Jonathan Waterhouse's Revolutionary War Pension Application
A total of three declarations were made by Jonathan Waterhouse in support of his Revolutionary War pension application. These pensions were authorized by an act of Congress in 1832. What follows is the final declaration made in July of 1833. Where the other two texts offer color or clarification I have inserted the alternative version(s) in italics with reference to the source.
State of Connecticut
TOLLAND COUNTY, SS. HEBRON PROBATE DISTRICT
On this Twentieth day of July A.D. 1833, personally appeared in open court before Abner Hendee, Esq. Judge of the Court of Probate for the District of Hebron, now sitting, Jonathan Waterhouse, a resident of Hebron in the County of Tolland and State of Connecticut, aged 75 years, 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 he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers, and served as herein stated.
"On the first day of Sept. 1776 the most part of the Connecticut militia on the East side of the river, were called and ordered into service of the United States in the revolutionary War, and he there being a private Soldier in and member of an Infantry Company of militia commanded by Capt. Nathaniel Comstock of New London in New London County – His father Nathaniel Waterhouse was a Lieut., and Elijah Waterhouse & Ebenezer Chapel of said New London were Sergeants in said Company in Col Ely's Regiment which was one of the Regiments ordered into service as aforesaid – and on or near said 1st day of Sept 1776 said Company & Regiment marched from said New London toward the City of New York & the Declarant by order in said Company and passed through New Haven & Fairfield & to Rye in the State of New York where said Regiment & Company were halted & on duty a short time, and then ordered and marched to West Chester near Kingsbridge and there remained about four weeks on duty, and were then ordered and marched to White Plains – and on the 20th of Oct. the British Troops made an attack upon the American Army and a bloody battle ensued – The enemy took the west end of Our Intrenchments, seized on our guns & turned them on the Am. Troops, and killed many – but our troops remained on the ground till night, when they retreated to North Castle and there encamped – The Declarant was in this battle, and saw the dead & wounded and heard the groans & cries of those carried into the House for Amputation – The British burnt the Prison in the hollow – the next day partly buried the dead & soon after left the ground ["The British took their prisoners out of the Prison in the hollow, and burnt the Prison. They buried their dead the next day & also the Americans who had fallen in the battle and soon left the ground – The Declarant returned to the place & saw the places where the dead were promiscuously thrown into the pits & partially covered." – Declaration of 30th July 1832. "The next day, they partly buried the dead, and soon after left the ground. And afterwards, the Declarant saw the dead promiscuously thrown into trenches & pits and partially covered with earth, many limbs & some heads uncovered." – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833] – The said Regiment was according to Declarant's best recollection ordered to serve three months, and he continued to serve till said Regt. was discharged, which he verily believes was on or about the 1st of Dec. 1776 when he returned home with said Company & Regt.["and returned home with his said Father & said Company – No written discharges were given to his knowledge – And he says that he resided in his father's family during the revolutionary war in said New London, but soon after the war removed into Colchester in said County & from there into said Hebron where he now & for thirty years has resided" – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833] – The Declarant avers that he has made diligent enquiry and can not find any survivor of said Comstock's Company nor any person by whom he can directly prove his said Service.
The Declarant further declares, that through forgetfulness & the lapse of time he forgot and omitted to state two months service which he performed, in his preceding Declaration (viz) that previous to his enlistment for xxxx? One year in Fort Trumbull as stated in his Declaration, he entered as a private volunteer for two months in a matross or artillery Company in said Fort Trumbull commanded by Capt. Samuel Thompson – John Hempstead & Nathaniel Waterhouse Lieutenants – Commenced this service the 20th of Dec. 1776 and served in said Company two months and was then (viz) at Fort Trumbull on the 20th Feby 1777 verbally discharged by said Capt Thompson – All of said officers were inhabitants of said New London & all dead and but one survivor of said Company to my knowledge whose affidavit accompanies this Declaration.
That upon the expiration of said two months service at last aforesaid (viz) on or near the 20th day of Feby 1777 in said Fort Trumbull he enlisted into a Company of matross or artillery stationed in said Fort commanded by Capt. Nathaniel Saltonstall of said New London for the term of one year as a private soldier. Nathaniel Coit was first & Daniel Starr second Lieutenants – Samuel Hempstead, Barry Hempstead & Solomon Rogers were Sergeants in said Company and all of said New London. William Ledyard Esq. of Groton Col. Commandant – Connecticut State Troops. He served in said Company till some time in Sept. following when a detachment from the Troops in New London & Groton was called to go into Rhode Island as a reinforcement under Capt. William Latham of Groton Fort, and the Declarant with others in said Forts marched under command of Capt. Latham and drew with them a 4 pound field piece made of wrought iron to Little Compton in Rhode Island – The British Troops then being in and near New Port – In Oct. our troops were moved into the woods near to Howlands Ferry, the north part of the Island. Genl. Spencer of Connect. had the Command, and by his order Cannon were secreted in the woods, and at night drawn to the Ferry and put aboard Scows to be transported on to the island for an attack on the Enemy, but before reaching the island were ordered back & relanded & secreted. The next night, a similar order was given & the guns shipped aboard, & while on the passage a similar remand before the Scows reached the island – and this movement & removement was several times repeated, night after night, in which the Declarant constantly assisted – but no attack was made on the Enemy. Genl. Spencer was accused of cowardice & defamed for his conduct, ["as many as 12 or 14 nights he assisted in drawing by hand a great number of Cannon from the woods, to the water & put them into Scows which the army under the command of General Spencer alias Granny Spencer so called, was ordered to carry on to the island for an attack and after passing a part of the way on the water were ordered back and the cannon again drawed into the woods this operation was repeated as aforesaid 12 or 14 nights, but no attack was ever made upon the enemy." – Declaration of 30th July 1832. "The Genl. was called Granny Spencer, a Coward and about the last of October Capt. Latham returned to Groton Fort, mortified." – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833 ] and within the month of Oct. Capt. Latham returned to Fort Griswold in Groton and the Declarant to Fort Trumbull in New London & rejoined Capt. Saltonstall's Company & there continued to serve in & about said Fort till his said term of one year had expired – that is, till the first of Feby 1778 when said Company & the Declarant was verbally discharged in said Fort – He can find but one survivor who served with him in said Fort or can testify of their personal knowledge to his service.
The Declarant declares, that in said Fort Trumbull a few days before his last aforesaid term of service had expired (viz) on the twenty-sixth day of Jany 1778 he enlisted under Lieut. John Chapman of said New London to serve at the Cannon on board the Ship Oliver Cromwell then lying in Boston Harbor for the term of nine months, and when discharged by said Capt. Saltonstall on the 1st or 2nd day of Feby 1778 he marched for Boston with others enlisted by said Lieut. Chapman and immediately entered said ship on duty, of which Timothy Parker Esq. of Norwich in Connt. was Commander – Said Chapman was Captain Lieutenant, John Smith 2nd Lieut and one Day Capt. Of Marines. He served in said ship till sometime in March following when she sailed on a Cruise in Company with the Brig Defence – Captain Smedley, Commandant, and near Martineco ["and after being out 14 0r 15 days – Declaration of 30th July 1832] fell in with two Letters of Marque – The Admiral Keppel, and the Cyrus – The ship ran along side of the Admiral Keppel, and gave her a broad Side, which was returned & the engagement continued three glasses, when the Ad. Kepple struck – Capt. Day was wounded, and died the next day ["Capt. Day of the Marines was shot in the engagement through his Arm & the ball entered his body and he died the next day." – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833] . The Cyrus was attacked & struck after the first fire. The Declarant was slightly wounded in his ["left leg. He served at the guns during the action." – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833] leg – two others were mortally wounded and two killed. Both the prizes were sent to Boston – the Ship continued cruising about eight weeks after the action, when Capt. Parker steered for Charleston S. Carolina and arrived there about the last of May – refitted & sailed on another cruise – captured a British Transport Brig ["but she had no lading" – Declaration of 20th Jan 1833] – met with a tremendous Storm – lost all three Ship's Masts – After the Storm erected Jury Masts, and steered for New London Harbor, where we arrived the forepart of Nov. 1778 in safety, but with much labor, there being 145 hands aboard on short allowance. He served from time of his enlistment to the time of his discharge which was at said New London on the 1st or 2nd day of Nov. aforesaid nine months according to his best recollection and was there and then honorably discharged by said Capt. Parker – He can find no person living who served with him on board said Ship and there are no survivors of the Crew to his knowledge – but has found one man who knew he enlisted & saw him in service in said Ship returned to New London."