John Walling

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John Walling, son of Elisha Walling and Mary Blevins, was born at Henry Co., Virginia, 27 July 1750.1 He died at McMinn Co., Tennessee, 22 April 1836.1

John's first wife, whom he married, say 1780, is unknown;2 he married (2) Elizabeth Roberts, daughter of John Roberts, at Washington Co., Tennessee, 18 February 1786.1

Service records show him on the 1777 list of Cox's Militia Company and on the 1782 and 6 Sep 1782 Elk Creek Militia lists.

His pension file reveals:

He first served as a drafted militia man for a six month term in March when he was 21. He served in a company commanded by Captain John Cox & Lieutenant Alexander Cox, enrolled at Wythe Co., Virgina and attached to the Regiment commanded by Col Joseph Martin on an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. He marched from Wythe on through what is now Washington County, being then a Wilderness to Clinch River, Blackmore Fort; Col Martin dividing his men, sent a part to Custers Fort, and the balance to Blackmore, and John was amongst the latter group. He remained there until the last of August when they were discharged, and were not in any battles.

His second tour began in April after discharge from his first tour and he again served as a drafted militia man for three months, enrolled in Wythe County in a company commanded by Capt John Brydon & Lieutenant Alexander Brydon and attached to Col William Campbell's regiment "to be at all times in readiness at a moment's warning." They marched again "from Wythe passing through a frontier country on an expedition against the British to a place of rendezvous at one Capt Enoch Osbornes on New River highway and marched from there into North Carolina near the Hanging Rock with the intention of aiding the American Army at that place against the British and tories, but was met by an express with the news of the defeat of our forces there when within a few miles of that place, and received orders to retreat which was done and continued our march until we arrived at the place from whence we marched." Again, no battles fought.

In an amendment he stated he lived in Wythe County Virginia when called into service. Later he moved from Holston to Clinch River near the flat Lick at which place he lived near 40 years. From there he moved to Illinois, then to Casey Co., Kentucky, and from there to McMinn Co., Tennessee where he had lived for the last 10 years.

It should be noted that his declaration states he was drafted or enrolled first in March and then in April of the year following, but neither of the years is stated. He states he was 21 when first drafted. In the amendment, he does not recall the year he was born, but does indicate he would soon be 83 based on what his father had told him. That places his birth in 1750 and means his service begain in 1771, well before the revolution began. As the Battle of Hanging Rock was 6 Aug 1780, his first service would have been in 1779. If he was truly only 21 at that time, his may have been born as late as 1758. If we use the militia list, based on his being 21 when he first served, he was born about 1756.1,3

It seems John Walling had quite enough to do with the Indians on the colonial frontier. As shown in his pension file, his first mission was to march against the Cherokee, though it appears they never made contact or least fought no battles of note.

Next, "On the 17th day of March, 1785, the Indians visited the house of John Wallen, about fifteen miles from Martin's Station, and killed and scalped his wife, and a Mrs. Cox was shot at by three Indians."

After he married Elizabeth, his family was attacked again:
A man by the name of John Walling made a settlement there in 1790. The Chief Indian Benge & his clan made an attack on his house, his wife opened the door just at daylight, an Indian shot at her & slightly wounded her. She closed the door & boarded it. Wallen jumped from his bed & grabbed his gun & killed the Indian. They rushed upon his house, & did not retreat until he had killed three of the Indians. Wallen went to Carter’s Fort a distance of 8 miles. This was the commencement of the Benge war which lasted until Hobbes’ killed Benge in 1793."

All of these instances were a part of what is now commonly referred to as the Chickamauga wars (1776-1796).2,1,4

John left a will dated at McMinn Co., April 1836, and proved 2 May 1836 naming only his wife, leaving everything to her.5

For more information on the Chickamauga wars, please see this Wikipedia article.


Elizabeth Roberts b. 1769, d. 16 Mar 1854
  • (…) Walling6 d. bt 1844 - 1858
  • (…) Walling6 d. bt 1844 - 1858
  • John Walling7 b. abt. 1788, d. 1860
  • James Walling7 b. 1790, d. aft. 1858
  • Sarah Nancy Walling+7 b. 8 Sep 1793, d. 24 Nov 1860
  • Jesse Walling7 b. 1798
  • Thomas Grandison Walling7 b. 5 Jan 1798, d. 4 Jan 1873
  • Sarah Walling7 b. abt. 1799
  • Stephen Walling7 b. say 1800, d. bef. 1850
  • Isaac Walling7 b. abt. 1803
  • Elizabeth Walling1,7 b. abt. 1809
This person was last edited on16 Dec 2022


  1. [S630] "Revolutionary War Pensions," database and digital images, Fold3 (, John Walling, File #W.171; original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives microfilm publication M0804, 2670 rolls, roll #2482.
  2. [S847] Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870, two vols. (1903; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1966), 387, further cited as Summers, History of Southwest Virginia.
  3. [S1239] New River Notes, online, "Revolutionary War Soldiers in the Upper New River Valley" , accessed Nov 2008, further cited as New River Notes.
  4. [S1711] State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Draper Manuscript Collection, to be cited, further cited as Draper.
  5. [S599] McMinn Co., Tennessee, Wills, 1819-1925, B:185, FHL microfilm 830194, further cited as McMinn Co., TN Wills.
  6. [S630] "Revolutionary War Pensions", John Walling, File #W.171, roll #2482; daughter mentions she was the youngest of 11 children.
  7. [S598] McMinn Co., Tennessee, Court Minutes, 1857-1873, Minutes 1857-1873:224, FHL microfilm 830189, further cited as McMinn Co., TN Court Minutes.