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    » Show All     «Prev «1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ... 16» Next»     » Slide Show

    James Cox Revolutionary War Service Overview

    James Cox (1763-1842) was my 5th great grandfather.  His story is both heroic and sad, in that he actively served for four years during the Revolutionary War, mostly under the command of his father, Capt. John Cox.  However, when he applied for a pension in 1832, he was denied for the reasons explained below.  Basically, it was refused because the War Office determined that the nature of his service did not meet the legal requirements for having served in a regularly organized military campaign.  It is clear from reading his testimony and that of many others that his service was indeed comprehensive and lengthy.

    Using the website  one is able to see approximately 120 pages that comprise his pension file.  (Reference:  James Cox, Revolutionary War, Virginia).

    In this album I will include some sample pages from that pension file and some transcriptions and summaries of his war service.


    James Cox, son of Capt. John Cox, was born in Fort Chiswell, Virginia, in 1763. Fort Chiswell was located in what was originally the southern part of Botetourt County, VA. This area became Montgomery County in 1777, Wythe County in 1790, and Grayson County in 1793. James Cox served his father as an "Indian spy" during the Revolutionary War. He applied for a pension in 1832 (NARA Pension File No. R2412, see below), but his application was rejected because he could not show that he had served six months in a regularly organized military corps as required by the Pension Act. The Act did not contemplate the sort of guerilla warfare that James had engaged in. In a letter dated August 22, 1833, the Pension Office explained, "The alleged service of the applicant cannot be considered a military service in the meaning of the Act of June 7, 1832."

    James' widow, Sarah Cox, applied for a widow's pension in 1855. She testified that her maiden name was Sarah FIELDER, she married James Cox on January 4, 1815, and James Cox died on April 17, 1842, in Grayson County, VA. Mrs. Cox spent several fruitless years trying to convince the Pension Office to grant her application. James Cox's file in the National Archives contains over 100 pages of documents, including numerous supporting declarations and letters submitted over the years on behalf of both James Cox and Sarah Cox. A number of individuals from Grayson and Ashe counties testified that James Cox was a soldier in the Revolution, including his brother Joshua COX, Benjamin PHIPPS, Charles COLE, Jonathan THOMAS, Jesse RAY, John TOLIVER, Henry GAMBILL, and Henry HARDIN. However, the evidence the Pension Office never reversed its decision that James Cox's service was not of a "military character."

    In the book Footprints in the Sands of Time  (1900), the Grayson County historian Dr. A.B. Cox wrote that James Cox married "the Widow TERRELL." She was probably the widow of Timothy TERRILL of Ashe County, NC, who was killed by Indians while exploring Tennesse in 1781. (His death is described in The Annals of Tennessee  (1853), p.455.) Her first name (Elizabeth) and birth date (Feb. 24, 1753) are reportedly from a Bible that at one time was in the possession of Mrs. W.H. Welch of Lansing, Michigan. According to the Terrill family, Timothy's wife remarried and lived in Grayson County, VA. Some of the family later moved to Kentucky.

    (Source: Terrill Website  by John Terrill Wayland Jr.) James Cox's Revolutionary War pension file in the National Archives contains an interesting letter from Mrs. W.H. Welch, dated July 18, 1932:

    AlbumsRevolutionary War Veteran: James Cox 1763-1842

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