Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pension Application of Joseph Dobson, Jr.

State of North Carolina, Burke County
On this 22nd day of October 1832 Personally appeared in Open Court before the Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions now sitting Joseph Dobson, Esq. a resident of said State and County aged 76 years. his age was recorded in a large Family Bible by his Father which Bible the said Joseph now has and which states that he the said Joseph “was born on the 4th day of June 1756” who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed the 7th June 1832.
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. — He first Volunteered in the month of March 1776 for __ months under Capt. John Hardin, Lt. James Brittain; our Regt. was commanded by Colonels Beakman & Charles McDowell afterwards Gen. McDowell. Gen. Alexander Martin commanded the expedition. I volunteered in this County. We were marched down to Cross Creek now Fayetteville against the Scotch Tories. The foot troops under Gen. Martin did not get on in time to aid Gen. Caswell in whipping and taking the Tories. He, Caswell, had a battle with them on Black River our Horse got on and was in the battle. We were then marched down to Wilmington where we remained some time. We were then marched back to Lincoln County N. C. & discharged by Col. Beakman as well as I can recollect we were discharged in July or August. I was between 4 & 5 months in the service. I next volunteered under Capt. Joseph McDowell in the fall of the year 1776. He believes Frank Lock* was the Colonel. The whole commanded by Genl. Rutherford. We marched to the Valley Towns in the Nation. There was no general battle fought and scouting parties & spies a number of skirmishes. We destroyed their Towns, crops &c & took a considerable quantity of plunder. We returned & our company was discharged near the head of the Catawba River in Burke County N.C. During the campaign I was transferred from Capt. McDowell's Company to Capt. Thomas Lytle's company of spies and served under him for some time. He believes there was no written discharge given to the any of his company but they were just dismissed by the officers & directed to return home.
He next volunteered at Sherill's Ford in Lincoln then Rowan County N.C. and was placed under the command of Capt. Thomas Donoho, Col. Archibald Lytle & Genl. James Thaxton. I volunteered for nine months & was marched through N.C. across Dan River into the edge of Virginia. Our officers then received orders to return to this State which they done & took up quarters at Moon's Creek & remained there till the Legislature which was then sitting at Hillsborough broke up. This he thinks was in the month of November. The men were then furloughed till next March. We rendezvoused at the expiration of our furloughs at Charles Ward's in Lincoln County N.C. and were marched to South Carolina. We crossed Savannah River & were put under Genl. Ashe. We were attacked at Briar Creek & defeated by the British. We retreated as fast as we could. The attack was before day & some of our troops were thrown into such confusion that every man had to fight for himself. There was a number of us that got to a Flat on the Savannah River & commenced crossing but before we could cross the British got to the bank & fired upon & killed six or seven men & wounded some others. We collected together on the South Carolina side and were then marched to George Town. We were shortly after marched back towards Charleston & to the Stono Battle which battle I was in under my same Capt. Donoho & Col. Lytle. From thence we marched up to Puriesburg & discharged. This I think was in 1779. — This service including my furlough was over Eighteen months.
He next volunteered under Capt. Joseph McDowell, afterwards Genl. Jo. McDowell, who commanded a company of horse. We started in February or March 1780—& were kept ranging the Country after Tories till the 20th day of June 1780—when we attacked the Tories at Ramsour's Mills. This was where Lincoln Town now stands. We commenced the action between daybreak & sunrise. We defeated the Tories & took a number of prisoners. He was wounded slightly in the hip & his right knee cap slightly cut with a bullet which passed through his horse & killed him. He is enabled to fix the precise date of the battle from a record made of his Brother John Dobson's death who was killed in the battle. John Dobson was a Captain at said Battle He continued under Capt. McDowell and was with him at the Skirmish with Ferguson's men on the head of Cane Creek. We formed after that skirmish and another one at Allen's place on Muddy Creek both of which were in August 1780. That we were not able for Ferguson & we retreated across the mountains to Watauga River now Carter County Tennessee. We then joined Sevier & Shelby and afterwards fell in with Col. Campbell after recrossing the mountains. We then persued on after Ferguson till we overtook him at King's Mountain where we had a great engagement & gave him a total defeat. This battle was in October 1780. He was wounded by a ball passing through his right arm near the elbow joint and also by another which struck him on the left side & ranged round his back & lodged in his right shoulder & was cut out by a British Doctor who was taken prisoner at the battle. He was hauled in a wagon by Col. Johnson up into Lincoln County to the house of George Wilfong & there left where I remained for some days till I was well able to ride a horse. Mr. Wilfong then sent his son with me & loaned me a horse to ride home. I got no written discharge after that battle but was sent home as a wounded man. I was nine or ten months in service during this tour.
I was afterwards elected a Captain of a Light horse Company & went out a short expedition against the Cherokees. Maj. Joseph McDowell commanded us. There was only 98 men went out. We took some prisoners & plunder & returned home after being a few weeks absent. I remained a Captain till the close of the War. I was then under the orders of Gen. Charles McDowell and kept in service off & on as necessity required. At one time I commanded at Waford's Fort against the Indians & also at Cathy's Fort & was kept shifting about as the exigencies of the company required, some time on scouting parties & some time in the Forts. He had no regular commission as a Captain; was elected by his men and recognized as a Captain.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present one and declares that his name is not on the pension Roll of the agency of any State. Sworn and subscribed day and year aforesaid.
S/ Joseph Dobson

*Note: This was Colonel Francis Locke, under whom Joseph McDowell of Pleasant Gardens was commissioned a Major during General Griffith Rutherford's Cherokee campaign in 1776.

Dr Joseph Dobson, born 1720 in England, was a friend of the McDowell family. Dobson had located to the Carolina frontier from Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1764, and numerous documents associate him with the McDowell families of both Quaker Meadows and Pleasant Gardens. He was a contemporary of Captain Joseph J. McDowell, and even a witness to the Captain’s 1770 will. Joseph of Pleasant Gardens apprenticed under Dr Dobson after the Revolutionary War to earn his accreditation as a physician. Dr Dobson’s son, yet another Joseph, born 4 June 1756 in Virginia, and served in the North Carolina militia under both Colonel Charles McDowell and Captain Joseph “P.G.’’ McDowell. This pension application is his.