||In the following pension declaration, Mathias Fisher describes (in blue) his service in the Revolutionary War and Lochry's ill-fated expedition to Ohio in 1781. Mathias' account of the Expedition is noteworthy because it includes details found in no other account, specifically beginning on page 10 how he and four others escaped from British captivity near Montreal to return home in the Fall of 1782. Mathias' service is corroborated by John Brandt and George Hice on pages 12 and 13. Mathias returns the favor in Hice's pension file, stating they were both captured by Indians when this expedition was attacked and defeated near the mouth of the Big Miami on the Ohio River August 24, 1781. They were first taken to the Shawnee towns of Ohio where they were forced to run "the gauntlet." They were then separated.|
All transcriptions are faithful to the originals, which often feature poor penmanship, spelling errors, unusual grammar, and little punctuation. The remainder of Mathias' pension file (see pdf attached) contains routine correspondence concerning his petition and payments, and records requests for information from his pension file. A complete account of Lochry's Expedition including the testimony of other participants is available here.
(page 9) ----------
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832
Penna Westd County
On this 20th day of November in the year of 1832 personally appeared in open court Mathias Fisher before the honorable John Young president and his associates now sitting. Mathias Fisher a resident of Ligonier Township of Westmoreland County in the State of Penna aged 74 years who being first duly sworn according to the law doth depose and say in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress of 7th June 1832 That about the first of January 1777 as declarant believes he was drafted as a Militia man in the company of Captain Shannon and marched in the detachment commanded by Col Archibald Lochry from Westd County in Penna to the State of New Jersey at Morristown. The British being in Brunswick & Amboy we went to the American lines and were stationed at Rahway near Woodbridge which place we left in the Spring and the whole detachment returned I think in April being discharged during this time. During the time we lay at Rahway there was one or two small affairs with british foraging parties. In the month of August Seventeen hundred and Eighty One the detachment marched from Fort Ligonier in Westd County Penna under the same Captain and the same Col Loughry to where Wheeling stands
(page 10) ----------
in Virginia and then the whole detachment embarked in boats commanded by Col Louchry. We landed below the mouth of the big Miami at the mouth of a creek and while we were landing the Indians fired upon us and finally took the whole detachment prisoners. Col Lochry was killed after we surrendered. There was about one hundred in the detachment as well as declarant recollects when we were attacked. The declarant was kept a while in the Indian Towns and about Christmas was taken to Detroit and given up to the (Indians crossed out, replaced with) British. I was kept at Detroit until Spring when I was taken to an island about Forty five miles above (Detroit crossed out, replaced with) Montreal about 20 acres in the Island on which there was a Fort and a great many American prisoners. about the 13th of July 1782 as I believe myself and four other American prisoners to wit Ezekial Lewis, Samuel Murphy and James Dougherty & George Bailey the two last of whom were taken at Wyoming made our escape in the night by knifing the guard and constructing a small raft out of drift wood found at the head of the Island on which we drifted about five miles before we got to land and that was on the Cana Shore where we concealed ourselves during the day & at night got a canoe and crossed to the American Shore and steered for Lake Champlain
(page 11) -----------
which we struck at the mouth of Otter creek and crossed the lake on a raft, which we thought was about four mile broad at that place. We then went to Pittsford in Vermont and to Allentown where Governor Chittendon lived from whom we got a pass and went to Newbury the headquarters of General Washington from thence thru Jersey – to Eastern Penna from whence I returned to my home in Westmoreland County Penna which was about the 12th of September during the retreat from Canada the declarant suffered from hunger & by the mosquitoes, and was reduced, so that he could not travel fast. declarant believes that Samuel Murphy, who escaped from Canada with him is living in Armstrong County Penna. of the others them he knows not. He has no documentary Evidence of his service. In the last campaign I went as a volunteer. The declarant has lived in Westd County aforesaid since his return and he hereby relinquishes Every claim whatsoever to a pension or annuity Except the present and declares his name is not on the pension roll of this agency of any state.
(Sworn crossed out, replaced with) Affirmed
in open court
20 Nov 1832
(page 12) ----------
At the same time appeared in open court John Brandt who on his solemn oath saith that he was drafted in Captain Shannon’s Company commanded by Col Lochry and marched with the ___ of New Jersey about the beginning of the year 1777 That he knew Mathias Fisher who was in the same Company and who was just sworn and that the same Fisher marched from Wsld (Westmoreland) County ___ out this Tour and was discharged in April of the same year. Deponent has resided ever since in Westmoreland County and knows that the same Mathias Fisher went in the campaign against the Indians in Eighty one and always understood he was taken prisoner.
Sworn & Subscribed in open court
November 20, 1832
Randal McLaughlin Prt
At this same time appeared in open court George Hice, who on his oath saith that he was in the Lochry campaign against the Indians in Eight one, and that he marched from Fort Ligonier in Westmoreland County Penn in August. He knows Mathias Fisher who served in Captain Shannon’s Company, who also marched at the same time, andwas taken prisoner at Lochry’s defeat near the Mouth of the Miami in the same year, when and where this deponent
was taken prisoner, was kept with the said Fisher until we went to the Shawnee Towns where we were separated. I was kept a prisoner with the Indians & with the ___ until peace, when returned home in September 1783 & found that Fisher had been home about a year.
Sworn and subscribed in
open court 20 Nov 1832
Randal McLaughlin Prt
And the said court do hereby declare their opinion, after the investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogations prescribed by the War department that the before named Mathias Fisher was a Revolutionary Soldier, and served as he states and the Court further certifies that it appears to them that John Brandt, and George Hice who have signed the preceding certificates are residents in the county of Westmoreland and are credible persons, and that their statements are ___ to Credit.
I Randal McLaughlin Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceeding in the matter of the application of Mathias Fisher for a pension.
In testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand & Seal of Office this twenty first day November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two.
Randal McLaughlin, Prot