Sunday, February 13, 2011

Seth Arnold in the revolutionary war- a twisty path

Today, while cruising member connect on, I found reference to my 5th great grandfather, Seth Arnold. The reference referred to his being a founding father of Haddam, Connecticut. This led to a web search about Haddam, and then on to yet another site, this one with several references to the Arnold Family and the part they played in Hartford and Haddam. There was also a reference to Seth Arnold's service in the Revolutionary War.

Hmmm, this was new to me.....

A search of Ancestry found several references to his war service (hey Ancestry, why no shaky leaf hints?). This led me to search


The Revolutionary War Rolls and Pension Records of Seth Arnold. Lots a good information, including his sworn affidavit in 1832 (he lived to be over 100)

He served multiple times during then war and was in several battles. He was also captured while serving on a French privateer (Revenge of Fourteen Guns) and was held for several months on the prison ship Good Hope (which burned out from under him). Below is the first page of his oath followed by a full transcription.

"State of Vermont
County of Windham

On this twenty fifth day of July D 1832 personally appeared in the open Court before the probate Court in and for the District of Westminster in the County of Windham and state of Vermont now sitting Seth Arnold a resident of the town of Westminster in the District County and State aforesaid aged eighty four years who geing ??? 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 June 7th, 1832___ That he entered the service of the United States under the following name officers and served as herein stated that is to say that he was born in Haddam in the County of Middlesex and the State of Connecticut on the 3rd day of September 1747 as appears by the record in his bible copied about fifty years ago from the minute in his father's family bible - that being in April 1775 an alarm was given that the regulars were killing our people near and he being twenty seven years of age volunteered and repaired to Roxbury for one month under, to the best of his recollection, Captain Abraham Tyler. After his return to Haddam and in June following he enlisted for six months in the Company of Capt. ____Gale of Killingsworth in Colonel Parsons regiment and Genl. Spencer's brigade and repaired to New London where the company was stationed until midsummer when he was marched to Roxbury aforesaid and remained there until the expiration in December of his term of enlistment which was six month. He then returned to his native place and labored at his calling until April 1776 when he was drafted to go under Captain Brainard of Haddam to go to New York which he did and served one month when he returned with the company almost immediately after his return (the precise time he cannot recollect) he enlisted as a sergeant for eight months into what was called the new levies and into the company of Capt. Cornelius Higgins, James Arnold Lieut? and Samuel Scovel Ensign_ the regiment was commanded by Col (afterwards General) Douglas, Lieut. Col Arnold of Deershaw and Major_Porter and was marched to New York and was stationed in Stone Street until he was marched on to Long Island from where in two or three days they were forced to retreat back in the night and he came to his old quarters in the city where he remained until ???? out to Turtle Bay From that place after a skirmish, in which he recollects seeing Major Porter go over to the enemy and surrender himself, the regiment was driven and retreated by order of Gen Spencer as he understood to White Plains. The regiment aforesaid and believes a part of another regiment under one B??? but of this last fact his not certain was there marched out to check the advance of the enemy and ranged behind a stone wall under protection of which he and the rest of the troops fired upon the enemy advancing up the hill until they were obliged by superior numbers to give way and retreat back and encamp on White Plains and soon after were marched to Harlaem? Heighths and thence to North Ca?tte where he remained until (as he thinks and believes) early in January when he was discharged most of the troops having left there before-- at the time of his discharge he assisted in pulling out the tents, which were deeply buried in the snow. Soon after his return to Haddam he returned to the vicinity of New York under a three months enlistment under Capt _ Himes, Jarnel? Smith being one of the under officers and joined the regiment in a very very severe snow storm. This short term of service being completed he again returned to Haddam but soon after went to New London and entered on board the Revenge of Fourteen guns of which Captain's name was Pavkee and the first officer Mott and in

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which they sailed out of New London in July or August 1777. In three days after leaving the port they found themselves at daylight in the morning between the British men of war Romulus and Roebuck by whom they were captures and carried directly to New York, Here the declarant was put on board the prison ship Old Good Hope lying at the Wallabout and near the Jersey hospital ship which was burnt during his imprisonment as was also the Good Hope (in March of 1778) when he was removed on board a small guard vessel lying nearby and on board of which he was kept until about the finish? of May 1788 when he was exchanged and landed at New London on the day of the Connecticut State election as he well remembers. During his imprisonment he suffered a great deal and not only a great many of our people died there but the greater part of a body of seventy to one hundred Frenchmen who were also on board the prison ship and this decarant does not now remember the name of but one person who was exchanged and returned with him to new London and this was James Green of East Haddam but whether he is now living this declarant does not know. From New London he returned to Haddam where in consequence as he believes of the treatment he had received on board the prison ship he was taken dangerously sick and remained ill along time. As soon as he was strong enough to travel and on the 16th day of May, 1799 he left his native place and removed to Westminster, Vermont, where he has resided ever since. He received the pay for his services in continental money and all the fruits of his former labor and care became vested in the same currency (and this latter amounted to a considerable sun) but such was its depreciation that after paying for the expenses of his sickness and traveling to Vermont he was worth when he arrived there only one quarter of a dollar in the world. By the blessing of the Providence and a proper share of economy and industry he has been able to rear a large family and keep himself not only from straightened but in easy circumstances so that he has had no occasion to apply under the former law but feel himself entitled under the present to some remuneration for what he has done and served in the cause of his now enriched country ??? from the great lapse of time and his long absence from the scene in which they took place his is not able to prove them by his associates of whom he does not know that any are now living. He never has any written discharge to his recollection nor did those who were with him but he came to Vermont he brought with him his sergeants warrant which he loaned to Capt. afterwards Col Edward R Campbell of the Vermont militia who wanted it as a form to draw others by and who never returned it and who is now dead. He will also add that from his advanced age me may not have stated the names of persons and places with precise accuracy but has put the whole down as it remains on this own recollection and he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on pension role of the agency of any State.

Seth Arnold

Sworn to and subs??? the day of the year aforesaid

Before Peter M Taft Judge"

- Posted from my iPad

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