Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Richmond Worden (1758-1837), Revolutionary War Veteran

My fifth great grandfather Richmond Worden was about 11 in 1770 when his father moved the family from Rhode Island to Berkshire County in western Massachusetts.

In January of 1776 young Richmond enlisted in the local militia company in Cheshire for a period of three months and marched with them to Whitehall, New York, from whence they "proceeded on the ice" to Ticonderoga, then down Lake Champlain to Fort St. John, on to La Prairie and finally "crossing the river on the ice" to Montreal where they stayed a week before going to join the siege of Quebec, arriving about a month after they had left Berkshire.

[Champlain Valley 1777; Louis Brion de La Tour Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Outside Quebec, Richmond's company joined a regiment commanded by Colonel Seth Warner which was part of the American Army commanded by Benedict Arnold. While there Richmond
"...was taken Sick of the Small Pox and was unable from Sickness to do duty during the remainder of his term of service.That his Term of Service expired about the first day of May 1776 and that his company had not yet been discharged, when on the Sixth day of May the American Army was compelled to  retreat before the British Army commanded by General Burgoine; that this applicant with four other Soldiers were soon after discharged, at or near the place where the out let of Lake Champlain discharged into the St Lawrence River and with them returned home to Berkshire aforesaid."
[Quebec, 1777; Georges Louis Le Rouge - This map is available from the United States Library of Congress's Geography & Map Division under the digital ID g3454q.ar061000, via Wikimedia Commons]

After recovering his health at home, he served two periods in 1776-1777 as a substitute for his brother Peter and one of his brothers-in-law in Vermont. His duties were mainly guarding supplies in Massachusetts.

By August of 1777 he was in the militia again when
"[H]e volunteered under Captain Jonas Galusha to arrest the progress of a portion of Burgoine’s Army invading the country near Bennington Vermont: that the company of Captain Galusha with other companies whose officers he does not recollect, marched to the South West Part of Shaftsbury, where the regiment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Brush made their head quarters: that on the Sixteenth Day of that month he was engaged in the Bennington Battle near Bennington, that Colonel Seth Warner was on the ground that Day, and Some Berkshire Militia under Colonel Symonds did also Captain Hewick with a company of Rangers: that General Stark was the commanding officer: That in the morning of the Sixteenth he with others of his company was detached from the regiment for a guard. that the army then proceeded to dislodge a portion of the British under Colonel Baum from their Breastworks that the British were compelled to retreat and that the guard to which he belonged after capturing sixteen of the enemy joined the regiment of Colonel Brush: about that time, the British were reinforced by about five Hundred men from Burgoine’s Army: That Colonel Warners Regiment came up just before the Second engagement that day: That after the Battle he returned to his head quarters at Shaftsbury, was discharged immediately and returned home to Cheshire."
[Collections of The Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont; Source: National Park Service]

In May of 1778 Richmond enlisted again in the "first Company of Provincial Troops raised for the defense of the Frontier of the State of Vermont for the term of Seven months and received a Sergeants Warrant in said Company."

"Richmond Worden, his Warrantt"; The National Archives: Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrants; Source: fold3.com]

He served twice more in 1778-1780, both times in Vermont.

Sadly, when the 74-year old veteran applied for his pension in Oswego, New York, in September of 1832 he didn't have sufficient documentary proof of his service and was rejected. So he did what any good American citizen would do and hired a lawyer to act as his agent. His second application was approved in 1834 although he was only able to prove his service as a sergeant for six months and as a private 4 months and six days.

[The National Archives: Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrants; Source: fold3.com]

His annual pension amounted to $44. This is his signature from his 1832 pension declaration.

[The National Archives: Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrants; Source: fold3.com]

Note: All the direct quotes above are transcriptions I made of documents in his file at the National Archives and viewed through fold3.com.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved

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