Henry Ritter
of Manheim, NY # S 19449

The pension record of Henry Ritter was contributed to us by his gggg-granddaughter Sue Thompson. One of Henry's witnesses was James Rankins, whose pension application was contributed to our Town of Little Falls section by his nephew Willis Rankins. James and Henry served together under Lt. Robert Gordon in Captain Mark Damewood's company of Rangers. Henry Ritter in turn was a pension witness for his friend and comrade James Rankins.

"Henry Ritter married Anna Petrie. His daughter Delia Ritter married Stephan Newman, their daughter Catherine Newman married Henry Boyer III, their son Winfield Scott Boyer married Fannie Miller, their daughter Iva Blanche Boyer married Wm. Root. Iva and Wm. are my grandparents. Henry Ritter's father was Johannes Ritter. I found information that his estate had to be probated because of his untimely death at the battle of Orskinay (spelling wrong), but haven't been able to locate where, in NY City or Montgomery County. There's always something to find." Sue Thompson.


Declaration in to obtain the benefits of the act of congress passed April 7, 1832
State of New York}
Herkimer County }

On this twenty second day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred thirty three, personally appeared in open count before Augustus Beardsley and the judges of the said court of Common Pleas of the said county now sitting, Henry Ritter, a resident of the town of Manheim in said county aged seventy three years who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832-

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated-that in the winter of the years 1775 & 1776 he listed into Captain Mark Damewood's company of rangers and the company was stationed in the now town of Manheim in said county. The Lieutinant was Robert Gorden. Does not recollect the ensign.- That he did not list for any special time, but was bound to serve till regularly discharged- That the company was employed in scouting into different parts of the county of Herkimer, to watch the enemy and ascertain whether they were in danger from them & to prevent them from making incursions upon the farms & settlements which they often did to destroy the barns & burn their houses & taking prisoners. That he remained at that place & in that employment during that winter & the succeeding spring & summer & untill about the middle or a little before or the winter of the years 1776 & 7. When he was drafted with about half of his company into another company at Stone Arabia, commanded by Captain Getman. They were also rangers, to go to Tyconderoga, to build a sinking bridge across from Mount Independence to the fort in order to prevent the British __ from passing up- That he & that company went to Tyconderoga and got there about the first of February, when they arrived the bridge was under considerable progress, the ice was yet thick on the lake. That this bridge was built of pine saw logs, doughtailed together about twelve feet wide and was built on the ice & the logs laid up about eighteen feet high and the inside was fild with stone, it had a floor inside of logs & when finished the ice was cut away & it sunk down & let two or three feet high of the bridge above the water on which string pieces were laid- That he remained as much as two or three months at Tyconderoga. When he came home to Manheim with several others, the ice having broken up so that they could not work- The company was discharged when he came home- In the spring of the year 1777 immediately after he returned from Tyconderoga, he listed into a company commanded by Henry Debout which belonged to Colonel Gausevourt's regiment. That he met the company near Caughnawaga, Colonel Gausevoort was on his way to Fort Stanwix,- he listed this time for three years, that he went on with the regiment to Fort Stanwix, where they had just begun to build that fort and he & the soldiers worked there and finished it- It was not quite done when the enemy under Barry St. Leger came on.- They did not retreat 'nor give up the ship but kept the fort and fought like enraged bull dogs, taking special care to keep within the pickets- That St. Leger laid before the fort as much as twenty days, and was firing against & into the fort & the Americans returned the compliment with bold hearts & determined resolution not to surrender- That he thinks St. Leger came to Fort Stanwix about the first of August 1777- Colonel Willet was there, but he does not know whether that officer came there when Gausevoort did or afterwards.- When St. Leger raised the seige, which was a very sudden movement of his, the Americans went out of the fort & captured their ammunition, cannon, shells, baggage & some prisoners & carried them into the fort.- That he saw Hanjost Schuyler the tory spy, when he came into the fort, and told Col. Gausevoort that St. Leger & his troops were all in confusion & that then was his time to turn out and give him battle; & then they did turn out & the enemy only run; did not pretend to fight back- That he remained at Fort Stanwix till the next spring, being the spring of 1778 (but he cannot state the month) when he received notice of the death of his mother, his father having been killed in the Oriskany battle, and came home on a furlough, where he found his old grandfather, taking care of his late parent's children who were small (applicant being the oldest)- That then he & his aged grandfather went down to Palentine to the safety committee and made a statement of the destitute & helpless condition of his father's family (the grandfather being unable from extreme age to maintain his grandchildren & protect them in these turbulent times)- when they arrived at Palentine they went before the committee of safety and the committee after his statement, told one John Cramer, a tory who had been arrested & whom the committee were going to hang, that if he might take his choice, to be hung; or take the place of the applicant and the said tory chose to take the place of the applicant and save his neck from the halter, which was ready in the hand of one of the committee to be used without delay; if he should chose to be hanged- The committee then gave said John Cramer into the custody of said applicant and his said grandfather, who took him to Fort Stanwix and made a representation of his case to Colonel Gausevoort who was reluctant to discharge the applicant and take a tory in his place; but on the representation of the distress & helpless condition of this father's family the Colonel consented & discharged the applicant (Henry Ritter) and accepted the said John Cramer- and then the applicant went home and he thinks it was in April 1778 when he was dimissed & went home- He remained at home for about a year working out by days work's work, to maintain his seven brothers and sisters, but the Indians were continually making incursions into the neighborhood and often killing his neighbors & plundering them, and it became so unsafe to remain there, that he took them and retreated to Palatine, where there was a fort near the present cite of the Palentine stone church- at this place he again went into the militia which was in the spring of the year 1779- where he remained about a year or more and were ordered to keep in readiness at a moments warning to out on scouts & to espy out the situation of the Indians- In the summer of that year the enemy; indians, tories and british troops, his thinks commanded by Sir John Johnson, came through that county, & Gen. Van Rensselarr followed them on & that he (applicant) turned out & followed them & they fired upon them & the skirmish continued till dark when Van Renssler drew off his men & permitted the enemy to go on unmolested- That the applicant believes & as was the general opinion at that time, that Van Renssler was about half tory himself, that had he done his duty the enemy might have been defeated; that Van Rensselar was a brother-in-law to the commander of the enemy, whom he there pretended to attack- After this & he believes in the year 1780, he listed again for nine months at Niskesenah, between Schenectady & Albany near Troy, into Capt. Phelps company, but being wanted in his deceased father's family, his younger brother took his place & he remained at home. That here the applicants service ended.-

That he was born at Stone Arabia in the now county of Montgomery in the year 1759. That he has in his possession a record of his age kept by his father in the family Bible & it is now in his house-

That he was residing at home in Manheim where he entered the service- since the revolutionary war he has resided in the town of Manheim in Herkimer & now resides there. That he entered the service by voluntary enlistment & was once drafted, as stated in the previous part of his statement.-

That the names of some of the regular officers in service where he was are, Colonel Klock, General Gausevoort, Colonel Willet, Colonel Van Schaick, Major Eysler, General Nicholas Herkimer-

That he never received a discharge in writing- that he is known to Fredrick Ritter and James Rankins who reside in his present neighborhood and who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution. (The deponent saith his health is to bad that it is impossible for him to attend court to make this application in open court and there is not now any clergyman in his vicinity who has resided there long enough to know anything on the subject of this applications merits thereof-)

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annunity accept the present & declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

     Henry Ritter

Subscribed & sworn
this 22 day of Feb 1833
before me Augustus Beardslee
a judge of Herkimer Com. Pleas

We, Frederick Ritter & James Rankins both residing in the county of Herkimer, the first in the town of Salisbury & the latter in the town of Little Falls, hereby certify that we are well aquainted with Henry Ritter who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be seventy three years of age; that he is respected & believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution & that we concur in that opinion.
Subcribed & sworn this
22 day of February 1833

before me Augustus Beardslee a
judge in Herkimer Common Pleas


Frederick   x   Ritter



James   x   Rankins


And I, Augustus Beardslee said judge do hereby declare my opinion, after putting the interrogatories prescribed by the war department, that the above named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states; and the court further certifies that it appears to them, that Frederick Ritter who has signed the preceding certificate resides at Salisbury in Herkimer county and that James Rankins..(ends here)

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Last Updated: 9/6/98
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