According to Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 35, "...between twenty-five and thirty individuals claimed the rank of midshipman aboard the frigate during the war, but probably no more than six to eight were serving in this capacity at any one time". The section of Neptune's Militia entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina, pages 135-170, lists the following individuals as the midshipmen on board the frigate South Carolina:
John Baker sailor, midshipman
James Bennet midshipman
John Blair midshipman
Augustus Brown midshipman
John Buckle midshipman
Joseph Buckley midshipman
Alexander Coffin midshipman
William Cripps midshipman
---------- Dana midshipman
James Dick midshipman
B.S. Henry midshipman
James Hogan midshipman?
John Hopes midshipman
Greensberry Hughes midshipman
Abijah Hunt midshipman
---------- Labateau midshipman
John Laborte midshipman
John Laboyteaux midshipman
Peter Laboyteaux midshipman
Nathaniel Marston midshipman, 2nd Lieutenant
Alexander Moore midshipman
Hugh Alexander Nixon midshipman, Lieutenant
William Nourse midshipman
James Pile midshipman, volunteer
Gilbert Wall midshipman
Richard Wall midshipman
Samuel White midshipman
White, William landsman, (midshipman), (Legionnaire?)
(Note: It is interesting to note that the only individual whose rank as midshipman on board the frigate South Carolina is in question is one James Hogan. He does not seem to turn up in any pension applications nor does he seem to have filed against the state Of South Carolina for any funds at all. But, in doing further research, the writer of this blog has run across more that does seem to pertain to him as well as a possible rank for him. The following two memorandum related to the voyages of Captain John Paul Jones are found in Lincoln, Charles Henry. A Calendar of John Paul Jones Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, (Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Washington, DC, 1903). In February 1779 in a memorandum written in L'Orient, France to Captain John Paul Jones in Passy there appears the names of four officers, possibly petty officers, who have required that they be issued "...Sums of money and certificates of expense..." before they will enter into service under Jones's command. The document concludes with "Signed: Thomas White, Thomas Fitzgerald, Alexander Moore, Nathaniel Marston, James Hogan". In October 1779, another memorandum appears written by "John Paul Jones, Capt, US Navy" himself while he was in The Texel, Holland. It is short and to the point and states that "The above officers after having received Sums of Money too considerable in Norveg [Norway], at Dunkirk and Paris, Deserted the Public Service - having been Prompted to that act of Base ingratitude by Mr. [Commodore Alexander] Gillon of South Carolina". A consultation of Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", pages 135-170, reveals that all four of the individuals cited in Jones's memorandum are cited as being officers of some capacity on board the frigate South Carolina. Thomas White is listed as "1st Lieutenant". Thomas Fitzgerald is listed as "Master, 4th Lieutenant, 3rd Lieutenant". Alexander Moore, is listed as "Midshipman". Nathaniel Marston is listed as "Midshipman, 4th Lieutenant, Lieutenant". Only James Hogan is listed as "Midshipman?". James Hogan's name is included as having signed the first letter with four other officers. In the second letter, the one written by Jones himself, Jones refers to "the above officers". More than likely, by association with four other officers, James Hogan must have held an officers rank on board the frigate South Carolina. Therefore, this writer feels it is possible that he was indeed a midshipman on board the frigate under the command of Commodore Alexander Gillon. Also, another bit of information is gleaned from a letter that passed between Marquis de Castries and Thomas Jefferson of April 19, 1787. The source for this information is "To Thomas Jefferson from Castries, 19 April 1787," Founders Online, National Archives. Included in this letter was an enclosure, the "Avis aux Volontaires" that is undated but, must have been written on or before August 17, 1780, in which Captain John Joyner of the promises to pay men of certain ranks a certain amount of money for "road expenses" to Amsterdam where the frigate South Carolina fitting herself out for a cruise. By signing this document, any man was pledging himself as a volunteer on board the frigate South Carolina and likewise promising to reach Amsterdam with the greatest possible haste. The list of undersigned volunteers is 24 signatures long, one of which is that of James Hogan. So, James Hogan's association with the frigate South Carolina goes well back into its early history.)
Dr. Lewis in his work, Neptune's Militia, page 35, states that, "Gillon promoted from within the ship, and those that stayed for any length of time usually rose in rank." In at least three, possibly four, visible cases listed above this generalization on Dr. Lewis's part proves to be true - that of Nathaniel Marston, Hugh Alexander Nixon and, possibly, John Baker and James Pile. Nathaniel Marston and Hugh Alexander Nixon both entered the frigate as commissioned midshipman but, rose in rank as officers senior to them resigned their commissions and left the frigate South Carolina. John Baker is questionable because the list seems to indicate that he was promoted out of the ranks into the officer's ranks but, this is not impossible. James Pile is another questionable one. It would make sense if he were promoted from volunteer to midshipman, especially if he was a recognized gentleman when he entered the frigate's crew. Joshua Mersereau in his pension application, "Pension Application of Joshua Mersereau S7224" provides a list of several members of the crew of the frigate South Carolina. When he gets to the midshipmen on board the frigate, he lists Abijah Hunt, John Laborte, Wm White, and ---- Dana as being midshipmen on board the frigate. All these men are listed in the above roster of midshipmen on board the frigate South Carolina, except for "Wm White" who is listed by his full name, William White.
One interesting fact about these men is that only four of them - Alexander Coffin, Abijah Hunt, William Nourse, and Richard Wall - submitted pension applications under the Act of Congress of March 18, 1818. It is not uncommon at all for officers to submit pension applications as opposed to enlisted men. After all, they stood to gain more money on a monthly basis for their services than an enlisted man did. As a result, they would submit claims to Congress as well as against their state, in this case the state of South Carolina. Three of the above listed midshipmen on board the frigate South Carolina filed against the state of South Carolina for their services on board the frigate. Only Abijah Hunt did not.
Again, interestingly, slightly over half (15 out of 27) of them submitted claims against the state of South Carolina for services performed on board the frigate South Carolina. I will cite them here as well as their citations as listed in Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983). I will only cite their entries in Moss's book as they pertain to service on board the frigate South Carolina.
Baker, John - He served as a midshipman on the frigate South Carolina under Commodore Gillon. A.A.248, C532, C.S.
Blair, John - He served eight months and three days as a midshipman aboard the South Carolina during 1782 and 1783. A.A.530, Y196
Coffin, Alexander - In February or March 1781, he entered the South Carolina Sea Service in Amsterdam as a midshipman aboard the frigate South Carolina under the command of Commodore Alexander Gillon. During September 1781, he assisted in capturing a English ship in the North Sea. Later, they took the British Privateer Alexander off the coast of Ireland. W8617 BLWt 34935-160-55
Cripps, William - He served as a midshipman aboard the frigate South Carolina and was taken prisoner and released in New York. Revill, p. 385, C400, C408.
Dick, James - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina and was in France one year with Commodore Gillon. N.A.718, A.A.1880A, A.A.1914A, C326
Hopes, John - He served as a midshipman aboard the ship Carolina. A.A.1801
Hughes, Greensberry - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina. Revill, p. 385.
Laboyteaux, John - He served as a midshipman aboard state ships during 1783. A.A.4389C, Y293
Laboyteaux, Peter - He served as a midshipman aboard the South Carolina during 1780. A.A.4389D, Y292
Marston, Nathaniel - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina. Revill, p.385, A.A.404
Moore, Alexander - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina. Revill, p.385
Nixon, Hugh Alexander - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina as a midshipman. A.A.404, A.A.5537A, Revill, p.385
Nourse, William - (the entry begins with a lengthy recitation of Nourse's previous sea service during the American Revolution, at the end of which he was captured and placed in prison until 1782). Upon, his return, he became a sailor on the frigate South Carolina. During December, he was captured by the British and was paroled at Long Island, N.Y. (Moved to Ky.) A.A.5581A, Y237
Piles, James - He served aboard the frigate South Carolina and was on the Havana cruise. A.A.5953, O604
Wall, Richard - (the entry begins with a recitation of Wall's service aboard the Bon Homme Richard under John Paul Jones and his capture while pursuing deserters). After being released, he became a midshipman of the frigate South Carolina and was captured when the ship was taken, but was exchanged. McCrady, I, 239, S22032