Monday, June 29, 2015

A Revolutionary Grave

Even though I got extremely lost the last time I went geocaching in the North end of the County, I did manage to find one of the caches on my list.

The cache name is A Revolting Man #2 and according to the cache page this cache is in a cemetery where “One of only three Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in Northwest Florida. Two are located in Okaloosa County and one in Santa Rosa County.”

I never knew that. I've seen graves belonging to soldiers from the War of 1812 and the Confederate War around here but never even thought about Revolutionary War soldiers.

I found the cemetery (shocking, I know) and then found the grave.


According to his headstone he was 118 years old when he died.

There are no headstones around him, leaving me to wonder if he had a family, where they were buried, how did he end up here in North Okaloosa County and on and on and on.

His age was also pretty amazing and I wondered if maybe there was a mistake on the headstone.

After wandering through the rest of the cemetery I found the geocache and then began my odyssey home.

Later that night I started thinking about Mr. Campbell so I decided to do some digging.


Contact: Myrtle Bridges February 6, 2013

Territory of Florida
Walton County

Personally appeared Daniel Campbell before me Rich'd T. Compton a Justice of the Peace in and for said County; and made Oath that agreeable to the Law of the United States granting pensions, that he is a Revolutionary Soldier-that he served in the Revolutionary war as a private for the term of six months, in compliance with a draft which took place in the State of North Carolina, Cumberland County, which I the said Campbell was then a resident of.-drafted for the term of six months in the latter part of September 1780. Served, and was discharged on the 1st of March 1782-under command of General Green, and Capt. Neill McRaney, was in no battles during the time, got a legal discharge from Capt. McRaney, which discharge is … lost. After the war (I) remained in North Carolina for several years, thence moved to South Carolina, Merriam (Marion) District, thence to Kershaw District, thence to the State of Alabama in the year 1816, thence to Florida, Walton County, where I now reside and have since the year 1821.

I am now in my one hundred & fourth year. I have never rec'd any pension or … of pension, in any State or Territory, neither have I transferred, or caused to be transferred, my right to any person whatsoever.
Signed (X his mark) Daniel Campbell

Sworn and subscribed before me, this 4th day of March 1836
Rich'd T. Compton, JP
Daniel G. McLean, Clerk of the County Court of Walton County

Then I found this link  which added:
[Peter Campbell, relationship if any not disclosed, gave a supporting affidavit in which he states that he has been personally acquainted with the applicant for 40 years or more and that the applicant has always born the reputation of having been a revolutionary war soldier.] [Daniel a Wilkinson, John L Wikimore [?], and Donald M district of clean also gave supporting affidavits as to reputation and character of the applicant [Neill McMillan, a Minister of the Gospel, also gave a supporting affidavit as to the reputation and character of the applicant.] [fn p. 8] "Printed list of 1852 shows cause of rejection: – 'Not six months service.'"

In a nutshell Mr. Campbell applied for a war pension at the age of 104 stating he served in the Revolutionary War.

The documents are a little confusing, stating that he served 6 months but then lists the dates as 'drafted for the term of six months in the latter part of September 1780. Served, and was discharged on the 1st of March 1782' but his claim rejected due to 'Not six months service.'

One other thing came to light and that was his age. His headstone states he was born in 1725 but according to his pension claim he was 104 in 1836 – which means he must have been born in 1732.

Either way – to live well past 100 in a time when 40 was considered old is amazing.

The document also states that he moved from North Carolina to South Carolina to Alabama and then in 1821 to Florida.

I think about those early settlers when I'm out hiking and wonder about their journey here. I consider it paradise but I have bug spray, a truck with AC and a house with more comforts than people at that time could ever fathom.

I'm not so sure the early settlers were thinking paradise as they plowed through swamps and saw palmettos.

From the looks of things, Mr. Campbell traveled a long, hard journey and still managed to live to be long past 100.

An interesting discovery in a small cemetery in the middle of nowhere.
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