Sunday, June 22, 2014


As mentioned in my previous post, my 4x great grandfather Moses Coburn was a
veteran of the American Revolution. He was one of the generation of children
that grew up during the Revolution, being only ten years old when the war began.
When he enlisted in 1781, he was sixteen years. By that time the action had shifted
to the southern colonies and from I read in his pension file documents Moses served
his enlistment out in New York, so he wouldn't have seen much action  Nor had Moses
enlisted solely because of patriotic fervor: he was paid by some of the citizens of
Dunstable, Ma. to join the Continental Army, possibly so the town could meet a quota of enlistees.

At  any rate, thirty years later Moses Coburn was in dire financial straits and applied for
a pension. Here's his statement about his service , and my transcription:

 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Be it remembered that on the eighth day of April in the year of our Lord  one
thousand eight hundred and eighteen before me Samuel Dana Chief Justice
of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the middle Circuit, comprehending
the counties of Essex and Middlesex in the Commonwealth aforesaid, comes
Moses Coburn of Tyngsborough in the said county of Middlesex and on oath
did aver that he served in the war of the Revolution against the common
enemy two years and six months, that he was hired by a Class of men in the
the then town of Dunstable to go into the continental army in the summer of
the year 1781- that he was mustered at Chelmsford by Oliver Barron Esq,
proceeded to Boston and was there received by Major Pettingil of the army,
from there he proceeded with a party to join the army at Phillipsburgh in New
York where he was placed in the company commanded by Capt Benjamin Pike,
in the sixth regiment of the Massachusetts line commanded by Leut Col Calvin
Smith- that he served under Capt Pike eighteen or nineteen months- then
under Capt Frost about five months- when said regiment was brokenup, and he
was transferred to the second Massachusetts regiment commanded by Col
Sprout and was placed in the company commanded by Capt Judah Alden, in this
company he continued to serve as a private till the last of December 1783, when
he received a discharge at West Point which discharge he is not able to find and
which is not to his knowledge in existence, that he is destitute of property and
by reason of his reduced circumstances in life stands in need of assistance from
his country for his support, being fifty three years of age.
Moses Coburn
Thus made, taken, subscribed and sworn to at Chelmsford in said County of
Middlesex, the day and year aforesaid-

To be continued

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