Congrove Family - Revolutionary War Pension Records

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William Congrove Sr.

Revolutionary War Pension Records

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There was some controversy over the validity of William Congrove's claim that he served in the Revolutionary War.  Below are the transcribed documents from 1833 regarding this matter.

In additon, other records indicate William was indeed a member of the Revolutionary Army:

Per the history of The Culpeper Minute Battalion, the Third Virginia Convention passed an ordinance on 19 August 1775 that grouped counties into military districts, mandated the districts to raise minute battalions, and also raise a company of regulars. The counties of Orange, Fauquier, and Culpeper were grouped together and required to raise a minute battalion of 10 companies of 50 men each. The regulars were to be a rifle company.

No sooner were they formed than the companies of Culpeper Minute Men were absorbed into regiments of the Continental Line, and by Act of Assembly in October 1776, they were dissolved and merged into the militia. Records of Committee of Safety for 18 September 1775 show that Capt. John Green had a company or regulars.

By the end of the first week of November, it was clear that half the Culpepper Minute Men could not be equiped. Then on Nov 8th, the Committee of Safety ordered the Chief of the Virginia forces, Col. Patrick Henry, to discharge the remainder of the Minute Battalion from duty at Headquarters. The married men were discharged. Some joined other units. This listed Captain James Scott, Fauquier as a discharged unit.

Captain James Scott of Fauquier, VA and Captian John Green were mentioned in William Congrove's Pension Application (below), however, William's name is not found on their rosters. However, this additional information helps to support William Congrove's Revolutionary War pension claim.

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters
Pension Application of William Congrove S19261
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris.
          At a monthly Court continued by adjournment and held for Wood County in the State aforesaid at the Court House Thereof before the Commonwealth's Justices of the peace in and for said County on Tuesday the 17th day of December Anno Domini 1833.
Bennett Cook, Matthias Chapman, Henry L Prentiss and William Tefft Gent. Justices.
Personally appeared in Open Court, William Congrove Senior, aged eighty years a resident in said County of Wood, who being first duly sworn according to Law, doth on his Oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress pass'd June 7th 1832. That he enlisted in the Army of the United States for a Six months tour under Captain Richard Rixy [sic: Richard Rixieor Rixey], the Regiment was commanded by a Gentleman by the name of Greene (christian name not distinctly recollected) the Capt. after we were out some 2 or 3 months, resigned, and we were commanded by Capt. John Scott, the Lieutenant's name was Gerry Dearing. that he served upwards of six months and was then discharged he enlisted at Fauquire [sic: Fauquier] Court House Va. was march'd from thence to Harpers ferry and from thence to Schoolkill [sic: Schuylkill] River and remained in that neighbourhood garding on the Delaware River nearly the whole of the time, and then he was march'd back to Harpers ferry, where he was discharged, as to the names of any other field Officers than Greene, he is now unable to recollect with precision. he was born in Prince William County, Va. the year not recollected, but is satisfied he is Eighty and upwards. he has no record of his age that he can procure. he was living within 18 miles Fauquier Court House when he enlisted. Since the War he has lived 1st on the South Branch [of Potomac River] Va. a number of years, thence on the Ohio. He came to this County (Wood) about 22 years ago, and after a few years residence, he went to the State of Ohio, and resided there until September last, when he returned to his children in this County, that his service was in the Regular service [see endnote] and he enlisted as above stated. He received a written discharge from the service, signed he believes by Capt. John Scott. that it is mislaid or lost, as he cannot find it.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a Pension or annuity except the present, and he declares that his name is not on the pension Roll of any State whatever.
                                                                                              Wm. "X" Congrove Sen'r.

Personally appeared in Open Court Wm Congrove Junior and made Oath, that he distinctly
recollects, his Father being in the Army, and losing his Coat & Blanket, that he has always remembered the circumstances although a small Boy when it happened, and has often heard it talked of by his father and older brother, that he is about 58 years of age [see endnote] as near as he can believe and understands, and has no hesitation in saying that his Father Wm Congrove Senior was in the Revolutionary War.

                                                                                             Wm. "X" Congrove Jun'r.

[The following report is by District Attorney Washington G. Singleton who investigated many pensioners from present West Virginia.]

William Congrove, Serv'd 6 mo. has drawn $60.

I the undersigned William Congrove in pursuance of the requisition of the Secretary of War, give the following statement of my age and services as a soldier in the war of the Revo to Wit - I am in my 82nd year of age. I lived in Prince William County Virginia during the war of the Revo. - Some time during the war of the Revolution but I cant tell in what year, nor how old I was - I Enlisted under Capt. Richard Rixey of Fauquier county for six months & received "twenty dollars County money" - Capt Rixey marched his company about 40 men, from Fauquier county to "Harpers Ferry" and from there "to the Schoolkill river in Jersey State." I cant recollect what towns I passed through on my way from "Harpers Ferry" to the Schoolkill. - my company had no particular station. it was moveing up & down the Schulskill continually. in that movement we passed no towns - Capt Rixey went & returned with us. I think it was in Winter some time near Christmas when I marched from home & returned "near the next fall." I was six months in actual service. I proved my services by my son William who was not born when I was in services. - I had one child at the time I went into service, but he is dead. Henry L Prentice [sic] wrote my Declaration - I gave him the same statement I now give - I swore to my service in court. Prentice drew all my money - he has paid me only twenty dollars & this I had to take in store goods. In Witness of all which I hereto subscribe my name Decr. 22, 1834

       Witness J. W. Steed                                             William "X" Congrove

William Congrove Son of the old man was present when the forgoing statement was given - who stated that he recollected distinctly when his father went into Service - on being reminded that he was not then in being he replied that he supposed that it must have been his fathers services against the "whiskey boys" [1794 Whiskey Rebellion] he recollected.

Peter Anderson [pension application R1999] aged 77 yrs. a neighbor of Congroves, and has known him 20 yrs. - has had frequent conversations with Congrove on the subject of the Revolutionary War, in all of which Congrove told him (Anderson) that he had never been in any service - that he was a "minute man" but had never been called into service.

J. W. Steed & Mr. Beckwith, Gentleman of character & integrity, say they have known Congrove for many years - that he is a man of bad character and a notorious liar, and that such is his general character.
A Copy.
                                                                                                            (signed) W. G Singleton
                                                                                                                          Dec. 22, 1834

Note - In addition to the forgoing evidence, which is conclusive against Congrove - I will state in addition that his confusion, manner, & contradictory statements were conclusive to my mind that he is an arrant impostur, and such is the opinion of all with whom I have conversed on the subject.
                                                                                                           (signed)W. G Singleton

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