Revolutionary War Bounty Land Application
Johan "George" Nicholas Hilts
Contributed by Carol Grainger.
State of New York
On this first day of May, A.D. 1855 personally appeared before me as Justice of the Peace for Herkimer County and State of New York, George Hilts, aged 93 of New York, who being duly sworn according to law did state that he is the Geoge Hilts who was a private in the Company commanded by Captain Henry Harter in the Regiment of the infantry in the militia of the State of New York commanded by Col. Peter Bellinger in General Herkimer's Brigade in the War of the Revolution. That at the age of sixteen years which was the age at which able bodied men were at that period subject to military duty and which was in the year A.D. 1778 at Herkimer aforesaid, where he was born and where he lived and has ever since resided, he stayed in the said Company commanded by Cap. Henry Harter and with said Company enrolled under General Orders entered into service at Fort Dayton at Herkimer where the said Company except an occasional temporary absence on military duty away from said Fort was permanently stationed during the Revolutionary War from the time of his rerollment to the close of said war in the year 1783.
That in service required of and performed by him and the said company at said Fort Dayton during the whole of the said period, he was stationed there from the said year 1778 the date of his said enrollment and starting into the said service to the close of the said war in the year 1786, except tempory suspension in the winter in some of those years. Was the military general duty such as guard duty, by day and by night and a regular daily attendance in the morning of each day except Sunday for the purpose of Roll Call and for occasional periods that these services were attended and enforced by the usual ______and punishment observed in garrisons such as corporal punishment, fines and imprisoment in the Guard House that these ____ were _____and performed under general rules and always understood and believed, and as he now understands and believes the account of the exposed condition of the place and settlement.
Herkimer, being at the time the most remote and exposed Western Settlement in the State of New York, that the account of its exposed situation and the continual depradation and murder of its inhabintants by a savage and Tory enemy, a Fort by the orders of the Government called Fort Dayton was built were the Village of Herkimer has twice built and is now standing. That during the said period aforesaid all their houses and dwellings having been burnt or rendered unsafe as residences by the enemy, the entire population, men, women and children such as remained and did not flee to other more settled and secure places were congregated and lived in said Fort Dayton and it was for their defense and protection and the protection and defense of the said Fort and to save from entire abandoment of the said settlement and place that aforesaid Fort was built and the said military service was ordered and organized and kept up and enforced as aforesaid during the period aforesaid, that the period the time of the commencent of the building of said Fort which he thinks although he is not certain was as early as the year 1777. Small parties of Regular Soldiers were stationed and garrisoned in said Fort Dayton and with whom the said militia company acted in concert.
That he remembers well that on the occasion of the murder of ____ Skinner at Little Falls, seven
miles below Herkimer by the Indians and Tories early in the spring when the snows get so deep as
to require snow shoes to move in the woods, the year he does not now remember and cannot state, he
and other members of the said company of militia of Capt. Harter and a party of said regular troops
under said company of militia of Capt. Harter and a party of said regular troops under Lt. Doty or
Dorty went in pursuit of the enemy and after abandoning the pursuit went to Little Falls and from
there on the second day after leaving Fort Dayton returned by way of Fort Herkimer at German Flatts
where a party of Regular Troops were also occasionally stationed as well as at Fort Dayton, that what
pertained to the said military ______and the said company of Capt. Harter's militia they were so
stationed and garrisoned at Fort Dayton as ______ that at the time that the stockade around Fort
Dayton was building Capt. Harter's Company was divided into classes and each class was required to
get out a certain number of sticks of lumber or pallisades as there were called and to dig the
trenches, set them up, and fasten them in the ground, and that he joined the said class to which he
bleonged and was employed in this service at least seven days as he believes, although he cannot
state the precise number of days that at the time of the building of the Block House so called which
was erected about a quarter of a miles north of Fort Dayton on a hill from 150 to 200 feet above
the level of Fort Dayton which Block House was also built by the Germans as a work of defence and in
which from the time of its erection to the close of the War a mounted cannon was kept.
State of New York
On this 23rd day of August A.D. 1855, before me David Rasbach, a Justice of the Peace in and for the said County and State personally appeared, George Hilts, aged 93 years, who being duly sworn according to the law, did ______ and say that he was a soldier and served in the War of the Revolution in a company of militia commanded by Capt. Henry Harter in the Regiment commanded by Col. Peter Bellinger in General Nicholas Herkimer's Brigade, that he was enrolled in said company when he arrived at the age of 16 years, which he thinks was in the year 1778, and that he continued as a member of said company and served therein to the close of said war and that he never was enrolled and served in any other that he was aware.
That his father's name who also served in said war was Nicholas Hilts. That at the time of his enrollment there were living at and within about four miles of Herkimer where he then and has ever since resided, two other men by the name of George Hilts who where kinsmen of his and both older than himself, one of whom was living in Shellsbush about four miles from Herkimer and the other within a mile or two of Herkimer. That is where the village of Herkimer now is and where Fort Dayton then stood, and he thinks that the George Hilts living nearest the village performed military duty also in the said company of Capt. Henry Harter. That to distinguish him from the said elder George Hilts, his name on the rolls of the Company and at all times elsewhere was written and he was called George N. Hilts and that his name was continued on all occasions to be so written and he was so called until the year of the epidemic which he thinks was in the year 1809 when the last of the said two elder George Hilts' died with the epidemic and when he dropped his name and been called and known as George Hilts, and that in his application by him recently made and forwarded to the Department for Bounty Land for his revolutionary service under the act of March 3, 1855 he calls himself George Hilts, but that the said services were so rendered by him in the name of George N. Hilts by which name he was then known and entered on the Rolls of the Company and to which he was then in habit of answering daily at Roll Call and on all other occasions until the death of the said elder George Hilts in the year 1809 as aforesaid.
Rev. War Section
Miss Abbie M. Hilts,
In 1855 he was a resident of Herkimer, New York. There is no other data on file as to his family. He was allowed 160 acres of bounty land on Warrant N. 15,181 on account of the above service.
The above noted is the only soldier of that name found on the Revolutionary War records of this Bureau.
NOTE: Abbie Hilts was the grandchild of George and Lydia Rice Hilts of Jefferson County New York.
George N. Hilts.
Source: Notes for George N. Hilts by Roberta Barnes, a paid researcher.