Veterans of the Revolutionary War frequently took up land grants which were offered for their services but they did not always establish a homestead. This was the era when after having worn out the soil with tobacco crops, agriculturists left their family seat and searched elsewhere for fertile land. Most soldiers of this war had enlisted for 3 month stretches when it was not planting season. This is why when we read the pension applications there are a number of re-enlistment dates or it is obvious that they were not ways in a continuing muster. To be entitled to a pension, they had to prove service. All veterans had not served in the Continental Line rather supported the local militia in their state which had joined the fight. A good example of this type of soldier is those who fought at the Battle of Kettle Creek in Wilkes County. While Savannah was occupied by the British, local militias skirmished around the country-side in guerrilla war-fare. Therefore, when these veterans filed for a pension, their services could not always be proved and the applications were rejected. However, the rejected pensions provide lots of family data and should not be ignored.
By Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
North Carolina Pioneers