Culpeper Colvin Men in British Colonial War and American War for Independence: A List With Sources.

The following is for the benefit of visitors who wonder what I may know about  the Colvin men in Culpeper County, Virginia who served in the American Revolution. Refinements or suggestions can be sent to  me at

Sources: Digitized original revolutionary war muster rolls, digitized original payroll, digitized original and transcribed pension record affidavits, digitized original depositions from bounty lands warrant records, index to Culpeper County Revolutionary draft class lists.(Library of Virginia database online)

#1 Benjamin Colvin (1759-1837) Burial: unknown. Records on file: pension deposition dated June, 1832, Boone County, Missouri. Parents unknown. Rank: Private. Service dates: April 1781- January, 1782. Major Battles: Battle of Spencer’s Ordinary; Battle of Green Spring Plantation. which were two major battles in the last phases of the Yorktown campaign, Virginia Dept. of the Southern campaign. Commanding officers: Capts. (1) Elijah Kirtley, (2) Samuel Ferguson. There is some question as to what Companies either of these two Captains commanded and to which Regiment they were attached. Relationship to other  Culpeper Colvin men: unknown.

#2 Charles Colvin ( ~ 1732 -1810), Pendleton County, Ky. Burial: unknown. Records on file: See footnote. Parents unknown. Rank: unknown. Service dates:  Drafted, January, 1781.[1] (Class 11) [2] Regiment unknown. Major Battles: unknown. Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: unknown.

#3 Daniel Colvin (1737-1790) Culpeper County. Burial: Masonic Cemetery, Culpeper County, Virginia. Records on file: transcribed deposition of Peter Trippett pension application, who names D. Colvin ( May 3, 1834) Service dates: enlisted 14 November 1779 Culpeper County  under Capt. Benjamin Roberts for Mjr. George Slaughter under  Clark’s Expedition. (aka Clark’s Conquest).[3] The secret nature of this expedition explains why neither Daniel nor Mason Colvin’s names  appear in usual official military records such as muster and pay rolls; however the Trippett deposition and other records corroborate  this military claim. Rank: unknown. Major Battles: Clark’s Expedition. Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: father of Mason Colvin (1764-1834)

#4 Elkin Colvin (? – ~ 1758/1759 in service.) Burial: unknown. Records on file: digitized original deposition of Mason Colvin on behalf of deponent dated October 20, 1811, Culpeper County. Service dates: 1758 (or 1759) “Indian War” – French and Indian War?)[4] under a Capt. [sic] “Blog”. Rank: unknown. Major Battles: unknown. Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: younger brother of Mason Colvin (# 9)

#5 Henry “Harry” Colvin b. 17 June 1762, Culpeper Courthouse, d. 31 January 1839, Falmouth, Pendleton County, Ky. Burial: Colvin Family Cemetery, Pendleton, Kentucky. Records on file: digitized orginal pension deposition dated August 10, 1832, Pendleton County, Ky. digitized original deposition of Sarah Dillard Colvin, widow of John Colvin, dated December 14, 1836,  Culpeper County.  Service dates: enlisted ___1779 under Capts. (1) Andrew  Wallace (1st  VA Regiments) (2) John Anderson. (unknown Reg. – possibly 2nd  VA. Reg.) Rank: unknown. Major Battles: Battle of Gilford Court House,  NC, [15 Mar 1781], Battle of Eutaw Springs [8 Sep 1781], Battle of Hobkirk Hill near Camden SC, [25 Apr 1781][5]  Xerox of Microfilm of Last Will and Testament. Ex. January 11, 1839, Rec. March 4, 1839. Pendleton County, Ky.  Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: Substitute for brother of John Colvin  (# 8), as identified in Sarah Colvin’s deposition.

#6 James Colvin b. 19 October 1768 d. 1841 Burial: unknown. Records on file: 1 digitized original muster roll. 13th VA Battalion, Ft. Pitt (present day Pittsburg) dated March 7, 1778; 8 digitized original Index Record cards 1777-1779; digitized original query letter dated Feb. 17, 1926 to Dept. of Interior from J.S. Jennings  requesting military records of  J. Colvin, claiming J. Colvin was a son of Daniel Colvin.[6] Service dates: enlistment 20 January 1777 under Capt. James Neal, 13th Virginia. The August-Sept. muster roll noted he was “stationed at Ft. Pitt.” Major Battles: unknown. Listed as “artificer” under Capt. James Sullivan on muster roll. Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: possible son of Daniel Colvin (#3) and brother of Mason Colvin (1764-1834)[7]

# 7 Jeremiah Colvin b. 1758, Culpeper County d. December, 1777 in service.[8] Burial: unknown. Records on file: 13 digitized original muster and pay rolls, 10th Virginia Regiment; 7 digitized original index record cards (payroll); 9 digitized original index record cards (muster roll);  the digitized original deposition of Mason Colvin, bounty land warrant file, on behalf of J. Colvin Oct. 28, 1811; the digitized original land bounty warrant, assigned to John Colvin, heir-at-law of J. Colvin. Service dates: enlisted under Capt. John Gillison, 1776 and died in service January 7, 1778,  by which time he had achieved the rank of Sargent.[9] Rank: Sargent. Major Battles: unknown.  Appears to have died after being at Valley Forge encampment, December 1777.[10] Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: younger brother of Mason Colvin (# 9)

# 8 John Colvin b. 16 March 1758, Culpeper County d. 29 March 1832, Culpeper County. Burial: unknown. Records on file: digitized original Last Will and Testament, John Colvin, Nov. 20, 1833; digitized original deposition of Sarah Colvin, widow of John Colvin, pension application, Dec. 14, 1836. Service dates: 1st enlistment by draft   22 September 1775 under Capt. John Green, 1st VA. Regiment, to Sept, 1776,; 2nd draft,  under Capt. ____ , Regiment unknown.  August 1, 1777 – March 1778. His 3rd draft under Capt. ____ (after his marriage to. S. Dillard,)  under Capt. ____, Regiment unknown.  May 1, 1779  ~ Oct 1779.  4th draft  was served by his substitute, Henry Colvin. His 5th draft was served by his substitute, Joseph Bowen. Rank: private, may have achieved rank of sergeant when discharged.  Major Battles: Williamsburg (1775). Others unknown.  Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men; brother of Henry Colvin (#5) and Mason Colvin (#9)

# 9 Mason Colvin (1760-1853)[11] Burial: unknown. Records on file: digitized original final voucher payment, March, 1857; digitized transcript  Culpeper County Minute Bk G., March 1856, wherein all heirs named; digitized original military pension application pp 1-11, 20, March 1832;  digitized affidavit on behalf of pensioner applicant, James Clatterback,  August, 1832 wherein he describes his tour of service; digitized original widow’s pension application of Sarah Colvin, wife of John Colvin  wherein she names Mason as John’s substitute during of his service tours. Service dates: enlisted Culpeper County, by draft [date] and served 3 months under Capt. Francis Nalle, Virginia Militia, under Cmnd. Christian Charles de Klauman; 2nd draft [date] served 3 months under Capt. John Waugh under Cmnd. Edward Stevens (skirmish at Richmond); 3rd draft [date] served 3 months under Capt. Lewis Yancey under Cmnd. unknown. 4th draft, fall,  1781,  served 3 months under Capt. James Slaughter. Thereafter,  enlisted , under Capt. James Garnett into Col. William Washington’s Regiment of Dragoons. Discharged Nov. 1782 after Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown, Virginia

# 10 Mason Colvin (1764- 1830/1840) Burial: unknown. Records on file: digitized original depositions on behalf of Jeremiah Colvin, Elkin Colvin,  and himself, regarding bounty land;  digitized original deposition of Sarah Colvin, widow of John Colvin, pension application, Dec. 14, 1836; digitized original deposition of Mason Colvin, August 16, 1832;  digitized original deposition of Peter Trippit on behalf of  D. Colvin who  names the two as father and son, which he found unusual; digitized original “10 Thousand Names” petition to Virginia Assembly, October 10, 1776, on which he and Daniel’s names appear.;  two digitized original Index Record cards indicating Revolutionary War Service in “Clark’s Illinois Regiment.” See Daniel Colvin # 3 above. Major Battles: pending.  (but likely the same as his father, as they were discharged together, according to the Trippit affidavit.)  Relationship to other Culpeper Colvin men: brother of Elkin Colvin (#4),  Henry Colvin (#5), Jeremiah Colvin, (#7),  and John Colvin (#8); son of Daniel Colvin # 3.


[1] “Culpeper Classes, 1781”, Library of Virginia online database: Index to the listing all the men from Culpeper County’s Revolutionary War militia and the individual drafted from each class or group. This collection lists all the men in each class and the individual drafted from each. In some cases a trade or physical description of the draftee is given. The LOV  database is based on Emily G. Honts, “A List of Classes in Culpeper County for January 1781.”  Daughters of the American Revolution, 1983,   Charles, however, does not appear on muster rolls for any of the companies in Culpeper or Fauquier raised for battle. It  likewise bears mentioning that few colonies ever met the Continental Congress’s imposed regimental quotas – although Virginia did better than many —  and that by 1781, Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown. Researchers trying to understanding these draft lists and their function during the war years will be greatly aided by John V. Atta’s “Conscription in Revolutionary Virginia: the Case of Culpeper County, 1780-1781” in the July 1984 edition of The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. The Culpeper lists are particularly valuable in that they have survived almost entirely intact.

[2] See Library of Virginia online catalogue, “Culpeper County Classes, 1781”

[3] See “Virginia Soldiers in the Revolution” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Oct 1913, Vol. 4;11, 337-346.  More properly known as the Illinois Regiment. This regiment was raised under an act of Assembly passed in January, 1778, authorizing a campaign  for the protection of the western frontiers. George Rogers Clark was made  lieutenant colonel of Virginia militia by Governor Patrick Henry, and given secret instructions to raise seven companies of fifty men each for the purpose of attacking the British post of Kaskaskia. The expedition set out in May, 1778, with three companies. After the capture of Kaskaskia,  Clark’s force was increased by the enlistment of a number of the French inhabitants. The regiment was recruited from Virginia in the spring of 1779, when it numbered 350 men. In August, 1780 it was reduced to 130 men. It was disbanded  January 18, 1783. In addition, both Daniel and Mason (sometimes spelled Madison) Colvin’s names turns up on the list of soldier entries from  The Library of Virginia’s microfilmed collection of  Roger Clark’s papers in 1782. See:

[4] verification via military records pending.

[5] Verification via military records pending

[6]This relationship has not yet been verified independently.

[7] This Mason Colvin should not be confused with the Mason Colvin (#9), the brother of John, Elkin,  and Henry Colvin.

[8] Jerimiah’s last appearance is on the company payroll, Nov. 1777 under Capt. John  Gillison at Vally Forge winter encampment.

[9] Additional data pending.

[10] See Vally Forge Legacy, Muster Roll project at:

[11] Mason’s birth year is deduced from his statement to his interviewer during his pension application that he was “seventy-six” years old.


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
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