5/25/13

The Patriot and The Pennsylvania Farmers Daughter

When Buckner Pittman stepped off the flatbottom boat that carried him across the Ohio from Clarksville to Lewisville, he was looking forward to returning home to his family in Georgia.  He had spent much of his time mapping out the route he would take and had even written letters home to let his folks know of his plans.  All those plans changed in an instant when his Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse, Patriot, lost his footing on the muddy bank of the Ohio as they disembarked the flatbottom boat.  Buckners tradgedy in the accident was threefold. 

First, the loss of Patriot was devasting.  The powerful Kentucky bred horse was a source of pride and great affection, and putting him down was one of the hardest things Buckner ever had to do. Secondly, both of his legs were broken when Patriot fell full force on him.  One of them a compound fracture that the doc did the best he could in setting.  It was likely that he would never walk again without the aid of a crutch.  He certainly would not be riding across Kentucky to his Georgia home...the third and final blow to his carefully laid plans.

As a recently discharged soldier from Clarks Brigade at Fort Jefferson, and a severly injured veteran with no place to call home, Buckner settled in at the doctors office in Lewisville.  It was there he met Ann Smith, the young girl who had survived the Indian attack across the river in Clarksville.  Despite the loss of blood from being scalped and left for dead, Ann had been saved from a fate worse than death by the quick arrival of the soliders.  Ann, her mother Nancy and sister Margaret had come through the horrific experience, and like Buckner had no home and no one to care for them.  Ann's father had been killed in an Indian attack before they reached Clarksville, and the rest of their party resumed their trip down the Ohio.

Buckner Pittman and Ann Smith were married January 14, 1786. He was thirty-seven years of age and Ann was seventeen.  Their marriage was registered in  Jefferson County, Kentucky, which was established in 1780 and named after Govenor Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

 They remained in Lewisville while Buckner recovered.  The next documented date of their whereabouts was the birth record of their first born son, James, born in 1789 in Fairchild, Adams County, Mississippi.  Buckner wrote to his parents John and Mary Polly Rowe Pittman that he and Ann had eight children, but records show five with all of them having been born in Adams County Mississippi. 

Buckner died in 1805 at the age of 57.  *The circumstances of his death have not been found nor his burial place.  The last document he was listed in was the Missississippi State and Territorial Census Collection of 1792 which indicated the Pittmans lived in the District of Bayu Pierre, Natchez County, Mississippi.   At the time of his death, it appears he did not have an estate or a Will.  No Pittmans appear on the records of Wills in Adams County in 1805.  Ann Smith was Buckner's second wife, and neither she nor any of their children are named in the Will of his father John Pittman.  However, Buckner's son Jesse by his first wife Nancy Harris, who died giving birth to Jesse, received 100 acres in Wilkes County, Georgia from his grandfather John's estate.  Buckner also was named in the his fathers will....he was awarded **one shilling.

What happened to widowed Ann Smith Pittman and her children by Buckner Pittman has been researched with little results as to their death dates and burial places. However, Ann's mother Nancy and sister Margaret's documented history re-surfaces on September 26, 1794 with Margaret's marriage to James Noble Wood.  

Nancy Smith died August 10th, 1828 at the age of 91.  She is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Utica, Clark County, Indiana.  Her daughter Margaret died March 5, 1854 at the age of 94 in Utica, Indiana.  She and her husband James Noble Wood and at least three of their sons are buried in Hillcrest Cemetery.  It would seem that Nancy and Margaret settled not far from the place where they became an unknowing part of 'Pittman Family History' with 'The Scalping of Ann Smith'.

What a legacy Harry Smith from Pennsylvania began where the Alleghany and Monongahela met the Ohio River.  Although he didn't live to see the Mighty Mississippi, his descendents did through Buckner Pittman, a Georgia Revolutionary Soldier and a Kentucky Frontiersman.
*Mississippi death certificates for 1805 not available online.  Will Update when records available.
**John Pittman's Will:  From: Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters Daughters of the American Revolution  VolumeII, page13 Richmond County Georgia, court records. Wills, 1777
PITTMAN, JOHN - To wife Mary, my Kiokee plantation and slaves for widowhood or life, then to go to children Grace and timothy Pittman. To son Phillip Pittman, 200 acres in Wilkes Co. To daughter Patty Pittman and grandson Jesse Pittman, 100 acres each in Wilkes Co. To sons Buckner and John Pittman, one shilling each. The residue to go to seven (?) youngest children: Mary Rogers, James, Patty, Timothy and Grace Pittman. (says five youngest in another place).
Executors: Son-in-law Peleg Rogers, and Phillip Pittman
Witness: Wm Courson, Zachriah Marchel (Marshall), James Jimison (Jameson).
Signed April 14, 1782. Probated April 22, 1785.
Appraisers: Michael McNeill, Hugh Rogers, Ambros Jones, John Pittman, James Sims.


1 comment:

Wendy said...

Oh, that threw me - I thought Ann had died. Good -