John Hodges came from Essex County , Virginia , to Abbeville I)istrict, South Carolina , before the American Revolution. His parents, Richard and Elizabeth Hodges, brought their family, with twelve children to Mulberry Creek. One of the sons, named John, born 1765 in Essex County , VA , became a Revolutionary soldier at age 15. Father Richard died in South Carolina soon after arriving. Indians attacked the widow Hodges and she was able to take some of the children into the forest where they hid in a hollow tree. The Indians tied two of the daughters in the cabin and burned the home and the girls. They took one daughter with them. She returned after the Revolution with a half Indian son. She could not speak English.
The John Hodges family settled near the present location of Hodges, SC. The country was rich in wild animals and dense forest. Also, there were more Indians than settlers. Young John Hodges was only eleven years old when the American Revolution started. He had been born in Essex County, VA, in 1765. A volunteer at age sixteen, on 1 April 1780, John became a private in Captain Samuel Rosamond's company. Later, he served in Colonel Picken's Regiment. He fought in many battles. The U.S. Archives has a complete record of his service. Extracts are in a number of reference books. The best record is the actual request for a pension, made by the man himself . It is a long, hand written document, signed by John Hodges. Written on both sides, there is ‘bleed-through” but all words can be read. It has important historical value because the descriptions are first hand accounts. The transcription by Albert Metts left spelling and punctuation unchanged. The U.S. Archives File number is W10117
State of South Carolina )
On this twenty-third day of Octr 1832 personally appeared in open court before the honorable Richard Gantt Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas & General Sefsions
(in old writing, an ‘f' was used when there was a double “s”.) for the said State & District now sitting John Hodges a resident of Abbeville District in the State of South Carolina aged sixty seven years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declarations in order to obtain the benefit of the act Congrefs passed June 7th 1832.
‘That he entered the service of the United States at the age of fifteen as a volunteer and private on or about the first day of April One thousand seven hundred and eighty and was enrolled as such under the command of Capt. Samuel Rosamond who commanded a beat or militia company in the then District of ninety-six, now Abbeville in the State of South Carolina that he was marched in the said company from Ninetysix l)istrict to a place called Beach Island in this State near Augusta in the State ol Georgia where he was taken sick and left by his company under the care of one Capn Tutt a regular Officer under whose care he soon recovered and under whom he done and performed service and duty for at least the period of one month and he returned home where he soon alter rejoined Capt. Rosamonds company who had also returned from an attempt to aid Charleston but who had heard of the fall of that place in May seventeen hundred and eighty on his march to its relief and then returned to the aid of the upper country where from the time of the fall of Charleston the tories had become formidable and dangerous to the friends of liberty by not only their own acts of murder rapine & plunder but by influencing and exciting the indians on the borders of South Carolina to every savage and rapacious act of cruelty and outrage towards the whigs and they the tories frequently themselves taking the lead in plunder and depredation these state of things existing at that time in full energy against the comparatively few friends of liberty in Carolina give to these friends almost constant and active employment in apprising in every manner they could this double enemy until a third enemy the British under Col Cruger affected a lodgement of their force in the District of Ninety six at a place called Ninety six or sometimes Cambridge which force together with their allies the tories and indians kept the surrounding settlements or country in a subjected state until the arrival of Gen Greene with his forces before Cambridge to which he laid seige and to which place the whigs of the country flocked to aid the beseigers in driving or expelling the British. The applicant was marched in Capn Rosamands company with all the whig militia of the country who were all under the command of Col or Genl Pickens to succour and aid Genl Greene in his advances against Col Cruger at Cambridge or Ninety six and continued there in active employment against the beseiged British under Gen Greene until he raised the seige in June 1781 / seventeen hundred and eighty one / and marched his force as well as the force under Gen Pickens toward the Congaree River in this State at which place Genl Greene ordered Gen Pickens with his militia to the Orangeburg Post and to the upper part of South Carolina to check the tories in that section of country accordingly the applicant in Capt Rosamands company was marched back to the District of Ninety six and then soon after discharged. The applicant at the seige of Cambridge lost a horse saddle and bridle appraised at one hundred dollars which fell into the hands of the British & and for which he never received one cent in any way towards the payment for his lofs directly or indirectly and from the best of his recollection he computes this tour of service and duty to be at least nine months. The applicant John Hodges shortly after his return aforesaid with Capn Rosamand from Green's army volunteered his services for six months under a Capt. Samuel Moore a partizan Officer of mounted men in whose company he performed active & constant duty for six months & towards the later part of his service he acted as Second Lieutenant of the company but how long he done Lieutenant duty in this compn he cannot recollect he however continued in this company until Capn Moore was killed while alone and unattended by a skirmishing party of tories under the command of the notorious William Cunningham who is in South Carolina to this day distinguished by the name of Bloody Cunningham but when Capt Moore was killed the applicant cannot tell but thinks it was in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty one.
The pension application of John Hodges continues:
The applicant subsequently then volunteered his services for six months under Capn Robert Maxwell a partizan officer of mounted men some time in the latter part of the year seventeen hundred and eighty one and he in Capn Robert Maxwells company together with a number of other troops were ordered to march to the Cherokee country by Gen Pickens who in person conducted the expedition against the indians the army entered the Cherokee nation & arrived at Choata town where a battle was fought & terminated in the defeat of the indians a large number of whom were put to flight forty or fifty killed and about one hundred of them taken prisoner, Choata town burned, besides other indian villages, & their corn destroyed, after which the army returned to the settlement, where peace was restored by the overthrow of the indians The applicant remained in the said Robert Maxwells company the full term of the said six months guarding the frontiers, & scouting from place to place to awe the enemies of the country until peace was restored to it by its British enemies & the applicant discharged from further service in the defence of his country.
Answers to certain lnterrogatories
Answer to 1st lnt.y- The applicant John Hodges was born in Essex County in the State of Virginia , and from the information of older branches of his family in the year 1765 -seventeen hundred and sixty five.
Answer to 2d Int.y- The applicant has no record of his age.he says it was burnt in & with a house in the State of South Carolina .
Answer to 3d lnt.y- The applicant says he was living in the District of Ninety six now Abbeville District when he entered service of his country as a volunteer where he has since lived & where he now lives.
Answer to 4th lnt.y- The applicant says he always volunteered his services that he never was drafted neither did he ever substitute for any person whatever.
Answer to 5th lnt.y- The applicant says that Gen Greene is the only regular Officer he distinctly recollects & to the balance of the Interrogatory he refers to his declaration above for all his knowledge relating thereto.
Answer to 6th lnt.y- The applicant says he never received a written discharge, his discharges were always verbal.
Answer to 7th lnt.y- The applicant is known to the Revd Hugh Dixon, Revd, Thomas
Rosamond William Barmore Esqr Samuel Agnew, James Agnew & the Revd James
Willson all whom can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services
as a soldier of the Revolution. & who all live in his present neighborhood. Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid
The service of and the lineage of John Hodges to this writer were proved and approved by the Sons of the American Revolution. Of course, the best evidence of service is the file, above, in the U.S. Archives. A few other references are~ Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Moss, p.451; Revolutionary Soldiers and Other Patriotic Records of Abbeville County, SC, Burns, pp. 17-18. National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Dec., 1933, p. 132; and, South Carolina in the Revolution, Ervin, p. 32.
The little town of Hodges , near Abbeville , SC , would be named many years after John settled there and raised a large family of twenty children. (YES, 20 CHILDREN) John Hodges married Margaret Long in 1786. They had two children, Lucy Wardlaw (b.1787) and Reuben B. (b. 1790) After the death of Margaret, John married Frances Anderson in late 1790. Frances came from Virginia to Abbeville in May 1790 with her family. Her father lived to be over 105 years old. At that age he could walk thirteen miles. Little was known about Frances until 1994. In a separate study it was learned that her parents were Walter Anderson and his wife Tabitha. Their children were Samul Anderson; Richard L. Anderson; Walter Anderson, Jr.; Susannah Wright; Frances Hodges; Tabitha Davis; Sarah Hodges; and Lucy Pulliam.
Walter Anderson's father was John Anderson who came to America from Wales . He was a sailor on a sloop on the Rappahannock River in 1675. He sailed up the river until he could go no further and settled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains on Carter's Creek below Watney Mountain . He died when Walter Anderson was a child.
Walter went to live with his mother's brother, William Browne. Walter married Ann Thornton and had a son John, named after his father. Ann died and he married Tahitha. They lived in Caroline County, VA, until they moved to Abbeville , SC.
During the American Revolution, Walter was old, but he is given credit by the SAR for Patriotic Service. That is why the discussion about Walter is included with the story of his heroic son in law, John Hodges.
NOW, THIS FINAL STORY – after the Revolution when John's sister whom the Indians kidnapped came home to Hodges South Carolina , the family had a reunion under the trees. EVERY ONE OF JOHN'S TWENTY ADULT CHILDREN WERE PRESENT!
I prepared this story after a request by Peter Baron. At age 88 my memory is not dependable so this information is copied exactly from my book, “Metts Ancestors in America – The Direct Line” that I wrote in 1984. A copy is in the San Antonio Public Library. The Library of Congress classified the book as a “Historical Narrative”.
ALBERT CASWELL METTS, JR.
Colonel, Infantry, Retired
United States Army