This is a transcription of Norman Phelps description of his service in the Revolutionary War. It was handwritten in 1832 as a document in his pension application file.
On 7 Jun 1832 Norman Phelps gave an affidavit in regards to his Revolutionary War Service in order to receive a pension. These pages are a part of his pension file. (begin page 11) On this eighteenth day of August one thousand eight (hundred) and thirty two personally appeared before me John Mops a Judge of Washington County Courts, Norman Phelps a resident of the town of Fort Ann in the county of Washington and state of New York aged sixty nine years the ninth day of November last past who being 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 I entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. That in the latter part of August in the year of 1777 resided in the town of Hebron, County of Hartford in the State of Connecticut. And at that time and year I volunteered into the service of the United States as a Musician in the militia of Connecticut entered the service under the command of Capt. John Skinner and Col Latimer commanded this regiment. Jack Jones was the Lieut Col and we marched to Stillwater and joined Gen Poor’s Brigade and were stationed on Bemis Heights where we remained for two (or) three weeks at which time Gen Burgoyne (The English commander) with his army was advancing and on the fourteenth of Sept he encamped on the heights of Saratoga. The Indians and Tories were committing their deprecation and there were small skirmishes at our out parts and on the night of the seventeenth Burgoyne encamped within a few miles and the next day we were employed in repairing bridges between the two camps and preparations were making for battle and on the nineteenth of Sept about two o’clock we were informed the enemy was approaching on our left where the battle commenced and then there was a general battle which continued until dark when we retired to our camp. I was informed the enemy lay on their arms all night. This battle was very severe. A great many killed and wounded. Neither party obtained the victory, although both claimed it. The next day Burgoyne retired a short distance. Both armies retained their distance position until the seventh day of October when there was another general battle that night and darkness put an end to the action. We lay all night with our arms in our hand ready to receive the assault the (end page 11)
(begin page 12) next day but in the cover of the night Burgoyne drew off his whole army to his strong camp on the river heights and on the eighth day of October at night he retreated to Saratoga. There came on a heavy rain. We pursued them and buried their dead. Gen Frazer (An English general) was wounded and died. Our forces had increased so much that Burgoyne was wholly surrounded. He did not retreat further than the falls north of Fish Creek and on the sixteenth of October he surrendered. We then marched to Albany where we encamped until I was discharged. I served at this time and did my duty as a Musician two months and returned home to Hebron aforesaid where I resided until in the month of June in the year of 1778 when I enlisted in the Connecticut State Troops under the command (of) Capt Lathran & Lieut Elijah Buck for six months. We marched to Groveton east of New London where we joined Col Lidgard regiment where we were stationed and was employed in building Fort Griswold and were engaged during the whole time of my enlistment before we had completed it which was in November when I was discharged. I served and did my duty as a private soldier six months and returned to Hebron aforesaid where I resided until the first of June in the year of 1780 when I enlisted in the Connecticut State Troops or new ( ) to fill up the continental line and went into the service for six months under the command of the Capt named Teannot Wolcut, Lieut Grovener we marched to Clarks Town near Topon Bay on the north river where we joined Col Hezekiel Holdridge’s regiment and Brig Gen Kunton’s brigade. We were stationed and encamped in Clarks Town. In the ( ) Gen George Washington came to review the troops in company with two Indian chiefs. At one time we were commanded by order of General Washington after we had been there about four months to move our encampment for the health of the troops. When went to Florvy Straw about four miles and encamped. During this time Major Arnold was hung for (being) a spy and Gen Green took his department and marched to the southward to meet Cornwallis. By the order of the commander in chief we remained here until the first of Dec when my time expired and I received a written discharge signed by Col Hezekial Holdridge which I gave on my return to my father. I do not know where it (is) nor what has become of it. I served and did my duty as a private soldier six months & returned (end of page 12)
(begin page 13) to Hebron aforesaid and on the first of April in the year 1781 I enlisted in the Connecticut State Troops for one year as a Musician. ( ) Lieut Root was the muster master. After I enlisted we were employed in drilling and in testing soldiers about two months and then we marched to Middlesex Hill where we was met by the enemy and a small skirmish ensued between us. We retreated. Had three men killed. We then marched to Stanford and Horse Neck where we joined our Capt Moulton and ensign Cutter which was the company I belonged to. We were there also attached to Brig Gen Sholerteury’s brigade where we were stationed as a guard to the ( ) ( ). We built barracks for winter quarters on the back of Talmer’s Hill where we encamped for winter. And sometimes in the winter the refugees commanded by Gen Dilingser came in sight of us to take our garrison. Capt Niland went out with a party and met them. He killed several and drove the rest away. We had several skirmishes with them during the winter and the first of April in the year of 1782 Gen Sholerteury marched us into Sanford Town where we were discharged. I served and did my duty as a Musician one year and returned home to the town of Hebron aforesaid where I resided until after the revolutionary war. And then moved to Moretown where I resided two years. I then moved to the town of Cambridge where I lived one year. From there I moved into Kingsbury and lived (there) three years. I moved from there into the town of Fort Ann where I now live and have lived ever since. That I have no documentary evidence and that I know of no person whose testimony I can provide who can testify to my service except Jonathon Horton and John Powers whose affidavits are hereunto annexed. That I was born in the town of Hebron, County of Hartford in the year of 1763 and State of Connecticut. That I have received no discharge in writing except the one which is already accounted for. That there is no clergyman living in the neighborhood where I reside. That in the town book in Hebron aforesaid there is a record of my age. And that I cannot attend the court from my bodily infirmities that Nathanial Pitcher and Reuben C Gibson are persons who I am known in my present neighborhood who can testify as to my character for veracity and their belief of my living as a soldier of the revolution.(end page 13)
(Begin page 14) I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension of annuity except the present and ( ). That my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
Signed Norman Phelps Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid before me John Mafs.
Nathaniel Pitcher and Reuben C Gibson residing in the town of Kingsbury hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Norman Phelps who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be sixty nine years of age that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and we concur in that opinion. Signed Nathaniel Pitcher and Reuben C Gibson Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid before me John Mops.
And I the said Judge do hereby declare my opinion after the investigation of the matters and after getting the interrogatories subscribed by the war department that the above named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he stated and I the said Judge further certifies that it appears to me that Nathanial Pitcher and Reuben C Gibson who has signed the preceding certificate are entitled to credit.
I further certify that the applicant Norman Phelps cannot from bodily infirmity attend the court. State of New York, Washington County. Signed John Mops
I, John L Leigh Clerk of the said county do certify that John Mops before whom the preceding declaration, certificates and affidavits purports to have been sworn was at the date of the ( ) one of the judges of Washington County Courts of Common Pleas in and for said County and also (end page 14)
(begin page 16) State of New York Washington County personally appeared this 17th day of August in the year of the lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, before me Joshua Pelton, one of the justices of the peace and for the town of Hartford, County of aforesaid, Jonathon Horton a person well known to me and of undoubted truth and veracity and deposeth and saith that he is acquainted with Norman Phelps and knows that he was in the state service of the State of Connecticut and that he served as Musician under the command of General Poor in the Company of Captain John Skinner at Bemas’s Heights in the State of New York in the revolutionary war at the taking of General Burgoyne in the year 1777 a little over two months at that time and this deponent being in the service at the same time and further this deponent saith not. Signed Jonathon Horton Subscribed and sworn before me this 17th day of August 1832 Joshua Pelton Justice of the Peace. (end page 16)
(begin page 17) State of New York Warren County Personally appeared this 14th day of August in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, before Hobby Mead one of the judges of the court of Common Pleas in and for said County John Powers a person to me well known deposeth and saith that Norman Phelps was in the service of the State of Connecticut and served as a drummer under the command of General Mabrberry, Capt Moulton at Stanford and Horsneck in the revolutionary war to guard the ( ) for one year this deponent being in the service at the same time and thinks they served about a year, and in the year 1781, and further this deponent saith not. Signed John Power Subscribed and sworn this 14th day of August 1832 before me. Signed Hobby Mead. (end page 17)
(begin page 18) State of New York Warren County, John Powers being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith that he was well acquainted with Norman Phelps as a revolutionary soldier whose declaration in order to attain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832 is hereunto annexed. This deponent further saith that Norman Phelps enlisted in Connecticut State Troops in the month of April in the year of 1781 for one year as a Musician and went into the service under the command of Capt Moulton and was attached to the Waterberry brigade. And this deponent further saith he was in the United States service at the same time and that Norman Phelps did his duty as a Musician in the service during the whole term of his enlistment and was discharged in April in the year of 1782 and this deponent further saith not. Signed John Powers Certify the above oath or affidavit was taken before me in due form of law on this 19th day of Sept 1832 and that the said John Powers is a man of truth & veracity Signed Ira A Paddock ( ) Court of Common Pleas (end page 18)
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