JOHN WILSON SCOTT
REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER
"SOLDIERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BURIED IN ILLINOIS,"
by the Illinois State Genealogical Society, dated 1976.
Born: May 29, 1763 in York County, Pennsylvania
Died: March (or November) 13, 1847
Buried: Rock Creek Cemetery, near Waynesville, DeWitt Co., IL
Spouse: (1) Ann Craytin
(2) Nancy Keith
Residence: The Scott family moved to Sangamon County, Illinois in
1824, was living in McLean County in 1832, and had moved to DeWitt
county by 1840.
Service: Private; Virginia Continental troops. He enlisted in May 1780
from Washington County, Virginia in Capt. James Dysartís Company,
Col. William Gambleís Regiment, serving one year. He was in the battle
of Kingís Mountain and Wetzellís Mills.
Pension: S32509 (Va); Illinois pension roll, McLean County, Sept 25,
1833, age 71; Illinois Pension Census, DeWitt County, June 1, 1840, age
77, residing with John Maxwell, head of family.
Markers: His grave was marked by DeWitt Clinton Chapter DAR and
descendants of John Scott on Nov 8, 1970.
Source: DAR, HR, NSDAR, PI, PENSION, W
From the DWGQ:
Summer 1976 VolII No 2
Contributed by Dorothy (Strange) Martin and Marie (Strange) Hastings,
both descendants of John Wilson Scott.
From the time John Wilson Scott was born in York County, Pennsylvania in
1763 to the time of death on 13 March 1847 in DeWitt County, Illinois, he
had fought in the Revolutionary War, been married twice, lived in six
states, and fathered fifteen children.
He was of Scottish ancestry, the son of John and Anna (Wilson) Scott,
who owned land on the Holstein River in Washington County, Virginia.
His grandfather was Andrew Scott, whose will was proved 29 January 1794,
Colrain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Family tradition says that John Wilson Scottís first marriage was to Ann
Crayton (or Clayton) and that their daughter, Elizabeth, married John
Matson (or Maston). Nothing else is known of this line.
His second marriage was to Nancy Keith, Daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth
(Liddell) Keith, about the year 1786. It is easy to trace the migration
of this family of John and Nancy Scott by noting the birthplaces of their
children. The first, Andrew was born in NC; John Jr., Alexander, Anna,
James K., Wm. L., and Ruth were born in S.C. 1788-1799; Martin was born
in Crawford County, Indiana in 1818. From there the family came to
Sangamon County, Illinois about 1820. The next move was to what was then
Tazwell County, Illinois in 1827. By a change of county boundary lines,
they became residents of McLean County in 1830; and by the same process
they became citizens of DeWitt County in 1839, all without having moved
from the land they had located on in present-day Wapella Township.
John Wilson Scott saw his sons become productive citizens. They were
farmers. James Keith Scott made on of the first land entries in what is
now DeWitt County, when he located in section 27, Waynesville Township.
John Jr., James K., Martin, and Andrew were ministers of the Christian
Church. James K. preached the first sermon in the township in the cabin
of one of the settlers. Later he helped establish the first church,
Rock Creek. Built in 1837, it was the first frame building in Waynesville
Township. The lumber for it was hauled from Atlanta, IL. James K. Scott
also served as a state legislator for two terms (1842-1846).
The final resting place for John Wilson Scott, his wife, and several of
his children and other descendants is Rock Creek Cemetery, located in
section 26, Waynesville Township. On 3 December 1970, the DeWitt Clinton
Chapter D.A.R. placed a marker on the grave of the old soldier. Twelve
members of the chapter have traced their lineage to him.
One of the many descendants of the soldier, Abbie Lane Whitaker, wrote a
play, "Out Beyond Middletown," which described the life of the early
Scott pioneers in the Waynesville area. The play won the one-act play
competition sponsored by the Arts Commitee of the Illinois Sesquicentennial
Commission in 1968.
Because so many of her ancestors were buried there, Mrs. Whitaker often
visited Rock Creek Cemetery. Accompanying her on many of the visits was
her daughter, Frances Moriearty, who was inspired to write the following
sonnet about the significance of the visits:
We go each spring--again when winter nears
To pay our fond respects. We donít take tea,
But it is quite like that. There are no tears
But glad reunion of a family.
My motherís voice is soft, "Hereís Uncle Will,
And Great Aunt Nan--her jams would never set.
The first John Scott survived at Bunker Hill
And lived to bring his family through to get
A foothold here. This slender shining stone
Is Cousin Franklinís wife; she was a Lane.
The Bayless Boys! The ten once weighed a ton!
Rode off with Grant and all came home again."
Her gentle fingers trace the letters deep,
Gathering identity and strength from those who Sleep.
Mrs. Abbie Whitaker, a Chapter Member of the DeWitt County Genealogical
Society, passed away last September.
RECOLLECTIONS OF A REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER
From the DWGQ:
Summer 1976 Vol II, No 2
During this bicentennial year, with its emphasis on studying and
understanding our country's past, it seems appropriate to include in our
quarterly the recollections of a private soldier who fought in the
Revolutionary War. What makes this soldier special is that he, John
Wilson Scott, was an early settler in DeWitt County, lies buried within
the county, and was the progenitor of a multitude of past and present
citizens of our county.
What follows is a transcription of John Scott's application for a pension,
in which he narrated at some length and in great detail many of his
experiences during his military service. Spelling and punctuation have
been left as they appeared in the original, so that the full flavor of
the narration remains that of John Scott in 1832. The copy of the pension
application was contributed by Dorothy (Strange) Martin.
"State of Illinois, McLean County on the Third day of December personally
appeared in open court Before the County Commissioners being a court of
record of McLean County now Sitting John Scott--a resident of Kickapoo
presink in the County of McLean & State of Illinois-aged Seventy (or nearly
So) who being first Duley Sworn According to law doth on his oath make the
following Decleration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of
Congress pased June the 7, 1832 That he entered the Servis of the United
States under the following named officers and Served as herein Stated I
did enter the Servis of the United States under the Command of Colonel
William Camble & Captain James Dysart and his Seboltiran officers in the
year 1780 in the Month of May did served the following towers of duty (vz)
arley in the Month of May as above our offcers having received infermation
that the Toreys ware committing murder and other depredations in Wilks
County North carolina we therefore Struck our line of March and with Speed
we came to the place and having taken sum of them prisoners, they gave
Security for thare good behavour and all hostilitys Seased thare, and this
being the case we Returned home near the last of July and arley in the
Month of August we received orders to March for South carolina in persuit
of Col. Forrgason a British commander having a large body of British &
Toreys under his Command, and we Marched into North carolina (now the East
end of Tennessee) and thare incamped untill Col. Seveir & Col. Isaac Shelby
made up their Troops & then they joined us & amduately we Marched passing
over the mountains in and threw Retherford County from thence into the
South & down the South side of Broad River to the Cowpens & thare receiving
infermation that the Ennmoney was lying at the Cherrikee ford on Said river
we therfore Marched for that place and continued our line of March all nite
but the Enmoney having removed we therefore without receiving aney
refreshmant Continued our line of March and on Kings mountain we came up
with the Ennimy and Klid there commander & a number of his Soldiers and
made prisoners of the residue of them and took there waggons from them.
This however was not done without Sum loss on our side thare was twentyone
or thareabout kild on our Side, amongst the Slain was Capt William
Edmiston Reece Bowen & John Baty the wounded not Recolected and after
Berrying our ded we imployed those Waggons to carry our wounded back to
Col. Walkers on Broad river to which place we Marched the prisoners, and
our officers thare, holding council. it was thought proper to burn the
waggons, and having received proper Testamoney, against one Col. Mills
(a torey officer) and six of his adherents, they ware adjudged guilty of
Murder, and by us amdiately hanged & hear we ware to leave our wounded,
but a young man by the name of Iseral Highter being Shot threw the thy
desired to be takinalong the mountain until Sutch Gap as he could cross
and I with two others was appointed to this duty, all of which I promtley
performed and the battle of Kings mountain being on the Sixth day of
October 1780. I therefore was not able to reach home untill the last of
November my way being impeded in cosiquence of danger, at times, and the
bad Situation of the wounded man, and my fellow soldiers Started home at
the Same time I Started with the young man. and having returned home, and
previous to dismision, my before named Col. Camble pave orders for two
companeys of his Mounted Vollenteers to Keep them Selvs in rediness to
march, I having all the while, and in all the before named, missions
belonged to Capt. Dysart's Companey, of Mounted Vollenteers, and so I
continued, and we held our Selvs in rediness to March, and on the first of
Feb. 1781 vie received orders, and Struck a line of March and Crossing the
Mountain at the flour gap down threw the Moravion Towns and into Gilford
County whare Generl Green was Incamped and Corn Wallis not far off There
we Joined headQuarters and on the next day our Brave Col. Camble Marched
us down on the Brittish lines, to watch the movement of the enmmony and on
the third day being the 6th day of March we received orders to dismount
and our horses and Saddles bridles being placed in the care of persons
appointed to that duty we therefore Marched amdiateley to fire on the
British, being then in hearing of thare drum beet--but we had not advanced
more than one half mile before the British fired on those horsemen,
scaterd and took sum horses, and mine was one of them appraised to Sixty
dollars togather with my Saddle and bridle all which I lost on that day
but we in a few minnits after hearing the firing of the pistles of the
horse ware advansed in close firing distance of the Ennimoney on the Caney
fork of how river at Whitsels Mills at whitch place tic had a Sevear
Scrimmage with the Brittish, and on the day following we again got into
Gennerl Greens Camp and Marched with the Gennerl a few days, but the
weather being Blustary and cool & and we having lost our Blankets We
therefore, received orders to March for home, but being near three hundred
mile from home, and a foot (as I had lost myhorse) I did not reach home
untill near the first of May 1781 and My Servises in all as a Mounted
Vollenteer in the United States Servis amounted to a bout twelve months
under arms as a privet. I hereby Relinquish every clame what Ever to a
pension or annuity Except the present and declare that name is not on the
pension Roll of the Agency of any State. MY(Court) have you aney Record of
your age and where is it. An. My age was recorded in my fathers larg
Bible from whence I have it. (court) whare ware you living when Cold. into
Servis and whare have you lived Since (An) I lived when colled into Servi
in Washington County Virginia from thence to South Carolinia from thence
to Tennessee from thence to Indiana from thence to Illinois whare I now
live I have alredy refered you to Sum of the reguler officers whom I Serve
when in Servis (Court) did you ever receive a discharage from the Servis
By whom was it gave and what has become of it. (An) I received a discharge
from my captain but do not distinctley Recolect what became of it. (Court)
State tie Names of persons in your Neighbourhood to whom you are known and
who can testify us to your character for Verasity and good behavour your
Soldier ship & Service as a Revolutioner (An) I Refer you to James Latta
a clergiman and John Glenn who can testify conserning me.
Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid (John Scott)
Dated 3rd day of December 1832"