Saturday, July 4, 2015

Gasper Smith, War of 1812 Veteran

In Monday's visit at the US National Archives, I viewed two pension files. This week I covered the file for Thomas W. Thornhill. The second pension file in the set was for Gasper Smith, husband of Rachel Hampton. Back in February 2015 I wrote about Gasper and Rachel, and how they acquired the farm of my 6th-great-grandfather Samuel Hampton in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Gasper served in the 32nd Regiment, Maryland Militia during the War of 1812.

In the closing stages of the war with England, Gasper served for 60 days (from 1 August to 27 September 1814) before he was discharged in Baltimore. While I cannot yet confirm this, it looks like Gasper's regiment may have fought in the famous Battle of Baltimore, where Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner".

Source: US National Archives.
The document above includes the signature of Rachel Hampton Smith.

At the time of his enlistment, Gasper was 17 years old, 6 feet 1 inch in height, with black hair and a fair complexion. He was trained as a blacksmith. Gasper lived in Maryland for 4 years after his discharge, and then moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee. There he met Rachel Hampton. According to the file, Gasper and Rachel were married on 24 March 1825. They lived in Sullivan County for the rest of his life.

They had a large family, at least 10 children. Gasper died on 30 November 1858. Rachel filed for a widow's pension, which was granted in April 1879. Rachel was awarded a pension for the remaining years of her life. She died on 5 July 1886 in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

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