Descendants of John Prewitt
by Kate Rigsby Cain Bynum
Generation No. 1
1. JOHN1 PREWITT was born January 15, 1587/88 in Salisbury, Wiltshire,
England. He married MARGARET PINERNELL February 24, 1615/16.
Notes for JOHN PREWITT: The Pruitt's were a French Family (Protestant,
probably) who moved to Scotland following the Normand Conquest in 1066?.
About 1620 some of the family moved to Ireland. Seven Pruitt brothers
sailed for Virginia around 1680. From Virginia some Pruitt's moved down
the Appalachian Trail to the Carolinas and others through the Cumberland
gap (1775) to Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri.
More About JOHN PREWITT and MARGARET PINERNELL: Marriage: February 24,
Child of JOHN PREWITT and MARGARET PINERNELL is:
2. i. -THOMAS2 PREWITT, b. December 1616, Salisbury, Wiltshire,Bedford,
England; d. Bet. 1658 - 1728, Charles City, Charles River County,
Generation No. 2
2. -THOMAS2 PREWITT (JOHN1) was born December 1616 in Salisbury,
Wiltshire, Bedford, England, and died Bet. 1658 - 1728 in Charles City,
Charles River County, Virginia. He married SARAH?. She was born Abt.
1629 in Yorktown, York County, Virginia, and died Unknown.
Notes for -THOMAS PREWITT: Land's End (Cornwall), England is well known
as the legendary home of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
In the year 1634, the Pruitt family sailed from Cornwall, England with
the Crockett, Dize, and Parks families. They settled on Virginia's north
shore. John Crockett brought his eight sons and their families with him.
The settlers found that it was unsafe to stay where they settled, so
they moved en-masse to Tangier Island near the mouth of the Potomac
River. To this day, nearly four hundred years later, these same families
are still present on this island.
Over the next sixty years, the Indian menace became less, due to disease
and internal fighting. By 1700, the coastal Indians had completely
disappeared and people started moving further up the Chesapeake Bay.
Thomas transported from England to America in 1636.
In a list of 25,000 persons who were transported to Virginia from 1623
to 1666, together with the patentee of person who brought them over. In
this list is: Thomas Prewitt, 1636, by James Bennet, to Charles River
County, Virginia. Upon the new Poqueson River, east towards the bay,
west into the woods, north upon the Pinye Swamp (River) and south upon
Robert Thrasher, 50 acres due for transfer of 8 persons, Ann Winter,
John Roote, Jon Marshall, Thomas Prewitt, Andrew Chant, John Morris, and
Pole Carplights. Poor to pay their own; the man who paid the
transportation cost got 50 acres of land for each person brought to
Virginia. The transported person usually had to spend 5 years in working
out the cost of his passage, but at the end of that time, he or she also
received 50 acres of land.
Charles River County, Virginia being a neck of ground at the New
Poqueson, west upon William Clarke a creek, then east upon Thomas
Harwood a creek, the said 50 acres of land being due unto him the said
Thomas Privett for transportation of one servant into this colony.
Immigrants entering into the country were of all classes, they were
mostly young men with little or no material goods, believing they could
make a quick killing in the new world and return to home rich. There
were some who, for political or religious beliefs, chose to come as
indentured servants because, in doing so, they would not have to take an
oath to support the church of the King. No doubt many Quakers were among
these, for this sect was a problem for Gov. Berkley. It appears that
Thomas Prewitt and his Wife were Quakers and not married by the rules of
the established church.
Thomas Prewitt was taken to court for committing fornication and there
of found guilty. Court ordered that they shall do a pennance in the
Parish Church on the New Pawqueson and during the time of divine
services the next Sabbath Day. The church wardens ordered to see this
done. Pruitt and wife were to appear at the next Court to obtain further
censure. This was undoubtedly persecution of Quakers.
Another Court cast against Thomas was he borrowed a canoe from John
Wilson and lost it. He was ordered to pay Wilson 2 bushels of Tobacco
for the canoe by the next November 1st.
Thomas Priuett Land Grant, 1636 - York Co. VA, Land Office Patents and
Grants - Library of Virginia
Thomas Priuett 50a.
To all to whome these prsents [presents] shall come I Capt John West Esq
Governr & send greeting & Whereas by letters &c Now Know yee that I the
said Capt John West Esq doe with consent of the Councell State
accordingly give and grant unto
Thomas Priuett fiftie acres of land situate lying and being in the
Countie of Charles river being a neck of ground at the new poquoson
river west upon William Clarke a Creeke pting [parting] them East upon
Thomas Harwood a Creeke alsoe pting [parting] them The Said fiftie acres
of land being due unto him the Said Thomas Priuett by and for the
transportaton of one servant into this Colony whose names are in the
record mentioned under this Pattent To have and to hold &c Dated the
Second day of June 1636 Utinalijs - She was given 50 acres for herself
and 50 acres per servant transported (8 total). She was granted 450
acres. Thomas Prewitt was a witnes to this land grant. Joane Bennett
Land Grant, 1636 - York Co. VA
the will of Joane Bennett widd: witnesses: Ann Winter Jon Rocto Jon
Tho: Prewitt Andrew Chant Jon Morris Pole Carplights
More About -THOMAS PREWITT: Christening: Abt. 1636, Charles City, York
County, Virginia, Occupation: Tobacco farmer
Notes for SARAH?:
York County was originally named Charles River, and was one of the eight
original shires formed in 1634. The present name was given in 1643,
probably in honor of James, Duke of York, the second son of Charles I.
Its area is 123 square miles, and the county seat is Yorktown.
Children of -THOMAS PREWITT and SARAH? are:
3. i. -HENRY3 PREWITT, b. 1654, Charles City, York County, Virginia; d.
Bef. June 1722, Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia.
4. ii. JOHN PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1648, Charles City, Charles River County,
Virginia; d. 1704.
5. iii. WILLIAM PREWITT, b. 1651, Spotsylvania, Charles River County,
Virginia; d. 1748, Caroline County, Virginia.
iv. THOMAS PREWITT.
Generation No. 3
3. -HENRY3 PREWITT (-THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1654 in Charles City, York
County, Virginia, and died Bef. June 1722 in Varina Parish, Henrico
County, Virginia. He married (1) ANN FIELD 1678 in Probably Virginia,
daughter of THOMAS SR. FIELD. She was born 1654 in Virginia, and died
Bef. 1691 in Probably Virginia. He married (2) REBECCA DABBS /DOBBS/
August 20, 1691 in Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, daughter of
JAMES DABBS/DOBBS/. She was born 1671 in Four Mile Creek, Henrico
County, Virginia, and died 1748 in Henrico County, Virginia.
Notes for -HENRY PREWITT: Henry is believed to be the son of Thomas
Prewitt. He is listed with the heads of families in Henrico County,
Virginia when he was a tithable and assessed to support an army to
defend against the Indians. In the same group of 40 neighbors was
Colonel William Byrd. Henry eidently owned land at the time, since he
was taced. He was not a large land owner by comparison the Carter's,
Byrd's, Randolph's, or Washington's, who owned thousands of acres, but
to be land owner at age 25 was of some importance.
Henry Prewitt and John Fields were granted 440 acres of land at Varina
Parish, Henrico County, Virginia on April 20, 1687 on the north side of
the James River, beginning at Almond Creek (this area is now within the
city limits of Richmond, Virginia) . He sold his half of the 440 acres
to Mary (Field) Jones in 1697.
In 1711, Henry Prewitt, over aged person, was exempt from paying poll tax.
On April 25, 1679, Henry was listed with the heads of families in
Henrico Co., VA, when he was taxed to support an army to defend against
the Indians. In the same group of 40 neighbors was Col. William Byrd.
Henry evidently owned land at that time, since he was taxed. He was not
a large land owner by comparison to the Carter's, Byrd's, Randolph's or
Washington's, who owned thousands of acres, but for Henry Prewitt to ba
a land owner at age 25, was of some importance.
LifeNotes: Settled on the James River in Henrico Co., VA. From "Out on a
Limb" a publication of the Smith family, he was listed as a young man
with a group of 40 in Col. William Byrd's muster in Henrico Co., VA, who
were tithables and could support defense against the Indians in 1679.
Had a patent for a tract of land on the north side of the James River in
1686. He sold 220 acres of it, that year, to Mary Fields Jones. In 1687,
he and John Field got a patent for 440 acres, Varina Parish, north side
of the James River, beginning at Thomas Field's corner, [for the imp of
9 pers] , 4/20/1687. He made a deposition 8/1691, and stated on 9/2 that
he was about 37 yrs old. He was a Henrico Co., VA juryman on 4/17/1693.
His land was about 20 miles upriver from William Byrd's Westover and
Col. Byrd operated a trading post close to Henry's land.
It is believed that Henry married first, a Miss Field. A researcher in
the Field line believes an older sister of John Field (Ann) married
Henry Prewitt. That Henry Prewitt was married first to a daughter of
Thomas Field,Sr. is strongly suggested by Henry's location in 1679 near
Edward Jones (who married Mary Field) and the joint patent with John
Field in 1687. It was the custom to live on the land before recording a
patent. In the case of Edward Jones, John Field and Henry Prewitt, it
seems likely they settled on Thomas Fields, Sr's land for which he had
not yet recorded.
On Aug. 25, 1681, Henry Prewitt was summoned to testify, and having
attended one day, was granted 40 lbs. of tobacco against Hugh Jones.
Court held in Varina Parish, Henrico Co., VA in the action between Hugh
Jones and Edward Jones.
On Feb. 1, 1685, Henry Prewitt and John Field witnessed the Will of
Gilbert Jones of Henrico Co., VA.
On April 20, 1687m Henry Prewitt and John Fields were granted 440 acres
of land in Varina Parish, Henrico Co., VA on the North side of the James
River, beginning at Almond Creek (this area is now within the city
limits of Richmond, VA). Often in the patents involving two people, we
find they were brothers-in-law. Henry Prewitt was involved with the
Fields and Jones families throughout the records of Henrico Co, VA. Mary
Fields, a sister of John Fields, married Edward Jones, and Henry Prewitt
administered the estate of Edward Jones in 1695. Henry sold his half of
the 440 acre patent to Mary (Field) Jones in 1697.
In 1688, Henry patented 411 acres. On Oct. 1, 1690, at a court held at
Varinia for the County of Henrico, July 1, 1690. Jury: Fra Reeves,
Foreman, Jno Cannon, Tho.East, William Ballow, John Watson, Michl
Turpin, Phil Turpin, Henry Prewitt, Thos Cardwell, John Field, Robert
Easly, and John Coates.
The 1690 tithables list: Henry Prewitt and John Pruitt in Henrico
County, VA. On Aug 1, 1691, Henry, age about 37 years (deposition) that
some time before John Low went away, Hugh Jones demanded of Low that he
put his gun in the loft of Edward Jones, as security for corn John Low
had bought of Hugh Jones.
On Aug. 3, 1691, Henry being supported by John Field in the suit brought
against him by the Hon. William Byrd, Esq., having attended on day, hath
order granted against the said Field for 40 pounds of tobacco according
to the law. Henry's land on Almond Creek was about 20 miles up the James
River from William Byrd's plantation "Westover." However, William Byrd
also operated a trading post near Henry's land.
On Aug. 25, 1691 Henry having attended 2 days as a witness, being
summoned for Ed Jones in his suit against Fra Reeves, hath orders
against the said Jones for 80 pounds of tobacco according to the law.
Court held in Varina Parish, VA.
On Sep. 1, 1691, Henryaged about 37 years depozeth that crossing James
River sometimes since, he did see a black bull of Thomas Field's mark
which belonged to Ed Jones floating upon the river against Mr. Reeves
On Apr. 17, 1693, Henry on Grand Jury. On April 1, 1694, Giles Webb
conveyed land to Thomas Cardwell, both of Varian, 100 acres bounded by
lines of Cardwell and Henry.
On Feb. 1, 1695, Henry having attended one day as witness in behalf of
Mr. Jno Pleasants in his suit against Nathaniel Cardwell, has an order
for 40 pounds of tobacco against the said Pleasants according to lwa.
Also, on Feb. 1, 1695, the estate of Barth paid Henry 15 shillings.
In Feb. 1695, Henry and 3 others made inventory of Edwards Jones.
inventory of Edward Jones listed Feb. 19, 1695.
On June 1 1695, Henry being summoned as a witness in behalf of Allanson
Clarke against Mr. Frances Reeves, has an order granted against Clarke
for 40 pounds of tobacco, he having attended one day.
On Apr 1, 1697, Henry of Henrico sold 220 acres to Mary Jones. Land on
the North side of James River, John Higledy, Edward Jones, part of the
land patented by Henry in 1686, "and upon which I live now," it being
Dec 1, 1699 Henry was a Grand Juror.
Several people have thought that the Prewitt's of Virginia originated
with the French Huguenot, Roger Pratt, and his wife Mary. When Roger and
Mary Prouit or Pratt, settled at Manakin Virginia in 1699, the Prewitt's
had been recorded in Henrico co, VA records for over 20 years. John
Prewitt donated to a fund to help "the poverty stricken settlement of
French Huguenots at Manikin Town in 1700.
More About -HENRY PREWITT and ANN FIELD: Marriage: 1678, Probably Virginia
Notes for REBECCA DABBS /DOBBS/: In 1722, Henrico County, Rebecca
Prewitt, widow of Henry, was summoned to administer the estate of her
In 1748, 200 pounds of tobacco payed to Robert Morris for burying Rebecca.
On April 1, 1702, Deed from Henry to Thomas Cardwell, 220 acres on north
side of James River for 4000 pounds of tobacco over 3 years. Land part
of patent to Henry and John Field for 430 acres on Apr 20, 1687. wife
Rebecca released dower; Witness: Joseph Bullington and C.Evans. On April
3, 1702 Henry sold land.
June Court 1711, Henry over aged person exempt from paying poll tax.
Henry died in Genrico co., VA before June 1722. In the June Court, 1722,
Rebecca Pruit, widow of Henry, late of this County, deceased, being
summoned to adminstrate estate of deceased husband and failing to do so
on, on motion of Teston woodson, a Quaker, it is granted him letters of
administration of estate of Henry. William kent, John Huckaby, John
Lewis, William Womack or any three of these to appraise the estate. John
Woodson is also included.
In 1739, the vestry proceeds to lay the parish levy; to the church
wardens for Rebecca Pruett, 698 pounds tobacco.
Rebecca died in Henrico Co., VA, in 1748. Henrico Parish for the year
1748, to Robert Morris for burying Rebecca, 200 pounds. Rececca's
ancestors came from Ireland.
With information from "Henshaw's Encyclopedia. of American Quaker
According to "Henshaw's Encyclopedia. of American Quaker Genealogy":
Henry and Rebecca Dabbs Prewitt were members of the Henrico Monthly
Meeting of The Society of Friends (Quakers). The Henrico Co Monthly
Meeting minutes state that Rebecca Prewitt, daughter of Henry & Rebecca
Dabbs Prewitt, married in 1721 James Magohey (McGehee).
More About REBECCA DABBS /DOBBS/: Burial: Old St. John's Church,
Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia
Marriage Notes for -HENRY PREWITT and REBECCA /DOBBS/: BK 5-253 HENRICO
More About -HENRY PREWITT and REBECCA /DOBBS/: Marriage: August 20,
1691, Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia
Children of -HENRY PREWITT and ANN FIELD are:
i. JAMES HENRY4 PREUIT.
ii. FIELDS PREWITT.
Children of -HENRY PREWITT and REBECCA /DOBBS/ are:
iii. THOMAS SR.4 PREWITT, b. 1693, Varina Parish, Henrico County,
Virginia; d. 1759, Catawba Creek, Hailfax County, Virginia; m. MARY
MAGDELENE CHASTAIN, 1720, Henrico County, Virginia; b. 1696, Henrico
County, Virginia; d. 1760, Hailfax County, Virginia.
More About THOMAS SR. PREWITT: Burial: Catawba Creek, Hailfax County,
More About MARY MAGDELENE CHASTAIN: Burial: Probably Catawba Creek,
Hailfax County, Virginia
More About THOMAS PREWITT and MARY CHASTAIN: Marriage: 1720, Henrico
6. iv. ANDREW PREWITT, b. 1695, Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia;
d. 1763, Bedford County, Virginia.
v. HUGH PREWITT, b. 1697, Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia; d.
Bet. 1746 - 1750, Lunenburg County, Virginia.
7. vi. -RICHARD PREWITT, b. 1698, Varina Parish, Henrico County,
Virginia; d. Bef. April 1757, Lunenberg County, Virginia.
8. vii. URIAH SR. PREWITT, b. 1699, Varina Parish, Henrico County,
Virginia; d. Unknown.
viii. REBEKAH PREWITT, b. 1702, Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia;
d. Unknown; m. JAMES MCGEHEE, December 09, 1721, Henrico County,
Virginia; b. 1698, Hanover County, Virginia; d. October 22, 1774,
Granville County, North Carolina.
More About JAMES MCGEHEE and REBEKAH PREWITT: Marriage: December 09,
1721, Henrico County, Virginia
4. JOHN3 PREWITT/PRUITT (-THOMAS2 PREWITT, JOHN1) was born 1648 in
Charles City, Charles River County, Virginia, and died 1704. He married
SARAH LESSENE Bef. 1680. She was born 1662, and died Unknown.
More About JOHN PREWITT/PRUITT and SARAH LESSENE: Marriage: Bef. 1680
Child of JOHN PREWITT/PRUITT and SARAH LESSENE is:
9. i. SAMUEL4 PREWITT/PRUITT, b. April 04, 1700; d. 1760.
5. WILLIAM3 PREWITT (-THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1651 in Spotsylvania,
Charles River County, Virginia, and died 1748 in Caroline County,
Virginia. He married MARY STONE Bet. 1694 - 1699 in Caroline County,
Virginia. She was born 1651 in Caroline County, Virginia, and died
More About WILLIAM PREWITT and MARY STONE: Marriage: Bet. 1694 - 1699,
Caroline County, Virginia
Children of WILLIAM PREWITT and MARY STONE are:
10. i. JOHN4 PRUITT, b. 1696.
11. ii. DANIEL PRUITT, b. May 06, 1700, Caroline County, Virginia; d.
iii. WILLIAM PRUITT.
iv. MARY PRUITT.
Generation No. 4
6. ANDREW4 PREWITT (-HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1695 in Varina
Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, and died 1763 in Bedford County,
Virginia. He married AGNES GOOCHLAND. She was born 1699 in Varina
Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, and died Unknown.
Children of ANDREW PREWITT and AGNES GOOCHLAND are:
i. BYRD5 PRUITT, m. NANCY DYER.
12. ii. MICHAEL SR. PRUITT, b. 1720, Virginia.
iii. MOURNING PRUITT.
7. -RICHARD4 PREWITT (-HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1698 in Varina
Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, and died Bef. April 1757 in Lunenberg
County, Virginia. He married FRANCES MURRELL 1725 in Henrico County,
Virginia. She was born Abt. 1704 in King and Queen County, Virginia, and
died Aft. June 01, 1782 in King and Queen County, Virginia.
More About -RICHARD PREWITT and FRANCES MURRELL: Marriage: 1725, Henrico
Children of -RICHARD PREWITT and FRANCES MURRELL are:
13. i. -DAVID5 PREWITT I, b. 1726, Henrico County, Virginia; d. 1808,
Knox County, Kentucky.
ii. RICHARD PREWITT, b. 1728, Henrico County, Virginia; d. 1793,
Pittsylvania County, Virginia; m. ELIZABETH; b. 1730, Virginia; d.
iii. JAMES PREWITT, b. 1729, Henrico County, Virginia; d. 1792, King &
Queen County, Virginia; m. DELPHINE; b. 1730, Virginia; d. Unknown.
iv. FRANCES PREWITT, b. 1732, Henrico County, Virginia; d. Unknown.
8. URIAH SR.4 PREWITT (-HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1699 in Varina
Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, and died Unknown. He married ELIZABETH
1730 in Henrico County, Virginia. She was born 1699 in Henrico County,
Virginia, and died Unknown.
More About URIAH PREWITT and ELIZABETH: Marriage: 1730, Henrico County,
Children of URIAH PREWITT and ELIZABETH are:
i. URIAH JR.5 PREWITT, b. 1720.
14. ii. HENRY PREWITT, b. 1731.
iii. THOMAS PREWITT, b. 1733.
15. iv. JOSEPH PREWITT, b. 1735.
9. SAMUEL4 PREWITT/PRUITT (JOHN3, -THOMAS2 PREWITT, JOHN1) was born
April 04, 1700, and died 1760. He married ELIZABETH HAWKER 1720,
daughter of ROBERT HAWKER and AMY SELBY. She was born December 14, 1701
in Prince George's County, Maryland, and died 1795.
Notes for SAMUEL PREWITT/PRUITT: At the beginning of the seventeenth
century the Pruitts and Hawkers came to America from England and
Switzerland and fought their way up the Maryland Peninsula to the area
of present day Washington, D.C. By 1753, the Pruitts and Hawkers had
moved southwestward to Halifax County, Virginia, always moving to the
Samuel Pruitt I bought 120 acres of land (including a 20 ft. dwelling
and a 50 ft. tobacco house) called "Easy Purchase" in Prince George’s
County, Md. from Nathaniel Beale on November 22, 1737. Samuel changed
the name to "Pruitt's Purchase" and lived there until his death. This
place, as near as can be located, was on the northern-most edge of the
present day District of Columbia or else a little over toward
Bladensburgh. It was located on a branch of the Potomac. He left an
inventory which shows him to have been a merchant of a very good type,
who traded with John Glascock & Co., merchants of Great Britain. He was
connected with the best men of his locality. Samuel died in 1760.
After Samuel's death his widow Elizabeth married John Riddle, Sr. Both
lived to almost 100 years old. John Riddle, Sr. was a widower with a
large family when he and Elizabeth married. Elizabeth died shortly after
April 29, 1760 - Will of Samuel Pruitt of Frederick Co., Md. was
probated (Box 2, Folder 28, & Lib. 31 Folio, Folio 376)
The will was written January 3, 1760 and mentions wife Elizabeth gets
livestock, etc. and son Samuel Pruitt gets Henry Dollin for the
remainder of his servitude, if any, until age 21. Daughters Prisilla
Duval and Sarah Boilstone. Executor, wife. Witnessed by Barton Harris
and Ann Harris.
Zachariah and John Pruitt were not mentioned in the will of Samuel Pruitt
More About SAMUEL PREWITT/PRUITT and ELIZABETH HAWKER: Marriage: 1720
Children of SAMUEL PREWITT/PRUITT and ELIZABETH HAWKER are:
16. i. WILLIAM MARTIN5 PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1714; d. 1817.
17. ii. PRISCILLA PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1721; d. Unknown.
iii. SARAH PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1723; d. Unknown; m. DAVIS BOYDSTON.
iv. PATIENCE PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1725; d. Unknown; m. THOMAS BOYDSTON.
v. SAMUEL JR. PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1730; d. 1801; m. LUCY OWENS; b. 1736;
10. JOHN4 PRUITT (WILLIAM3 PREWITT, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1696. He
married MARTHA 1715.
More About JOHN PRUITT and MARTHA: Marriage: 1715
Children of JOHN PRUITT and MARTHA are:
i. BENJAMIN5 PRUITT, b. 1716.
ii. JOHN PRUITT, b. 1720.
iii. THADEUS PRUITT, b. 1728.
11. DANIEL4 PRUITT (WILLIAM3 PREWITT, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born May 06,
1700 in Caroline County, Virginia, and died Abt. 1755. He married SARAH
May 16, 1734.
More About DANIEL PRUITT and SARAH: Marriage: May 16, 1734
Children of DANIEL PRUITT and SARAH are:
i. WILLIAM5 PRUITT, b. Abt. 1735.
ii. JOHN HENRY PRUITT.
iii. ANN PRUITT, b. Abt. 1742.
iv. WEALTHY PRUITT.
Notes for WEALTHY PRUITT:
Grand Jury Proceedings, 5-19-1763
May 19, 1763 Grand Jury assembly, William IRBY, foreman, Nathaniel
James LEGRANDE, Wm. McDANIEL, Daniel EASLEY, Rob. HUTCHINSON, Patrick
John SMITH, Wm. CHANDLER, John LEGRANDE, Thos. SPRAGGINS, Benja.
DICKSON, John ADAMS, Abraham LEGRANDE, Wm. LEWIS and Stephen FARIS were
sworn for a Grand Jury of Halifax.
Their presentments were:
..............Wealthy PREWITT for having a bastard child, Mary Ann
CROSBY for the same. John COBBS for profane swearing and Sarah SMITH for
the same. The Grand Jury also found a Bill of Indictment aganist John
COBBS for an assault and battery committed on the body of Mary SMITH.
Ordered that a process issue against the persons this day presented by
the Grand Jury, to cause them to come here to the next Court..............
v. LUCY PRUITT, b. Abt. 1748; m. JAMES STANLEY, December 15, 1766.
More About JAMES STANLEY and LUCY PRUITT: Marriage: December 15, 1766
Generation No. 5
12. MICHAEL SR.5 PRUITT (ANDREW4 PREWITT, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was
born 1720 in Virginia. He married (1) ELIZABETH SIMPKINS 1742 in Henrico
County, Virginia, daughter of JOHN SIMPKINS and ELIZABETH RENCH. She was
born 1724 in Virginia, and died 1772 in Virginia. He married (2) MARY
THURSTON March 10, 1778 in Hailfax County, Virginia.
Notes for MICHAEL SR. PRUITT: Michael lived in Bedford County, VA (1763)
before moving to Kentucky.
From British Mercantile Claims: Owed 73 pounds at Halifax Store about
1800. "Michael Prewitt moved eight to ten years ago to Kentucky. Was
wealthy when he went away from Campbell County and still supposed so."
WILL OF MICHAEL PREWITT, SR. "This last will and Testament of Michael
Prewett, Sen. dec'd was proved to be his Act and deed by the oaths of
Jeremiah Crabb, William Gregory, and Rich. M. Booker, witnesses thereto
and bro. to be recorded.
Test. James Craig C.C.
In the name of God, Amen I Michael Prewet, Sen. being in sound sence
(sic) and good memory calling to mind that it is appointed for all men
once to die, I do make this my last will and Testament in manner and
form following, towit, my will is that all my just debts and funeral
charges be first paid and staisfied further my will is: Item, I give and
bequeath to my Daughter Betsey Adams one Shilling Starling to her and
heirs forever - further my will is that after my Decease that all my
Estate both real and personal, to wit, five Negroes Peter, Mager, Old
Jenny, Young Jenny and her young child, Will, and their increase with
Three Horses and one mare with fifteen head of cattle with my stock os
sheep and hogs with all my house hold and kitchen furniture together
with my still and plantation utenshals (sic) be equally divided amongst
my Eight children to wit, James Prewet, Judy Mitchell, Elisher (sic)
Prewet, Michael Prewet, Burd Prewet, Joseph Prewet, Robert Prewet, and
Joshua Prewet, to them and their heirs forever I do appoint my sons
Elisha Prewet, David Mitchell, Byrd Prewet and Joseph Prewet, Robert
Prewet, Executors to this my last will.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal.
Michael Prewet (Seal) Jeremiah Crabb William Gregory Richard M. Booker
SHELBY SS May County Court 1798
This last will and Testament of Michael Prewet Sen. dec'd was proved to
be his Act and deed by the oaths of Jeremiah Crabb, William Gregory and
Rich. M. Booker, witnesses thereto and bro. to be recorded.
Test. James Craig, C.C. STATE OF KENTUCKY COUNTY OF SHELBY SCT.
I, James C. Ray, Clerk of the Shelby County Court, do hereby certify
that the foregoing is a true and coreect copy of the Will of Michael
Prewet, deceased, as it appears on Will Book 1, page 41 in the records
by my office. Witness my hand this August 20, 1830
James C. Ray, Clerk
More About MICHAEL PRUITT and ELIZABETH SIMPKINS: Marriage: 1742,
Henrico County, Virginia
More About MICHAEL PRUITT and MARY THURSTON: Marriage: March 10, 1778,
Hailfax County, Virginia
Children of MICHAEL PRUITT and ELIZABETH SIMPKINS are:
i. RACHEL6 PREWET, b. 1743, Virginia; m. ROBERT III SHIPLEY; b. 1743,
Anne Arundel, MA.
18. ii. JAMES A. PREWET, b. 1745, Virginia; d. January 09, 1810, Shelby
19. iii. JUDITH PREWET, b. 1747, Virginia.
iv. ELISHA PREWET, b. 1749, Virginia; m. TABITHA COLLINS.
v. BYRD PREWET, b. 1753, Shelby County, Kentucky.
vi. JOSEPH PREWET, b. 1755, Bedford County, Virginia; m. LEAH MOSS.
vii. MICHAEL JR. PREWET, b. 1756, Campbell County, Virginia; m. VIRGINIA
viii. ROBERT PREWET, b. June 10, 1758, Hailfax County, Virginia; m.
ix. JOSHUA SR. PREWET, b. 1765, Bedford County, Virginia; m. SARAH ADAMS.
More About SARAH ADAMS: Nickname: Sally
x. ELIZABETH PREWET, b. 1767.
13. -DAVID5 PREWITT I (-RICHARD4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born
1726 in Henrico County, Virginia, and died 1808 in Knox County,
Kentucky. He married UNKNOWN 1745 in Henrico County, Virginia.
Notes for -DAVID PREWITT I: This may be the same David that was supposed
to have abandoned his wife leavine her to become a ward of the state.
The finding of two Davids, senior and junior, on the 1807 Knox County
(Kentucky) tax rolls and only one on the 1808 roll probably means that
this David died about 1808. In Franklin County, Tennesee, the roll shows
2 horses/mules, 5 cattle, no blacks and no white males between 16 and
21. He was not tithable. There was also an Elijah, but because of his
age he cannot be the son of David. He may have been in Henry County,
Virginia in 1779 and served in the Revolution as a member of the
Virginia Militia. Crozier's Virginia Military Records, 975.5 V817m, pg.
185-189, lists Henry County Militia called to aid General Green at
Hillsborough, North Carolina on 11 March 1781, preparatory to the battle
at Guilford Court House. David Pruit was in Tully Choice's Company.
On Feb. 27, 1769, David Pruit enters 400 acres in Pittsylvania Co., Va.,
beginning on the first branch above the Maple Branch.
The 1774 tithables for Pittsylvania Co., Va., by Huygh Jones, lists:
William & David Prewit, 2 persons; Richard Prewit, 1 person; and David
Prewit, Jr., 1 person.
In 1776, Henry Co., Va. was formed from Pittsylvania County. The 1778
Tax List for Henry Co., Va. lists: David Prewitt, Sr.; David Prewitt,
Jr.; Richard Prewitt; and Charles Prewitt.
The 1779 Tax List for Hery Co., Va. lists: David Prewitt, Senr.; David
Prewitt, Jr.; and Elijah Prewitt.
In 1780, David Prewitt, Sr. contributed money for the Revolutionary War.
More About -DAVID PREWITT and UNKNOWN: Marriage: 1745, Henrico County,
Children of -DAVID PREWITT and UNKNOWN are:
20. i. DAVID6 PREWITT II, b. 1746, Virginia; d. Bef. 1820, Knox County,
21. ii. RICHARD PREWITT, b. Bet. 1748 - 1853, Virginia; d. Aft. 1813,
Knox County, Kentucky.
iii. WILLIAM PREWITT, b. 1753, Virginia.
22. iv. -JOHN PREWITT, b. 1754, Virginia-possibly Henry/Henrico County;
d. 1829, Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
v. CHARLES PREWITT SR., b. 1757, Henry County, Virginia; d. Unknown,
Roane County, Tennessee; m. BETSY; b. Abt. 1760.
vi. ELIJAH PREWITT, b. 1758, Henry County, Virginia; d. Aft. 1813,
Madison County, Kentucky.
vii. SAMUEL PREWITT, b. Aft. 1760, Henry County, Virginia.
14. HENRY5 PREWITT (URIAH SR.4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1731.
He married REBECCA.
Notes for HENRY PREWITT: Henry Pruit Land Grant, 1763 - Halifax Co.
VA-Land Office Patents and Grants - Library of Virginia
Maybe the son of Uriah Pruett b. 1699 and Elizabeth.
Henry Pruit, 354 Acres, Form page 1
George the Third &c To all &c Know ye that for Divers good Causes and
Considerations but more Especially for and in Consideration of the sum
of Thirty five Shillings of good and lawful Money for our Use paid to
our Receiver General of our Revenues in this our Colony and Dominion of
Virginia We have Given Granted and Confirmed and by the presents for us
our Heirs and Successors Do Give Grant and Confirm Unto Henry Pruit one
Certain Tract or parcel of Land Containing Three hundred and fifty four
acres lying and being in the Count of Halifax on both sides Banister
River and bounded as followeth (to witt Beginning at a red Oak on the
said River thence North forty four degrees East two hundred and ninety
two poles to a white Oak thence North forty five degrees West Eighty six
poles to a red Oak on the River thence crossing and up the said River to
Nicholous Nettles upper Corner on the same thence by his line North
twelve degrees West Ninety eight poles to his Corner red Oak thence off
West one hundred and eight poles to a pine thence south eighteen degrees
West thirty poles to a black Jack thence South forty five drgrees West
thirty poles to a pine thence South Sixty five degrees West seventy four
poles to a red Oak on Banister River aforesaid thence up the Meanders of
the said River to the Beginning With all &c To have hold &c To be held
&c Yielding and Paying &c Provided &c In Witness &c Witness our Trusty
and Welbeloved Francis Fauquier Esq: our Lieut Governor and Commander in
Chief of our said Colony and Dominion at Williamsburgh under the seal of
our said Colony the Seventh Day of July one thousand seven hundred and
sixty three, In the Third year of our Reign Examined Fran. Fauquier
Children of HENRY PREWITT and REBECCA are:
i. JOSEPH6 PREWITT, b. July 16, 1764, Pittsylvania, Virginia.
ii. JOHN PREWITT, b. 1756, Bedford, Virginia; m. EADY SPENCER.
15. JOSEPH5 PREWITT (URIAH SR.4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1735.
Child of JOSEPH PREWITT is:
i. DANIEL6 PREWITT, m. AMANDA PITTMAN.
16. WILLIAM MARTIN5 PREWITT/PRUITT (SAMUEL4, JOHN3, -THOMAS2 PREWITT,
JOHN1) was born 1714, and died 1817. He married MARY MARTIN. She was
born 1730, and died Unknown.
Children of WILLIAM PREWITT/PRUITT and MARY MARTIN are:
i. MARTIN6 PREWITT/PRUITT, b. Bet. 1747 - 1748.
ii. FULLER PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1755.
iii. REBECCA PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1760.
iv. WILLIAM PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1761.
v. ABRAHAM PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1763.
vi. ISAAC PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1763.
vii. JACOB PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1765.
viii. LEVINA PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1766.
ix. MARY PREWITT/PRUITT, b. 1767.
17. PRISCILLA5 PREWITT/PRUITT (SAMUEL4, JOHN3, -THOMAS2 PREWITT, JOHN1)
was born 1721, and died Unknown. She married WILLIAM DUVALL.
Children of PRISCILLA PREWITT/PRUITT and WILLIAM DUVALL are:
i. SUSANNAH6 DUVALL, m. JOHN WEBB.
ii. SAMUEL DUVALL.
iii. WILLIAM DUVALL.
iv. PHILLIP DUVALL.
v. ZACHARIAH DUVALL.
Generation No. 6
18. JAMES A.6 PREWET (MICHAEL SR.5 PRUITT, ANDREW4 PREWITT, -HENRY3,
-THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1745 in Virginia, and died January 09, 1810 in
Shelby County, Kentucky. He married (1) ELIZABETH STREET. He married (2)
SARAH MATHEWS September 09, 1791.
More About JAMES PREWET and SARAH MATHEWS: Marriage: September 09, 1791
Children of JAMES PREWET and ELIZABETH STREET are:
i. ANNE7 PREWET.
ii. ELIZABETH PREWET.
iii. MICAH PREWET.
iv. NATHANIEL PREWET, b. 1778, Virginia.
19. JUDITH6 PREWET (MICHAEL SR.5 PRUITT, ANDREW4 PREWITT, -HENRY3,
-THOMAS2, JOHN1) was born 1747 in Virginia. She married DANIEL JR.
More About DANIEL MITCHELL and JUDITH PREWET Marriage: 1780
Children of JUDITH PREWET and DANIEL MITCHELL are:
i. MICHAEL7 MITCHELL.
ii. ELIZABETH MITCHELL.
iii. JOANNA MITCHELL.
iv. DANIEL MITCHELL.
v. ANDREW MITCHELL.
vi. ROBERT MITCHELL.
vii. JOHN MITCHELL.
20. DAVID6 PREWITT II (-DAVID5, -RICHARD4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was
born 1746 in Virginia, and died Bef. 1820 in Knox County, Kentucky. He
married JANE PARROT 1770. She was born 1750 in Knox County, Kentucky,
and died Bef. 1820.
More About DAVID PREWITT and JANE PARROT: Marriage: 1770
Children of DAVID PREWITT and JANE PARROT are:
i. JOHN7 PREWITT, b. 1786, Virginia; m. JUDITH DEMOSS, August 10, 1805,
Knox County, Kentucky.
More About JOHN PREWITT and JUDITH DEMOSS, Marriage: August 10, 1805,
Knox County, Kentucky
ii. DAVID PREWITT.
23. iii. ELIJAH PREWITT, b. 1782; d. January 15, 1824, Knox County,
iv. WILLIAM PREWITT.
v. URIAH PREWITT.
21. RICHARD6 PREWITT (-DAVID5, -RICHARD4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was
born Bet. 1748 - 1853 in Virginia, and died Aft. 1813 in Knox County,
Kentucky. He married FANNY SANDRIDGE October 04, 1771 in Pittsylvania
County, Virginia. She was born Abt. 1750 in Virginia, and died Aft. 1830
in Jackson Township, Parke County, Indiana.
More About RICHARD PREWITT and FANNY SANDRIDGE: Marriage: October 04,
1771, Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Children of RICHARD PREWITT and FANNY SANDRIDGE are:
24. i. ABRAHAM7 PREWITT, b. 1774, Pittsylvania County, Virginia; d. Aft.
1830, Parke County, Indiana.
ii. SAMUEL PREWITT, b. August 18, 1776, Henry County, Virginia; d.
January 01, 1836, Camden, Ray County, Arkansas; m. HANNAH HIGGINS, 1798;
b. January 19, 1780, Kentucky; d. August 21, 1863, Breckenridge,
Caldwell County, Missouri.
More About SAMUEL PREWITT: Burial: Camden, Ray County, Arkansas
More About SAMUEL PREWITT and HANNAH HIGGINS: Marriage: 1798
25. iii. STEPHEN PREWITT, b. 1777, Henry County, Virginia.
iv. DAVID PREWITT, b. 1783, Henry County, Virginia; d. Bet. 1860 - 1867,
Henderson County, Texas; m. (1) CHARLOTTA DAUGHERTY; b. 1795, Campbell
or Anderson County, Tennessee; d. Bet. 1860 - 1867, Henderson County,
Texas; m. (2) PEGGIE KIZZIAH, March 22, 1804, Pulaski County, Kentucky;
b. 1783, Pulask County, Kentucky.
More About DAVID PREWITT and PEGGIE KIZZIAH: Marriage: March 22, 1804,
Pulaski County, Kentucky
v. JOHN PREWITT, b. 1783, Henry County, Virginia; d. 1860, Orange
County, Indiana; m. MARY, 1805; b. 1784, Henry County, Virginia.
More About JOHN PREWITT and MARY: Marriage: 1805
vi. THOMAS PREWITT, b. Bet. 1785 - 1790, Henry County, Virginia; d. Aft.
1846, Harrison County, Missouri.
vii. ESAU PREWITT, b. 1789, Henry County, Virginia; d. November 1843,
Henry County, Missouri; m. ELIZABETH BROOKS, 1807; b. 1791, Kentucky.
More About ESAU PREWITT and ELIZABETH BROOKS: Marriage: 1807
viii. RACHEL PREWITT, b. 1790, Henry County, Virginia; m. JAMES JONES,
May 12, 1809, Lincoln County, Kentucky; b. 1786, Lincoln County, Kentucky.
More About JAMES JONES and RACHEL PREWITT: Marriage: May 12, 1809,
Lincoln County, Kentucky
22. -JOHN6 PREWITT (-DAVID5, -RICHARD4, -HENRY3, -THOMAS2, JOHN1) was
born 1754 in Virginia-possibly Henry/Henrico County, and died 1829 in
Rockcastle County, Kentucky. He married REBECCA ELIZABETH DAY Abt. 1783
in Virginia, daughter of JOSHUA DAY and MARY GIBSON. She was born Abt.
1756 in Buchanan or Tazwell County?, Virginia, and died Bet. 1810 - 1820
in probably Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
Notes for -JOHN PREWITT: ENLISTED IN HENRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA AS A PRIVATE
SERVED IN THE VIRGINIA LINE FOR A TERM OF 18 MONTHS- HE WAS AT THE
BATTLE OF GUILFORD COURT HOUSE AND AT EUTAW SPRINGS, S.C. AMERICAN
REVOLUTION WAR IN SOUTH: Battle of Guilford Court-House, NC. 15 Mar.
1781- Battle of Eutaw Springs, SC. 08 Sep. 1781- General Daniel MORGAN's
success lighted the fire of emulation in the breast of General Nathanael
GREENE, and he was "loth it should stand alone." To one of his
subordinate officers on the Pedee he wrote: "Here is a fine field and
great glory ahead." On the day of his meeting General Daniel MORGAN he
wrote to "the famous Colonel William CAMPBELL" to "bring without loss of
time a thousand good volunteers from over the mountains." A like letter
was addressed to Col. Isaac SHELBY, though without effect. To the
officers commanding in the counties of Wilkes and Surry, NC. General
Nathanael GREENE said: "If you repair to arms, Lord Charles CORNWALLIS
must be inevitably ruined." He called upon Thomas "Gamecock" SUMTER, as
soon as his recovery should permit, to take the field at the head of the
South Carolina militia; he gave orders to Col. Andrew PICKENS to raise
troops in the district of Augusta and Ninety-Six, and hang on the rear
of the enemy; and he sought out powerful horses and skillful riders to
strengthen the cavalry of Lt. Col. William WASHINGTON.
The two divisions of the American army, after effecting their junction
at Guilford Court-House, were still too weak to offer battle. Edward
Carrington of Virginia, the wise selection of General Nathanael GREENE
for his quartermaster, advised to cross the Dan at the ferries of Irwin
and Boyd, which were seventy miles distant from Guilford Court-House and
twenty miles below Dix's ferry, and where he knew that boats could be
collected. The advice was adopted. General Nathanael GREENE placed under
Otho WILLIAMS the flower of his troops as a light corps, which on the
morning of the tenth sallied forth to watch Lord Charles CORNWALLIS, to
prevent his receiving correct information, and to lead him in the
direction of Dix's ferry by guarding its approaches. They succeeded for
a day or two in perplexing him.
Meantime, the larger part of the army under General Nathanael GREENE,
without tents, poorly clothed, and for the most part without shoes,
"many hundreds of the soldiers tracking the ground with their bloody
feet," retreated at the rate of seventeen miles a day along wilderness
roads where the wagon-wheels sunk deep in mire and the Creeks were
swollen by heavy rains. On the 14th of February 1781 they arrived at the
ferries. General Nathanael GREENE first sent over the wagons, and at
half-past five in the afternoon could write "that all his troops were
over and the stage clear."
So soon as Lord Charles CORNWALLIS gained good information, be pursued
the light troops at the rate of thirty miles a day, but he was too late.
On the evening of the 14th, Otho WILLIAMS, marching on that day forty
miles, brought his party to the ferries. The next morning Lord Charles
CORNWALLIS arrived, only to learn that the Americans, even to their
rear-guard, had crossed the river the night before.
On the four days' march from Guilford Court-House General Nathanael
GREENE scarcely slept four hours; and his care was so comprehensive that
nothing, however trifling, was afterwards found to have been overlooked
or neglected. "Your retreat before Lord Charles CORNWALLIS," wrote
WASHINGTON, "is highly applauded by all ranks, and reflects much honor
on your military abilities." "Every measure of the Americans," so
relates a British historian, "during their march from the Catawba to
Virginia was judiciously designed and vigorously executed." Special
applause was justly awarded to Carrington and to Otho WILLIAMS. In the
camp of General Nathanael GREENE every countenance was lighted up with
joy. Soldiers in tattered garments, with but one blanket to four men,
without shoes, regular food, or pay, were happy in the thought of having
done their duty to their country; they all were ready to recross the Dan
After giving his troops a day's rest, Lord Charles CORNWALLIS moved by
easy marches to Hillsborough, where on the 20th Feb. 1781 he invited by
proclamation all loyal subjects in the province to repair to the royal
standard, being ready to concur with them in re-establishing the
government of the king.
No sooner had the British left the banks of the Dan than "Light Horse"
Harry LEE's legion recrossed the river. They were followed on the 21st
by the light troops, and on the 22nd by General Nathanael GREENE with
the rest of his army, including a reinforcement of 600 militia-men of
The loyalists of North Carolina, inferring from the proclamation of Lord
Charles CORNWALLIS that be was in peaceable possession of the country,
rose in such numbers that 7 independent companies were formed in one
day; and Lt. Col. Banistre TARLETON with the British legion was detached
across the Haw river for their protection. By the order of General
Nathanael GREENE, Col. Andrew PICKENS, who had collected between 399 and
400 hundred militia, and "Light Horse" Harry LEE formed a junction and
moved against both parties. Missing Lt. Col. Banistre TARLETON, they
fell in with 300 Royalists under Colonel PYLE, and routed them with
"dreadful carnage." Lt. Col. Banistre TARLETON, who was refreshing his
legion about a mile from the scene of action, hurried back to
Hillsborough, and all royalists who were on their way to join the king's
standard returned home. Lord Charles CORNWALLIS describes his friends as
timid, "the rebels" as "inveterate."
To compel General Nathanael GREENE to accept battle, Lord Charles
CORNWALLIS on the twenty-seventh moved his whole force across the Haw,
and encamped near Allemance Creek. For seven days General Nathanael
GREENE lay within ten miles of the British, but baffled them by taking a
new position every night. No fear of censure could hurry his determined
mind to hazard an engagement. He waited fill he was joined by the
south-west Virginia militia nude William CAMPBELL, by another brigade of
militia from Virginia under General Lawson, by two from North Carolina
under Butler and Eaton, and by four hundred regulars raised for eighteen
months. Then on the fourteenth of March he encamped near the Guilford
Court-House, within eight miles of the British forces.
Guilford Court-House Battle, 15 Mar. 1781- At dawn of day on the 15th,
Lord Charles CORNWALLIS, having sent off his baggage under escort, set
in motion the rest of his army, less than nineteen hundred in number,
but all of them veteran troops of the best quality. To oppose them,
General Nathanael GREENE had sixteen hundred and fifty-one men equal to
the best of the British, and more than two thousand militia -- in all,
twice as many as his antagonist. But he had given himself little rest
since he left his camp on the Pedee; and on this most eventful day of
his life he found himself worn out with constant watching.
The ground on which his army was to be drawn up was a large hill,
surrounded by other hills and almost everywhere covered with
forest-trees and a thick undergrowth. To receive the enemy, he selected
three separate positions: the first, admirably chosen; the second, three
hundred yards in the rear of the first, was entirely in the woods;
between one quarter and one third of a mile in the rear of the second
was the third position, where he drew up his best troops obliquely,
according to the declivities of a hill on which they were posted, most
of them in a forest. The positions were so far apart that they could
give each other no immediate support; so that Lord Charles CORNWALLIS
had to engage, as it were, three separate armies, and in each engagement
would have a superiority in numbers. General Nathanael GREENE
persistently differed with the commander-in-chief on the proper manner
of using militia; WASHINGTON held that they should be used as a reserve
to improve an advantage, while General Nathanael GREENE insisted that
they ought to be placed in front; and he now acted on his own opinion.
The position selected for the first line is described by General
Nathanael GREENE as the most advantageous he ever saw. It was on the
skirt of the wood, protected on the flanks and rear, having in the
centre a fence, with open ground over which the British army was obliged
to advance, exposed to a fire that must have torn them in pieces had
they encountered troops who would have stood their ground. Here General
Nathanael GREENE placed the two brigades of North Carolina militia, not
quite eleven hundred in number, his poorest troops, suddenly called
together, ignorant of war, of each other, and of their general officers.
On their right were posted two six-pounders, and Lieutenant-Colonel
William WASHINGTON with an able corps of observation; on their left a
like corps was formed of "Light Horse" Harry LEE's command and the van
of the transmontane riflemen.
The battle began with cannonading about one in the afternoon. The
undivided force of Lord Charles CORNWALLIS displayed into line, advanced
at quick step, gave their fire, shouted, and rushed forward with
bayonets. While they were still in the open field, at a distance of one
hundred and forty yards, the North Carolina brigade fled, "none of them
having fired more than twice, very few more than once, and near one half
not at all." "Light Horse" Harry LEE's command was separated from the
main army, which they did not rejoin till the next day.
Without pausing to take breath, the British line, which had not escaped
without loss, advanced to attack the second position of the Americans,
defended by the Virginia brigade. The men were used to forest warfare,
and they made a brave and obstinate resistance. They discharged their
pieces, drew back behind the brow of the hill to load, and returned to
renew their fire. In dislodging some Americans from their post on a
woody height, the ranks of the first battalion of the guards were
thinned and many of their officers fell. The Virginia brigade did not
retreat till the British drew near enough to charge with the bayonet.
The British army, though suffering from fatigue and weakened by heavy
losses, pressed forward to the third American line, where General
Nathanael GREENE was present. A fierce attack was made on the American
right by Colonel Webster with the left of the British. After a long and
bloody encounter, the British were beaten back by the continentals, and
were forced with great loss to recross a ravine. Webster was mortally
The second battalion of the guards, led by Lieutenant-Colonel STEWART,
broke through the second Maryland regiment, captured two field-pieces,
and pursued their advantage into more open ground. Immediately
Lieutenant-Colonel William WASHINGTON, who had brought his cavalry once
more into the field, made a charge upon them with his mounted men; and
the first regiment of Marylanders, led by GUNBY and seconded by HOWARD,
engaged with their bayonets. STEWART fell under a blow from Captain
SMITH; and the British party was driven back with great slaughter and
the loss of the cannon which they had taken. The first battalion of the
guards, although already crippled, advanced against the Americans. A
severe American fire on its front and flanks completely threw them into
disorder. At this moment Du Puy's Hessian regiment, which had thus far
suffered but little, came up in compact order on the left of the guards,
who rallied behind them, renewed the attack, and in turn defeated the
The British army appeared to be gaining the American right. The battle
had raged for two hours. General Nathanael GREENE could still order into
the fight two Virginia regiments of continentals, of which one had
hardly been engaged, the other had been withheld as a reserve; but he
hesitated. After deliberating for some moments, not knowing how much the
British had suffered, he left his cannon and the field to the enemy, and
used his reserve only to cover the retreat of his army. The last as well
as the first in the engagement were the riflemen of CAMPBELL, who
continued firing from tree to tree till the cavalry of Lt. Col. Banistre
TARLETON compelled them to fly. After the Americans were encamped in
safety, General Nathanael GREENE fainted from exhaustion, and, on
recovering consciousness, remained far from well.
Although the battle at Guilford marks the end of the power of the
British in North Carolina, no praise is too great for the conduct of
their officers and troops throughout the day. On their side, five
hundred and seventy were killed or wounded; and their wounded, dispersed
over a wide space of country, asked for immediate care. Of the
Americans, the loss was, of continentals, three hundred and twenty-six;
of the militia, ninety-three. But nearly three hundred of the Virginia
militia and six hundred of those of North Carolina, their time of
service having almost expired, seized the occasion to return home.
Virginia furnished to the army that fought at Guilford sixteen hundred
and ninety-three of her militia and seven hundred and seventy-eight of
her continental troops. "The great reinforcements," wrote Lord Charles
CORNWALLIS to Lord GERMAIN, "sent by Virginia to General Nathanael
GREENE while General Arnold was in the Chesapeake, are convincing proofs
that small expeditions do not frighten that powerful province." Its act
of magnanimity was deliberate. "Your state," wrote WASHINGTON to
Jefferson, its governor, "will experience more molestation; but the
evils from predatory incursions are not to be compared to the injury of
the common cause. I am persuaded the attention to your immediate safety
will not divert you from the measures intended to reinforce the southern
army. The late accession of force makes the enemy in Carolina too
formidable to be resisted without powerful succors from Virginia." And
he gave orders to Steuben: "Make the defence of the state as little as
possible interfere with the measures for succoring General Nathanael
GREENE. Everything is to be apprehended if he is not powerfully
supported from Virginia." JEFFERSON made the advice of WASHINGTON his
rule of conduct, though by it he laid himself open to perverse
accusations in his own state. On the third day after the battle General
Nathanael GREENE wrote to WASHINGTON: "Virginia has given me every
support I could wish."
In his report of the day of Guilford, General Nathanael GREENE hardly
did himself justice; public opinion took no note of his mistakes in the
order of battle. What they did observe was the fortitude with which he
set about retrieving his defeat.
On the 18th Mar. 1781, Lord Charles CORNWALLIS, committing his wounded
to the care of the Americans, with his victorious but ruined army began
his flight; and, as he hurried away, distributed by proclamation news of
his victory, offers of pardon to repentant rebels, and promises of
protection to the loyal. He was pursued by General Nathanael GREENE, who
was eager to renew the battle. On the morning of the 28th Mar. the
Americans arrived at Ramsay's Mills, on Deep river; but Lord Charles
CORNWALLIS had just a few hours before crossed the river on a temporary
bridge. No longer in danger of being overtaken, he moved by way of Cross
Creek, now Fayetteville, toward Wilmington. His rapid march through a
country thinly inhabited left no tracks which the quickening of spring
did not cover over, except where houses were burnt and settlements
broken up. It taught the loyalists of North Carolina that they could
find no protection from British generals or the British king. All North
Carolina, except Wilmington, was left to the Americans.
"From the report of Lord Charles CORNWALLIS," said FOX, on the 12th of
June, to the house of commons, "there is the most conclusive evidence
that the war is impracticable in its object and ruinous in its progress.
In the disproportion between the two armies, a victory was highly to the
honor of our troops; but, had our army been vanquished, what course
could they have taken? Certainly they would have abandoned the field of
action and flown for refuge to the sea-side; precisely the measures the
victorious army was obliged to adopt." And he moved the house of commons
to recommend to the ministers every possible measure for concluding peace.
In the course of the very long debate the younger William PITT, then
just twenty-two, avoiding the question of independence and thus
unconsciously conciliating the favor of King George III, explained to a
listening house the principles and conduct of his father on American
affairs. Then, referring to Westcote, he said: "A noble lord has called
the American war a holy war: I affirm that it is a most accursed war,
wicked, barbarous, cruel, and unnatural; conceived in injustice, it was
brought forth and nurtured in folly; its footsteps are marked with
slaughter and devastation, while it meditates destruction to the
miserable people who are the devoted objects of the resentments which
produced it. The British nation, in return for its vital resources in
men and money, has received ineffective victories and severe defeats,
which have filled the land with mourning for the loss of dear relations
slain in the impious cause of enforcing unconditional submission, or
narratives of the glorious exertions of men struggling under all
difficulties in the holy cause of liberty. Where is the Englishman who
can refrain from weeping, on whatever side victory may be declared?" The
voice was listened to as that of Chatham, "again living in his son with
all his virtues and all his talents." "America is lost, irrecoverably
lost, to this country," added Fox. "We can lose nothing by a vote
declaring America independent." On the division, an increased minority
revealed the growing discontent of the house of commons at the
continuance of the war.
On the 7th of April, Lord Charles CORNWALLIS brought the relics of his
army to Wilmington, where a parry sent by his orders from Charleston
awaited him. He could not move by land toward Camden without exposing
his troops to the greatest chances of being lost. He should have
returned to Charleston by water, to retain possession of South Carolina;
but such a movement would have published to the world that all his long
marches and victory had led only to disgrace. A subordinate general, be
was sure of the favor and approval of Lord GERMAIN, and forced his plans
on his commander-in-chief, to whom he wrote: "I cannot help expressing
my wishes that the Chesapeake may become the seat of war, even, if
necessary, at the expense of abandoning New York." And without waiting
for an answer, in the last days of April, with a force of fourteen
hundred and thirty-five men, all told, he left Wilmington for Virginia.
Clinton, reasoning justly, afterward in self-defence replied: "Had you
intimated the probability of your intention, I should certainly have
endeavored to stop you, as I did then consider such a move likely to be
dangerous to our interests in the southern colonies." He had in April
received from the secretary this message: " George Lord GERMAIN strongly
recommends it to Sir Henry Clinton either to remain in good humor, in
full confidence to be supported as much as the nature of the service
will admit of, or avail himself of the leave of coming home, as no good
can arise to the service if there is not full confidence between the
general and the minister." It was not Clinton's wish or intention to
resign; but he hastened to warn Lord GERMAIN: "Operations in the
Chesapeake are attended with great risk, unless we are sure of a
permanent superiority at sea. I cannot agree to the opinion given me by
Lord Charles CORNWALLIS. I tremble for the fatal consequences which may
ensue." But Lord Charles CORNWALLIS, the subordinate general, had from
Wilmington written directly to the secretary "that a serious attempt
upon Virginia would be the most solid plan;" and Lord GERMAIN hastened
to write to Clinton: " Lord Charles CORNWALLIS's opinion entirely
coincides with mine of the great importance of pushing the war on the
side of Virginia with all the force that can be spared."
In his march from Wilmington, Lord Charles CORNWALLIS met little
resistance. For the place of junction with the British army in Virginia
he fixed upon Petersburg on the Appomattox.
So soon as Lord Charles CORNWALLIS was beyond pursuit General Nathanael
GREENE "determined to carry the war immediately into South Carolina."
Dismissing those of the militia whose time was about to expire, he
retained nearly eighteen hundred men, with small chances of
reinforcements or of sufficient subsistence. He knew the hazards which
he was incurring; but, in case of untoward accidents, he believed that
WASHINGTON and his other friends would do justice to his name.
The safety of the interior of South Carolina depended on the possession
of the posts at Camden and Ninety-Six in that state, and at Augusta in
Georgia. On the sixth of April, General Nathanael GREENE detached a
force under "Light Horse" Harry LEE, which joined Francis "Swamp Fox"
MARION, and threatened the connections between Camden and Charleston;
Thomas "Gamecock" SUMTER, with three small regiments of regular troops
of the state, had in charge to hold the country between Camden and
Ninety-Six; and Col. Andrew PICKENS with the western militia to
intercept supplies on their way to Ninety-Six and Augusta.
After these preparations, General Nathanael GREENE on the seventh began
his march from Deep river, and on the twentieth encamped his army a
half-mile from the strong and well-garrisoned works of Camden. In the
hope of intercepting a party whom Lord RAWDON had sent out, General
Nathanael GREENE moved to the south of the town; but, finding that he
had been misled, his army, on the twenty-fourth, took a well-chosen
position on Hobkirk's Hill. The eminence was covered with wood, and
flanked on the left by an impassable swamp. The ground toward Camden,
which was a mile and a half distant, was protected by a forest and thick
shrubbery; but the time given to improve the strength of the position
had not been properly used. On the twenty-eighth the men, having been
under arms from daylight, were dismissed to receive provisions and
prepare their morning repast. The horses were unsaddled and feeding;
General Nathanael GREENE was at breakfast.
By keeping close to the swamp, Lord RAWDON, with about nine hundred men,
gained the left of the Americans "in some measure by surprise," and
opened a fire upon their pickets. The good discipline which General
Nathanael GREENE had introduced now stood him in stead. About two
hundred and fifty North Carolina militia, who had arrived that morning,
did nothing during the day; but his cavalry was soon mounted, and his
regular troops, about nine hundred and thirty in number, were formed in
order of battle in one line without reserves. Of the two Virginia
regiments, that under HAWES formed the extreme right, that of CAMPBELL
the right centre; of the two Maryland regiments, that of Ford occupied
the extreme left, of GUNBY the left centre. The artillery was placed in
the road between the two brigades. In this disposition he awaited the
attack of Lord RAWDON.
Perceiving that the British advanced with a narrow front, General
Nathanael GREENE ordered Ford's regiment on the left and CAMPBELL's on
the right to wheel respectively on their flanks, the regiments of HAWES
and GUNBY to charge with bayonets without firing, and, with
inconsiderate confidence in gaining the victory, weakened himself
irretrievably by sending William WASHINGTON with his cavalry to double
the right flank and attack the enemy in the rear. But Lord RAWDON had
time to extend his front by ordering up his reserves. Colonel Ford, in
leading on his men, was disabled by a severe wound; and his regiment,
without executing their orders, only replied by a loose scattering fire.
On the other flank the regiment of CAMPBELL, composed of new troops,
could not stand the brunt of the enemy, though they could be rallied and
formed anew. General Nathanael GREENE led up the regiments several times
in person. The regiments under HAWES and GUNBY advanced with courage,
while the artillery played effectively on the head of the British
column. But, on the right of GUNBY's regiment, Captain BEATTY, an
officer of the greatest merit, fell mortally wounded; his company, left
without his lead, began to waver, and the wavering affected the next
company. Seeing this, GUNBY ordered the regiment to retire, that they
might form again. The British troops, seizing the opportunity, broke
through the American centre, advanced to the summit of the ridge,
brought their whole force into action on the best ground, and forced
General Nathanael GREENE to retreat. The battle was over before William
WASHINGTON with his cavalry could make the circuit through the forest to
attack their rear. Each party lost about three hundred men.
Lord RAWDON returned to Camden, followed by the congratulations of Lord
Charles CORNWALLIS on "his most glorious victory," which the general,
forgetting King's Mountain and the Cowpens, described as "by far the
most splendid of this war." "The disgrace," wrote General Nathanael
GREENE, "is more vexatious than anything else." He lost no more than the
British, saved his artillery, and collected all his men. Receiving a
reinforcement of five hundred, Lord RAWDON crossed the Wateree in
pursuit of him; but he kept his enemy at bay.
More About REBECCA ELIZABETH DAY: Nickname: Sally, Marriage Notes for
-JOHN PREWITT and REBECCA DAY:
Moved from Virginia to Kentucky before 1810 (about 1808) 1810 Rockcastle
County, Kentucky Census, Mt. Vernon Township
1 male 45+
1 female 10-15
1 female 16-25
1 female 45+
1820 Rockcastle County, Kentucky Census, Mt. Vernon Township
John Pruit Sr.
3 males 0-10
1 male over 45
1 female 26-45
1 female 45+
?divorce record for Elizabeth Prewitt vs John Prewit granted 10, Feb,
1820, Kentucky Divorce Records. Have not confirmed her death or divorce.
More About -JOHN PREWITT and REBECCA DAY: Marriage: Abt. 1783, Virginia
Children of -JOHN PREWITT and REBECCA DAY are:
i. DAVID7 PRUITT.
ii. FEMALE PRUITT, b. Bet. 1785 - 1794.
26. iii. JOSEPH SR. PREWITT, b. 1790, Virginia; d. Aft. 1880, Probably
Laurel County, Kentucky.
27. iv. -JOHN JR. PRUITT, b. 1794, Virginia; d. ? 1840-1850.
v. FEMALE PRUITT, b. Bet. 1795 - 1800.
Generations 7 - 11
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