Sunday, May 24, 2015

James Higginbotham

This week, I thought I would highlight a Patriot in my family who isn't in my direct line. James Higginbotham is the great-grandfather of a distant cousin of mine. James is also a proven Patriot in the DAR database.

James' children attempted to claim a pension for their father's service in 1832. Benjamin Higginbotham, Frederick Padget, and Anderson Thompson provided affidavits for James Higginbotham's pension application. They presented that James was recruited by Thomas Oglesby to serve in the regular army for a term of eighteen months.

According to the pension, one of the proofs of service provided was a commission bearing the date of 1 November 1775 which appointed James as Major of the Militia of the County of Amherst. The commission was granted by Edmund Pendleton, Thomas Lud Lee, P. Carrington, Dudley Digges, and James Mercer, who were designated as the "Committe of Safety for the Colony of Virginia."
Taken from Pension Application
The pension goes on to say that James enlisted into service in 1775 as a Major of the Militia. Then, in 1778, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel for the Virginia State Line (probably the 9th Virginia Regiment). James' nephew, Benjamin Higginbotham, provides testimony that James served in Williamsburg during at least part of the year 1776 (I think he meant 1775 because he is talking about the time before James' promotion which occurred in November 1775).

Benjamin also mentions that James was stationed at the Albemarle Barracks by 1779. He also mentioned James was at Yorktown in 1781.

Benjamin, supposedly, knew all of this information about James' service because he himself also served in the Revolutionary War. (He also mentioned suppling beef cattle to James' army.)
Taken from Pension Application
According to Benjamin, James served as a recruitment officer for about 18 months at the Amherst County Courthouse. This was one of his chief duties. One of the people providing testimony of James' service, Fredrick Padgett, was one of the many men recruited by James. What Fredrick has to say about James shows James' anything-but-humbling attitude about his service and his faith in the country he fought so hard to free.
"That he has often heard the said James Higginbotham say the Country was largely indebted to him for military services as a Colonel in the State line, that he had never received the compensation due to him, but had confidence that the State, when she could, would do him justice, as he had served her faithfully, and much to the detriment of his private affairs."
Taken from Pension Application
As of this writing, Daughters have joined under James with the following children:
  • Joseph Cabell Higginbotham
  • Judith Higginbotham
  • George Washington Higginbotham
  • James Higginbotham
According to James' pension, these are James' only surviving children in 1832, so all of his known lines are represented in the DAR database.
Taken from Pension Application
  • James Higginbotham's Pension Application (accessed on Fold3)

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