Hickmans in the Revolutionary War

  "Between the years 1779-1785, there were three adult males named Edwin Hickman living in Surry County, North Carolina.  They were Edwin Hickman, Sr. (2), married to Phebe Eastham; Edwin Hickman, Jr. (4), his son, married to Anne; and Edwin Hickman (3), nephew of Edwin Sr., married to Elizabeth, and son of William Hickman (3).  Fortunately Edwin (3) and Elizabeth lived in Surry County only about five years.  This is the Edwin Hickman (3), a Captain in the Revolutionary War, who moved in 1784-85 to West Tennessee, and was killed by Indians while on a surveying mission in 1791 on the Duck River.  He enlisted in Surry County, North Carolina, for War service in 1780; Hickman County, Tennessee is named after this Edwin (3).

  "Edwin (3) and his brother Thomas Hickman (6) enlisted late in the War (1780).  They were very young when the War first started and in 1780 Edwin was about 21 years of age and Thomas about 18.  The second reason they joined late was that the fighting at the beginning was taking place in New England and New York.  The British believed the people in the South were so loyal that only an army need appear and the colonists would rise up and join them.  So in 1778 the British attacked Savannah, Georgia by sea and took this city and the surrounding towns.  The following year the Americans soughtin vain to recapture this territory.  Then General Clinton and General Cornwallis landed an army at Savannah to march overland to Charlston, which they took with a loss to the Americans of 3,000 men.

  "In 1780 Gen. Washington wanted to send General Green with reinforcements and to take command of the South, but Congress sent Gen. Gates, who got more honor than he deserved at the Battle of Saratoga.  The two armies met near Camden, South Carolina.  General Gates and his militia fled at the first fire, but DeKolb held the British back for a more noble defeat.  The Carolinas seemed lost.  There were however frontiersmen who fought with rifles from tree to tree.  General Green was finally sent to North Carolina.  Both Edwin (3) and Thomas Hickman (6) fought under his command.  He retreated into Virginia but came back as soon as he could gather troops and gave battle at Guilford Court House.  Both Hickman brothers fought there.  Cornwallis retreated to Virginia to join Benedict Arnold and then started to York Town to be within reach of the British fleet.  George Washington defeated him there.  He surrendered October 17, 1781.  The war was over.  Edwin (3) was given a discharge 24 December 1781.  In the next decade he married and fathered three children.  When he died on the Duck River in 1791 his wife, and three young children, Susan, John P., and Edwin, Jr. were left behind in Tennessee."

--Hope A. Hilton, Edwin and Elender Webber Hickman, Some Progenitors and Descendants, Early Pioneers
of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, and Utah, 3rd Ed., Aug 1978, pp.45-46

  In researching Revolutionary War Pension records, Marla Webb encountered the following biographies of  Edwin Hickman, Sr., and his sons Edwin Hickman, Jr. and Thomas Hickman.  Another son, William Hickman was the father of our Edwin Temple Hickman.  Marla is a descendant of Peninah Cotton Wood, a sister to Gabriel Cotton.  She notes "I have researched a little Edwin Hickman [the one killed by Indians in 1791] because a James Cotton was somehow involved in his estate sale in Tennessee....  A James Cotton was great grandfather to Gabriel Cotton.  Also interestingly the Captain Willam Meredith mentioned in the Pension record of Thomas Hickman was another great grandfather to Gabriel Cotton.  These people seem to move in the same circles, whether they were aware of it or not??"

HICKMAN, Edwin, Sr. S8712 NC BLWt. 15411-160-55
Declaration of Edwin Hickman  15 Dec. 1832  Stokes Co., NC. 
Edwin was aged 70 years on 9 August last. Edwin Hickman entered the North Carolina militia as a drafted soldier for three months under Capt. Absalom Bostick in June 1780. He rendezvoused at old Richmond, then the county seat of Surry, and from there marched to Salisbury in Rowan County. From there to Phipers Mill, then he marched and served Gen. Rutherford's brigade near Beaties ford on the Catawba, then back to Salisbury where he remained a few days. He then marched to the trading ford on the Yadkin, returned to Salisbury, and then remained between ten and fifteen days. From Salisbury he marched southward and having been taken sick on the route was left in care of a William Bluman. He was in actual service for eight weeks previous to his illness. He was disabled from his sickness for five or six weeks. This tour was for three months.

In spring of 1781 Edwin served a tour of four weeks under Capt. Gaines or Capt. Cloud and received the enclosed discharge from Capt. Gaines.

Edwin Hickman also stated he served a six week tour under Captains Gaines and Cloud. This company was attached to the command of Gen. Pickens.  During this campaign he was in a battle against the British at Allamance in Guilford County. He was also in an engagement at Whitesells mill on the Reedy fork of Haw River, also in Guilford County. His discharge is enclosed.  In the above tours Major Joseph Winston was his major.

In fall of 1781 Edwin Hickman served a tour of three months under Capt. Humphries in Gen. Rutherford's Brigade and in Col. James Martin's regiment. A discharge from his captain and Col. Martin is enclosed.

He served a tour of two or three weeks under Capt. Gaines, whose company was attached to the command of Major Smith and Col. William Shepperd.

Edwin Hickman stated he was born in Culpeper Co., VA, on August 9, 1762.  When he first entered service, he was living in Surry County and is now living in Stokes County (and has since 1789). He is known to John Venables and Joshua Cox, Sr.

Declaration of Edwin Hickman  20 Apr. 1855  Stokes Co., NC
Edwin Hickman was a private in Capt. Absalom Bostick company in the regiment of North Carolina militia commanded by Col. James Martin. He makes this declaration to receive bounty land.

Original discharges in file
June 24, 1781 signed by James Gains, Capt.
Sept. 23, 1781 Signed by James Gaines Capt.
Nov. 15, 1781 signed by David Humphries Capt. & James Martin, Col.

Mentioned in William Southern file.

HICKMAN, Edwin (Capt.) [Note there appear to be two Edwin Hickman's. See file above.]

Thomas Hickman pension application refers to service under his brother Capt. Edwin Hickman.

John Maib, Sr. in his 1833 declaration states he was a private militia soldier in Surry County in a company commanded by Capt. Edwin Hickman.  They marched under Capt. Hickman and his brother Thomas Hickman (Lt.) to the Shallow ford of the Yadkin River in search of Tories and then brought the prisoners captured at Kings Mountain from Guilford battleground to old Moravian Town.

Declaration of Lawrence Angel in his pension file: At the end of May 1781 Lawrence Angel entered service as a substitute under Col. Melmady, a French officer of the regular troops. Captain Hickman was commandant of Angel's company. Gen. Greene commanded this expedition to prevent the British, who had possession of Charleston, from spreading over the company. In a three month tour Angel marched through Roan and Mecklenburgh Counties, NC, to Camden, SC, and then returned home.

HICKMAN, Thomas (Ensign) S4371

Declaration of Thomas Hickman -- * Aug. 1832  Davidson Co., TN  Aged about 69 on 15 Oct. last. Thomas entered service in 1780 for three-month tour as ensign in Capt. William Meredith'' company in Col. Martin Armstrong'' regiment in Gen. Rutherford'' Brigade. They marched through Salisbury and down the Pedee, when they joined General Gates some time before his defeat at Camden. Hickman was one of the 340 men detailed to reinforce Gen. Thomas Sumpter and was with him on the Friday after Gates' defeat, when he was defeated. At that time Thomas was commanded by Col. Elisha Isaacs.

Thomas Hickman volunteered for 60 days in Capt. Edwin Hickman's company, Col. Robert Lanier's Regiment, in pursuit of the Tories that took the town of Richmond in Surry County. After their defeat a few miles south of the Shallow ford of the Yadkin River, Capt. Hickman's company was ordered to guard the military stores from Salisbury under the command of Capt. Edmond Gamble, a Continental officer, and guarded him as far as Dan River. This was in August or September 1781 soon after the battle of the Cowpens and a little after Cornwallis' army advanced into Guilford County.

Thomas Hickman again volunteered in Captain Hickman's company, Col. John Armstrong's regiment. He joined General Greene's army and was with General Perkins' brigade at the battle at the Allamance and also at Whitsells Mill on Reedy fork and was in the battle at Guilford and served two months and ten days.

Declaration of Thomas Hickman  29 Apr. 1834  Davidson Co., TN --

Thomas Hickman, a resident of Davidson Co., TN, aged 71 years states:  Thomas was born 15 Oct. 1762 in Albemarle Co., VA. In 1780, while living in Surry Co., NC, he volunteered for a three month tour and was elected ensign in Capt. William Meredith's company. He served this tour in Col. Martin Armstrong's regiment and Gen. Griffith Rutherford's brigade. We marched from Richmond, the county seat of Surry, to the River Pedee and there awaited the arrival of General Gates' army. After the army came up, Thomas was with them the night before Gates defeat detached under the command of Col. Elisha Isaacs to reinforce General Thomas Sumpter.  Thomas was in the engagement in which Sumpter was defeated the Friday after Gates' defeat which took place on the [*]. After I had served this tour, I went home.

In the close of 1780 Thomas Hickman served another two-month tour as an ensign under Edwin Hickman as captain in the regiment of Col. Robert Lanier. We were in service for these two months against the Tories on the Yadkin River, during which time the Tories took the town of Richmond in Surry County where I was living.

Thomas also served as a volunteer and ensign during 1781 two months under Edwin Hickman as captain in Col. John Armstrong's Regiment of General Pickens Brigade, first in guarding military stores from Salisbury to the River Dan.. Thomas then joined Gen. Greene's army and was with him in the battle at the Allamance and at Whitsell's Mills on the reedy fork of Haw River and was with them also at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

Thomas served as a private for another three months under Captain Edwin Hickman in Col. John Armstrong's regiment and was with General Graves army at the Battle of the Eutaw Springs. Thomas stated he was not in that battle for my brother who was captain of the company to which I belonged was then sick and I was sent to nurse him. I myself was then taken sick and was not able to serve further but think that I am entitled to pay for the three months although I was not in the army the whole of that time but was sick part of it.

Thomas served altogether 10 months. He lived in Davidson Co., TN, almost ever since the Revolution.

John Maib, Sr. in his 1833 declaration states he was a private militia soldier in Surry County in a company commanded by Capt. Edwin Hickman.  They marched under Capt. Hickman and his brother Thomas Hickman (Lt.) to the Shallow ford of the Yadkin River in search of Tories and then brought the prisoners captured at Kings Mountain from Guilford battleground to old Moravian Town.

William Southern's 1833 pension declaration describes service in a volunteer militia company of infantry under Capt. William Meredith in Surry County, Lt. Hill, and Ensign Hickman, for three months. They marched from Surry Courthouse to Salisbury and there joined headquarters under the command of Gen. Rutherford.  From there they marched to a place called Rugeleys Mills near Camden, SC, and remained there for a week or ten days. There was a call for reinforcement to join Gen. Sumpter's Brigade to scour the country and rout a party of British and Tories around about the Cataba Tribe of Indians on the Cataba River. Southern and seven others of Capt. Meredith's company under Ensign Thomas Hickman marched and joined Gen. Sumpter on the Cataba River near the nation of Indians.  During this rout, the notorious battle of Gen. Gates' defeat happened, and our army was compelled to flee from the enemy. Our army were "irregularly disperced" and retreated homewards. This happened about August 1780.

Marla Webb recently provided the following additional information about our relative Edwin Hickman (3):

   "Edwin Hickman, a surveyor, was killed by Indians in 1791, in what is now known as Hickman County, Tennessee.  The inventory of his estate was returned by Thomas Hickman 12 July 1791.  He was born October 1760 in Albemarle or Culpepper County Virginia.  Married 12 September1 1781 in Henry county Virginia, to Elizabeth Jane Pryor.  he was a son of William Hickman Sr. who lived in Stokes County, North Carolina before moving to Cumberland.

   "As a resident of Surry County NC, Edwin Hickman was a captain in the Revolution, serving under Colonels John Armstrong, Robert Armstrong, and Robert Lanier.  He was at the battles of Alamance, Whitsell's Mill and Guilford Courthouse.

    "After coming to Davidson County Tennessee, he practiced the art of land surveying and apparently kept a stable for horses.  In the inventory of his estate, there are long lists of deliquent accounts for foriages for horses, paid annually, along with many more accounts for items not listed, which appear to be store accounts."

--Oveda Meier (compiler), Tennessee Ancestors Cumberland Captains and Their Kin

To explore Stokes County in North Carolina with Hope, click here.
To learn more about Southern Revolutionary War battles, click here.
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