According to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s records, a huge data base of Revolutionary War Warrants exists in the Land Office. They found that:
There were 4748 military warrants issued by Virginia for the Kentucky Military District of which I wrote last week. The first warrant was issued to one James Askew on 8 Aug 1783 and Henry Bedinger received warrant #4627 in 1793. Three numbers were for some reason skipped and there were 121 duplicate numbers.
What did these warrants mean?
Warrants were assignable – they could not be sold or transferred particularly if the soldier preferred a cash settlement to a land warrant. Some veterans chose the bounty land in small denominations. The Land Office gave the example of a veteran who had been awarded 4,000 acres and he possibly chose four warrants of 1,000 acres each. This makes it difficult to determine how many veterans received their bounty land as one veteran could receive several.
Some veterans had chosen to serve longer than the 3-year enlistment. They might have received a warrant for the first service and would be given a second warrant for the additional time served.
The largest tract of land found was to Major General Baron Friederick Wilhelm Von Steuben for service at Valley Forge – 15,000 acres. The smaller tracts were for 100 acres.
The Military District discussed last week was reserved for veterans of the Virginia Continental Line (known as the national troops) and the Virginia State Line (what we would call the National Guard). There were 3247 Military Warrants issued to Continental Line veterans and 1444 to the veterans of the State Line. In all there were 4263 warrants issued to unknown service; 21 issued to regiments, 4 for Crockett’s Regiment, 1 for Valley Forge 253 to the Navy, 8 for the Light Dragoons, 4 for Garrison Regiment, 1 for the Continental Hospital, 102 for the Artillery, 7 for the Army, 2 for the Illinois Regiment, 71 for the Cavalry, 6 for the Infantry and 2 for Maj. Neilson’s Cavalry.
Note that soldiers from Kentucky who served with Gen. George Rogers Clark did NOT receive bounty land warrants for the Kentucky Militia District. Their warrants had to be used in Indiana. The Clark County Surveyor’s Office in Jeffersonville, IN has further information.
We’ll conclude next week with the Military Land Office. I would like to thank the Kentucky Land Office for this information.
© Copyright 5 Jan 2012, Sandra K. Gorin