David Buck


Private in the Pennsylvania Militia 
from Bedford Co’s 1st Battalion, 6th Company, 
under Captain George Enslo (Enslow) 1781

Revolutionary War

Pennsylvania was hesitant to demand that any citizens be forced to fight as soldiers, but in 1777—during the American Revolution—the state legislature passed a law requiring all able bodied men to serve, or to pay for a “substitute”.  Militia Units were formed within each of the 11 counties and most were allowed to elect their own officers.  A Colonel, along with his sub-officers, was required to serve for a three-year period (1777-1780; 1780-1783; 1783-1786).  Privates signed on for a two month tour within the three year period of their Battalion. 

In 1777, Thomas Buck (oldest brother of our David Buck) was elected to be the Captain of the 1st Company (from Bethel Township in Bedford Co) within the 1st Battalion.  He served in this capacity for a three year tour (1777-1780). 

David Buck and his brother, Jonathan Buck, were from Providence Township, and as such, their area was not enlisted until the second period (1780-1783).  Both of these men served as Privates in the 6th Company of the 1st Battalion of the Bedford Co., PA Militia, which means that their service lasted for only a two month period in 1781.  They served under Captain George Enslo, who was a neighbor elected by his men. 

The duty of these militia units was to serve on the interior frontier, guarding against Indian attacks.  The Indians were allied with the British and incited to kill Americans in the outlying settlements.  It is not clear whether David and Jonathan Buck were actually engaged in any fighting during their tour of duty but the records make it clear that they both served during that period. 

In the next period (1783-1786) Jonathan, Joseph and Thomas Buck again served in the Bedford County, PA Militia, but there is no indication that David served again.  

Excerpt From
They Came From Ireland
F.W. Thorlton

To defend themselves against the Simon Girtys, and their Indians allies on the frontier. Militia units were formed all over Pennsylvania. 
It was the practice of the time for officers of the militia, to be elected by their men. 
Often they were selected because of previous experience handling men, or sometimes simply because of their popularity. Each Battalion met in their districts, formed companies, and selected their officers. At their meeting at Lytle's Fort, just south of Hartslog, on the Twentieth of June 1781, the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Bedford County Militia selected John Thorlton as Captain of the Company, and Thomas Montgomery as Lieutenant, and James McGinnis, John's neighbor, as Ensign. The election was certified by Moses Donaldson, and William Laird who were inspectors, with James Kennedy as clerk, and David Kennedy and Captain Walter M. Kinnie as Judges. 
The following is a roster of the officers of the Bedford County Militia, Commanded by the following Field Officers: 


•	Col. William Parker                                                 
•	Lt. Col. Charles Cessna                                            
•	Major Robert Culbertson 

•	1st Company 
•	Capt. Thomas Buck 
•	1st Lt. Samuel Moore 
•	2nd Lt. John Moore 
    Ensign Joshua Owens 

•	2nd Company 
•	Capt. Gideon Ritchey 
•	1st. Lt. Edward Roose 
•	2nd Lt. James Dinsmore 
Ensign Henry Williams 

Brothers' Valley
•	3rd Company 
•	Capt. Henry Rhoads 
•	1st Lt. Frederick Am---l 
•	2nd Lt. Jacob Glessnor 
•	Ensign Philip Cable

Turkey Foot
•	4th Company 
•	Capt. William Black 
•	1st Lt. Oliver Drake 
•	2nd Lt. David Jones 
•	Ensign Henry Abrams

•	5th Company 
•	Capt. James Wells 
•	1st. Lt. David Wright 
•	2nd Lt. Aaron Wright 
•	Ensign Solomon Adams

Bedford Town
•	6th Company 
•	Capt. Richard Dunlap 
•	1st Lt. Cornelius McAuley 
•	2nd Lt. James Beatty 
•	Ensign Henry Ewalt

•    Lt. Col. Charles Cessna
•    Major Andrew McCann 

Bethel Township
•	1st Company 
•	Capt. Henry Rush 
•	Lt. John Longstretch 
•	Ensign Jacob Shingletaker 
Providence Township
•	2nd Company 
•	Capt. Thomas Davies 
•	Lt. James John 
•	Ensign Thomas Harrod 

Cumberland Valley
•	3rd Company 
•	Capt. Evan Cessna 
•	Lt. Samuel Borland 
•	Ensign Dickey Berkshire 

Cumberland Valley
•	4th Company 
•	Capt. Samuel Paxton 
•	Lt. Mathew Kelly 
•	Ensign Richard Wood 

Air Township
•	5th Company 
•	Capt. Charles Taggart 
•	Lt. David Hunter 
•	Ensign John Rankin 

Providence Township (having bounds that run on south side of the Juniata except John John Leviston, Amos Jones Adam Miller and Abraham Covalt and all inhabitants of Whipas Cove to belong to the same district laid out by Edward Coombs on 12 July 1781)

•	6th Company 
•	Capt. George Enslow 
•	Lt. unknown 
•	Ensign George Peck 

Colerain Township
•	7th Company 
•	Capt. Gideon Ritchey 
•	Lt. Edward Rose 
•	Wnsign Henry Williams 
Air and Bethel Townships
•	8th Company 
•	Capt. James McKenny 
•	Lt. Abednego Stephens 
•	Ensign Moses Graham 

David Buck did not live long enough to apply for a military pension in 1832, and if he had, his two months of service would not have qualified him for any remuneration.  However, the applications of other men who served indicate that they were called out a number of times to repel Indian attacks in Bedford County and many were gruesomely killed or wounded.  Many women and children were also attacked and killed by the invading Indians in British employ.   It is unlikely that David Buck traveled very far from Bedford County in his military service as this was a hot bed of activity on the American frontier at that time.  

The following documents are summarized from the PA Revolutionary War muster rolls and militia papers and are available via the Internet. 

List of Revolutionary War soldiers from Bedford Co., PA

Buck, David.
1781, Capt George Enslow's Bedford Co Militia, private.   5 PA Arch 5 at 93

Buck, Jonathan
1781, Capt George Enslow's Bedford Co Militia, private.   5 PA Arch 5 at 93;  2 PA Arch 14 at 669 

Buck, Joseph
Bedford Co Militia.  2 PA Arch 14 at  668

Buck, Thomas
1777, Capt, 1st Batt, Co 1, Bedford Co Militia.   2 PA Arch 14 at 644 & 668;   5 PA Arch 5 at 63

*From: Bedford  Co. in the American Revolution by James B. Whisker   1985.
Found in the FHC in Salt Lake City.   (Update 8-30-07:  See the actual abstracts for these men.)

PA State Archives -- Revolutionary War Military Abstracts.  Card File  Series #13.50 

Name        First         County        Township          Document                  Date issued             Document type

Buck       Thomas       Bedford                                  certif issued                7 April, 1785     Militia Loan 1 Apr. 1784 & 30 Mar. 1785
Buck       David           Bedford       Providence         certif issued              12 July, 1781     Pvt. 1st Batt. 7th class.   Capt. George Enslo 
Buck      Jonathan      Bedford        Providence         certif issued              12 July, 1781    Pvt. 1st Batt. 4th class.    Capt. George Enslo
Buck      Jonathan      Bedford                                   certif issued              12 April, 1785   Militia Loan of 1 Apr. 1784 &  30 Mar. 1785
Buck      Joseph         Bedford        Militia                  certif issued                8 Sep, 1785    Militia Loan of 1 Apr. 1784 &  30 Mar. 1785
Buck      Joseph                              New Levies                                          10 Aug. 1780    (No comment where enlisted—
                                                                                                                                                                              different Joseph Buck?)

Thomas Ferguson 

Revolutionary War Pension Application  (found on the Internet, via HeritageQuest)  

We do not have any first-hand report of the military activities of David Buck.  However, we have found the following pension application for a Mr. Thomas Ferguson, who enlisted into the Pennsylvania Militia from the neighboring county to the east, and his unit was sent to Bedford County, to fight the Indian allies of the British.  It seems likely that David Buck’s company, which was already mustered from Bedford County, may have been similarly engaged, fighting to protect the residents of his own county.

David Buck had a sister, Massa (aka: Mercy, or Marcy) who married a Thomas Ferguson.  It is not known whether the man who applied for a pension in the record below, was the same man who was a brother-in-law to David Buck, or not, but it is a possibility.  This man moved to Kentucky after the war and applied for a pension from that state.  He does not mention the names of any of his family members, so at this time we are not able to determine any relationship.  Therefore, this record is only given here to share some idea of the kind of military activity in which our David Buck may have been engaged during the war. 

State of Kentucky, Fleming County

On this the 7th day of December 1833 personally appeared before the County Court of Fleming, Thomas Furguson, a resident of said county of Fleming and state of Kentucky, aged Seventy two years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following statement in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by act of Congress, passed June 7, 1832, viz, that he enlisted in the army of the United States in the year 1777 on the 23rd day of Dec.r under Capt. John McDonald and served in the Regiment of the Pennsylvania line under the said Capt. McDonald, whose Company was one of three raised by Col. Piper & Maj. (Cluggage?) to guard the frontier of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, that said three companies were under the immediate command of Maj. (Cluggage?), that he enlisted to serve nine months and served out his term, that after the expiration of the nine months, Col. Piper informed Capt. McDonald’s Company that their service would be required a few months longer, & beat up for volunteers for a militia tour, two months, that he together with all the company enrolled for the two months and served a few days over the term, when he was regularly and honorably discharged on the 1st day of December 1778 – at Franktown, Bedford County Pennsylvania, as will appear by the said discharge attached to this declaration & signed by Capt. McDonald – being served Eleven months and ten days – that at the time of his enlistment for nine months, he was a resident of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania – that he marched thence into Bedford County & served to guard the frontiers & protect the inhabitants – that at the time he enrolled for the militia term, two months, he was still a citizen of Cumberland in the said State and served both tours under the same officers, that while he was in the service of the United States he received an injury in the right eye from a ball of an Indian, which has finally destroyed the sight of the eye nearly, that the discharge above described, and attached to this declaration is the original discharge given to him by his Capt.  That he knows of no one whose evidence he can produce to prove his service – that he was born in the year 1760 at the County of Cumberland, Pennsylvania, that he has no record of his age, except in a family Bible in his possession, in which he has set down his age as he took it from his fathers family Bible -- That he removed from Pennsylvania in 1796 to Kentucky and settled in Mason County – from Mason he removed to Fleming  County, in which county he has resided ever since, and now resides – that he recollects the name of Capt. (Cluggage?) & Capt. Black who commanded the other two companies under the command of Maj. Cluggage – that for a short time they were with the 13th (Noigencor?) Regiment, then under the command of (Ball?), the last Regiment was on its return from Pittsburg – that he (is) known to John Bates, a Sheriff of Fleming, Stepen Philson, Wm. Cline, Ferdinand Venati, Jas (Marlswede?) esq. Who can speak of his character.

He hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension rolls of this agency of any State. 

Subscribed in open court, the Court now sitting – the Day and year aforesaid.

Thos. Ferguson