Born at Plymouth, Mass, son of Theophilus Cotton (also a Revolutionary Soldr) and his wife Martha Saunders. John d at Autintown, (then in Trumbull Co now in Mahoning Co. OH) 2-21-1831. A Pens. His appl recorded on Trumbull Co records states , Juy 1, 1921 a res of Austintown ae 75 yrs 6 mo. Served as quartermaster in Col Theophilus Cotton's regt over 8 mos. in 1776, then as ensign in Elijah Brooks's Company, and John Baily's Regt. to the close of the year. He was then appointed Lt in Capt Whipple's Company, in Rufus Putnam's Regt, and served in that capacity until some time in the year 1778(?). He was then appointed quartermaster to John Hixon and continued in said service until Oct 1780. He then retired and had an honorable disch. Occupation frming. Family consisting of self and wife. he m, (Intentions recorded at Kingston, Mas), 6-29-1780, to Lucy Little, b 9-22-1757 at Marshfield, Mass, dau of Nathaniel Little, Sr. (a Revolutionary Soldr) of Marshfield, Mass and Belpre, Washington Co. OH, and his 2nd wife, Mrs. Keziah (Atwood) Adams both of whom died at Belpre, OH. Keziah names Lucy Cotton in her will recorded in Washington Co., OH. Lucy d at Austintown, OH 10-9-1837. Trumbull, Co records show that three sons and ond dau survied their father. Children: Theophilus m 9-4-1808 Hannah Rush of Youngstown, OH; Joshua Thomas b 1-3-1785 m 12-18-1810 Betsey Williamson; John m 2-26-1815 m 2-26-1815 Cynthia Parkhurst; Lucy. 58th N S D A R Report
Military notes for Lieutenant John Cotton
Service Record of Lieutenant John Cotton Quartermaster, American Revolution7
April 1775 appointed Quarter Master under Col. Theophilus Cotton for about 8 months.
January 1776 reassigned to Enign Elija Crother's Company under Col. John Barbey
December 1776 reassigned to Col. Baily's Regiment
January 1777 appointed to Lieutenant in Col. Rufus Putnam's Regiment
May 1780 commission transferred and reassigned as Quartermaster to Gen. John Nixen
The Human Side of War: A Father, his son and General George Washington
In April 1775, after the Battle of Lexington, John Cotton joined the Plymouth Regiment to serve under his father, Colonel Theophilus Cotton as Quarter Master Sergeant. Sometime between April and September 1775, John "defrauded the Regiment of part of their allowance of provisions" and was subsequently court-martialed by General George Washington. This incident was discovered during a search for information on the Cotton Family in the records of the Library of Congress. In the Washington Papers, mention of a Court Martial of a Sergeant John Cotton in Colonel Theophilus Cotton’s Plymouth Regiment turned up and was compared with Lt. John Cotton’s Revolutionary War Pension Application to match dates in order to determine if the John Cotton mentioned in the court martial was, in fact, Colonel Theophilus Cotton’s son, John Cotton. The match seems to be well documented and no other John Cotton has been found that served in the Plymouth Regiment. The incident does not appear to have been considered a grave matter as John Cotton had to repay money and could no longer serve as quarter master in the Plymouth Regiment.
John Cotton ended up serving over five (5) years in the Revolutionary War; was appointed an Ensign three (3) months after the court martial under Colonel John Barbey and in January 1777, received his commission as Lieutenant in Colonel Rufus Putnam’s Regiment. A transcript of the Court Martial from the Washington Papers follows below.7
"Serjt John Cotton, in Col Cottons Regt tried by the same General Court Martial, for "defrauding the regiment of part of their allowance of provisions." The Court sentence the Prisoner to refund, and pay back fourteen pounds, six shillings and four pence to said regiment, and be disqualified to serve in said Regiment, as Quarter Master Serjeant, for the future."12
The "same General Court Martial" refered to took place at: Head Quarters, Cambridge, September 16, 1775.
Ref.: The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor, Volume 312
What follows is a transcript of Lt. John Cotton's application for a Revoluationary War Pension:7
Continental John Cotton S42649
Attention: G. Fru(not legible) July 22, 18--
Hon. Peter Rowd
Jan'y 12, 1855
Died Feb. 1, 1831 (AB)
In right hand margin: Notification sent to George parsons, Esq., Warren, Ohio, 12 Sept. 1820
Col. Putnam in the State of (not legible) who was a Lieutenant in the regiment commanded by Colonel Putnam of the Mass. Co. for the term of 2 years.
Inscribed on the roll of Ohio at the rate of 20 Dollars per month, to commence on the 5th of January 1812.
Certificate of Pension issued the 10th of June 1811 and sent to George Todd, Warren, Trumbull Co., OH
Appears to 4th of Mar 1814 semi-anl. All'ce ending 4 Sept 19
2 Ms 120
(Act 18th March, 1818}
John Cotton, residing in Youngs town in the County of Trumbull in the State of Ohio, on his solemn oath discloses and says in his affidavit testimony that a few days after the battle of Lexington, he was appointed Quarter Master of the Third Minute Regiment commanded by Theophilus Cotton and marched to Roxbury, that immediately at the onset and of that he was appointed Ensign in Colonel John Barbey's Regiment, that he served out and was appointed Lieutenant in Colonel Rufus Putnam's regiment, then in service of the United States. His commission of Lieutenant then was transferred to the 10th day of may 1780 giving him rank as such from the 1st day of January 1777, that he was at the taking of Burgoyne in 1778 that giving him action in service he was quarter master to General John Nixen's Brigade in which office he served until the 3rd day of October 1780 being of both assignments and was that day discharged by order of the Commissioner General, as it will appear on the back of his commission, that he is in indigent circumstances and finds the application helps his cause for support and that unless to nullify all claims to any Insurance if any which have been allowed by the Senate (illegible) of the United States, he then petitions for any relief under the Acts of Congress, ratified the 18th day of March 1818 in that "An act to (provide payment) for certain persons enjoined by the country for personal service to the United States in the revolutionary war". (much of the last sentence is barely legible)
signed John Cotton
District Court of Ohio ss. Warren, Trumbull Co.
On the tenth day of Febry 1821, personally appeared in open court (a) being a court of record (b) for the said court, John Cotton, aged seventy five, resident in Austin town in said county, who being first duly sworn, according to law, dot, on his oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary war as follows: (c) He served as Quarter Master in Col Theophilus Cotton's Reg in 8 months service the year 1776, then in Ensign Elijah Crother's Company. Then Baily's Regt. to the close of the same year. That he was then appointed Lieutenant of Capt. Gipp's Company in Rufus Putnam's Reg't and served in that capacity until some time in the year of 1778. He was then assigned and had an honorable discharge as will appear from his commission from the war office. His original certificate for pension is dated Sept. 1817 and numbered 11,616 on which he has received two payments on Sept. 1819 and 1820.
And I do solemnly affirm that I was a resident of the United States on the 18 day of March 1818; and that I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner disposed of my property, or in any part thereof, with intent to thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled, "An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on 18th March 1818" and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me, any property, or securities, contracts, or debts, due to me; nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed, and by me subscribed: (d) to wit 2 cows with their calves, one pair three year old steers, one steer two years old, two yearlings, five sheep, one small looking glass, one time piece, one bake oven, one 2 quart brass kettle, one two pail iron pot, one frying pan, two silver table spoons, six silver tea spoons, one 13 gallon iron kettle, six old chairs. Amount of debts due me $97. Amount of debts which I owe exceeds $100. My family consists of myself and my wife. My age is 75 years and 6 months that of my wife is 63 years and ten months. My occupation is farming. Both my wife and myself are incapacitated to labour and always expect to remain so. My wife having a lazium on her shoulder.
Signed John Cotton
Affirmed in and declared on the tenth day of July 1821
George Parsons, Clerk of Trumbull County Court
1. Elizabeth Cotton vs Eliza Allen et. al Complaint for Partition, August 1865, Wells County Circuit Court, T. W. Wilson, Plaintiff's Attorney.
2. Daughters of the American Revolution, Official Roster III: Soldiers of the American Revolution Who Lived in the State of Ohio, DAR, Published by the DAR, 1959, page 84.
3. Lee D. van Antwerp, Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts to the year 1850, Ruth Wilder Sherman, Picton Press, page 131.
4. La Verne C. Cooley, A Short Biography of the Rev. John Cotton and a COTTON GENEALOGY of His Descendants, Published Privately in Batavia, New York 1945, Vol. I, page 38.
5. “Last Will and Testament of Kezia (Atwood/Adams) Little,” Probate Records Vol. I (P.R. Vol. 1), Page/Item 255, Washington County, Ohio.
6. “Austintown Township Cemetery and Death Records (Mahoning County, Ohio Series, No. 3),” Mahoning County, Ohio, 1996, compiled by Joan Baker Koch, Margaret Miller Simon, Jocelyn Fox Wilms from the Mahoning County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society, Youngstown, Ohio; Published by Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, Iowa, 1996, page 24.
7. “Application for Revolutionary War Pension,” July 10, 1821, Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, USA, Original Pension #11,616, George Parsons, Trumbull County Clerk, Photocopy of Handwritten Original, Trumbull County Court House, Warren, Ohio.
8. Robert S. Wakefield, F.A.S.G., Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Family of Richard Warren, General Society of Mayflower Descendants 1999, Vol. 18, Vol. II, page 148.
9. La Verne C. Cooley, A Short Biography of the Rev. John Cotton and a COTTON GENEALOGY of His Descendants, Published Privately in Batavia, New York 1945, Vol. I, page 45.
10. Robert M. and Ruth Wilder Sherman, Vital Records of Marshfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Society of Mayflower Descendants of Rhode Island, 1970, page 57.
11. Lee D. van Antwerp, Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts to the year 1850, Ruth Wilder Sherman, Picton Press, page 268 & 363.
12. Library of Congress, “George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress 1741-1799,” http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gwhome.htm, 11/5/2000.