Francis Lewis Ditto, Pvt PA
Declaration for Revolutionary War Soldier Benefits
Compatriot Arlen B. Clark
The State of Ohio} Seneca County ss} On this 3 day of October, 1833 personally appeared in open Court before the Court of Common Pleas (being a Court of Record) now sitting, “Frandz Dido” a resident of the township of Clinton said county aged more than seventy five years as he thinks, and he believes he is nearer eighty than seventy five years old, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath aforesaid make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of congress passed June 7, 1832
That he entered the sirvice [sic] of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated - - - - - - - - - - - -
In the winter of 1777-8, I think about the middle of January at McCollister Town York County Pa. I enlisted into the 2d Regiment of Pa. troops commanded by Col. Stewart Lieut. Col. or Major _______ Murray My company commanded by Capt Rob afterward by Capt. Koby – then Capt. Jacob Stoy ----- the name of the recruiting officer was was [sic] Robert Peeling I believe
When I enlisted I was told by the recruiter that I should be a sergeant of Horse but I was soon undeceived for I served on foot, and as a private My twin brother of the name Jacob, with several others, enlisted at the same time and and [sic] under similar representations, from the recruiting sergeant, but when they found out that they had been gulled they deserted, and earnestly requested me to do the same but I concluded that my services were so much needed at the time that I would serve my time which was three years—Gen. Wayne was our principal officer under Washington and La Faytte [sic] was with us some times.
Soon after my enlistment I joined the army at Valley Forge, where we remained during the winter ---
I was in the Battle of Monmouth and the next day helped to bury the dead, heat killed more that day than sword pistol or musket
I was with about 30 others taken prisoner at Newark, ( and I think it was the second winter of my service) we were taken to New York on the ice where we were put into the sugar house—Nights we were generally locked up in a Church, I think a Quaker church—We were prisoners about three months, while in the church we undertook to make our escape—We dug a hole under the wall of the church and under the pavement, (I remember I worked with a hog’s jaw bone) when we had all things ready waiting for a dark night a hessian boy who had deserted from the British and joined the Americans, and had been taken prisoner by the British (I suppose to make his peace) discovered to the British our wood chuck’s hole-------Soon after we were exchanged, when we rejoined the Army I think at Fredericksburgh.------
At the time Gen. Wayne took Stony Point I was working at West Point at the large fort on the hill -----
Some of the cannon which Wayne took at Stony Point, we mounted at West Point --- The largest I think was drawn up the hill by 26 yoke of oxen and about 60 men with drag ropes -----
I wintered at White Plains one winter, and at Fredericksburgh the remainder I believe -------
While in the service and near the close a baggage wagon upset which I at the lower side was endeavoring to hold up. I slipped and my hip was severely injured, however I was verry [sic] soon on duty again. ----- But the consequence to me has been verry [sic] serious, It was always lame, and more than thirty years ago I became and have ever since remained a cripple, the joint being completely destroyed, all which my physician told me was caused by the original injury
A short time before my term expired there was a violent tumult among the soldiers, because they could not get discharged when their terms expired, Col. Stewart was driven out of camp at the point of the bayonet ---- The soldiers marched towards Philladilphia [sic] to address their grievances, ----Gen. Wayne was with us – I saw him repeatedly in much apparent danger, the soldiers pointing and crying shoot the Dan-d [sic] raskol[sic] &c.– I took no part in the revolt. – My time had not yet quite expired, - However when we got to Princeton (as I believe) and the difficulty was settled by common sense, it was found of the men whose terms had expired were getting their discharges, that I myself had but about two weeks more to serve, and thinking at that point the two weeks would be of little service.
Capt. Whitemon and an other officer gave me a certifficate [sic] with the rest and we went to the Printing Office and got discharges – I think my own was signed by Gen. Wayne but as I hardly remember of seeing it since, it having been a long time lost, that I cannot tell for certainty who signed it – I believe it was a printed discharge – I remember the hanging of the spies who had been sent to us by the British-
I know of no person whose evidence I can procure that can testify to me services
I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or an annuity except the present, and declare that my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State/s Frandz Dido
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year first above written in open court Oct 3 1833/s
Jas. Hamond Clerk
Mr. Andrew Maine and Allen Campbell residing in the neighborhood of said Frandz Dido hereby declare that there is no clergyman residing in the neighborhood of said applicant, that we are well acquainted with the said Francis Ditto or in German “Frandz Dido” who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be of the age which he has above sworn that he is, that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood when he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution and that we concur in that opinion.
His Mark Andrew X Maine
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year first Above written in open court
Joseph Howard, Clerk
Here follows the questions put by the court as directed by the War Department with the several answers of the said Francis Ditto or “Frandz Dido” on his oath
Q1: Where and in what year were you born? A: I was born near Harrisburgh Pa. in the county of York, I cannot tell in what year but not far aside of 1758 as I believe I am now believe I am about 75 or 80 years old.
Q2: Have you any record of your age and if so what is it? A: My parents died when I was a small boy and I never saw any record of my age. I never kept any myself---
Q3: Where were you living when called into service? Where have you lived after the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live? A: When called into service I lived at McCollister Town, York County, Pa. When I left the service as above I went to Northumberton, Pickaway County, Ohio where I lived about 30 years – thence to Washington Township. Pickaway County, Ohio where I lived about 15 – 16 or 17 years thence to Clinton Township, Seneca County, Ohio where I now live.
Q4: How were you called into service, were you drafted, did you volunteer or were you a substitute, and if a substitute for whom? A: I was called into service by enlistment as above stated.
Q5: State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops when you served: such continental and Militia Regiments as you may recollect and the names and the general circumstances of your service, A: I will refer you to my statement above
Q6: Did you ever receive a discharge from the service, and if so by whom was it given and what has become of it? A: I will refer to my statement above and further will say that I have a faint recollection of having a discharge with me when I subsequently went for my back pay as per agreement
Q7: State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, and who can testify [sic] to your present character for truth and veracity and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution. A: John Briner, John Wolf, John Sekrist [sic], Jacob Mumi [sic], Andrew Maine, John Lilly, Henry Keller, Allen Campbell, John Druge
The above answers sworn to and subscribed the date and year first above written in open court Oct 3, 1833.
Joseph Howard, Clerk
And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogation presented by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states--- and the Court further certifies that it appears to him that Allen Campbell and Andrew Maine are residents o the Township of Clinton aforesaid and that they both are credible persons and that their statement is intitled [sic] to audit.
D. Higgins Presd Judge 2nd Circuit
seal Sedies Godney}
I Joseph Howard Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Seneca and the State of Ohio do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said court in the matter of the application of Francis Ditto, or otherwise in German as he signs his name “Frandz Ditto” for a pension.---
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office the day and year first above written