John Adair and Catharine Adair – Pension Application

from Historical Records of Harrodsburg (Mercer County) Formerly Known as Old Crab Orchard, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky.  Abstracts of Pensions.  Vol. 1

Bounty Land Warrant 24750-160-50 South Carolina, Indian War 1792, Kentucky War of 1812.  Widow’s Pension No. W 2895

I do hereby certify that in the month of April or May 1780, Charleston, South Carolina, having been surrendered to the enemy with all the regular troops under command of General Lincoln and the Governor of the state having fled from the state, there being then no legal authority in the state  to the British troops and their officers were marching through and taking possession of all parts of the state, about 300 men, who had fled from the enemy of whom I was one, did assemble in North Carolina, where they had fled, and enter into a solemn obligation to place themselves under the command of General Thomas Sumpter and to continue in a body and serve under his command until the war was out at an end or until their services were no longer necessary, it being absolutely necessary that they should send some troops back.  They immediately returned into South Carolina and made their first attack on a part of British and Tories amounting to between 500 and 600 men commanded by Captain Hook and Colonel Ferguson at Williamson Plantation.  The enemy were defeated, Hook and Ferguson both killed and a Captain Adamson who commanded the British infantry wounded and taken with between 30 and 40 men.  Our numbers increased daily after Garrison at Rocky Mount, but the general finding the works too strong to be taken without cannon (of which we had none), he abandoned the enterprise.  And 8 days after having a re-enforcement of 30 men from North Carolina, attacked a strong British force at the Hanging Rock.  This, I believe, was the hardest fought battle during the war, in the south.  He continued in service until the end of the war and fought many battles which it is not necessary to name soon after the battle of the Hanging Rock.  I was appointed and commissioned by General Sumpter a captain in which rank I served until in the fall, I was then appointed a major in which rank I served until the end of the war.  I never was out of service until the end of the war, except a few months in the fall and winter of 1780 when I was a prisoner with the British, and in close confinement until exchanged for a Captain Campbell of the British army.  I received from the commanding officer in Camden a passport to go to General Sumpter’s camp where I immediately went.  I served 3 tours in succession.  I was in a regiment of militia.

In the year 1779 and the spring of 1780 was on the lines in service when Charleston was surrendered to the enemy.  I was in 14 battles, the last of which was at the Eutaw Springs under General Green.  I found my own horse, arms and clothing and only drew rations when acting under the immediate command of General Green, and with his troops for which services and expenses I have not yet been paid.  We were in continual service from May 1780 until the end of the war, and that I myself led one of the advance parties into Charleston when the enemy evacuated the city.  This affidavit made July 12, 1832, by John Adair.  He was a general.

An affidavit on the same page made by Andrew Jackson says:  I have read and carefully examined the above narrative made by General John Adair.  It accords with my recollection of the history of the times referred to.  We were school fellows at Ivanho Academy.  I, a boy, the general grown when he left it when the British advanced and over-run the country, this academy was burned by Major Coffins corps, under command of Lord Rodney.  At this period we were compelled to leave the country those that would not take protection under the British.  General Adair was one of those who served under the eagle of his country, fronted the battles storm, and at the close of the war ranked as a major.  Signed, Andrew Jackson, July 13, 1832.

Affidavit:  Catharine Adair, a resident of Monroe County, Kentucky, age 73, on the 17th October next.  This affidavit was made August 16, 1841.  She states that she is the widow of General John Adair.  She states she was married to John Adair September 9, 1874, in what was then York County, South Carolina, and that her husband died May 19, 1840, that she was not married to him prior to his leaving service.  General John Adair died in Mercer County, Kentucky, at his residence May 19, 1840.

Affidavit of Sarah Miles made in Nelson County, Kentucky, May 19, 1840, states she was acquainted with General John Adair, and his widow Catharine Adair, formerly Catharine Palmer.  That she was present and officiated as bridesmaid at her wedding with said John Adair which took place September 9, 1784, in York County, South Carolina, that when they emigrated to Kentucky she came with them and can state from her own knowledge that they have lived together as man and wife up to the death of General Adair.

Affidavit of Rev. Jesse Head and his signature is signed to the said affidavit in Mercer County, saying that the statements of John Adair in his petition for pension are true and correct.

Affidavit of State of Kentucky, Jefferson County.  On 22 November, date 1843, personally appeared before J. P. one Catharine Adair, a resident of Jefferson County, Kentucky.

A letter from Tompkinsville, Kentucky, October 31, 1848, signed by Will Butler, says “To the Pension Commissioner.  Dear Sir:  Mrs. Catharine Adair, widow of the late Governor John Adair of Kentucky, wishes to know when he made his first draw for a pension of the United States, as a major in the Revolutionary War.  The information will confer a special favor on a very old and worldly lady and be faithfully received by you.  Yours truly, William Butler”

This John Adair was Governor and also representative in Congress from the State of Kentucky.

Affidavit made in Shelby  County, Tennessee, April 27, 1853.  Catharine Adair made affidavit stating she was a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, states that she is the widow of General John Adair, that her husband was an officer under General Charles Scott in his campaign against the Indians, also under General Shelby and under Major General Thomas at New Orleans.  Affidavit made in Shelby County, Tennessee, by Margaret L. Bybee saying she had known John and Catharine Adair for over 50 years.

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