He was in no battle, being a colored man.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
Virginia, Powhatan County, to wit;
On this 15th day of June 1820, personally appeared in open court in the county court of Powhatan, in the state aforesaid, being a court of record, Reuben Bird, aged about fifty six years, according to the best estimate that can be made, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st May 1820, that he, the said Reuben Bird enlisted for and during the war of the American Revolution in April or May in the year 1780 in Hillsborough in North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain James Gunn in the Regiment of Dragoons commanded by Col’o White of Virginia; that he continued to serve in the said Corps until the peace came, when he was discharged from service in Culpepper county, in the state of Virginia: that he was in no battle, he being a colored man, and kept as a Bowman, although he was very near the ground where several were fought; and that he has no other evidence now in his power of his said services except the certificates of Benjamin Sublett and Larkin Self herewith exhibited:
And in pursuance of the act of the 1st of may 1820, the said Reuben Bird solemnly made oath that he was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of his property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring himself within the provision of an act of Congress, entitled “An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,” passed on the 18th day of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not, nor has any person in trust for him, any property or securities, contracts, or debts due to him; nor has he any income, other than what is contained in the Schedule hereto annexed, and by him subscribed to wit: Real and personal property, none; he is by trade a Bricklayer, and is not very able to pursue his trade in consequence of a Rupture, which obliges him to wear a Truss of Steel; his family consists of his wife, who is about 37 years old, and one child, a female about seven years old; his wife is healthy, and by her industry somewhat contributes to support the family. Reuben X Bird.
From the file of Reuben Bird, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.
In the attached affidavit, Benjamin Sublett swore that he was a sergeant in Captain William Mayo’s company at the time of General Gates’ defeat at Camden, South Carolina, and “in the same company a mulatto boy appeared to be about the age of 16 or 17 years by the name of Reuben Bird,” who enlisted at “Hilsbury” in about May 1780.