigue and a broken heart.
As soon as I could provide for my children I returned back to Wyoming, and joined as a Volunteer a company of Continental troops sent by Gen’l Washington from his Army to our Relief: the company was commanded by Capt. Spaulding, Timothy Pierce was Lieut., the Ensign’s name I have forgotten. I continued in the Company eight months and was discharged in May 1779 as nearly as I can remember. I returned to Connecticut in the fall of that year with my little children, provided for them places with my decd wife’s friends. In the summer, on the 23d day of June 1780 my services being known, I received an Ensign’s Commission from Governor Trumbull of Connecticut. The Commissions of all the Officers in Westmoreland during the war was from there. John Franklin was appointed Captain of the Company, the Lieuts name was Asa Chapman. We raised what we could. Capt. Franklin soon died of sickness and the distress he had suffered in the Wyoming Massacre & its consequences: Lieut. Chapman was soon after (I think in August 1780) killed by the Indians. A man by the name of Janeson was killed at the same time. I was sometimes stationed in fortified houses or Block houses & frequently performed scouting parties in search of the Indians. I was constantly engaged in such service, and was exposed to great fatigues, privations and Dangers, until the latter part of the fall, late in October 1781 (until after the news of the Capture of Lord Cornwallis was known throughout the Country.)
In the fall of that year & winter, we were no more troubled with parties of Lurking Indians or Tories & I did no more service at that time.
In my first Tour of Duty under Capt. Mc Charachan I was a Sergeant & performed as nearly as my memory serves me, one year and one months service.
As a Volunteer I performed Eight months service. I entered in Capt. Spaulding’s Company as a Soldier. My desire to be revenged on the Indians for the many injuries I and my friends had received at their hands made me willing and anxious to do duty in any capacity (I had a brother killed in the Wyoming Battle by my side) my property burnt & destroyed and all my stock of cattle and hogs killed.
As an Ensign I performed one year and four months duty. I hope no man now living in the United States has suffered more than I did during that time: during most of my time services I was in the Susquehanna Country in the States of Pennsylvania and New York, mostly in the former in and about the Wyoming Country (as it was then called.)
The service was distressing and dangerous, often in great necessity. The officers were Col. Zebulon Butler, & Col. Denison, afterward. I recollect Capt. Badlock, Capt. Robert Durkee, & a Capt. Randas, who (the three last) were tortured to death by the Indians. A Major Garrit who was Majr of a Regiment was killed in the Wyoming Battle. Some of the fugitives from the Battle with Col. Denison got into a fort at Kingston (opposite Wilkes-Barry [sic].) John Butler aforsd the day after the Battle, demanded its immediate surrender & with the summons he sent in many bloody scalps. When Col. Denison who commanded the fort enquired what terms he might expect, Butler answered him "the Hatchet"—the fort was taken the next day. I have no Discharge or Documentary Evidence except my Ensign’s Commission, which I herewith transmit as proof of my statement. All the Officers with whom I associated are dead & I know of no living person who cod prove my service, except Samuel Dart of Bolton, Connecticut who has entirely lost his senses and is now non compos mentis and is wholly incapable of testifying in a Court of Record: — Dart was with me some of the time.
I was born in the town of Lebanon, (then Windham), now New London County, Connecticut on the 12th of December (old style, as my mother always informed me). I have no record of my age. My father when I was four years old (as my mother used to say) removed from Lebanon aforesd to Staten Island, New York. My father was a sea faring man. Died at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia when Louisburg was taken by Gen. Amherst and Gen. Wolf. Hew was in the old French War. My mother when I was eight years old, moved back to Lebanon and married a second husband named Spencer of Bolton. Afterward I lived in Bolton till I was twenty years old, when I removed to Hanover in Pennsylvania, now in Luzerne County where I lived until the year 1795, when I removed to Hebron. Afterward, where I lived ever since and now live.
I shall be eighty two years old the 12th of Sept. D. V. I am known to the Rev. Hiram P. Arms and his excellency John Samuel Peters, both of Hebron aforesaid & I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or annuity, except the present, & declare that my name is not on the pension rolls of the agency of this State or any State.
In testimony Whereof I hereto set my hand an Seal of office this 3d Day of August 1832.
| Seal | Cyrus Mann Clerk.
Then appears an abstract of preceding Statement signed and sworn to by William Hibbard in which he gives as far as possible the dates of service which testimony is witnessed by Cyrus Mann Clerk and seal affixed.
Inscribed by Pension Roll of Conn. At the rate of 200 Dollars per annum, to commence March 4, 1831 [sic].
Issued 10th day of June 1833 Judge Hendu present. His Commission a sensing of a Company raised for the defense of Westmoreland, signed by Gov. Trumbull June 23, 1780 removed from case for safe keeping is in Old War Department.
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