Towards the back of Greenburg Cemetery in Green County, stand two stones, representations of the last resting place of William and George Woodward, father and son who fought in the Revolutionary War. Although relatively new, placed in 1935, the stones are hard to read – the elements have not been kind. The stones were shipped to J. H. Woodward in Greensburg, the applicant was W. E. Thomas.
William Woodward was born in James City County, Virginia, in 1734, he died in Green County in 1815. He married Sarah Bright.
William Woodward did not live long enough to apply for a pension for his service during the war, and his wife died about 1800, which means all the information usually listed in those applications is lost to us. But I did find a copy of the Pay Roll of Captain Thomas Massie’s Company of 6th Virginia Regiment of Continental Forces for the month of January 1778, and William was listed.
A copy of a company muster roll for the months September, October and November 1777, listed that William was in hospital, but an exact date was not listed. Was he wounded during his service? Another dated January 1778 remarked that he was discharged February 12, 1778.
But the most surprising find was that Captain Thomas Massie’s troops spent the winter of 1777-1778 with George Washington at Valley Forge! Evidently William Woodward was there, in hospital at some point. Did he cross the Delaware River with Washington on Christmas Eve?
A group called Valley Forge Legacy is working to add every man’s name who was at Valley Forge. According to their history of the 6th Virginia Regiment it entered Valley Forge with 237 men assigned, 82 fit for duty, and left with 88 assigned, 47 fit for duty.
Private William Woodward Rank and File
Regiment: 6th Virginia
Company: Capt Thomas Massie
|DEC 1777||Sick Present|
|JAN 1778||Fit For Duty|
Available for Purchase
Discharged Feb 12, 1778. Dec 1777, In Hospital
|Support the Muster Roll Project: This project, a fully volunteer operation, needs your support so that all of the soldiers that encamped at Valley Forge will be remembered well into our shared future. We welcome your support to maintain the Muster Roll as a free service so that everyone can discover or add to the legacy of the brave Americans at Valley Forge.
Yours in Service to our Shared Heritage,
George Woodward was born in 1761, in Bedford County, Virginia, and died May 19, 1847, in Green County.
State of Kentucky, Green County
On this 17th day of September 1832, personally appeared in open court before the Justice of the County Court of Green County, now sitting, George Woodward, a resident of the county and state aforesaid, aged 71 years June last, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress of the 7th day of June 1832. He states that he entered the service of the United States in Bedford County, Virginia, he thinks in the year 1776, that he enlisted under Captain John Robinson for three months, that he was employed by Captain John Robinson in driving pack horses laden with provisions for the army, that after he served about two months Captain Robinson sent him back to the neighborhood from which he started with some horses whose loads had been consumed by the army, and that he was discharged by parole from further service by Captain John Robinson. The said George Woodward further states that he again entered the service in Bedford County, Virginia, and he thinks in the year 1777, that he entered the service as a substitute for William Woodward who had been drafted for three months and that as a substitute he entered into the service under the command of Captain Nathaniel Tate, and
that he does not recollect the higher officers then in command, that he marched under Captain Tate from Bedford County, Virginia, to Salisbury in North Carolina, and that there he, the said George Woodward, was taken sick and put into the hospital, and that he remained in the hospital until his term of three months expired, and that he was then discharged but that said discharge is now lost. The said George Woodward further states that he again entered the service in Bedford County, Virginia, and he thinks in the year 1778 that he was drafted for three months and entered into service under Captain Clemens and Maj. Ward, that he marched under said commanders from Bedford County, Virginia, on as far as Deep River in North Carolina, and that he and the troops with whom he marched were destined to reinforce General Gates, but when they arrived at Deep River the news of General Gates defeat arrived, In consequence of which they then marched to Hillsborough in North Carolina and was there stationed near two months, that provisions became so scarce and the suffering of the men for the want of provision so great, that he, with the rest of the soldiers stationed at Hillsborough, after remaining there near two months as aforesaid, grounded their arms and returned home, contrary to orders, in consequence of which they were returned for eight months, and that he
the said George Woodward entered into service under Captain John Graves, under General Green, and that he served out the eight months and was in the battle of Ninety-Six, that he was discharged by Captain Graves, but that said discharge is lost. He states that he has no documentary evidence of his service, he hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state, sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
George Woodward, his mark
From the statement of Richard Woodward – ‘He states that he has been well acquainted with George Woodward of the County and State aforesaid from the said George Woodward’s boyhood up to the present time; and that he knows the said George Woodward was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and that he knows that the said George Woodward entered into the service at three different times in Bedford County, Virginia, that he entered the service the first time as a pack horse driver, the second time as a substitute, and the third time as a drafted soldier.’
I believe George Woodward substituted for a brother or cousin, instead of his father, as some have believed. George substitute for three months in 1777 under Captain Nathaniel Tate, and William served under Captain Thomas Massie, at the same time.
George Woodward married Charlotte Mourn, May the sixteenth 1794.
Both father and son lived in difficult and depriving situations during the war, as did most of the Continental Troops.
Categories: Family Stories