Reeves, Richard Elwell (1788 NC - 1872 TN)

Richard Elwell Reeves

Reeves, Richard Elwell


Father: John Durdan Reeves
Mother: Sarah Locke Elwell

Birth: 1788, Cumberland County, North Carolina
Birth Source:

Death: 17 August 1872, Lone Elm, Henderson, Tennessee
Death Source: War of 1812 Pension Application

Spouse1: Eliza Miller, m. 15 Jan 1824, Rowan County, Tennessee, married by Thomas Stockton


Children of Richard Elwell Reeves and Eliza Miller:
  1. Clandestine (Clandy) Reeves b. 1825
  2. John Durdan Reeves, b. 1826
  3. Susan Anner Reeves, b. 14 Feb 1828
  4. Samuel Harrison Henry Reeves, b. 1830
  5. James Lee Reeves, b. 1833
  6. Seraphina Reeves, b. 1834
  7. Richard Franklin Reeves, b. 1838
  8. Josephine Reeves, b. 1841
  9. De La Fayette Reeves, b. 1841
  10. Clancy Harriet Reeves, b. 1844
  11. Hezekiah Bradbury Reeves, b. 1847

In the Surry County, North Carolina Court Minutes Richard E. Reeves is recorded as being appointed Constable on Wednesday, February 15, 1815. Jeremiah Reeves and Edward Beason provided the bond. When he was appointed again on February 12, 1818, Jeremiah Early and Thomas W. Lester were bondsmen as recorded in the court minutes on page 125.

On 29 Jan 1816, acting as Constable, he sold a female slave and her child to satisfy a debt due by judgment.

Richard E. Reeves was bondsman for his brother Micajah Reeves and Elizabeth Early's marriage in Surry County on 2 Feb 1817.

In 1820 he shows up in Roane County, Tennessee where he was paying poll tax. This meant he was under 50 years of age and did not own any land. He is found in 3 different places in Roane County and always in the company of Dotson Miller who was probably his wife Eliza's brother. Richard and Eliza Miller were married in Roane County on 25 Jan 1824.

Richard Elwell Reeves was a Sergeant at the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend in Alabama during the War of 1812. There are two pension applications, one for Richard Reeves as a "survivor" of the War of 1812, and one for Eliza Reeves as a widow, after her husband's death. Richard was granted his survivor's pension. Eliza Reeves died before her application was approved.

They were both very old when the applications were filed and some of the information is inconsistant. For instance, neither of them seemed to remember just when they were married, although they knew the place, and Eliza even remembered the name of the man who performed the ceremony. The location where Richard Reeves enlisted was another questionable point. Three enlistment places were listed: "Roan (sic Rowan?) County, NC," "Sarah (sic Surry ?) County, NC," and "Rauleigh (sic Raleigh ?), NC." Since his discharge was also in Rowan County, NC, this seems the more likely interpretation.

There was a problem with the first statement Richard Reeves sent for his application — he had given it before the county judge. The pension office replied that the county justice of the peace was not "competent authority" and that Richard Reeves would have to resubmit his statement made before an officer of a "court of record". There were letters back and forth, with Richard's attorney explaining to the pension office: "the Post Master is the only officer of the United States we have in this county and he has no stamp of office".

So they had the postmaster certify the witness statements. Richard's second statement was taken before the clerk of the circuit court and must have been good enough, because he was granted his pension.

Richard Elwell Reeves enlisted in 1812 for 6 months and served until the close of the war. He served under (and appears on the rolls of) Capt. George Lee Davison (or Davidson) along with several others and was discharged on 4 Sep 1814 at Salsbury, (Rowan County), North Carolina.

At the time of his enlistment, he is stated to have been fair skinned, blue-eyed and bald, weighing about 140 pounds.

He was in the Battle of the Horse shoe and was stationed at Fort Jackson. There were several Fort Jacksons but this probably refers to the one in Alabama that was built by Gen. Andrew Jackson as a base for the expedition that led to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on 27 mar 1814. The Treaty of Fort Jackson ended the Creek War (a portion of the War of 1812) on 9 Aug 1814.

He stated that he lived in Roan (sic Rowan) County until between 1825 and 1830 and then moved to Henderson County, Tennessee and had lived there ever since.

Richard Reeves became confined to his bed, stating in his pension application of 5 Jan 1872 that "he had been confined to his bed for about a year". In that pension statement, he was listed as poor, bedridden, old, and possibly blind. Another document of Feb 1872 recorded that his mind was weak.


Pension Application of 1812, information supplied by Billy Fred Reeves.
1830 Census - Henderson County, Tennessee
1840 Census - Henderson County, Tennessee
Line of Descent information taken from the historical Reeves DNA Project web pages on Rootsweb — 31 Dec 2019