Hatcher, Patricia Law. Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Vol. 3, L-R, (Pioneer Heritage Press, 1988).
Heinemann, Charles B. "First Census" of Kentucky, 1790, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981).
Pension Application of Lewis Field, S30413
The unusual and completely chance observations of young Lewis Field on December 20, 1782 when he observed the capture of the frigate South Carolina from the deck of a British man-of-war as a prisoner of the British Crown have been recounted in a much earlier post. That specific post was at the beginning of this overall blog and is dated "10/21/2014". Additional information has surfaced regarding the life of Lewis Field after his brief observations on the capture of the frigate South Carolina. In particular, this blog writer has been interested in whether or not Lewis Field ever made his way back to Kentucky. That portion of his latter life can now be addressed by this blog writer with quite a bit more certainty.
Lewis Field was born in Culpepper County, VA on either July 4, 1763 or 1765. In the late summer/early fall of 1779, he enlisted in the Illinois Regiment and was sent to Kentucky. He was captured by native warriors at some point in June 1780. He spent the next two and a half years as a prisoner-of-war of the British. Upon his release from captivity at Dobbs Ferry, NY. He made his way to Philadelphia, PA and from there to Culpepper County, VA, reaching home in February 1783. According to his pension application, "Pension Application of Lewis Field S30413", he resided in Culpepper County, VA from February 1783 until March 1784 when he emigrated to Kentucky, settling near Louisville, KY, in Jefferson County. According to Heinemann's work, "First Census", page 34, he appears by name on a tax list dated "04/13/1789" for Jefferson County, KY. He would reside in Jefferson County, KY until 1811 when he next moved to Henry County, KY. He would reside in Henry County, KY until 1826 when he removed to Pope County, IL. He would live there until 1834 when he chose to return to Kentucky, settling in McCracken County, KY. He lived there from 1834 until the time of his appearance before Samuel W. Upshaw, a Justice of the Peace for Ballard County, KY on May 2, 1844. At this point in his long life, Lewis Field was 80 years and 10 months old.
(Note: Between his settling in McCracken County, KY in 1834 and his appearance in court before Samuel W. Upshaw on May 2, 1844, McCracken County, KY had been subdivided into Ballard and McCracken Counties. Lewis Field had settled in the extreme western portion of McCracken County, KY and in this subdivision his home was now in Ballard County, KY. Thus, the reason for him appearing before a Justice of the Peace for Ballard County, KY.)
The writer of this blog feels relatively certain that this is the same man - Lewis Field - in both cases. In his pension application, "Pension Application of Lewis Field S30413" he cites settling near Louisville, KY in Jefferson County, KY in 1784 and remaining there until 1811. According to Heinemann's work "First Census", page 34, on April 13, 1789, Lewis Field appears on a tax list for Jefferson County, KY. This second cited date falls between the stated dates of his residence in the county. This writer realizes that his name is not that uncommon but, also feels that these two Lewis Fields are the same man.
The one, other reference involving a man of this name is a bit more problematic. This man's name - Lewis Field - is also cited later in his collected pension applications as Field Lewis. This blog writer feels certain that his name is Lewis Field and not Field Lewis. But, in Hatcher's work, Abstract of Graves, page 20, there is a citation for a grave containing the remains of Fielding Lewis. This would be dismissed out of hand as irrelevant to the topic at hand except for the cemetery containing this grave is St. George's Cemetery in Fredericksburg, VA. Evidently, the grave was identified at some point in 1956. Fredericksburg, VA is currently in modern Spotsylvania County, VA but, earlier was a part of a larger Culpepper County, VA. Lewis Field never expressly stated where he was from within Culpepper County, VA. Thus, it is possible that he may have returned to his home area at the end of his life to die and be buried there.
There are two reasons for this blog writer discounting the above stated issue. First, within the text of his two associated pension applications, the name appears as either Lewis Field or Field Lewis. It never appears as Fielding Lewis. Second, if one examines the movements of Lewis Field, each relocation takes him further west, away from Culpepper County, VA. All of his locations of settlement are within Kentucky, except for the one in Pope County, IL and this was the shortest residence in terms of the time he spent there. His last place of residence, Ballard County, KY, is on the extreme western boundary of Kentucky and borders on the Mississippi River. The writer of this blog feels that this man had severed himself from his past and made his life in Kentucky. He most likely chose to be buried in his adopted homeland of Kentucky.
Even with the passage of eight decades of his life and thousands of miles traveled due to his captivity, at the end of his life Lewis Field remembered seeing the capture of the frigate South Carolina, vividly enough to take several sentences to relate the incident. He carried those memories with him for a lifetime. In Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 1, the first two sentences reads, "Those who saw her, particularly those who had sailor's eyes, knew that the South Carolina was a special ship. Those who just heard about her had exactly the same impression." That must have been true for Lewis Field to remember her after the passage of so much time.