Alabama Revolutionary War Soldiers – E Surnames

EARLE, SAMUEL, aged 75, and a resident of Washington County; private Virginia Continental Line; enrolled on January 5, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $80; sums received to date of publication of list, $200.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

EDDINS, BENJAMIN. “The subject of this sketch was a native of Virginia, and moved to South Carolina, many years previous to the American Revolution. He settled with his family in the upper part of the State, near Cambridge, or ‘Old Ninety-Six.’ By industry, prudence and economy, he has accumulated a handsome property and was living in great comfort and independence, when the war of the Revolution commenced. The ease and comfort of a home, however, with all of the luxuries of wealth, were as nothing to Mr. Eddins, when compared with the cause in which he found his country struggling.

“After the glorious repulse of Sir Peter Parker and Henry Clinton in their attack upon Fort Moultrie, in 1776, the citizens of South Carolina were suffered to live in peace until the fall of Charleston in 1780. Immediately after this unfortunate event, the whole South fell under the military Government of Great Britain. The inhabitants, in almost every part of the country, had to seek protection from such a source. They preferred dying with the liberties of their country, rather than to survive only to witness her degradation and subjection. Among these gallant spirits, whose names deserve being held in everlasting remembrance, was Benjamin Eddins. He attached himself to a small band of patriots, who stood out in defiance of the Royal Government, in old Ninety-Six district. Whilst bravely fighting under the standard of liberty, borne by his patriot band he was captured, and sent a prisoner of war to the British station at Ninety-Six, then under the command of Col. Cruger.

“Shortly after the capture of and imprisonment of Mr. Eddins a scouting party of the Tories went to his home, and after appropriating everything movable which they could find, they demanded of Mrs. Eddins her hidden treasures of money, and other articles of value. Making a virtue of necessity, she yielded everything of the kind which she possessed. But the plunderers were not satisfied and insisted that all had not been given up, and thereupon proceeded to abuse her shamefully and mistreat Mrs. Eddins.

An officer was guilty of the dastardly brutality of inflicting upon her a wound with his sword, which she carried to her grave. They then set fire to the dwelling house and out-houses, and in a few minutes, the whole were wrapped in flames.

“The news of the destruction of the property, and the mistreatment of the family, was carried to Mr. Eddins, whilst immured in the prison vaults. He received the information with the philosophy and calm resignation of a Christian and a patriot. The fruits of his labor and industry, during a well spent life, were gone; but they had.. been sacrificed by his unflinching devotion to his country, and this was consolation enough for a spirit like his.

“After remaining some time in prison, unnoticed and perhaps unthought of, by those in whose custody he was, it was his good fortune to receive a visit from Col. Cruger, the commander of the station. The object of this visit was, to employ Eddins as a pilot for the foraging parties of the British army. He had a great while been living in that part of the country, and was better acquainted with its locality than almost any other person. Hence, his services would have been a matter of considerable importance to the British army. In order to secure him in such service, Col. Cruger offered him his liberty and liberal wages. They were instantly rejected with scorn and indignation. A commission in the British army was then tendered him, with a promise of indemnity for the property which he had lost. These tempting offers were likewise spurned. Threats were now resorted to, and in reply to these, Eddins said, ‘I am, sir, your prisoner, and consequently completely in your power. You may, if you see proper, inflict any cruelty your imagination can invent. If it suits your love of torture, you may hitch a horse to each of my limbs and tear my body into four pieces: Or you can-unfolding his naked bosom to the Colonel-‘cut out my heart and drain it of its last drop of blood; but, sir, my services belong to my country, and you never can command them.’ The boldness and the patriotic devotion of this high and noble expression-an expression worthy of the most illustrious hero that ever lived-touched the heart of the British officer, who was an accomplished gentleman, and a generous soldier and feeling alive to all of the noble impulses of our nature. ‘You infatuated rebel,’ replied the Colonel, ‘You possess too bold a spirit and too honest a heart to linger out your days in prison you are at liberty to go where you please, and dispose of your services as you may see proper.’

“Mr. Eddins was immediately released, and soon after joined the American army under General Pickens, where he continued to serve till the end of the war. He lived to a good old age, and died in Alabama, not many years since. He witnessed his country enjoying that liberty and independence, for which he had fought so manfully in his younger days.

“The above was given by a revolutionary soldier, who was in prison with Mr. Eddins, when visited by Col. Cruger.”-“Revolutionary Incidents, No. 14,” by Benjamin F. Perry in the Greenville Mountaineer, Greenville, S. C., Saturday, May 16, 1835.

EDDINS, WILLIAM, aged 70, and a resident of Madison County; dragoon Virginia Militia; enrolled on August 12, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $100; sums received to date of publication of list, $200.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess. 1833-34.

The Greenville Mountaineer, Greenville. S. C., June 27, 1835, has an interesting sketch of the services of Mr. Eddins. It was written by Gov. Benjamin F. Perry, a distinguished lawyer and political leader of South Carolina, and who de-voted much time to local antiquarian and historical studies. The sketch is given in full:

“For the Mountaineer.


“In a previous number of these incidents, the ‘writer gave a brief sketch of the life, character and services of BENJAMIN EDDINS, a brave and gallant old spirit of the Revolution, who said to Col. Cruger, whilst a prisoner of war in a British garrison, ‘I scorn your threats-you may take my life, or inflict on my person any cruelty your imagination can suggest-but my services belong to my country, and you can never command them.’ Never was there a nobler sentiment uttered by the mouth of man. The far-famed reply of General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to the French Ministry-‘Millions for defense, but not a cent for tribute,’ does not surpass it.

“The object of the present number, is to give some account of the Revolutionary services of Williams Eddins, the worthy son of this fearless and disinterested old patriot, and endowed with all of his father’s devotion to his country, united. with the natural ardor and enthusiasm of youth. At the age of sixteen, before most boys have left the leading strings of their mother, he shouldered his rifle, and marched forth to meet the enemy of his country, ready to ‘sink or swim, live or die,’ with the cause which his youthful heart had espoused. Not long after he had entered youthful service of his country, he was captured by the enemy, and started with other prisoners to the British fort at Ninety-Six. His arms were taken from him, as a matter of course, and his horse appropriated by one of the guards. Whilst they were thus marching on to Cambridge, the soldier who had taken possession of Eddins’ horse, stopped to take a little American whiskey which he had also captured, dismounted, and laid his musket against a tree. Ed-dins was likewise suffered to halt, whilst the other prisoners, among whom was his father, continued their march. It is often said, that one drink with a veteran in the school of Bacchus, begets a thirst for another, and so it happened with the British soldier on the present occasion. He drank and loitered until the guard had got some distance ahead of him, and in the meantime, became rather careless of horse, gun and prisoner. A drunken man is very much inclined to be liberal and unsuspecting, but the veteran of Mars, as well of Bacchus, did not for a moment apprehend an attempt at escape, from a lad of Eddins’ age and appearance. He was, however, mistaken for once, and the young prisoner, watching his opportunity, seized hold of the soldier’s musket, mounted his own horse, and rode off rather too fleetly to be overtaken.

“In this manner, William Eddins made his escape from a long and loathsome confinement, which befell the other prisoners. He made direct for home, to inform his mother of the capture and imprisonment of his father. The night that he reached home, he took the precaution to hide his gun in an old hollow log, secure from the weather as well as the search of the Tories. He had not been long in bed with a younger brother, when the house received a visit from the Tories. William and his brother secreted themselves between the bed and the wall, but not so as to elude the search of the Tories. After rummaging and looking about for some time, they discovered the feet of the two boys, and were in the act of pulling William out by the heel, when his mother said to them,-‘do let the children alone.’ They inferred from this expression, and the appearance of the boys, covered tip in part by the bed that they were much younger and smaller than they actually were. In a short time the Tories left, and as they were going off, William, who was ever ready for an adventure, no matter how hazardous, determined to get up, take his gun from the hollow log, and give them a shot as they were going around the swamp not far off. His mother and brother did all they could to dissuade him, but in vain. He did as he had determined, and made his escape in safety. What effect his fire had is not known.

“In a few days after this, William joined Gen. Pickens, and marched with him into the Cherokee nation. They came very near the Indian town, and sent a couple of spies to reconnoitre. They returned and reported that the town was deserted. William Eddins was one of these selected for this purpose. Gen. Pickens then ordered thirteen of his soldiers to go and burn the houses. They crossed a little river, which separated the army under Pickens from the Indian town, and were marching carelessly on the summit of the hill, on which the town stood, when they received a shot fire from the Indians. ‘It appeared,’ said one of the company, ‘as if the point of the hill was a blaze of fire.’ Two young men, who were some distance ahead of the others, fell from their horses. The detachment then retreated, and formed for the purpose of resisting until assistance could come from the opposite side of the river. The horses of the two young men who fell, ran to the river, and there remained. There was a constant firing kept up between the Indians and the Whites. In the midst of this firing, Eddins saw the young men who were wounded rise up, and remain in a sitting posture. He knew from that that they were not so badly wounded as it was supposed, and immediately requested permission of Capt. Maxwell to at-tempt their rescue from danger. The Captain pointed out to him the peril of the enterprise, but consented for him to go, if he saw proper to do so. Instantly he caught their horses, rode to where they were, and assisted them in mounting, which they were able to do. The three then made their escape to the little detachment, which was by this time reinforced by the greater part of Gen. Pickens’ army. As they got on their horses, one of the young men received two balls through the back of his coat, but sustained no injury. The Indians were immediately routed, and the town lay in ashes.

“William Eddins continued with Gen. Pickens until the close of the war, and he was left penniless, and so was his father. During the ravages of the Revolution he endured much of the suffering and hardships of the American Revolution. When the country was restored to peace, he commenced farming, and made a crop of tobacco, which the old man often tells, without a horse. He is yet living near Huntsville, Alabama, upwards of seventy years of age, and has been a Baptist preacher, more than forty years. With the same zeal, sincerity, and boldness, with which he served his country in his younger days has he served his God in his old age and riper manhood.”-B. F. P.

EDWARD’S. JOHN, aged 82, and a resident of Perry County; private N. C. Militia; enrolled on September 26, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $75; sums received to date of publication of list, $225.-Revolutionary Pension. Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

ELLETT, JARVIS, aged 75, resided in Lawrence County, June 1, 1840, with Jon. Wilson.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148.

ELLIDGE, ABRAHAM, aged 74, and a resident of Lawrence County; private S. C. Militia; enrolled on October 19, 1833, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832 ,payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $30; sums received to date of publication of list, $90. Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34. He resided in Lawrence County, June 1, 1840, aged 80.-Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148.

ELLIOTT, JOHN, aged 79, and a resident of Morgan County; private N. C. Militia; enrolled on July 10, 1834, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $80.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

ELMORE, JOHN ARCHER. Elmore County was named in honor of Gen. Elmore. He was deservedly popular for his “candor, good sense and sociability.”

He was buried in the old family burying ground at the old homestead, “Huntington,” in Elmore County. The following inscription is upon his tombstone :

Memory of
who was born in
Prince Edward County, Va.,
August the 21st, 1762,
and died in
Autauga County, Ala.,
April 24th, 1834,
aged 71 yrs. 8 mos. & 3 days.
He was a soldier of the Revolution
in the Virginia Line
and afterwards a member of the Legislature
of So. Ca., and a General in
the militia.
He was a member of the Legislature of
and filled various other offices of Honor and Trust
in both States.
He was an affectionate husband,
a kind and indulgent father,
a humane master,
A devoted friend, and a
patriotic citizen.

“General John Archer Elmore was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, Aug. 21, 1762, and died in Autauga County, Alabama, April 24. 1834. He entered the Revolutionary service, a mere lad, in Greene’s command in the Virginia line; was with him in his tour through the Carolinas, and with him at the surrender at Yorktown. This is shown by the archives in Washington; O’Neal’s Bench and Bar of South Carolina, vol. ii, pp. 85, 88, and Brewer’s Alabama, p. 109. After the Revolution he settled in Laurens district, South Carolina, and resided there many years, during which time he was often a member of the legislature. He moved to Autauga County, Alabama, in 1819 and served one term in the house of representatives from this county.

His first wife was Miss Saxon, by whom he had two sons: Hon. Franklin H. Elmore, of South Carolina, who succeeded Mr. Calhoun in the United States senate, and Benjamin F. Elmore, treasurer of South Carolina. His second wife, Miss Ann Martin, was a member of the famous Martin family of South Carolina, and descended also from the Marshall family of Virginia, and from Lieutenant Nathaniel Terry, of Virginia. By this second marriage there were five sons and several daughters. One of the daughters married Gov. Benj. Fitzpatrick, another married Hon. Dixon H. Lewis of Lowndes; another married Dr. J. T. Hearne, of Lowndes, and she is still (1904) living in Montgomery. The sons were Hon. John A. Elmore, a distinguished lawyer in Montgomery; William, A. Elmore, a lawyer in New Orleans since 1835, superintendent of the mint until the outbreak of the war, and who died in Philadelphia in 1891; Capt. Rush Elmore, who commanded a company in the Mexican war and was territorial judge of Kansas; Henry Elmore, who was probate judge of Macon county prior to the war, and who afterwards moved to Texas; Albert Elmore, of Montgomery, secretary of State in 1865 and collector of customs in Mobile under President Johnson.”-Mrs. P. H. Mell in Transactions, of the Alabama Historical Society, Vol. iv, pp. 541-2.

ENGLAND, WILLIAM, a resident of Perry County and later of Dallas; private, particular service not shown; enrolled on March 16, 1835, under act of Congress of June 7, 1832, payment to date from March 4, 1831; annual allowance, $30.-Pension Book, State Branch Bank, Mobile.

EVANS, OWEN, aged 78, and a resident of Morgan County; corporal S. C. Continental Line; enrolled on September 17, 1825, under act of Congress of March 18, 1818; payment to date from November 4, 1825; annual allowance, $96, sums received to date of publication of list, $128.-Revolutionary Pension Roll, in Vol. xiv, Sen. Doc. 514, 23rd Cong., 1st sess., 1833-34.

Collection: Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama.

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