Appalachia Profiles of Mountain People

Revolutionary War Patriot – John Ingraham

Photo from Wikipedia

Revolutionary War Patriot John Ingraham (about 1755-September 16, 1828) written by Ethelene Dyer Jones.

The parentage of John Ingraham of Union County, South Carolina has been lost to time. Watson B. Dyer, historian, thinks his father was Benjamin Ingraham, because the name Benjamin was passed to subsequent generations (see Dyer Family History, p. 390). However, there is some indication that his father was William Ingraham who migrated from Wales to Virginia and received a grant of 300 acres in South Carolina in 1752 in Craven County on the north side of the Wateree River. This William Ingraham had known sons named John, James and Arthur. Son James entertained George Washington at his plantation at Wateree, an event recorded in the diary of the president on May 26, 1791. Washington reciprocated the hospitality by entertaining James Ingraham at Mt. Vernon.

Wedding bells rang for Rutha White and John Ingraham in 1778. They were married at Fair Forest Baptist Church in Union County, South Carolina. Rev. James Crowder, Rutha’s pastor, performed the ceremony. Married only two years after the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence in 1776, John Ingraham was caught up, as were his neighbors, in the spirit of patriotism sweeping the colonies.

He enlisted as a private in Captain John Putnam’s Company of the South Carolina militia, in Colonel Brandon’s Regiment. His service number was R-5483.

He fought in the Charleston, SC Siege confrontation with British and Loyalist forces. This battle ended in great disappointment. Fought from March 29 through May 12, 1780, Patriot Major General Lincoln surrendered Charleston. It was subsequently occupied by British forces until the British evacuated Charleston on December 14, 1782.

John Ingraham fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain, SC on October 7, 1780. Frontier militia from South and North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia converged and surrounded Patrick Ferguson’s forces, defeating them. King’s Mountain was a turning point in the Revolution, a decisive victory for the American Patriots.

Three months later, on January 17, 1781, John Ingraham was with the militia forces under the notable Patriot Brigadier General Daniel Morgan as they attacked General Banastre Tarleton’s forces of British Regulars at the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina. Historians have recognized that battle as one of the most important of the American Revolution.

It was customary for militia members to sign on for three month terms and fight in battles near their homes. Those frontier soldiers bravely defended America, turning the tide of war and leading to the surrender of British General Cornwallis on October 19, 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia.

After the war, John and Rutha Ingraham moved from their home at Padgett’s Creek, Union County, SC, to a land grant he received for his Revolutionary War service in what was then Franklin County, Georgia. The area where they settled became Hall County in 1819. John and Rutha lived in the vicinity of what became present day Lula, Georgia. There patriot John Ingraham died on September 16, 1828. Unfortunately, we do not know the location of his grave.

The pension bill was passed in 1832, four years after John Ingraham’s death. His widow, Rutha White Ingraham, made repeated applications for a widow’s pension, but never received one. She died at the home of their son, Tillman Ingraham, in Cherokee County, Georgia (date unknown). We do know that she lived until at least age 89 in 1847 when she was still applying for a widow’s pension.

The pension application was taken up by their son, John Little Ingraham, of Union County, Georgia, following Rutha’s death, for three of their children still living—John Little Ingraham, Tillman Ingraham, and Elizabeth Ingraham Riley, with application made on October 26, 1852. This application was also denied.

Our lineage to John Ingraham, Revolutionary Patriot, comes through his son, John Little Ingraham, the latter’s daughter, Louisa Eliza Ingraham who married James Marion Dyer, and their son, Bluford Elisha “Bud” Dyer who married Sarah Evaline Souther Dyer.

Many descendants of John Ingraham have established a direct line of ancestry to this patriot and have received admission into the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. Even though Rutha White Ingraham did not receive remuneration in the years of her widowhood, subsequent intrinsic benefits to their heirs in past, present and future generations are testimony to the significant contributions this couple made to America’s freedom.

We salute and say a heart-felt “thank you” to Private John Little Ingraham.


Makes you wonder why some pensions were denied over and over while others went through on their first try?

I hope you’ve enjoyed Ethelene’s series on Revolutionary Patriots. Drop back by tomorrow for one last post.


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  • Reply
    William Brian Orbie Nabors
    February 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

    My 7th great grandfathers name was James Dyer who had a brother named Elisha Bluford Dyer , their father was John Dyer in my family tree on ancestry .com. I am wonder if I have the wrong John Dyer in my tree, would you know?

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    July 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

    If many would study their ancestors they would find that they descend from patriots who risked their lives to help establish this great country we call home. Personally I have found a 5th Great Grandfather who was a Captain at Trenton and a friend of Washington another John Sumpter who was in the Virginia Militia whose brother Thomas Sumter was a General in the SC Militia a 6th Great Grandfather John Sutton who fought in several engagements, was granted a large land grant and helped populate much of WNC, a couple of Burnett ancestors who along with my wife’s 6th Great Uncle John Sevier were members of the “Over the Mountain Men” who fought at Kings Mountain and Cowpens. I am amazed at how many of the older families are descended from these heroes. I wonder how they would view the changes to the country they risked all for.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful slice of your heritage for all of us, Ethelene! I can’t help but wonder if Rutha White was related to my Franklin County, GA Whites; I’ll be checking on that line, for sure 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I was just wondering if John Ingraham was disabled due to his service and if the land grant he received would preclude his eligibility for pension.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for letting Ethelene tell her
    Revolutionary War linkage, it’s very
    interesting and a lot of thought and
    research has been done…Ken

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    July 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Denying veteran’s benefits is a long established practice in this country. Many of my fellow “Blue Water” Viet Nam sailors are still fighting for medical and compensation benefits for ailments caused by “Agent Orange”. Since they were only off the coast and not ashore in Viet Nam, the VA has determined that they weren’t exposed. Many have died and others are suffering from blood diseases, cancers, and movement disorders which have shown to be caused by exposure. Pardon me for getting on my soap box, but this subject is very dear to me.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

    This is very interesting; why the government denied some and quickly paid others. I wonder what their reasons were for the denial. It would be interesting if one of those letters from the government were found and if there was a reason even given. Thanks for today’s history lesson.

    • Reply
      Bryant Cooper
      January 24, 2020 at 10:22 pm

      The Veterans Administration recently 2019, declared Deep Blue Water veteran’s who were within a 7 mile radius of the shore-line of Vietnam, are now eligible for benefits for exposure to Agent Orange.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Ethlene’s family patriots series is a pleasant read. Learning family heritage and connections is interesting and always stirs up curiosity about the personalities and anecdotal life stories about the ancestors. What traits (physical, character, emotional, attitude) are shared by subsequent generations? What of the current generation would they be surprised by? – proud of? – concerned about? – impressed by?

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    July 3, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Good story for July 3, 2014. Thanks for posting. It is easy to forget the cost of freedom as we go through our day to day.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    July 3, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I am grateful for an remember with deep appreciation my ancestor’s Revolutionary War service. Researching their service and learning about their moves and contributions to our freedoms and ways of life make me feel humble and so appreciative. May we each “think on these things” on our nation’s birthday, July 4.

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