TOWNSEND-L ArchivesArchiver > TOWNSEND > 2003-09 > 1064162440
Subject: [TOWNSEND] Timeline - Joshua Townsend (b 1762, VA)
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 12:40:40 EDT
Below is a timeline I have pieced together for the above, based on transcript
of his application for RW pension and the other information I have in my
files. I am sure there are others more knowledgeable about the movements of
Joshua, so please feel free to punch holes in the conclusions I have drawn.
In his application for a RW pension, Joshua gave his DOB and POB as 5 Mar
1762, Lunenburg Co, VA. He goes on to state he moved from there to the part of
Henry Co, VA that later became Franklin Co (1785).
This would probably have been following the death of his father, William,
1764(?), when his mother remarried (Richard/Elisha?) Estes. Joshua goes on to
state that in 1778 he moved to Montgomery Co, VA where he was living when he
enlisted for two months. If the DOB he gave is correct, then Joshua would have
been about 16 at the time, so might have still been living with his family at
the time of his enlistment, indicating they might have moved to Montgomery Co.
He says that during this enlistment, he was stationed at "Parris fort" (Ft
In 1779, he enlisted for another two months and mentions being stationed at
"William Mencies Fort" on Walker's Creek, where he spent his time scouting and
guarding the planters so they could make a crop. This would probably have been
Ft Muncy, located in the Shenandoah Valley in PA. The British destroyed it
once in 1778; it was rebuilt and the British and Shawnees destroyed it a second
time in 1779 and it was rebuilt again. Joshua does not state where he
enlisted before being sent to "William Mencies Fort", only that he served under Capt
John Davis and Lt John Swanson of Franklin Co. But in a deposition by Abigail
Woods (of Franklin Co, TN) relating to Joshua's pension application, Mrs Woods
states she first met him in 1779-1780 in Greenbrier Co, VA (now WVA).
Greenbrier Co was formed from Montgomery and Botentourt counties in 1777 and
officially became a county in 1778, so if Joshua's family lived in that part of
Montgomery Co, VA that became Greenbrier Co, it would explain not only his being
there, but some references to his family possibly residing there about this
He further states that shortly before the Battle of Guilford Court House (15
Mar 1781), he enlisted again for a period of two months (no place of
enlistment mentioned), serving under Col William Preston, Capt Henry Patton and Lt
William Kavanaugh. In her deposition, Abigail Woods also states she often heard
William Kavanaugh state he had served with Joshua. And a Rev William Woods
deposes the above Abigail Woods was a sister-in-law of (Lt) William Kavanaugh,
which would explain how she might have met Joshua in Greenbrier Co and seems to
indicate his enlistment in 1781 might have occurred in Greenbrier Co. During
this 1781 enlistment, Joshua's unit moved across the Blue Ridge Mountains and
into the Moravian towns in NC and they were involved in the pursuit of the
British troops to the Haw River and then his unit was involved in the defense of
Gen Greene's forage wagons against the harassment of Cornwallis' troops. In
his deposition, Joshua states that after remaining with his unit a few more
days, "being destitute of clothing," he was allowed to return home. This
statement is borne out by history, as the severe weather in March 1781 found many of
Gen Greene's troops in need of better clothing. (And it also contributed to
the defeat of Gen Cornwallis at Guilford Court House, thus becoming one of the
major turning points of the RW).
There is an amendment to Joshua's original application for pension, dated 30
Aug 1833, in which he states he served two other enlistments during his
military service, but when and where are not listed. He also states he moved to KY,
but no year is listed. But his name appears on the list of those giving
depositions in Richmond, Madison Co, KY during the years 1801, 1806, 1807, 1808,
1811 and 1814 by pioneers who served at Fort Boonesborough. As he was in NC in
1781, it would appear he must have gone to KY not long afterwards, perhaps
with his brother-in-law, Adam Caperton, whose name is inscribed on the DAR
monument there, as is that of Oswald Townsend. It is suspected the two enlistments
Joshua did not mention in his original application for pension probably
occurred after his arrival in KY.
His original application did mention, however, that he served under Col Logan
and was with him when they burned the new and old Chilecotha (sic) towns.
This would have been Oct 1786, when Col Benjamin Logan was detached from Gen
Clark's army and sent to the area of Maysville, KY near the Ohio River and the
border of OH. Logan was charged with punishing and driving out the Shawnees on
the Macoshee and headwaters of the Mad River and destroying their towns.
Logan raised an army of between 700-800 men and they crossed over into OH and
burned seven or eight towns and drove the Indians from the area.
There were several Chillicothe villages, the four major ones being: The
village located on the present site of Piqua, OH; another on the Scioto River south
of Circleville, near present-day Wesfall; a third about three miles north of
Xenia, OH and a fourth near Frankfort, KY, near Paint Creek. When the
Shawnees captured Simon Fenton in 1778, he was taken to the one near Xenia, OH.
Daniel Boone and another frontiersman, Frank Goode, were captured about the same
time and held in other villages. All eventually managed to escape. It is
little wonder Boone and Kenton both served as captains during Col Logan's 1786
raid against the villages.
I have little else re Joshua Townsend, except a record of he and his wife
selling the 30 acres of land they lived on in Madison Co, KY to a George Caperton
(his relationship to Joshua's wife unknown) on 13 Jul 1797. And he later
sold 100 acres on Dreaming and Otter Creeks to John Herndon. On 7 Sep 1801,
Joshua and Elizabeth sold land locate on Muddy Creek, Madison Co, to Basil
Per his pension application, Joshua states he moved to Franklin Co, TN, but
he does not appear on the 1810 Madison Co, KY census, although his brother,
Thomas, and Oswald Townsend (relationship unknown) do appear on that census. He
appears on the 1820 Franklin Co, TN census, p 58, #1552 and on the 1830
Franklin Co census, age 60-70. And there are some records of land transactions by
him in Franklin Co, TN. The last records I have of him are the 1840 Jackson Co,
AL census and a request by Alabama congressman, Clement Clay, dated 22 Jun
1841, asking that Joshua's RW pension payment be transferred from Nashville to
Huntsville, AL, "as Mr Townsend now resides in the northern part of the state."
So one must presume Joshua was still living in Jun 1841 and had requested
his pension payment be transferred to AL. To date I have not found a record of
either him or Elizabeth on the 1850 AL census, so believe they must have died
prior to that date.