John Shiveley (Shively) made a declaration for a Revolutionary War pension in Bradley County, Tennessee on October 15, 1845. It appears that the pension was rejected because the applicant was not on the service rolls, he could not provide documents, and he could not produce witnesses who could testify to his service. Mr. Shively states he was 95 years of age at the time of applying. He states that about 4 years after he served there was a fire that destroyed his discharge papers.
Who is this John Shively? From the 1830 McMinn County, Tennessee census record is a listing for a John Shively. In the household are one male between the age of 80 and 90, one male between the age of 20 and 30, one male under age 5, one female between the age of 60-70, and one female between the age of 20-30. A search of the 1840 McMinn County and Bradley County census records did not produce a listing for the surname Shively.
It is interesting that there is no information on John Schaufele, who was born April 14, 1749 and baptized May 26, 1749 who was the son of Johann Michael Scheiffle. It is known that his brothers Christian Shively, Jacob Shively and Henry Shively moved to Kentucky. The birthdate for this John Schaufele (Shively) is certainly very close to the age of the John Shively applying for the pension.
Even though we do not know the lineage of the John Shively who applied for this Revolutionary War pension the document is a wonderful piece of history. Below is my best transcription of the information contained in the document:
In Order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress of the 7th of June 1832
Sate of Tennessee SS
Bradley County On this 15th day of October 1845 personally appeared before me an acting Justice of the peace for Bradley County John Shively aged ninety five years and seven months who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress of June 7th 1832: That he enlisted in the army of the United States in the year 1776 and in the summer of that year declarant says that he went to Shepherdstown, Berkley County in the State of Virginia in company with one Matthew Shaw and at that place (Shepherdstown) they met with a recruiting officer by the name of Nathaniel Linder viz both declarant and Shaw enlisted in the service of the United States as private soldiers for the term of three years or during the war of the revolution if not sooner discharged and received from said recruiting officer a bounty of Twelve dollars. Declarant says that he remained at Shepherdstown some short time after enlistment, he thinks two months He says as to the name or number of the regiment that he served in he does not recollect but recollects that he served under the following named officers Viz General Stephans Col Larke Maj George Wales and Capt Spotswood Dandridge: He says from Shepherdstown he with his company marched to New Brunswick in the state of New Jersey at which place he says he joined the army under Gen. Washington at which place he remained but a few days until he was ordered to march with the army to a Town called Trenton on the Delaware River at which place he says the army had a Battle with the Hessians under the command of Col. Rasole: this Battle he says was fought on the night of the 25 of December 1776 which Battle terminated favorable to the American army. Declarant further says the they took nearly the whole garrison prisoners of war amounting in number to near one thousand after taking the aforesaid prisoners they immediately crossed the Dela ware River and he says that he was one of the guard ordered to conduct the prisoners immediately to Albemarle Baracks in the county of Albemarle in the state of Virginia at which place declarant says he remained some three or four months as a guard and he says that from Albemarle Barracks they took the prisoners to a Town in Virginia called Winchester at which place he says he left the prisoners and he says he marched immediately from there to Pennsylvania near Philadelphia at which place he says he was attached to his former company and shortly after that time he says they had a severe Battle with the British army on a creek or small river called Brandywine Viz in preparation for the Battle he says that he was placed at Chads Ford under the command of General Wayne some small distance from where the mane Battle was fought at the old Quaker field in which engagement the American army was defeated: from Brandywine he says he marched with the army under Gen Washington to a camp called White Marsh. From thence to Germantown at which place he says they had another Battle with the British and were defeated again: from thence to Valley Forge at which place he says he remained several months in log hut, prepared by the army to winter in. From thence to Mammouth at which place he say the two armies have a Battle, and from thence he says he went to White Plains at which place he days he remained several months, and from thence he says he marched under the command of Gen Wayne to Stony Point which march he says was preformed in the night in great silence and with unloaded guns and he says that the Americans succeeded in entering the fort and capturing the inmates as prisoners of war amounting to near nine hundred and he says that after Gen Wayne got possession of the fort that it was with difficulty that Gen Wayne could prevent the soldiers from massecuring the prisoners: from thence he says he went to West Point in the state of New York and there remained some time occasionally marching through the country to and fro and returning to the above place: from thence he says he marched to Little York in Virginia after remaining there some short time a cannonading commenced between the two armies which lasted several days and the result was that Lord Cornwallis with his whole army surrendered them selves up as prisoners to General Washington: Declarant says shortly after the Battle of York Town the he received from his Capt Dandridge a written discharge and he further says that his whole time was employed as a soldier either in garrison or in the field and that he was not engaged in any civil persuit during the above time: Declarant says shortly after he was discharged from said service he returned to Berkley County Virginia where he says he lived at the time of his entering the service as aforesaid. Declarant says about four years after he left the army that his discharge was destroyed by fire in Berkley County Virginia. Declarant says his reason for not applying for a pension sooner is that he was generally informed that in consequence of the loss of his discharge he could not obtain a pension unless he could procure two witnesses that served with declarant. He says the he does not know of any witnesses that he could prove his service by: Declarant says by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory that he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his service but according to the best of his recollection not less than five years as a soldier under the above named officers for which he claims a pension: He hereby relinquishes any claim what ever to a pension or an annuity Except the present and he declares that his name is not on the pension Rolle of any agency in any State in the United States.
Sworn to and subscribed before me his
The day and year aforesaid John x Shivley
B. Strother S. Royston mark
Justice of the Peace for Bradley County
and state aforesaid
State of Tennessee
Bradley County B S S Royston an acting Justice of the Peace for B.C. do certify after the investigation of the matter and inquiring particularly of men of the first respectably who says that they have been acquainted with John Shivley who has sworn and subscribed to the above declaration that he is a man of good moral character and I do further certify after conversing with declarant freely my self in relation to his service as a soldier of the war of the revolution I am clearly of the opinion that he is of the age of ninety five years as he says and that he served in the war of the revolution as he states in his declaration. I do further certify that by reason of bodily infirmity that he is not able to be at court to make a declaration in the presence and hearing for the court this the 15th day of October 1845. B. Strother S. Royston
Justice of the Peace For Bradley County
State of Tennessee
Bradley County I, John H. Robertson Clerk of the County Court in and for the County aforesaid do certify that B. Strother S. Royston Esq who’s name appears to the within declaration is now and was at the date of his signature an acting Justice of the peace for Bradley County He was duly elected and commissioned and sworn and faith and credit is due to his official act. Given under my hand and seal of office in Cleveland October 18th 1845
John H. Robertson Clk
State of Tennessee
Bradley County I Benjamin Humbright Chairman and Chief presiding Justice of the peace in and for the court for the County of Bradley aforesaid do certify that John H Robertson who’s name appears to the foregoing certificate is the clerk of said County and that his certificate appears in due form of law given under my hand and seal October 18th 1845.
Benjamin Humbright Seal
Chairman of the County court for Bradley County