Chapter IV

John Scalf, Revolutionary Soldier

John Scalf, son of Lewis Scalf, was born in North Carolina about 1761 although the exact county of his birth has not been learned. It is certain that John's father was Lewis Scalf, however, there is some doubt as to the name of John's mother. From all available evidence it appears that Lewis Scalf's marriage to Elizabeth Blackburn in 1777 in Halifax County, North Carolina was a second marriage for him. John Scalf surely lived in Johnston County, North Carolina for he was living there when he enlisted in the Continental Army on May 30, 1777. He was to serve three years of distinguished service for his country including the ordeal of a Winter spent at Valley Forge under the command of the immortal General George Washington.

A great deal has been learned about John. Scalf's family and his military service in the Revolutionary War by reviewing his record on file at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. By examining this file, the author has found substantial evidence to show that John Scalf served his country most admirably and has left a patriotic legacy for which all Scalf can be proud.

Presented here in the next few paragraphs is John Scalf's own version of his activities and experiences in the Revolutionary War while serving as a private in the 10th Regiment of the North Carolina Continental Line. We have this record due to the fact that on July 11, 1837 John Scalf made a declaration before John Mitchell, Justice of the Peace for Hawkins County, Tennessee to obtain a military pension. The declaration was made at Rogersville, Tennessee and this is the original account:

"On this eleventh day of July, 1837 personally appeared John Scalf before John Mitchell a Justice of the Peace for said County aforsaid aged 76 years who being first duly sworn according to law cloth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision of an act of Congress passed June 9, 1832. That he enlisted in the Army of the United States for the term of three years 1777 sometime in May in Capt. Gregory's Company in the 10th Regiment of North Carolina in Johnston County. The name of the Colonel I cannot now name. We marched from said state through Virginia and Merryland in to Pennsylvania to Philadelphia under the Command of General Nash -- we lay some time there and from there we marched to Trenton -- we lay there awhile then joined the main army Commanded by General Washington the neighborhood of Philadelphia. From there we marched on to a creek called Brandywine where we had a battle with the enemy. After the battle we marched to a place called Chester and from there to Philadelphia-from there we marched across a river I think called Schuylkill and encamped -- We then crossed the river again and marched to a place called the Yellow Springs -- from there we marched to a place called Warwick furnace and directly after engaged the enemy again at Jermantown where General Nash was killed. After the battle we retreated some distance and incamped on a creek. After moving to different places which I cannot now name we took up winter quarters at a place called Valley forge where we staid all winter. In the Spring of 1778, we were again put in motion -- we crossed the delawars and went in to Jersey and incamped at a place called Hopewell. From there we marched to Kingston -- from there to Cranbury sometime in June 1778 -- from there after various movements in Jersey we engaged with the enemy again at Monmouth -- from this battle we marched to a place called White plains -- from there we marched in the fall 1778 to a place called middlebrook in Jersey where we incamped again for winter-in the Spring of 1779 we again commenced active opperations the insuing summer we did but little more than going out in different detachments to prevent the enemy from supplying there wants by foraging in the country- sometime in the fall of 1779 in one of those detachments under General Green I was badly wounded in my leg having the bones badly shattered by a musket ball. I lay all winter under a phision in the country by the name of Bromson and in the spring my wound still continued running in consequence of the shattered bones coming out at my ancle -- I was examined and thought not fit for service -- some time in the summer I was permitted to go home if I could -- I sent to my father and scuffied on as well as I could untill I ment my father and got home in the fall of 1780 after being gone upwards to three years and I never was out anymore -- I was verry young when I inlisted -- I was also inexperienced with the regulations of an army being inacquainted with the country through which I marched my mind harrassed by could and hungar and owing to the great lapse of time since I performed the duty it is likely I have commited some errors though not intentionally -- one thing I know I performed the duty of a soldier for the space of time sot fourth in my declaration though I may not have given a correct account of the particular dates and accurrances of my service. This declarent states his moving so frequently since he knew the law was passed for his benefit residding so small a time in one place indeavering to keep with his children (which is nine boys and 7 girls) has prevented him from sooner applying for his pension -- But now being verry old and helpless is settled in the foregoing county and state and in great need he hereby refinquishes every claim to whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares his name is not on the pension roll of any agency of any state. Sworn to and subscribed the year and date before mentioned before me."
                                                            John      Scalf
 John Mitchell J.P.                                      mark