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Title: Phillips, John to , 1783
CollectionIrish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan. Letters and memoirs from colonial and revolutionary America (1675-1815) [K.A. Miller et al.]
SenderPhillips, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlandowner, farmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginLondon, England
Recipient Genderunknown
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1315
Genrejournal, war
TranscriptJohn Phillips, Petition and Testimony to the Loyalist Claims Commission, London, 6 May 1783

The Memorial of Col. John Phillips late of Camden District in the province of So Carolina Sheweth That at the Commencement of the Troubles in America your Memorialist still retaining his unshaken Loyalty to his Majesty, endeavoured as much as possible to suppress the Rebellion [although] in \1775 the Rebels offered him a Lieut. Cols Commn if he wod join their party.
In the Month of July 1775the first Armed Association having been raised, a resolution was proposed to support the 13 States of America against Great Britain. All the Inhabitants of the parish wherein Claimant lived were gathered together in the meeting house and called upon to sign this Resolution when Claimant publickly opposed it and with such Success that nobody would sign it but two persons who had previously signed it.... [I]n consequence of this he became a marked Man....
That on your Memorialist refusing to take up Arms in favor of the Rebel States he was enormously fined, as well for his two Sons as for himself, wch greatly distressed your Memorialist and his Family He was first fined in Nov: It was an Arbitrary Fine. He had  Sons who were capable of doing duty in the Militia, and who refused likewise to join their Musters. All this time he rec<eiv>ed many Insults, but no personal Ill Treatment....
He contd in this Situatn till 1778. In 1777, the beg<in>ing of the year Col. McLaurin sent in 2 Gentlemen from Saint Augustine. Col. McLaurin was a Settler in Georgia who had taken an early & active part in favor of Britain. These Gentlemen were sent in to administer the Oaths of Allegiance to the King. Claimant took the Oath to the King and was impowered to administer it to all loyal Subjects, and to do everything in his power to support the King’s Government with a promise that Troops should be sent to their Assistance.... [H]e administd the Oath to four persons.
In the beging of May the State 1778, the State Oath & the Oath of abjuration of Great Britain was tendered to him wch he positively refused to take as did both his Sons. That on the imposition of the State Oath your Memorts two Sons with a number of Loyalists endeavoured to make their escape to Saint Augustine to join the British Army there but were taken on their retreat & made prisoners by y e Rebels who confined them in Irons in Orangeburge Goal in wch place one of your Memorialist’s Sons, by the great Cruelty he rec<eiv>ed from the Rebels died, and the other after six Months Confinement was tried for his Life and released.
That on your Memorialist refusing to take the afod Oath he was made a prisoner & carried to the Rebel Army, then on their route against Saint Augustine, and so continued during a Campaign of Three Months and a March of about Miles, from thence he was conveyed to Camden Goal where he lay confined for four Months, after wch he was tried for Sedition against the Rebel States and condemned to die, under wch Sentence he lay for days (The Gallows was erected before his Window) when the British Army arrived in Georgia wch your Memt imagines was the means of procuring his enlargement. [I]n consequence of the proclamn. issued by Col. Campbell and Sir Peter Parker who had taken Savannah wherein they promised Amnesty to all who had taken up Arms against the King, except such as had condemned loyal Subjects to death 50 of the Rebels petitioned for Claimant’s Life wch was granted. He then went home and remained quiet till after Charles Town was reduced. That after the reduction of Charles Town your Memorialist on receiv g Orders embodied the Loyalists and joined the Royal Army at Camden then under Command of the Right Honble the Earl Cornwallis. In April 1780 he rec<eiv>ed a Message from Sir Henry Clinton by Capt. Rewner. It was a genl . Instructn . to all loyal Subjects who had never taken an Oath to the Rebels to embody themselves and seize upon all prisoners & amunition belong g to the Rebels.
That your Memorialist was appointed a Colonel of Militia and served under the command of Ld. Cornwallis during his Lords<hi>p’s stay in Carolina. He embodied at that time about 150 who chose him their Captain & as soon as Charles Town was taken marched out & seized upon and disarmed above 300 of the Rebels. He joined the British at Camden in June 1780 with about 50 Men who were all that were necessary to Guard the prisoners he brought in with him. When he completed his Regt it amounted to 5 or 600 Men. He was appointed Col of the Militia by Lord Cornwallis in June 1780. He contd from this time to serve with Lord Cornwallis till the time his Lords<hi>p marched into North Carolina. He never rec<eiv>ed pay till he joined Lord Rawdonin Camden in Janry 1781 after Ld. Cornwallis’s Departure, but rec<eiv>ed a complemt from Ld. Cornwallis of 50 Gu<ine>as.
From Janry 1781 he rec<eiv>ed 10/ a day till he left Charles Town on the Evacuation in 1782. He continued to serve under Lord Rawdon till the province was evacuated. When Lord Cornwallis marched away Claimant was left at Wynnsburgh and sent 120 Waggon provision for the use of his Army wch they were in great want of. These were provisions belong to the Army. His Lordship was then at Rocky Creek.
That shortly after the defeat of Col. Tarleton by the Rebel Genl . Morgan your Memorialist was detached with a party of Militia by order of Lord Cornwallis to escort the British Officers who were wounded in that Action to Camden when on the 21st of January 1871 they were surrounded by a Party of Rebels four times their number and after a firing of  Minutes had sevl . Men wounded & some killed, and your Memorialist was again made a prisoner together with his Son & remained so until L d Cornwallis got his Exchange. They were carried into North Carolina and very inhumanely treated, being kept three days with no other provisions but water. He was exchanged in May 1781 and in August being sent for by Lord Rawdon to Charles Town, he left the Command of his Regim t to his Son....
That after the departure of Ld. Cornwallis for Virginia your Memorial t with his Regt. joined the Rt. Honble Lord Rawdon at Camden & marched with his Lords<hi>p to the relief of Ninety six, continuing with him thro’ all his fatiguing and difficult Marches, till Genl . Stuart succeeded to the Command, at wch time yr Memort . accompanied his Lords<hi>p to Charles Town, the command of his own Regt he left to his Son David Phillips until his return.
That your Memorialist’s said Son being shortly after on a command was unfortunately taken prisoner and after being sometime confined was by the Rebels most inhumanely murdered That soon after this Melancholy Event your Memorialist’s Wife & eight Children were driven from their sd. province to Charles Habitation on Jacksons Creek in the sd Town in a distressed sitn & almost naked.
That your Memorialist thro’ his Attachment and Zeal for Great Britain, and by the part he took to suppress the Rebellion has lost all and every part of his property, as more fully appears by the annexed estimate & Vouchers.
Your Memt. therefore prays that his Case may be taken into your Con<siderati>on in order that yr. Memt. may be enabled under yr report to rec<eiv>e such Aid and relief as his Losses and Services may be found to deserve.
And your Memorialist as in duty bound shall ever pray
J. Phillips