< Soldier Farmers

… a soldier of the Revolution

Ellen Ravens-Seger has provided an affidavit and petition from Joseph Seger (b. 13 Oct 1757, Simsbury, CT; d. 28 Jun 1845, Kent) for a pension for his service in the Revolutionary War, which at the moment is the earliest and longest document I have. Charlotte Lindsey of the KHS has kindly clarified some of the names.

Ellen Ravens-Seger:

Joseph Seger (the 5th), born in Simsbury, settled in Kent after the Revolutionary War. My father, Charles, transcribed the below from a 5-page court document archived with the State. Joseph’s application for pension was dated July 31, 1832, but his pension was not received before his death on June 10, 1845. Many family letters document son Heman’s dogged efforts to obtain the pension, which was, at least partially, paid to Joseph’s surviving children in 1852.

State of Connecticut
County of Litchfield
Probate Court
District of Kent

On the 31st day of July AD 1832 personally appeared in open Court before Nathaniel P. Perry Esq Judge of the Court of Probate for the District of Kent and conducting said court now sitting, Joseph Seger of said Kent and a resident of said Kent in the County of Litchfield in the State of Connecticut aged seventy four years, who being first duly sworn according to laws doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 1832 states that he was born in Simsbury, Hartford County State of Connecticut, the 13th day of October A.D. 1757. He has a record of his age in the Bible in his home in Kent afore. He was living in the said town of Simsbury, when he entered the service of the United States, has lived in Kent afterward since the Revolutionary War and has lived there ever since.

The first time he entered the service of the United States, he enlisted, also enlisted the third time. The second time he entered as a volunteer. That in April A.D. 1776 he entered the service of the United States by enlisting in the company commanded by Captain Benjamin Mills of said Simsbury, Philip B. Bradley was Colonel of his regiment, enlisted for and served till January A.D. 1777. Nine months served the whole term. He first marched from Simsbury by way of New Milford, Norwalk to New York City from there to the town of Bargain in New Jersey, thence to Bargain Point. Then so called and on ensuing news that the British had crossed from Long Island toNew York he marched to a place called English Neighborhood, opposite Fort Washington. He then moved from English Neighborhood to the bank of the river, built small huts and assisted in completing Fort Lee had been there but a short time when half of the regiment was called over to Fort Washington to assist. Soon Fort Washington was taken and prisoners carried into New York City. Gen. Washington crossed the Hudson came down on the New Jersey side and the remnant of the regiment to which he (Seger) belonged, retreated and joined Gen Washington’s Army, Capt. Benjamin Mills at this time procured a wagon with which he the said Seger (the present applicant) was ordered to take one person, on who was shot through the leg & four or five sick persons and convey them to the barracks in Fishkill when he went accordingly and remained until his term of service expired. He received no discharge in writing whatever.

The 1st of April A.D. 1777 he again entered the service of the United States as a volunteer in the Company of Captain Stoddard of Farmington. Joined his company at Simsbury aforesaid and marched directly to Peekskill on the banks of the Hudson River and joined the troops stationed there an under the command of General McDugal there were some Continental troops there. He was at Peekskill when Danbury was burnt and on the receipt of the news by express he marched for said Danbury, and on arriving at a place then called Bedford an Express came on that they might return and he did so accordingly. He then marched occasionally to White Plains and back also marched to Horseneck got cows and calfs and thus kept up and down the river until his term of service expired which was just two months. Was discharged 1st June 1777 had no written discharge.

About the close of the year 1777 he again entered the service of the United States by enlisting with a company of mechanics, carpenters, and joiners at Simsbury aforesaid in a company by Captain . . . [sic] Pigeon who came down from the east with a company into which he the same Seger enlisted for the term of two years. He marched from Simsbury through the towns of Litchfield crossed Bulls Bridge to Peekskill and from there to West Point. He went from West Point to Fishkill several times as the nature of his business required it and at those two places served the whole term of two years which expired the last of the year 1779.

His first business and that of the company in which he was, was to put up house barracks for officers and soldiers at West Point. At this plain in the spring of 1778 Col. Meiggs regiment (frequently called leather caps having many colored men in the regiment and were large athletic men) and also the regiment commanded by Colonel Webb both of the Continental establishment came and were stationed. At the time these regiments came on his company (Seger) under the direction of two chief engineers name of Kosciosko [Thaddeus Kosciusko (1746-1817), Polish patriot] the other name he does not remember. He spoke English very poorly. He was then getting timber for the fort on the plain. That fort was built of wood and earth and the timber was drawn in by the soldiers. It was the Continental establishment into which he enlisted and served as aforesaid. He received no written discharge as he remembers.

Also states that Jesse St. John, Nathan ______ Esq, Peter Comtash, Mills Birdwell [?], David Comtash, [Philo or Silas] Brownson, [Birdsey] Beardsly Esq. [served in the War of 1812—C. Lindsey, KHS] to whom he is well known in his neighborhood where he has ever resided since the Revolutionary war and who can testify to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution.

That he has no testimony or evidence as he knows of as to the two last campaigns.

That he hereby relinquishes every claim what so’er [?] to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed this day and year aforesaid.
Joseph Seger

We Lewis Mills & Philo Mills both residing in Kent, Litchfield County State of Connecticut herby certify that we are well acquainted with Joseph Seger who has subscribed and sworn to the declaration that we believe him to be seventy four years of age.