Amos Balch - American Revolution, Southern Campaign

Amos Balch (July 20, 1758-1838) was born in Deer Creek, Maryland to James and Anne (Goodwyn) Balch. Amos married Ann Patton in 1782 either in North Carolina or Tennessee. Together Anne and Amos had eight children.

During the latter part of 1775 Amos became a mounted volunteer in the service of the American Revolution. Under the command of Captain Richard Simmons he was appointed to the role of orderly Sergeant of a company that was raised from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. During this time the company would march to Charleston, South Carolina and come under the command of Colonel Malmedy. From Charleston they would march on to Stono (South Carolina) where they would engage in battle with a combined force of British Royalists and Hessian mercenaries.

On June 20, 1779 General Benjamin Lincoln, in control of the American forces, used his armies to attack the fort at Stono River. The American forces had planned to storm the garrison but pulled back when they received word that Carolina Royalists were coming to reinforce the enemy. In this battle neither side won a clear victory and the Royalist troops were forced to retreat. Later the Royalists were able to capture Charleston, South Carolina and finally force the surrender of General Lincoln.

In about the year 1780 Amos' company was joined by Colonel George Washington's cavalry. For three months Amos would serve under the leadership of Colonel Washington. At the end of a three month tour Amos received a discharge, from Captain Simmons, and returned home to Mecklenburg County. Shortly after he joined "Captain Spring's" Company and with this company joined General Horatio Gates at Pedee River (in North Carolina). From Pedee the armies would march to Rugeley's Mills and on August 15, 1780 they would launch a surprise assault on the British forces at Camden, South Carolina. The British forces, under the leadership of General Charles Cornwallis, would be the ultimate winners of the Battle of Camden.

After the loss at Camden Amos would be added once again to the forces of Captain Spring. Placed under the command of General Davidson he would participate in the American effort to block the efforts of British foraging parties. At the end of another three month term of service Amos would once again be discharged from his service. Amos would go on to serve approximately another three months fighting against British Royalists.

Later Years & Application for Pension:

On June 7, 1832 Congress passed an act that granted pensions to veterans of the American Revolution. This act granted full pay, for life, for all officers and enlisted men who served at least two years in continental or state forces. Any men who served less than two years but more than six months were granted pensions of less than full pay. Benefits were payable without regard to financial need or disability and widows or children were entitled to collect any unpaid benefits due from the last payment to a veteran until his death.

On August 11, 1832, at the age of seventy four, Amos Balch applied for one of the newly granted pensions in Bedford County, Tennessee. As part of the application process Amos sat down, in a court of law, and gave sworn testimony about his time of military service. A series of questions, from the court, give us valuable answers regarding the life of Amos Balch. In 1775, when he first joined the military, Amos was living in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Some years after the end of the war he says he "removed west of the mountains, to the waters of (the) Tennessee River" from which place he moved on to Christian County in Kentucky. Finally in 1807 Amos says he moved to Bedford County, Tennessee, where he would apparently remain for the rest of his life.

It is interesting to note that, according to the sworn testimony of Amos Balch, he was under no legal obligation to serve during the revolutionary war. He was said to be exempt from military service because of blindness in one eye. Not being legally obligated to serve; he chose to serve. In the end he would live approximately six years after the time of his pension testimony. Amos would die, in Bedford County, sometime in 1838.

Genealogy of Amos:

Father: James Balch
Mother: Anne Goodwyn (or Goodwin)

Wife: Ann Patton
Married: 1782 (in North Carolina or Tennessee)


1. Horace Monroe Young
2. Sylvester Newton
3. Eliza Jane
4. John L. Sheals
5. Felix Marion
6. Maria Theresa
7. Rachel Vashti
8. Caroline Melissa
9. Charlotte Maletha

Primary Sources/Links

The Balch Family of Maryland - Gene Balch

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements - Transcribed by Will Graves

Soldiers from Edgefield and Ninety Six District at the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina, 20 June 1779 - By: Judith F. Russell

Wikipedia - Battle of Camden

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