Samuel James Weaver was a soldier during the American Revolution, serving as a Minute Man as well as several different enlistments.
Samuel was born on November 26th, 1755 to Daniel and Anna (Stout) Weaver in Cumberland, Virginia. The times were very turbulent during Samuel’s childhood; the Cherokee-English wars were going on, and the American’s were strongly opposed to English rule. Samuel would only have been 10 years old when the American Revolution began. Stories say that he was a giant of a man, reaching 7’4″ tall.
We know that Samuel was drafted into service just a few weeks before the fall of Charleston in April of 1780. Here is some information from the National Archives that was transcribed from his Revolutionary War Soldiers Pension Application, dated the 15th of April, 1836.
‘Laurel County, State of Kentucky
On the 15th day of April, 1836, personally appeared before Abraham Hunter, a Justice of the Peace for Laurel Cty appeared Samuel Weaver a resident of said county now aged 81 who being justly and 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 of 1832
That a few weeks before the fall of Charleston in South Carolina in the Revolutionary War, in the state of North Carolina, Surrey County, he was drafted to serve for three months, and was placed under Jacob Camplin as Capt and was marched from thence toward Charleston in S.C. but on the way he was detached from the Company to guard the baggage wagons.
His Capt marched on to Charleston and in the siege was wounded in the knee – upon his return he was selected to return with him home to Surry County and wait upon him and he did so and at the end of his term of service (3 months) he was discharged by Capt Camplin in Surry County his discharge was in writing but which he has long since lost. He does not now recollect the name of his Col. or Maj. – neither does he remember his Lt. or Ensign. In the Company he belonged to he remembers the name of Matthew Peggs – he recollects his name particularly as he was told by his Capt that during the siege of Charleston he stopped shooting and lit his pipe. Four days after his discharge he volunteered for three months in the Militia of said state in Surry County for three months under Capt Wm. Bostic from there he was marched to Hillsborough in N.C. the place of Rendivou, (rendezvous?), from thence he was marched to join Genl. Marion in S.C. After remaining with Marion a little upwards of four weeks he was marched back to N.C. and when his term expired and but a short distance from Moravian Towns he recd a written discharge from his Capt which he has long since lost – He does not remember the name of his Col. or Majors. After his return but after serving under Hostin as will be explained he enrolled himself as a Minute Man for and during the war under Capt. Camplin aforesaid and he was repeatedly called out under him in scouting parties against the Tories. This time his service under this engagement was almost every month, and sometimes after and during the War near three years or perhaps a little upward. During this time he performed his service in N.C. on the Yadkin and Broad River – Deep River and Haw River. On these trips he got several discharges, which he has lost. The Col. or Majors if any, he does not remember. Previous to this he volunteered and went in to Virginia and served a trip of between four and five weeks under Capt George Hastin (afterward called Col. Hastin) of Henry County, Va. This trip was to go to the battle of Gilford in N.C. but when the reached the battle ground in about five or six miles, they met the American troops retreating. The way this happened he was an a visit to Va. at an Uncle _______ Harstin (?) – Whether he was a Capt or a Col. he does not remember, but supposes he was a Col as he was the Commander and had near six or seven hundred men under him. – He recd a discharge (long since lost) from Hastin and not exceeding two weeks he entered the Minute service as ap. (?) For this trip he volunteered for no particular time but served as long as he was required. He would further state that there were two men of his own name who were drafted as he understood in the _____ of N.C. One of them lived in Surry county, the other he does not recollect in what county he lived neither does he know in whose command they were in but one of them deserted and joined the enemy at Savannah, Georgia. He mentions this, for fear it might be supposed he was this man. He would further state that shortly after the close of the war he recd of Capt Camplin a written discharge for his service as a Minute Man as ap. – After this he moved to Tennessee, Washington county, and volunteered to serve an expedition under Capt John Wood under Col Sevier (formerly Gov. of Ten) in the Cherokee Nation of Indians. The time he served he does not remember – but he remembers when they started, roasting ears were not full enough to use, and when he returned, corn was generally gathered and cribed. During this trip a treaty was made with the Cherokee’s at Little River in Ten. He does not remember whether he got a discharge; but was marched home by his Capt and discharged.
1st. He was born in Cumberland county, Va, the year he has stated.
2. He has in his possession a record of his age.
3. He lived in Cumberland or Rockingham county when the Revolution commenced and when called in to service he lived in Surry County, Va. Since, he lived in Ten. and Kentucky where he lives now.
4. The manner he entered the service he has described – he was always a private and upon his own account.
5. He recollects during the service he saw Genl Washington and Genl Marion – He would state that a few years since he remembered his Col and Genl but his memory is almost gone. He hereby relinquishes whatever to a pension….(illegible)
The reason why he has not applied sooner is that he had a repugnance to have it said he was paid by the government and he was so advanced in years he thought it hardly worthwhile to apply.
(Samuel Weaver’s mark here, Laurel County, Kentucky)
I, Abraham Hunter, a Justice of the Peace for the County of Laurel —- that this day Samuel Weaver made Oath before me to the foregoing petition according to law. I also certify that he is not able to attend court. I also certify that his memory is frail and greatly impaired. I also certify that he is a man of good character and I have no doubt this statement is true. Given under my hand this 15th day of April 1836.
Abraham Hunter, Laurel County, Kentucky
From Samuel’s own account, he served under Col Francis Marion who was known as the “Swamp Fox”. There is a famous story and painting depicting Col Marion inviting a British officer to share a meal of sweet potato’s served on a bark plate. From what I was able to find, there is a strong possibility that our Samuel was the one who prepared this meal.
At the age of 27, Samuel married Mary Ann “Polly” Bollinger on October 7th, 1783 in Washington County, Tennessee. The couple had 11 children and a long life together.
From what I understand, they moved to Laurel County, Kentucky when land was granted to Samuel for his service in the Revolutionary war. The land was located in the Cane Creek section of southeastern Laurel County. Apparently it was a large land holding stretching between the headwaters of Laurel River and Cane Creek. Part of the land, 200 acres, was passed down to Joseph, the youngest of Samuel and Polly’s sons. I believe the rest of the land may have been divided up between a few of the other children.
Samuel passed away on November 14th, 1842 at the age of 84.
He is buried in the Providence Cemetery in Laurel County, Kentucky. The older headstone is his original. A second headstone has been added.
(Samuel Weaver is my 5th great-grandfather. )