Veterans Of Revolution Buried In Warren County
Though the area that became Warren County was loyal to the King of England during the American Revolution (there were very few residents here at the time), by 1800 as an American territory many immigrants were attracted to the land.
Among them were patriots – veterans of the Revolution – who lived and died here. Some were permanent residents, some simply visiting at the times of their deaths, and some about whom little is known in their later years. Some biographical information is told about each, in alphabetical order.
Samuel Emory Davis
Born in Georgia of Welsh ancestry in 1756, Sam Davis served under various commands in Georgia and South Carolina and was ‘a mounted gunman who helped defend Savannah, Georgia in –December, 1779. After the war he was given land near Augusta, Georgia for his service. There he farmed and served as county clerk. He married Jane Cook, and for a while they lived in Fairview, Kentucky before moving to Woodville in Wilkinson County, Mississippi Territory where they built a home, Rosemont.
In late June, 1824, Sam Davis came to Vicksburg, then went downriver to his son Joseph’s plantation. Sam Davis became ill, “took the fever,” and died July 4, 1824 and was buried in the Davis family graveyard.
About 1940, under the direction of Gov. Dennis Murphy, Davis’ remains were disinttered and reburied in the cemetery at Beauvoir in Biloxi.
Sam Davis was the father of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 9, 1763, David Greenleaf was a mere lad when he joined his brother John who was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army. Young David’s service was that of a drummer boy.
In 1779 Greenleaf journeyed to South Carolina, then by flatboat down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Natchez where he served six months in the Spanish army fighting the Indians. He married Phebe Jones near Stampley, and was given a Spanish land grant near Yokena.
Though several men had made cotton gins, following the success of Eli Whitney’s gin, none of them were very successful. David Greenleaf built the first quality gin in Spanish Mississippi. He also invented the cotton press.
Greenleaf served in the Territorial Legislature in 1814. He died of yellow fever on Oct. 14, 1819 and is buried in Redbone Methodist Church cemetery. In 1971 the Sons of the American Revolution marked his grave.
Rev. James Gwin
James Gwin was born in North Carolina, one of seven sons born to Col. and Mrs. Edward Gwin, on Jan. 16, 1769. Though he listed in the book Mississippi Revolutionary Soldiers, he was too young to have served in the army.
Records state that he left North Carolina for Tennessee and then Mississippi where he died near Vicksburg on Aug. 3, 1841. He is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg. His large, flat tombstone was totally covered with dirt but was discovered by research and probing several years ago and uncovered by members of the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society and students from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama.
Gwin was a Methodist minister. One of his descendants was Sen. William McKendree Gwin, first full term senator for the state of California.
James Mason appeared before the Superior Court at Warrenton, the county seat of Warren County, on Sept. 8, 1820 to ask for assistance.
He said he was born in the north but with the flow of immigration to the Mississippi Territory had come south, but he didn’t know when.
He could neither read nor write, but he had a phenomenal memory. He claimed he was 93 years old. His account of his service was impressive: he enlisted at New London, Connecticut,
was stationed at Lake Champlain; discharged at Albany, New York, he reenlisted in the Second York Continental Regiment; his discharge at the end of the war (which he had lost) was signed by General George Washington. Mason was wounded at the battle of Brandywine.
In the War of 1812 he served in numerous battles and under General Mad Anthony Wayne. He claimed to have scalped seven Indians including the one who shot Col. R. M. Johnson. (Mason made a present of the scalp to the Colonel).
No record has been found of the decision of the Court to Mason’s request for help, an act which had been approved by Congress. Mason’s death date and place of burial is not known.
David McClelland was living in Warren County when he appeared before Judge Louis Winston in Warren County’s Superior Court on March 26, 1822. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary army, having enlisted in the Pennsylvania Colonial Line in March 1776 and served until Jan. 1, 1778 when he was discharged at Valley Forge. He had seen service at Trenton, Long Island, White Plains, Brandywine, and Germantown. He had no evidence of his service except his sworn statement.
McClelland said he had so family – “neither wife nor children, father nor mother, brother nor sister” who were alive. His possessions included three chairs, a smoothing iron, an oven, two small pots, one heifer, all totaling $30.50. He was a weaver by trade and told the Judge he had no way of supporting himself except “by what industry his hands can afford,” and that he was infirm.
Whether or not he received any assistance is unknown. Genealogical records list his death as March 4, 1824 in Warren County, but his place of burial is unknown.
Born in Virginia of French Hugenot ancestry, Ben Pettit and his wife Rebecca moved to Kentucky in 1775. He was a lieutenant, later a captain, in the American army serving under General George Rogers Clark. After the war he moved to Missouri and then to Arkansas Territory. His son and daughter, William and Elizabeth, had moved to Warrenton, Mississippi.
In the summer of 1827 the Pettits came to Warren County to visit their children. Both became ill and, died that summer, as did their daughter Elizabeth. They are buried in Old Hopewell Cemetery on a hill above the town site of Warrenton. Stones were erected for them in 2006 by the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society.