Avery Mustain: Revolutionary War

While none of us would envy Avery’s military service, the researcher who posted the following notes about Avery’s experience failed to mention the significance of the
Siege of Yorktown. We have to wonder if Avery was aware of George Washington’s presence or the greatness of this event after many battle campaigns over several years.

Surrender of Lord Cornwalis at the Seige of Yorktown

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at the Seige of Yorktown. Public domain image courtsey of Wikipedia.

The Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown, the latter taking place on October 19, 1781, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, it proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America, as the surrender by Cornwallis of his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Avery (born Feb 26, 1756 to Thomas and Mary Haley Mustain) served in the Revolutionary War and was allowed pension on his application executed Aug. 22, 1832. STATE OF VIRGINIA – COUNTY OF PITTSYLVANIA (National Archives File 7488 Rev. War). Avery had lost his discharge papers from Nov. 1781 and did not file for pension benefits until age 76. He forfeited all claim to back payments.      

On the 22nd day of August 1832, personally appeared in open Court before David H. Clar, Wm. S. Pannill, Coleman D. Bennet and John A. Clark the Court of Pittsylvania now sitting, Avery Mustain a resident of Camden Parish in the County of Pittsylvania and State of Virginia aged 76 years to make the following declaration in Order to obtain the benefit of Congress passed June 7, 1832.  That he was born Feb. 26, 1756 near where he now lives, about 1st of June 1776 he volunteered under Thomas Dillard Capt., Jesse Heard,  Lieut., Robert Dolt Ensign and marched to Guyn’s Island, Virginia near the mouth of the Peanketank River and assisted in driving off Lord Dunmore, the then governor of Virginia. 

On the side of the River where he was stationed, there was no officer with a higher grade than Captain.  While there an express arrived and he marched with his company to the Tennessee River in the state of Tennessee against the Cherokee nation of Indians, in this expedition Heard was Capt., Dalton was Lieut. and Turley Choice Ensign.  After arrived at New London, VA they were attached to the command of Col. Charles Lewis of Albemarle, VA.  He forgets this Major.  Capt. Martin (afterwards General Martin of Henry Co., VA) commanded a company in the expedition and after arriving on the Holston River, Co.  McChristian, being the oldest officer, was first in command. 

After arriving in the Indian Territory (the enemy having deserted their homes) they burnt up their houses and corn and eat their potatoes; all of their company returned home.  No discharges were given and all returned with their Captain before Christmas 1776.    

About the first of May 1780, he was drafted to go to the South with Isaac Clement, Capt.  He marched to Peter Perkins on Dan River, VA where he met several companies, by Hillsboro, NC where they met with many more troops and the following officers, Gen. Stevens who was the Commander, Col.’s Richardson and Faulkner and Maj. Henry Conway, thence he marched towards Camden South, SC with Gens Gates, de Kalb and Smallwood and the next day was in the battle in which the Americans were defeated. He then returned home about the last of Aug. 1780 and received no discharge.

In Feb. 1781 he volunteered under Gabriel Shelton Capt., James Maid Lieut. and Vincent Shelton Ensign.  Capt. Shelton left his company, and he was then commanded by Capt. Thomas Smith; crossed the Dan River at Boyd’s Ferry, crossed Ham River in NC, and after marching to and fro for awhile, returned home after being absent 4 or 5 weeks and was not in the Battle of Guilford.  In Aug 1781 he was drafted to go to the seige of Yorktown, VA. 

William Dix Capt., David Hunt Lieut. Clem. McDaniel Ensign, after arriving at Yorktown Capt. Dix was succeeded by Capt. Charles Williams. He assisted in raising breast works and batteries After the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, he was detailed and marched to Noland’s Ferry on the Potomac River with the prisoners and at Leesburg he received a discharge about the last of Nov. 1781 which he has lost. 

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state—sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid –Avery Mustain.  W. Griffith Dickenson Sen. and William Dove Sen. swore the declaration to be true.

These notes on Avery’s war service and pension application were entered into OneGreatFamily.com Profile Number:  I-OGFN 569143776. The notes entered typically do not include online reference links or the researcher’s names.

However, here are some online references to Avery’s war service:

Roster of Revolutionary War soldiers from Pittsylvania Co., in alphabetical order: