In the Revolution, again quoting Allen, James Trousdale began his active military service as a captain of militia in 1779, was captured at Charleston, served with Marion, was severely wounded by a saber cut received from one of Tarleton's troopers at Guilford CH (15 March 1781) and finished the war with Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown (19 October 1781) (Am Hist Mag VII 4). Allen's description is not wholly correct and it fails adequately to describe Capt. James's extended service, part of it as a Continental.In the name of God Amen. I James TROUSDALE being in perfect health and of sound mind and memory do make this my last will and testament to wit I give and bequeath to my two sons William and Brison B. TROUSDALE the tract of land where on I now live containing two hundred acres to be divided as follows. The land lying on the west wide of the road leading to the ridge called James DOUGLASS road to my son William TROUSDALE, including all the _ land except one acre of ground whereon the barn stands which acre with the improvements go to the benefits of the place whereon I now live. The balance of said tract lying on the east side of _ road I give to my wife Elizabeth TROUSDALE during her widowhood or life after her death or marriage to my son Brison B. TROUSDALE likewise for Brison to have possession with his mother and to have equal benefit with her. I likewise lend to my wife Elizabeth during her life or widowhood
Capt. James Trousdale commanded successively at least three militia companies, all recruited no doubt in Orange Co. His first company arrived late in 1779 at Charleston for three months service expiring in March 1780. Isham Beesley, member of another company organized at the same time, states (Pension Claim) that Capt. James's company was marched home and discharged shortly before Charleston was taken. (Lincoln surrendered to the British on 12 May 1`780). An undated voucher for Capt. James and his company, £55.13.2, covers this service (NC Arch C91 #2332). During the remainder of 1780 Capt. James undoubtedly served "on call" with Marion, the Swamp Fox, most skilled of partisan fighters. There were no rolls or records for this character of service.
In February 1781 North Carolina formed two regiments of militia to serve for six weeks. They reported to Nathaniel Greene, General Washington's ablest field command, at Guilford Ch. The North Carolina militia, their time almost expired, were placed in first line to oppose Cornwallis's seasoned regulars. Firing two rounds, the partially equipped militia disappeared pursuant, it is said, to orders similar to those issued at Cowpens whereby the selected battle line was uncovered. Voucher 648, 29 June 1781, in favor of Capt. James for £751 covers this period of service. Following Greene's withdrawal from Guilford Ch the North Carolina Council Extraordinary, in a questionable manner, sentenced "all those who had fled from Gu8ilford to 12 months service as Continentals" (Rev War Greene 239-143). On recovery from his wound Capt. James was probably given command of one of those reformed "Continental" units. Confirmation is found in one of his indents to the State claiming, among other charges, pay for each of the members of his company for 344 days service (NC War Bk C 98). In "Pension Claim" are loose indents (Originals) for pay and for rations covering almost the entire period from 2 September 1781 to after 6 September 1783. Part of this service is concurrent with the "six months guarding the jail at Hillsboro" (Hist Reg Off Heitman 549).
During 12782/3 Capt. James recommended that clemency be granted to certain loyalists (Tories) (NC Rec XVI 277). In 12784 he applied for a grant in Tennessee CO., then under jurisdiction of North Carolina. This was to be paid for with his war script. On 10 December 1790 the grant was issued for 640 acres on the north side of the Cumberland River (NC Land Grant Off LXXIV 353). This tract is recorded in "Davidson Co. Rec" bounded on the north and east by Tilman Dixon and south by Thomas Spencer, cost $10 per 100 acres. It lay within Sumner Co. formed from Davidson in 1786.
In Orange Co., NC, (Census 1790) a tax list shows James Trousdale as holding 200 acres in the Caswell District (Col Rec NC XXVI 1286) being the same as that granted him by the State in 1779. He sold this tract in 1794 to Daniel Torintain for £200 (Orange Co. Deeds). Accompanied by most (but not all) of his family he moved to Tennessee in 1796 settling on his grant in Sumner Co. Covered with virgin forest, James cleared the land, cultivated the soil and built his home on the present site of Gallatin. In 1801 the Tennessee Legislature authorized the selection of a county seat for Sumner Co. The site so selected was "in the place of Capt. James Trousdale, whereon he now lives, lying on the road that leads from Major David Wilson's to John Dawson's, taking in all 41.8 acres with one acre on the south side exempted upon which stood Capt Trousdale's home" (Hist Sumner Co., Tenn Cisco 28 & 30). In 1802/3 court sessions were held in that home, the house long since rebuilt.
The widow, Elizabeth Dobbins, survived her husband. In 1820 she was living in Gallatin with Nancy and owned 6 slaves (Census). She was living with Bryson in Robertson Co. in 1830 but probably returned to Gallatin before she died. Bryson administered her estate. Her children then (1839) living were: Robert, William, Catherine (Cowan), Bryson, Nancy. In 1851/2 Bryson processed a retroactive claim in behalf of his mother's estate, securing a pension of $210 per annum effective from 1832 (Pension Claim #4525).
The surnames of both of Capt. James's wives as well as the marriage date of Elizabeth Dobbins is contained in affidavit of Gov. William Trousdale.
Will of James Trousdale
Transcribed by Jan Evans and Diane Payne, © 1999
Source: Will Book I, pages 291-292(TSLA Microfilm)
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