Saturday, May 29, 2010

James Whitecotton, Revolutionary War Veteran

Lebanon National Cemetery, Lebanon, KY
Source: Find-a-Grave website

I have a great number of ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, but JAMES WHITECOTTON is one of my favorites.

He was born March 14, 1750 in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co VA, the son of GEORGE WHITECOTTON II & MARY HARRIS

JAMES  fought in the Revolutionary War, enlisting 1776 in the 2nd VA Regiment, Capt. William Fountain's company, which marched to Charlottesville VA to join the Regiment commanded by Col Woodford & Lt Col Charles Scott. This unit marched to Williamsburg VA and to "Long Bridge" where the regiment met & defeated the British in one of the first battles of the Revolution in Dec 1775, this according to JAMES WHITECOTTON's Revolutionary War Pension Application and several other sources.

Apparently he also re-enlisted in 1778, when he served under Col George Rogers Clark in Kaskaskia Illinois to help defend settlers against the Indians. He apparently was enlisted in Illinois from 1778 until about 1782, according to several books & documents.  At one point his Captain was Abraham Chapline, who became a lifelong friend.

According to a letter on the life of Abraham Chapline written by W B Harrison in 1884:

"Having been a Captain in the Revolutionary War, after its conclusion,  he (Abraham Chapline) was sent with a company of men to Kaskaskia in what is now the state of Illinois to operate as a check upon the Indians. While therein a fortification consisting of a number of cabins called block-houses, he gave some order to which JAMES WHITECOTTON, one of his men, took exception, and said to some of the men, if he was on equal terms with his Captain, he would whip him for certain for that order. The Captain (Abraham Chapline) having learned that Whitecotton was chafing under the supposed injury, called his men up and said to Whitecotton--I learn that you take exception to my order and resent that you are not on equal term with me so as to obtain satisfaction; now if the men of this company will pledge their honor to keep the matter a perfect secret until we shall be mustered out of the service, I will cheerfully lay down my commission long enough to give you the desired satisfaction--.

"Of course the promise of secrecy was quickly given, and the two men weighing each about 145 pounds went easily into the settlement with their fists. Finally the Captain threw Whitecotton, who finding he was overpowered spoke the word "enough" and the affair was ended. From that time forth so long as those men lived, they were the most devoted friends.

"WHITECOTTON was a poor thriftless man, and I knew him to be over 99 years of age. He and his Captain resided more that 30 miles apart, but once a year Whitecotton walked that distance to spend a week or two with his former Captain who was always glad to see him."(letter of W B Harrison, 1884)

After his service in the Army, JAMES WHITECOTTON moved to Hampshire Co VA by 1782, and was there in the 1782, 1784 and 1790 census. After that he moved his family to Washington Co KY, where they lived from 1790s-1830. He eventually moved to Mercer Co KY in the 1830s, where he applied for his Rev War pension, and where his friend Abraham Chapline lived. By the 1840 census JAMES was living in Marion Co KY. JAMES died at the age of 99 years on June 7, 1849 at Pleasant Run, Marion Co KY (gravestone death date is incorrect).

For more information on JAMES WHITECOTTON, see my Rootsweb family tree "Southern Ancestors of Minttie Mae Bruton"

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010


Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Great post, very enjoyable reading!

Susan Messler said...

Just wanted to let you know I am referencing your post in my blog post today. Susan Messler