"...on the 3rd Monday in August A.D. 1818, Robert Faucett, "...aged 66 years saving the one day...", appeared in the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in Salisbury, NC, County of Rowan, NC, and filed his pension application. His application is relatively brief and devoted mostly to his service in the land forces of the patriot Cause. Initially, there is no mention of what unit he served in but, later in his application he states that it was the 2nd North Carolina Regiment of Foot. He evidently served for a considerable period of time and saw much action at battles like Great Bridge (VA), Brandywine (PA), Germantown (PA), and Charleston (SC). At the surrender of Charleston, SC, almost the entirety of the Southern Line was captured with over 5000 Continental troops entering captivity. Robert Faucett was one of these men.
His pension application states "...that he continued to serve in said Corps in the service of the United States until 1780 when he was made a prisoner at Charleston and the State of South Carolina by the forces and the British General Clinton: That in a short time after the capture of Charleston he the said Robert Faucett made his escape from his confinement. That he afterwards served on board the Frigate South Carolina, under the command of, Commodore Gillen (Gillon), and that he afterwards was discharged from the service at the City of Philadelphia."
His pension application, "The Pension Application of Robert Faucett S41528", says nothing more of the frigate South Carolina or of any service done on board this vessel by Robert Faucett. It is included because it does indeed mention an individual's service on board the frigate South Carolina. But, even though brief in nature, it still has some interesting features not found in any other pension applications. First, there is certainly no documentation at all of his birthdate or place anywhere in the application or in the supporting affidavits that are attached to it. There is also no mention of where he was born. He may not be a North Carolinian at all. When he first enlisted in 1775, he enlisted in the town of Tarborough, NC. But, there is no absolute certainty that this was his birthplace. These two pieces of information, so often included in other pension applications, are simply never mentioned at all, either by Faucett or any of his supporting affidavit filers.
Second, Faucett is the first North Carolinian who has been encountered among the numerous pension applications that have been examined. It is almost certain that there were indeed other North Carolinians who served on board the frigate South Carolina but, either none of them filed pension applications, mentioned their service on board the ship, or overlooked their service on board the ship when filing their applications.
Third, Robert Faucett escaped not from imprisonment in England and made his way to France or Holland but, was imprisoned in America after the fall of Charleston and effected his escape from there. His pension application briefly and succinctly states "... that in a sort time after the capture of Charleston he the said Robert Faucett made his escape from his confinement." We have already seen numerous escapes from British custody in England but, this is the first time we have read of an escape from British custody here in America. But, again, there is vagueness here. Faucett simply states "... that in a short time after the capture of Charleston..." There is nothing else said, so we have no idea of how long he was in British custody before he escaped. There is also no statement of where he was being held and to where he escaped.
Fourth, his pension application next states ".. that he afterwards served on board the Frigate South Carolina, under the command of, Commodore Gillen (Gillon), and that he afterwards was discharged from the service at the City of Philadelphia." So, either he escaped from his confinement in America and somehow made his way to Amsterdam and boarded the frigate South Carolina, or he joined the ship's company in Havana or in Philadelphia but, left before the South Carolina's final, short cruise. The pension application as well as the supporting affidavits are silent further on this issue.
Fifth, and last, his application and the supporting affidavits spell his last name at least three different ways - "Faucett" as spelled by the applicant, "Fossett" as spelled by William Blackledge, the individual holding Faucett's power of attorney, and "Forsett" as spelled by the North Carolina Secretary of State, William Hill. This is a common occurrence in the 18th century but, rarely seen in pension applications reviewed by the writer of this blog.
Also, and possibly tragically, the pension application and supporting affidavits are silent on the issue of whether or not the land bounty was ever granted to Robert Faucett. In Dr. Lewis's book, Neptune's Militia , in the appendix entitled "The Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", on page 147, there does appear the name Robert Faucett. But, there is no further information as to what station, rank or job that he performed on board the frigate South Carolina.