Beriah Wheeler's Revolutionary War Record
Revolutionary War Pension Record of Beriah Wheeler, recorded on August 6, 1832 at the Windham County Court House in Vermont, following the Pension act of June 7, 1832, which paid pensions to sailors and soldiers of the Wars. Transcribed by JW (JonWilson} from microfilm print obtained at the National Archives on June 10, 1995. Also from email transcription by John and Barbara Wheeler Medamana, who made this document known to me. Transcription errors likely. Bracketed words uncertain, and parentheses indicate words added later to the phrase by the original writer. --JW. Note: JonWilson, founder of WoodenBoat Magazine, is a descendent of Wheelers from CT (Haddam/Chatham) area. He is also the founder of Hope Magazine and founder and director of Just Alternatives.
1. That on the 19th day of June 1776 he enlisted as a mariner aboard the Row Galley Crane under Captain Jehiel Tinker, Lieut David Brooks, Ensign Shubael Brainard, and served from that time till the first of January following-- For some time he served in Long Island sound but was ordered to New York and there was sent up North River in pursuit of the British fleet that had gone up the river, one mounted [some] 44 Guns one 24 & four smaller ones we came in contact with them and, after a severe engagement with them of two hours and a half, and finding ourselves unable to take them we retreated back to New York and were lying there when our troops retreated from Long Island; we fired upon the British and drove them back; upon which we passed up the river--
2. That about the first of April 1777 he was called into the militia service and served two months in Capt. Brainards Company and Col Sages Regiment at Seabrook [Saybrook].
3. That about the first of June 1777 he enlisted in Capt Nathan Palmers company, John Shipman Lieut, that he was stationed in the fort at Seabrook in the summer but in the autumn he was called to join the regiment commanded by Col Ely commandant and that his Lieut Col was Arnold, that he marched through New London & East Greenwich to Providence Rhode Island. Thence to Sakonnet and there remained about three weeks-- then was ordered back to Connecticut to Norwich and there joined the Continental troops in Col Webbs Regiment - That he with others went on board vessels to go over to Long Island to take a British fort but the weather proving rough the vessels scattered-- In the morning the Fox Frigate took the vessel that Col Webb and Col Ely were in (as I understand) and made them prisoner. And Drove the vessel in which their appearance was in ashore and he remained there fourteen days-- that the remainder of his time he served out at the fort till the 18th day of January 1778.
4. That in July 1778 he enlisted for two months in Capt Daniel Stuarts Company and Leve Cole both of Chatham-- Major Cone of East Haddam was Commandant-- That in this period of service he marched to New London and served the full term of two months.
5. That in the month of March 1779 he enlisted as a marriner on board a whale boat which he thinks was called the Union under Capt Joshua Griffin of Chatham and went to Point Judith and took a sloop from Dominico of about 70 tons loaded with [cod] bound to Rhode Island and brought her into port and went out again and took a Brigg of 200 tons having on board 4640 bushels of salt and forty boxes of Oranges and Leamons also went out again and took a schooner of about seventy tons loaded with Rum and Sugar & fruit bound from Jamaica to Rhode Island and brought her into port.
Then he enlisted in a whale boat called the Black Snake Capt Haskell crossed back of Long Island met the enemy who wounded two of our men and filled our boat with shot holes-- that he thinks he served out there several times in the whale boat six months.
6. That in the year 1780 he served six weeks in the militia at New Haven in Capt Rileys company-- Col Arnold commander he thinks.
7. That in the year 1781 (the tenth day of January) he enlisted in Capt [Carsons] company of Watertown & Lieut Saml Aikens of Chatham & Ensign [Jeps] Cone of Haddam, in the first Regiment of State Troops of Connecticut under Major Edward Shipman & brigadier General Waterbury-- we lay at the time on the west side the Connecticut through the summer-- In September we joined the continental army at White Plains-- that we went in the night from White Plains to Frogs Point and fought the enemy-- that he got slightly wounded. That he served out faithfully the period of his enlistment which was 13 months and 21 days as his warrant and discharge herewith transmitted will prove.
8. That in the month of June 1782 he enlisted quarter gunner on board the ship Juno Capt Oliver Norris and sailed from East Haddam and cruised in the ocean and served about [one] months.
Note: As Beriah was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on September 22, 1781, and is recorded as having served 13 months & 21 days as Sergeant (10 months & 9 days as Private), he must have left the Sea Service, so-called, in mid-November, 1782. If so, this could mean that there is--or once was--an additional item or two to the above. At 72, he was trying to recollect details from 50 years and more in the past. It's not inconceivable that there is more information on the reverse of the original document, as these 8 items are found on one side of a single (full) sheet in the microfilm. --JW