Two Scalfs, John and Joseph, served in the same North Carolina regiment in the Revolution, John for three years and Joseph for approximately one year. Both enlisted in the 10th Regiment, North Carolina Line, commanded by Col. John Williams, but each in separate companies. John enlisted May 30, 1777 in the company of a Captain Gregory and Joseph, his name spelled Scaff, began service in "Lytle's Company" in 1782. Joseph, for some unexplained reason, was transferred in January 1783 to the South Carolina Line.

There was a James Scalf, the name sometimes misspelled by dropping the letter "S", who performed service for the Revolutionary Army but not in the military arm. We learn from ROSTER OF SOLDIERS FROM NORTH CAROLINA IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, compiled 1932 by the North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution, that the army accounts of the North Carolina Line settled by the commissioners at Warrenton in the year 1786. James Scalf, No. 1778, received pay by William Faircloth." Since James was found in later records to be a man of property and possessed of several slaves he probably furnished forage, horses or other livestock for the use of the Revolutionary Army.

Descendants of Joseph Scalf, if there were any, are unknown to the present writer. There is an inference, deducible from the fact that he was transferred from the North Carolina to the South Carolina Line in 1783, that he resided in the deep south after the Revolution and his descendants may be found there. Volume 8 of North Carolina State Records show that a Joseph Scalf married a Lydia Stewart, April 16, 1789, at Norfolk, Virginia. It cannot be said that John, Joseph and James were brothers although it is highly probable that at least the first two were. James, it seems to us from what little historical evidence that we haves must have been considerably older than John and Joseph. (1)

John applied for a pension in 1837 while he was a resident of Hawkins County, Tennessee, and it is to his declaration found in the National Archives, Washington, D.C., that we are indebted for an account of his army service. (2)

"On this 11th day of July 1837 personally appeared John Scalf before John Mitchell, a Justice of the Peace for said county aforesaid, aged 76 years who first being duly sworn according to law doth on oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions of an act of Congress passed June the 9th 1832," the declaration reads.

"That he enlisted in the army of the United States for the term of three years 1777 sometime in May in Cap't Gregory's Company in the 10th Regiment of North Carolina in Johnson County. The name of the Colo. I cannot now name. We marched from said state through Virginia and Merryland [sic] into 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 in 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 incamped. We then recrossed 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 ingaged the enemy again at Jermantown [sic] where General Nash was killed. (3)

"After the battle we retreated some distance and incamped (sic] 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 Delaware and went into Jersey and incamped at a place called Hopewell. From there we marched to Kingston, from there to Cranberry some time in June 1778.  From there after various movements in Jersey we ingaged 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 Middle Brook in Jersey where we incamped again for winter.

"In the spring of 1779 we again commenced active operations. The insuing summer we did little more than going out in different detachments to prevent the enemy from supplying their wants by foraging in the country. Some time in the fall of 1779 in one of these detachments under General, Greene I was badly wounded in my leg, having the bones badly shattered by a musket ball. I lay all winter under a phisian [sic] in the country by the name of Bromson(?) and in the spring my would still continued running in consequence of the shattered bones coming out of 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 scuffled on as well as I could until I met my father and got home in the fall 1780 after being gone upwards of three years and I was never out any more.

"I was very young when I enlisted. I was also inexperienced with the regulations of an army, being unacquainted with the country through which I marched - my mind harassed 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 set forth in my declaration though I may not have given a correct account of the particular dates and occurrences of my service.

"This declarant states his moving so frequently since he knew the law was passed for his benefit, residing so small a time in one place, indeavering to keep with the 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 relinquishes every claim to whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares his name is not on the pens on roll of any agency of any state.

"Sworn to and subscribed the year and state before mentioned before me.
John Mitchell, J.P.         John Scalf."

Mitchell, after attesting the above declaration, continued to state:

"I, John Mitchell, Justice of the Peace for said county do hereby declare my oppinion that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states. l further certify that it appears to me from great bodily infirmity the applicant without a great deal of inconvenience cannot attend court and further states there is no court in session at this time in my county. Given under my hand and seal 11th day of July 1837. John Mitchell J.P."

Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, Valley Forge, Monmouth, White Plains, Middle Brook, a shattered leg from which the bones protruded at the ankle and a lifetime of suffering and disability. Ever afterwards he would be just a husk of a man but there were other veterans who were not so lucky. They had died in battle.

Slowly, through the years, John Scalf's wounds healed. He had many memories, many of them bitter ones of comrades who died, of suffering at Valley Forge, the long marches, "the could and hungar," and the fierce battles of those terrible years.

There were pleasant memories, too, like the girl at the springs if we are to believe persistent tradition, She had stood at the spring, handed him water in a gourd. He and his fellow troopers were stalking the Tories in North Carolina and the day was hot and he was tired, The girl was beautiful and the water from the spring was sweet. He remembered as his wound healed.

Seven years after he had "scuffled home" to his father's house, Edgecombe, North Carolina, he renewed the acquaintance of the girl at the spring for life.

He and Edeah Carlisle, daughter of Robert and Nancy Carlisle, were married, in Edgecombe, February 15, 1787. (4)

However it would be 50 years before the country for which he had fought and suffered would recognize his service and grant him a pittance of a pension.


1. Jarnes Scalf lived in Edgecombe County, N.C. as did Lewis Scalf, the father of John, the soldier, according to the census, There were also a David Scoff and an Israel Scapp. James and Lewis' names were listed as Calf. In James' family there were one male (himself) over 16 years, five sons under 16, and three females (wife and two daughters). He also had seven slaves. In the David Scoff family were only he and his wife over the age of 16 years.

2. The declaration of John Scalf as given here is slightly edited with punctuation marks only. His pension was awarded March 4, 1838.

3. Brigadier-General Francis Nash (1742-1777) was of a distinguished family. Nash County, N.C., and Nashville, Tennessee, were named for him. He was killed October 1777. Abner Nash (1740-1786). brother of Gen. Francis Nash, was governor of North Carolina, 1780-1781, and a member of the Continental Congress.

4. Edeah (Edy) Carlisle Scalf received 5 shillings under the will of her father, Robert Carlisle, dated Sept. 27, 1808, and probated February court term, 1815. Book E. page 8. Edgecombe County.

Robert Carlisle's parents were William and Sarah Carlisle. His will, dated April 1769, was probated at the May court term, 1769. The two sons, William and Robert (Edeah's father), divide the property, one half to their mother and one half to them jointly. Sarah Carlisle's will, dated July 1772, was probated at the January court term, 1776. She gives her son Robert a milk cow "now in his possession." Son William received 20 shillings in "Virginia money" with the remainder of the money divided between her sons William, Richard, and Joseph Bell. She gave her daughters, Millie, Sarah Bell Carlisle Baldwin and Elizabeth Bell Carlisle Bradley her wearing apparel. The children, except William and Robert, mentioned in Sarah's will, were probably children by her first marriage.

Robert Carlisle also had daughters, one called Liddie.


ROBERT CARLILE. Book E, page 81, Edgecombe County, N.C. Dated September 27, 1808, probated February Court, 1815, Wife and executrix, Nancy, given plantation, stock and house during life or widowhood. Daughter Rebecca Jackson, 5 shillings; daughter Liddy Carlile, 5 pounds currency; daughter Nancy Riley; son John; daughter Polly Bellflower; daughter Edeah Sealf; son clark; son Robert, 5 shillings each, Son Joseph, reversion in half of the land; son Cary, reversion in remaining part of land. Wife's daughter, feather bed and furniture. Executor, James Simmons; Witnesses, James Hogan, and James Downing.

ROBERT CARLILE. Edgecombe County, N.C. Dated Sept. 26, 1786, probated November Court 1786. Wife and executrix, Sarah, use of plantation "where I now live, " all personal property, "for herself in raising my children." Daughters, Susanna, Mary Ann, Sarah, and Rhoda; sons, Simon, Edward (Edwin ?), lands, houses, orchards; son Coleman, 56 acres of land wheron Lemon O'Neal now lives., debt due me from Richard Strother, and "double-britch gun." Executor, Robert Diggs. Witnesses, Elijah Stallings, John Bell.

SARAH CARLILE. Edgecombe County, N.C. Dated July.13, 1772, probated January Court, 1776, Daughter Millie; daughter Sarah Baldwin; daughter Elizabeth Bradley, "my wearing apparel." Son Robert, one cow "he has now in his possession," Son William Carlile, 20 shillings Virginia money. Son Wm. Bell; son and executor Richard Bell and son Joseph "all the rest of my estate." Witnesses, Jas. Hill, William Moring, and Henry Kea.

WILLIAM CARLILE. Edgecombe County, N.C. Dated April 5, 1769, probated May Court, 1769. Wife Sarah, one half "my personal estate." Estate to be finally "divided between my two sons."" No sale - settled among themselves. Son and executor, Robert, "plantation and land where he now liveth." "My wife shall have life estate in same." Son, William. Witnesses, William Belamy, Hartwell Phillips, and Benjamin Bell.

NANCY CARLISLE. Edgecombe County, N,C, Dated August 22, 1831. No probate date. Book F, page 130, Mother, Nancy Carlisle, all money and claims, "lending her all my land for life, then to my sister Martha Carlisle." Executor, Charles Mabry. Witnesses, Alston Savidge, and John Mabry.


ROBERT CARLILE and wife, Elizabeth, of Surrey County, Virginia, grantors to Samuel Chappel and James Gee, Surrey County, Virginia. Deed Book B, page 138. November 13, 1727. Consideration, 5 shillings for "500 acres of land on Occeneechee Plains at Cypress Meadows." Patented March 29, 1727 ... Upper moiety to James Gee, other moiety to S. Chappell. Land leased for one year. November Court, 1727. Witnesses, William Washington, and Richard Washington.

Copyright (C) 1970 by Henry P. Scalf, All Rights Reserved.