Hi Mike - Following are my notes on the items in Silas's file - I have arranged them in chronological order after the cover sheet, to make it a little easier to follow (the papers were not in this order in the original file). I have the paper copies at home and will look for them over the weekend. I'm not sure how well they would scan, but if you e-mail me ([email protected]) I would be glad to mail you a set. Are you also a descendant of Silas? He is my 4th great grandfather. You mention an 1871 date of death - if you have his exact death date and place please let me know, as I don't have that information.
List of documents in Silas Helton's 1812 Pension File:
1.A sort of cover sheet listing name, bounty land warrants, unit and dates of service (lots of cross outs there - there seemed to be a lot of uncertainty over exact dates), and list of Silas's residences: 1850-1855 Greene Co. TN, 1869 Grainger Co (P.O. Blaine's Cross Roads) TN, 1871 Hamblen Co. (P.O. Morristown) TN. His wife's name is given as Cintha Griffin, married June 15, 1864, in Richland, Grainger Co. TN.
2. Declaration by Silas Helton dated November 21, 1850, stating he served in Capt. Hendrix's company, drafted in Carter County around the 1st of November 1814 and was mustered in at Knoxville around November 13th and was discharged at Knoxville in May 1815.
3.A letter from Solomon Hendrix dated September 8, 1851. Capt. Hendrix gives his age as 62 years 4 months. He confirms that Silas Helton, formerly of Carter County TN and currently of Greene County TN, who is applying for land under the Act of September 1850, is the same who served under his command. He says Silas was drafted in Carter County and served from November 5, 1814, to May 24, 1815, when he was honorably discharged. Hendrix further notes that "said Helton was engaged in the expedition to Mobile, Alabama, Gen. Coulter's brigade, and that he was at that place when peace was declared."
4.Declaration by Silas Helton dated March 9, 1855. He is age 69 and a resident of Greene County, TN. States he was drafted in Carter County in November 1814 and discharged at Knoxville May 13, 1814 [sic]. He states further he received a land warrant for 80 acres under the act of September 1850 and March 1852 and has disposed of that land by sale of assignment. He is making this new claim for any additional land due under the act of March 1855.
5. Declaration by Silas Helton dated March 27, 1855. Similar statements as in previous document but adds that he received Land Warrant 22.432 for 80 acres under the previous acts, which he has disposed of.
6. Bounty Land Claim declaration form dated October 22, 1866, in which Silas claims he volunteered from Carter County, TN, in November 1814 and was discharged in February 1815.On the date of this application, he lived "on dirt road leading from Knoxville, Tenn, to Rutledge, Tenn, and fifteen miles from Satten place." He signs with a mark and claims to be age 84.
7. Handwritten letter on letterhead of the Law Offices of Chipman, Hosmer & Co., Washington, July 1, 1869, to the Chief Clerk of the Pension Bureau, trying to get someone to help find poor Silas's discharge.
8. The enclosure with item 13, an order signed by Silas (with his mark) on June 14, 1869, asking the Bureau of Pensions to give his Washington attorneys his discharge paper.
9. Two-page handwritten letter on letterhead of the Pension Office of the Department of the Interior dated December 11, 1869, addressed to Hon. R. R. Butler. The writer states that his office shows no claim for pension from Silas Helton and notes that land warrant No. 14.415 for 80 acres under the act of March 1855 was issued November 28, 1856 to Silas and sent to A.G. Graham Esq., Jonesboro, Tenn., making all the bounty land due as a warrant for 80 acres was previously issued. His application for Bounty Land filed in November 1866 has been rejected and the attorney so informed.
10.War of 1812 Declaration of Soldier for Pension dated March 25, 1871. Silas claims to be 88 and lives in district 2 of Hamblen County, TN, "2 miles north of Morristown." In this application, he says he was drafted in June or July 1814 at Elizabethtown, TN, and discharged at Knoxville (Mobile, Alabama, is crossed out) in December 1814 or January 1815. "He served as a private, that he was first marched to Knoxville, Tenn., then to Lookout then to Fort Jackson then to Mobile--when peace was declared and they were mustered out. That he cannot remember the precise date of his being drafted nor the date of his discharge.That he has heretofore drawn his land warrants and sent his discharge to the law office at Washington DC when he drew his land warrants and they were never returned to him and refers to them for the correct dates." He states he was in Captain Solomon Hendricks' company, Col. William Bayless' regiment, Gen. Coulter's brigade.
11. Handwritten cover note from John Murphy, Attorney, Morristown, Tenn., March 25, 1871, to the Commissioner of Pensions.
12. Small form dated August 3, 1871, from the Third Auditor's Office of the US Treasury Department confirming that the rolls of Capt. Hendrix's company show Silas serving November 13, 1814, through May 26, 1815.
13. Handwritten statement by Joseph Brown, Postmaster of Morristown, TN, attesting to Silas's good character and loyalty (dated August 19, 1871).
14. Brief of Claim for a Survivor's Pension, War of 1812, Act of February 14, 1871. This form is dated August 23, 1871, and presents and accepts Silas's evidence of service and good character, noting service dates of November 13, 1814, through May 26, 1815. He is authorized a pension of 8 dollars per month.
15. An undated note from the Third Auditor's office confirming Silas's service, this time giving the dates as March 15, 1814, through May 18, 1815.
16. Draft of a letter on letterhead note paper from the Bureau of Pensions. The pencilled scrawl on the little slips was so hard to read it took me several readings to piece it out, and at first I thought it was misfiled because I saw it was addressed to John Helton in Greene County, MO, not Silas. It seemed to be a draft of a letter by a clerk at the Bureau of Pensions and is dated March 27, 1888. Here's what the note says as best I can make out (there are still several words I can't decipher, indicated by asterisks below):
"Sir: In reply to the enclosed letter [by the way, I found no such letter in the file--KR] referred to the Bureau by the Hon. Wm. H. Wade, I am to state that the records *** land claims that were issued in the name of a Silas Helton **** answers the description of the **** questions in satisfaction for his service in Capt. Solomon Hendricks' Company, Colonel Carter's Regiment of Tennessee Militia from March 15, 1814 to May 18, 1815. The claims of John Helton cannot be identified from the data given. You should apply to the Third Auditor, US Treasury Dept. for information relative with soldier's back pay."
"John Helton, Yeakley P.O., Greene Co. Mo."
I could find nothing in the file indicating whether the pension was ever paid or when Silas or his widow died.