History of Campbell County, Tennessee

Time Line


By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan. 

     William Pauley was born March 2, 1762, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. His family was living in Montgomery County, Virginia, near the middle fork of Walker's Creek

     He enlisted in the Revolutionary War in the Virginia Militia in 1780, serving under Captains Thomas English and Lieutenant John Hays. He also served under the commands of Colonels Campbell and Armstrong, and Captains Joseph Cloyd, John Preston and James Montgomery. He served between six and eight months over a 12-month period during the years 1780-81. Included in this tenure he participated in the battle of Reedy Fork on the Haw River. We will follow up on this battle with a short sketch of the action.

     The action commenced by a cannonade, which lasted about twenty minutes. It was then that the enemy advanced in three columns, the Hessians on the right, the Guards in the center, and Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade on the left. The whole command moved through the old fields to attack the North Carolina Brigades, who waited the attack until the enemy got within about one hundred and forty yards, when part of them began a fire. A considerable part left the ground without firing at all, some fired once, and some fired twice and none more, except a part of a Battalion of General Eaton's Brigade. The General and field officers did all they could to induce the men to stand their ground, but neither the advantages of the position nor any other consideration could induce them to stay. They left the ground and many of them threw away their Arms. General's Stevens and Lawson, and the field Officers of those Brigades were more successful in their exertions. The Virginia Militia gave the enemy a warm reception and kept up a heavy fire for a long time. But being beat back, the action became wide-ranging almost every where.

     The corps of observation under Washington and Lee were warmly engaged and executed well. The conflict was long and severe with the enemy only gaining their point by sheer control. They broke the 2d Maryland Regiment and turned the left flank and got into the rear of the Virginia Brigade. From here they appeared to be gaining the right, which would have encircled the whole of the Continental Troops. It was thought most advisable to order a retreat. About this time Lieut. Col. Washington made a charge with the horses upon a part of the Brigade of Guards. The first Regiment of Marylanders commanded by Col. Gunby, and seconded by Lieut. Col. Howard followed the horse with their bayonets near the whole of this party fell a sacrifice. General Huger was the last that was engaged and gave the enemy and wisely checked them. A retreat was in order to the Reedy Fork where they crossed at the ford about 3 miles from the field of action. Here they halted and drew up the troops until they collected most of their stragglers. Lost was the artillery and two ammunition wagons the greater part of the horses being killed before the retreat began. It was virtually impossible to move the pieces along the great road. After collecting the stragglers they retired to this camp 10 Miles away from Guilford.

     Following his tenure in the War, William Pauley returned to Montgomery County where he married Margaret Munsey on April 11, 1787. This section of Montgomery County later became a part of Wythe County.

     In 1807 the Pauley family moved across the state line and settled in Campbell County, Tennessee. Here William purchased a 140-150 acre tract of land from James MCracken, which lay on the waters of Indian Creek (now Big Creek) and extended to the base of the Cumberland Mountains. This family left few records in the County, but William Pauley did sign a petition in 1813, along with many other Powell Valley residents, failing to have the Campbell County seat moved closer to Claiborne County.

     Pauley also witnessed several deeds of his friends and neighbor, Andrew Hatfield. Pauley's daughter Mary wed Davis Hatfield around 1823 and remained in the Stinking Creek area until her death in the late 1830's.

     William Pauley sold the land he and his family had lived on for 22 years to Isaac Moyers in 1829. Afterward, he removed to Montgomery County, Indiana. In February 1832, Pauley purchased three 80-acre tracts of land in Washington Twp., Boone County, Indiana. He resided on this land until his death on Nov. 22, 1838. His death, at age 76, was the result of a fall. His wife Margaret was still living in the vicinity in the 1850 census. Many generations of Pauleys continue to live in the area.

     Boone County officials provided a Revolutionary War monument on September 24, 1899, in honor of William and Margaret Pauley's gravesite. Over 2,000 relatives and onlookers attended the ceremony.

     William Pauley was a blacksmith by trade. His religious affiliations were Methodist. It is thought that he may have had as many as 13 children, however, only 10 were named as being alive during his probate hearings following his death. They were:

     Nancy, married to John McCleary; William Jr., married to Rebecca; Elijah; Joseph, married to Sarah Blaine; Wesley, married to Mary Smith; Naomie, married to Sawyer Smith; Elizabeth, married to James Turner; John, married to Hannah Emily Sweeney; Margaret, married to James Smith; Mary, married to Davis Hatfield.

     Mike Curtis of North Carolina submitted most of the preceding information.

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