Rebels and King’s Men: Bertie County in the Revolutionary War documents the contributions of Bertie County's citizens to the Revolutionary War effort and chronicles their service and sacrifices.
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A Note on the Appendices
The author of the book, Gerald W. Thomas, painstakingly prepared what he terms as “putative” rosters from a variety of sources, including available compiled service records, war rolls, pension files, army accounts, vouchers, North Carolina colonial and state records, secretary of state Revolutionary War military papers, treasurer’s and comptroller’s military papers, troop returns, county records, and secondary sources (books, periodicals, and genealogical and historical information sites from the Internet). Rank information given in brackets cannot be confirmed, but the author feels confident that the men were privates, for the most part, unless otherwise indicated.
In addition to the list of names and ranks, the author also prepared service histories for each soldier and officer. Due to the varied sources used in compiling this data, as cited above, the author prepared an endnote documenting the source(s) utilized for each person.
In compiling these rosters, the author found that various records did not identify the places of birth, residence, and/or enlistment of individuals who served in North Carolina’s Continental Line regiments. Therefore, the author was not able to identify all Bertie County residents who served in the state’s Continental Line. The author further notes that due to the commonality of names in Bertie County with other communities in North Carolina, in certain cases there was no method of positively confirming that a soldier with the name of an individual who resided in Bertie County was indeed a county resident.
Finally, a significant challenge encountered in attempting to correctly identify and document the regiments and companies in which Bertie County’s Continental Line troops served is embodied in the form of acknowledged, longstanding errors inthe published roster of the state’s army troops.
The roster of North Carolina Continental Line troops is presented in volume 16 (pages 1002–1197) of Walter Clark’s State Records of North Carolina, but the regimental information for hundreds of men (including tens of Bertie County soldiers) who, according to the published roster, were members of the Tenth North Carolina Regiment, is incorrect. The erroneous regimental information dates back almost 225 years. In 1790, when North Carolina was settling its share of the Revolutionary War debt with the federal government, it sent to the federal government all of the muster and pay rolls that could be found for the North Carolina regiments in the Continental Line. Then, in order to have a record against which to check claims for bounty land grants, the state had War Department clerks in Philadelphia copy all information from the muster and pay rolls. The result was a volume that is called “The Register of the North Carolina Line” (i.e., roster).
The original records used by the clerks in Philadelphia when preparing the register were later destroyed when the British burned Washington in 1814. This is especially unfortunate because the clerks in Philadelphia mistakenly assigned to the Tenth North Carolina Regiment nearly thirty companies of soldiers belonging to the state’s other nine regiments. The destruction of the original muster and pay rolls means that this error can never be corrected officially. Furthermore, in the early to mid-nineteenth century, North Carolina’s Office of the Secretary of State was forced to cite the erroneous information in proving Revolutionary War veterans’ service for pension and bounty land applications. Thus, the erroneous unit information was perpetuated into related records (pension documents, bounty land warrant records, Revolutionary War papers, etc.).
The regimental information for over 520 men who enlisted in Col. James Hogun’s regiment at Halifax in July 1778 is erroneous in the “official” roster. Per the above explanation, the published roster lists the men as members of the Tenth North CarolinaRegiment. The Tenth Regiment had been disbanded at Valley Forge in early June 1778. Colonel Hogun had previously commanded the Seventh North Carolina, which also had been disbanded at Valley Forge. Various records indicate that the regiment that Hogun organized at Halifax in July 1778, and subsequently commanded, was known as the Third North Carolina. While the Third Regiment was reduced to a cadre at Valley Forge, and its commander (Col. Jethro Sumner) was not “officially” transferred to another unit, within this study the author termed Hogun’s unit as the Third North Carolina Regiment (Second Organization—Hogun’s). A significant number of Bertie County men served in the regiment.
Despite all of the gaps and errors found in existing resources, the author has endeavored to present these rosters as accurately as possible, given the quantity, content, and veracity of available records.