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 an 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 Mitchell J.P. mark
John Scalf, Revolutionary War soldier, demonstrated on July 11, 1837 a remarkable ability to recall his eventful, illustrious military career. Justifiably he had been left with vivid and indelable memories of a courageous service to his country. A period of 57 years had elapsed since he had scuffled home yet he still was able to account with astounding accuracy his exploits during the Revolutionary War. After very careful examination of John Scalf's pension declaration the author has found but one small detail that seems to be slightly contradictory to the records. The State Records of North Carolina, Volume 15, page 727 shows that John Scalf, #66, had enlisted on May 30, 1777 for three years. He was on the roll of Captain Howell Taturn's Co. of 1st North Carolina Battalion commanded by Colonel Thomas Clark. The entry is dated September 8, 1778 and includes the remark that John Scalf was sick, Yellow Springs. John's account of his activities would have placed him at Yellow Springs in the fall of 1777.
When John Scalf returned home in the fall of 1780 it was probably to Cumberland County, North Carolina. John's father, Lewis, was living there in 1779 as his name appears on a Cumberland County 1779 Tax List. It was not until 1784 that Lewis Scalf appeared on a tax list for Johnson County. John Scalf probably remained with his father and accompanied him or moved with him when he later went to Edgecombe County about the year 1786. Lewis Scalf had certainly moved to Edgecombe County by the year 1790 as he appears in the Federal Census there. He had moved there and was living in the Fishing Creek area north of Tarboro. By this time John's wounded leg had healed to some extent and he had left home.
John Scalf married Edeah Carlisle, daughter of Robert and Nancy Carlisle, in Edgecombe County, North Carolina on February 15, 1787. Edeah "Edy" Carlisle's grandparents were William and Sarah Carlisle. Her grandmother, Sarah, had married to Bell first and Carlisle second. Edy's sisters were Rebecca, Liddy, Nancy, and Polly. Her brothers, some of whom also lived along Fishing Creek in Edgecombe County, were John, Clark, Robert, Joseph and Cary.
John Scalf had been inflicted with a serious, bone shattering wound while serving in the Continental Army. This perhaps could partly account for the aggressive behavior which John demonstrated on several occasions during his later life. He seemed to be troubled and quite restless seldom living in one place for any length of time. He and Edy had nine sons and seven daughters some of whom were born in North Carolina others in Virginia still others in Tennessee and possibly even Kentucky. John's recalcitrant manner and urge to travel soon surfaced after his marriage to Edy. His daughters, Nancy and Polly, were born in North Carolina between 1787-1790 before he made his first move.
Not long after 1791 or 1792 when John Scalf, Jr. was born John and Edy took their children and made their way west across North Carolina to Surry County. The records show that John was living on a farm near his father, Lewis, in the year 1798. Both John and Lewis appear on a 1798 Surry County Tax List. In 1800 according to the Federal Census Lewis Scalf and John Scalf were still living in Surry County, North Carolina. It was not long after this, however, that both John and his father moved again this time to Wilkes County, North Carolina.
John's hostility and disregard for social custom was to surface in 1805 for in that year on New Year's Day there occurred an incident which apparently caused irreparable damage to the relationship between John and his father. There are no records known to this writer that indicate John ever saw his father again.
On January 1, 1805 according to a sworn statement by Peggy Love, resident of Wilkes County, North Carolina, John Scalf and James Bougus with force and arms stole one large, light-blue, castrated hog commonly called a barrow of twelve pence value. Peggy Love took the case to court and presented as her witnesses Benjamin Parks, Reuben Parks and Robert Martin. James Bougus fled the county, however, John remained for a while and was scheduled to stand trial for the alleged theft. William, John's brother, went on his bond for $40 to guarantee John's appearance in court, however, John also saw fit to leave Wilkes County. William stayed on, went to court and straightened things out. Judgment was made against John and both he and William were summoned to court in 1806 to forfeit the original bond. In 1807 Lewis Scalf apparently picked up the bond. A horse, cow and another item or two were confiscated from John in 1805 after which he disappeared from the area. A notation on the judgment for William indicated that nothing of value was found of his. The case was continued against Lewis in an attempt to collect the rest of the 40 dollars and this went on until 1813-1814 when the court in Surry County where Lewis had gone back to live finally sought to, sell 50 acres which Lewis had sold earlier to one Andrew Pruitt. It was about this time that John's sister, Sarah Scalf, was charged for the murder of her infant child and brought to court in Surry County.
When John fled from Wilkes County, North Carolina about 1806 he evidently decided to try his luck over in Kentucky since his name appears there in the 1810 Census and it was there in Floyd County that he encountered his next frustrating experience. In the 1810 Floyd County, Kentucky Census there were ten persons listed in the John Scalf family; 4 males and 6 females. The records of Floyd County show that John Scalf had been detained in the Prestonsburg jail, however, he had escaped before being brought to trial. The reason for John being incarcerated in the Prestonsburg jail has not been learned by the author.
From Floyd County John moved over to the newly created county of Clay where he obtained work at the Goose Creek Salt Works. Clay
County had been formed from parts of Floyd County, Knox County and Madison County the effective date being 1807. The "Salt Spring" had been discovered in Clay County or rather what later became Clay County by James Collins and other pioneers before 1790. The manufacturing of salt was a good business in those days even though transporting it to market was difficult and time consuming. That salt was carried by ox cart and mules and placed in 60 gallon home made barrels to be sent by salt boat down Goose Creek, Kentucky River, Ohio River, Mississippi and finally on up the Missouri. It was at the Goose Creek Salt Works that John Scalf worked as did his sons several years later.
John remained in Clay County for a few years then moved back to Russell County, Virginia. Trouble seemed to follow the old soldier and it wasn't long after he had returned to Russell County that John found himself faced with new problems. On August 3, 1820 at the Russell County Courthouse in Lebanon, Virginia a report by John Smyth, Overseer Of The Poor, was read in court. The report being read it was then ordered that William, Berry, Ira, Lea, Peter, Jesse and Robert, children of John Scalf, who being unable to support his said children and bring them up in honest causes be bound out to some fit persons as apprentices. All seven of the sons mentioned were not actually bound out, however, the records do indicate that at least one son, William, was indeed apprenticed to a Stephen Gose. Evidently John Scalf must have gone looking for his son and having found him then took him home. As a result of this John was apprehended and jailed on a charge of kidnapping his own son and when the, case came to court on October 3, 1820 the decision was made in John's favor that he was not guilty and the case was dismissed. There must have been a rather heated argument that day between John Scalf and John Smythe who had originally caused John's sons to be bound out because the records show that on October 3, 1820 there was the following entry in the court ledger:
"For reasons appearing to the court on the complaint of John Smyth, Jr. it is ordered that John Scalf who is in court be required to order into recognizance for keeping the peace towards the said John Smyth for the term of 12 months, himself in the sum of $50 with two securities in the sum of $25 each, whereupon the said John Scalf with David McClenahan and John Counts send his securities here in Court, acknowledge themselves indebted to Thomas M. Randolph, esquire Governor or Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth of Virginia the said John Scalf in the sum of $50 and the said David McClenahan and John Counts send in the sum of $25 each; of them of their respective lands and tenements goods and chattels to be levied and to the said Governor and his successors for the use of the Commonwealth to be rendered. Yet upon condition that if the said John Scalf shall keep the peace and be of good behavior towards all the citizens of this Commonwealth and especially towards the said John Smyth for the term of 12 months as aforsaid then this recognizance is to be void."
John Scalf begrudgedly kept the peace and the author believes that he left Russell County once again and went to Clay County, Kentucky during the early 1820's. One reason why the author believes that both John Scalf, Sr. and John Scalf, Jr. were living in Clay County in the 1820's is because the Clay County records show that John Scalf, Jr's. daughter, Ann Scalf, married Thomas Hubbard there on April 6, 1826. The records tend to show that John Scalf, Jr. lived near his father until the time of the gallant old soldier's death in 1848 in Greene Co., Tennessee.
It does, however, appear certain that both John, Sr. and John, Jr. had returned again to Russell County, Virginia by 1830 as they both are found there in the 1830 Federal Census along with John Scalf, Sr's. son, Brittan, who had a family of his own at this time.
One reason for John's return to Russell County may have been the trouble Brittan had in 1828 when as the Russell County records show on March 4, 1828 Court of Quarterly Session John Long and Brittain Scalf were fined one dollar each for an assault committed on each other.
There seemed to pass a short period of peace and tranquility for the Scalf families until 1834 when an unlikely event occurred which was to cause long lasting effects.
On Tuesday, July 15, 1834 just a few months after John's son, Ira, had married Rosannah Gibson, a Court was called and held by the Justices of Russell County, Virginia at Lebanon. This court session was held, "For the examination of John Scalf, Jr. of Russell County for feloniously passing in payment to Richard B. Long in said county on the 8th day of July, 1834 a certain fake, forged and counterfeit piece of silver coin current within this Commonwealth of the denomination of 50 cents United States coin dated 1829 with intention in so doing to defraud the said Richard B. Long. He the said John Scalf then and then knowing the said piece of coin to be false forged and counterfeited."
The case was continued on August 5, 1834 and the account reads, "The prisoner was brought to the bar and by his counsel moved the Court to quash the warrant issued by the Justices for convening this Court and to discharge the prisoner which motion the court over-ruled whereupon sundry witnesses being sworn and examined as well for as against the prisoner, it is considered by the Court that the said John Scalf for the felony aforesaid ought to be tried in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery of this county, and thereupon he is remanded to jail.
Richard B. Long and Robert Boyd of this county came into Court and acknowledge themselves indebted to Littleton W. Tazewell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the sum of $100 each ' of their lands and tenaments goods and chattels to be levied and to the said Governor and his successors for the use of the Commonwealth to be rendered yet upon this condition. That of the said Richard B. Long and Robert Boyd shall severally make their personal appearance before the judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery of Russell County at the Court House on the first day of the next term to give evidence in behalf of the Commonwealth against John Scalf, Jr. charged with passing counterfeit coin and shall not depart thence without the leave of the said Circuit Court then this recognizance is to be void."
John Scalf, Jr. won an acquittal, however, it might truly be said that while John, Jr. "won the battle; John, Sr. lost the war" since it must have cost John Scalf, Sr. most of what he had to get the favorable verdict for his son. There is on record in Russell County some evidence of this. The July 7, 1835 court session has this entry, "John W. Blizzard having obtained an attachment against the estate of John Scalf, sen. who intended to remove his effects out of the county for debt and the constable having made claim that he had attached of the property of the defendant one cow and calf and bell, two pair of horses and one pair of drawing chains about 8 or 9 bushels of corn, one old side saddle this day came the plaintiff by his attorney and the defendant being solemnly called came not whereupon came also, by his attorney, Ira Scalf who claimed the cow and calf and corn aforesaid attached and filed his interpleader to which the plaintiff replied and issue being joined came also a jury to wit: William Sargent, John Garrad, John Belcher, Vincent Jasser, Joel Fields, Abraham Campbell, Elisha Kiger, Thomas Gibson, Jr., James C. Gibson, Charles H. Gilmon, John B. Fields and Harry Gillespie, who being sworn diligently to inquire into the right of said property, upon their oath so say that the right thereto is in the said Ira Scalf. Therefore, it is considered by the Court that the plaintiff pay to the said Ira Scalf his costs and it appearing that the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff $19 due by note, it is considered that the plaintiff recover against the defendant the said sum of $19 with interest thereon to be completed after the rate of six per centerm per annum from the 12th day of April, 1835 till paid, and his costs in this behalf expended and it is ordered the Sheriff make sale of the residue of the said property, as the law decrees, pay the proceeds thereof to the plaintiff and return an account of such sale to the next court."
It is apparent from studying this court order that John. Scalf had left Russell County after the trial of his son, John Scalf, Jr. The records show that John went to Hawkins County, Tennessee and it was there in Hawkins County that he applied for a military pension in 1837. This same year, 1837, was the year construction. started on the new courthouse in Rogersville, county seat of Hawkins County, Tennessee. The old courthouse that John Scalf went to for making application for his pension was directly across the street from where today's courthouse stands. It was an. old log building featuring a small cupelo in the middle where a bell was sounded to signify the opening of court when court was in session. When the new courthouse was built a Col. Crawford carried away all the logs that had been used to make the old courthouse. John Scalf probably rode horseback into Rogersville that day in 1837 when he went to apply for his pension since the cost of travelling by stage that year was ten. cents per mile. It is doubtfull that the old soldier stayed at the Rogers Inn either when. he went to Rogersville. However, John Scalf was successful in obtaining his pension. for military service in the Revolutionary War. He was not to keep it very long for in 1838 it was revoked as a result of a vindictive scherne conjured up by his old enemies in Russell County. In John Scalf's file on record at the National Archives there are several depositions that were made on. behalf of the old soldier in his quest to have his pension restored. Examination. of these depositions gives illuminating insight as to why John's pension. was stopped as well as offering some revealing information about his family.
John's daughter, gave this affidavit before Robert Rogers, Justice of the
Peace, at Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee:
"That she is now well acquainted with said Scalf and that she has known him from her earliest recollection to the present time and that she always understood that he had performed service in the War of the Revolution which she never doubted-that she was also well acquainted from her earliest recollection with Lewis Scalf, the refuted father of the aforesaid John Scalf, sen, and that she knew them both in the County of Wilkes in the state of North Carolina from which county said Lewis Scalf removed to the state of Georgia many years ago and died at a very advanced age he being upwards of one hundred years old that said John Scalf, sen. removed from said County of Wilkes into Russell County in the state of Virginia where he lived several years, thence into the state of Kentucky, thence into Hawkins County, Tennessee where he still resided within five or six miles of her residence and is certain of the removals of said John Scalf, sen, as stated. She further states that she is satisfied that said John Scalf was the soldier in the war of the Revolution and that he is not an Imposter as represented; from the fact that she often heard him speak of incidents connected with the army in which he served in the Revolution, and the relation of a wound he said he received in the Leg during an engagement with the Enemy which he has repeatedly exhibited; all of which conversation and exhibition of his wound took place long before he made application for a Pension. that he now tells the same tales respecting the Revolution and that she is therefore bound to give full credit to his statements. She further states that she now makes this affidavit at the request of said John Scalf, sen. in consequence of charges said to have been made that he was not old enough to perform military service in the Revolution and that he bore the christian name of his father and by personating him (his father) fraudulently obtained a Pension. With respect to the age of said Scalf she further states that from her personal knowledges of him the number and age of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and his personal appearance she unhesitatingly declares it as her opinion that he must be upwards of Eighty-five years of age and that he has had sixteen children and about thirty five or forty great grandchildren the most of whom are now living and she further states that said Scalf had one daughter about two years older than herself."
The above affidavit was given by Polly Trent at the Hawkins County, Tennessee Courthouse on July 17, 1845. On this same day John Scalf, Sr's daughter-in-law, Patsy Scalf, gave her affidavit in support of John's continuing effort to get his pension restored. She stated:
" That her maiden name was Patsy Couts and that she was raised in Russell County, Virginia where she first became acquainted with John Scalf, sen. now of Hawkins County, Tennessee who was a revolutionary Pensioner which was about Twenty five years ago and that he Scalf now resides about three miles from her residence in said county of Hawkins that since her marriage to John Scalf, Junior and since her removal to Tennessee and since the Pension of said Scalf was granted and before its suspension she visited her relatives in Russell County, Virginia. That she was well acquainted with John, Stephen and Stuffly Gost or Gose and Valentine Bush of said county, who as she is informed has interfered so as to cause a suspension of said Scalf's pension. That while on said visit she was riding in company with John Gost or Gose to Lebanon the county seat of Russell when a conversation arose between her and the said Gost relative to some difficulties which had previously taken place between the Bushes and Gosts on one side and the Scalfs on the other, and that old man Scalf's pension was spoken of during said conversation which conversation was attended with much warinth; that in that conversation or rather a quarrel the said John Gost swore that "He be godamity damned if he didn't stop Old Scalf's Pension through spite," and repeated the threat, he Gost being very angry and highly excited at the time against her and her husband, John Scalf, Junr. in consequence of a lawsuit and other differences between her husband and Valentine Bush who was a brother-in-law of said John Gost and a relation of Stephen and Stuffley Gost or Gose -- That she believes said John Gost did not urge anything particular against the Pensioner Scalf except that he was not old enough to have been a Revolutionary soldier and that he was the father of her husband, John Scalf, Junr. and that John Scalf, Junr. had prosecuted Valentine Bush, the brother-in-law of said Gost, for slander in which suit said Bush was adjudged Guilty and taxed with the cost which she has since understood swept away the most of his property. She further states that the above mentioned facts appeared to be the grounds of his (Gosts) hostility toward the Pensioner Scalf who at the time lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee and she further states that if the charges said to exist against the Old man Scalf were made by any of the Gosts or Bushes knowing them as she does she has no doubt but that they were made through spite and malice in order to wreak their vengeance indiscriminately upon the Scalf family. She further states that the aforesaid Valentine Bush slandered her by saying she had swore a lie and that he could prove it for which her husband, John Scalf, Junr. prosecuted him, that he was found guilty and taxed with the cost as before stated, which took place prior to her removal to Tennessee and she believes that had it not been for this suit her father-in-law would have been until the present time enjoying the bounties of the government unmolested. She also states that on the same day that Gost made the threat to stop the old man's Pension she was told by a respectable person, Col. Sharp of Lee County, Virginia that said Gost and Bush were consulting in Lebanon as to stopping the old man Scalf s pension. Deponent further states that from her own knowledge and from reliable sources of information the following number of persons are the offspring of the Pensioner Scalf and his wife, Viz: -- Names of his children, Nancy Collins, Polly Trent, John Scalf, jun., Britton Scalf, Dicy Williams, Betsy Collins, Berry Scalf, Ira Scalf, Lee Scalf, Peter Scalf, Lydia Panter, Robert Scalf, Lela Lockard, Jesse Scalf, and two William Scalfs both deceased, 16 children. Nancy had 5 children, Polly 11, John 14, Britton 19, Dicy 10, Betsy 1, Berry 8, Ira 7, Lee 7, Peter 4, Lydia 5, Robert 6, Lela 4, Jesse 8 -109 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren and one of the latter being old enough if alive to have children also and she thinks there may be more grandchildren and great grandchildren from the fact that it has been sometime since she has seen some of the families.
She further states that judging from the age of some of his oldest children, his personal appearance and withered frame that he must be considerably over Eighty years of age and she also fully believes from circumstances he related to her Twenty odd years ago relative to the revolutionary war and particularly the mention of a bullet wound and exhibition of a scar on his leg, which he said he had received in said war, that he was a revolutionary soldier."
John Scalf, Jr. also went to court on July 17, 1845 at Rogersville and gave his affidavit on behalf of his father, John Scalf, Sr. in an effort to help get the old soldier's pension restored. John's affidavit read:
"That he is the son of the said John Scalf, Sen. who lives about three miles from his (deponents) residence in the county aforesaid, - that he was well acquainted with his (Dep.) Grandfather, Lewis Scalf, who was the Father of the aforesaid John Scalf, sen., in the county of Wilkes in the State of North Carolina -- that said Lewis Scalf removed to the state of Georgia, where he (Dep.) understood he died at a very advanced age, being over One hundred years old. Deponent further states that he and his wife have had fourteen children and now have four grandchildren-that from what his father and mother always told him he is now aged fifty four years past, and that he has two sisters older than himself to wit: Nancy and Polly -- that of his own knowledge his father and mother have claimed the parentage of sixteen children, that they have One hundred and nine grandchildren and forty Great grandchildren. and that one of the great grandchildren, (a female) is old enough to have children also she being about Twenty years of age. that as the families are scattered and as he has not had any intercourse with some of them for several years the probabilities are, that the number of his father's grandchildren and great grandchildren have increased beyond the numbers stated. Deponent further states that judging from the number of his father's children and their ages; the great number of his grandchildren and great grandchildren; and from his father's personal appearance his grey hairs and tottering condition, that he must be about Eighty five years of age. Deponent further states that he now makes this affidavit at the request of his father in consequence of a charge said to exist against him that he was not old enough to have performed any military service in the war of the Revolution and that he personated his father and thereby fraudulently obtained a Pension. Deponent is certain that the last charge is false from the fact that he was well acquainted with his (Dep.) Grandfather, Lewis Scalf, and father of the aforesaid John Scalf, sen. by which name his father has always been known. As to the first charge, Dep. knows nothing of his father's age further than what he has stated but has always understood from his earliest recollection that his father was a soldier in the war of the revolution and that he had received several wounds in said war. From information he believes that said charges were made by his (Dep.) old enemies the Gosts or Goses and Bushes of Russell County, Virginia where deponent once lived and that they have, perhaps persecuted his father in order to wreak their vengeance on him (Dep.) and his wife, Patsy Scalf. Deponent is led to this conclusion from the fact that there was considerable law difficulties between himself and wife on the one side and Valentine Bush, the Brother-in-law of John Gose or Gost and relation of Stephen and Stuffley Gost all of the same county on the other side -- that said Bush had slandered his Deponents wife, by saying she had swore a lie and that he could prove it, for which Deponent prosecuted said Bush for slander, who was found guilty and taxed with the cost-that before the commencement of said suit and during the prosecution thereof and after its termination the Gose and Bush families on the one side and the Scalfs on the other were arrayed in bitter hostility against each other and that they are unfriendly yet, all of which happened in Russell County, Virginia. Deponent further states that he knows of no record of his father's age nor does he believe any ever existed unless it was made by Deponents Grandfather, Lewis Scalf, which he thinks would now be impossible to find as his Grandfather died many years ago in the state of Georgia. He further states that his father being very illiterate cannot read or write."
John Scalf, Junior
Other depositions were given in court at Rogersville all in an effort to have John Scalf s pension. restored. After many failures the Honorable Andrew Johnson, Congressman from Tennessee, intervened on John's behalf and by this gesture and the force it carried the old soldier finally realized success as his pension was indeed restored to him on January 1, 1846. Of course, as history notes the Honorable Andrew Johnson was later to become the 17th President of The United States.
John Scalf, Revolutionary Soldier, was reinstated on the pension rolls and enjoyed the benefits of his pension along with back pay until his death in Greene County, Tennessee on March 10, 1848. He had probably went to visit his son, Greenberry, who was living in Greene County at the time of John Scalf's death. John was approximately 87 years old when he died. He was survived by his wife, Edy, who lived on to about 1860.
After her husband's death Edy lived alternately in the homes of her several children. The 1850 Census indicates she was living with her son, John Scalf, Jr., in Claiborne County, Tennessee at that time.
It might be noted here that several Scalf families had lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee earlier for in the 1840 Census of Hawkins County can be found the following Scalf families: John Scalf, Sr., John Scalf, Jr., Ira Scalf, and William Scalf. Also by the 1840 Census it is known that David Scalf was living in Sullivan County, Tennessee and the Berry Scalf family was living in Greene County, Tennessee.
Edy Scalf continued to receive a pension of $80 per annum following the death of her husband and later acquired a tract of Bounty Land due to the fact that she was the widow of a Revolutionary Soldier. This occurred in May of 1857 at which time Edy was living in Knox County, Kentucky possibly at the home of Peter Scalf, a son who had moved there from Clay County between 1846-1850. Edy sold the tract of land she had received from the government as the records indicate she sold all 160 acres to one Richardson Adams on January 5, 1858.
The saga of John Scalf, Revolutionary Soldier, is a colorful story filled with frustrations and bitter-sweet memories. That John led a full and eventful 87 years of life there can be little room for argument. His youth spent in the rugged middle lands of North Carolina surely molded his independent character and strong nationalistic pride. He unhesitatingly offered himself for service to his country at a very tender age. He served a valiant career that included action in some of the most historic battles of the Revolutionary War. There can be little doubt that John's wound suffered while in military service was to be a debilitating factor to him for the remainder of his life. Yet the old soldier fought on in civilian life and though prone to drinking at times and defensive to the point of being overly aggressive at other times let the record show John Scalf was true American with whatever human frailties he displayed notwithstanding.
Children of John Scalf and Edeah Carlisle
Nancy Scalf (B. 1788)
Polly Scalf (B. 1789)
John Scalf, Jr. (B. 1791)
William Scalf (B. 1795)
Brittan Scalf (B. 1799)
Dicy Scalf (B. 1800)
Lydia Scalf (B. 1804)
William Scalf (B. 1806)
Berry Scalf (B. 1809)
Lee Scalf (B. 1810)
Ira Scalf (B. 1812)
Jesse Scalf (B. 1813)
Peter Scalf (B. 1815 D. 1898)
Betsy Scalf (B. 1816)
Robert Scalf (B. 1818)
Cecilia Scalf (B. 1823. D. 5-29-1859)
Click HERE to view a map from Page 34 of Scalf Family History
"Area where John Scalf, Sr., John Scalf, Jr., William Scalf, and
Polly and Alexander Trent lived. 1840's."
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Copyright (c) 1982 Elmer D. Scalf. All rights reserved.