A History of Service

By May of 1776, 28 year old David Congleton enlisted as a private in the Fifth Company of the First Maryland Regiment, where he would serve during the Battle of Brooklyn. Following his initial one year service agreement, Congleton reenlisted for three years under Colonel John Hopkins Stone and Captain Nathaniel Ewing.[1]

Following his reenlistment, Congleton’s exact service history becomes hazy. Records and muster rolls recorded his military activity through the end of 1779, after which point he is listed as having deserted the army on January 13, 1780. This claim was refuted by Congleton, however, in his 1818 pension application. According to his petition for a federal pension, Congleton served under Stone and Ewing from “the spring of 1778 until the peace in 1783.” [2]

While it was not unheard of for soldiers to be misreported as deserters on muster rolls, this does not seem to be the case with Congleton. In addition to a lack of service records after Congleton’s alleged desertion, his pension application is oddly vague about his service after 1779. While he went into great detail about his service during the first half of the war, Congleton’s pension offered next to no information on his service during the second half other than a mere mention of Yorktown.[3]

Based on the information available, it appears that Congleton deserted in early 1780, and falsified his pension application. Congleton’s pension paperwork is incomplete, however, and it is unclear whether or not he was granted a veteran’s pension.

To read more about David Congleton, check out his recently posted biography here.

-Taira

[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, pg 640 (hereafter cited as AOMOL, vol. 18); To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog; David Congleton, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0397, fold3 (hereafter cited as Service Records); Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, NARA M246, 0033, fold3.

[2] Service Records; AOMOL, vol. 18, p. 92; David Congleton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, S.34243, fold3 (hereafter cited as Pension Application).

[3] Pension Application

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