The Ultimate American Patriot

29 Aug

Leonard Miles was my husband’s fifth great-grandfather (from the Atwood line). Leonard served his country in the American Revolution – the ultimate American patriot! According to his pension papers:  I was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina some time in the year 1760 according to the best of my information and of a record of my age now in my possession – Leonard was 72 years old at the time of his application which was called for hearing in Lincoln County Tennessee County Court on 28 Jan 1833.

It appears that at some point during his childhood, Leonard’s father apparently moved the family to the Fairfield District of South Carolina. Interestingly, many of the Curbow clan can also be found in the Fairfield District during this time period.

Leonard Miles’ application for a pension based on his war service is a wealth of information pertaining to his life and military service. He was about 17 years old at the time of his enlistment. In his own words: I lived in Fairfield District, South Carolina at the time I entered the service – some time in the latter part of the year 1777, about four or five weeks (I think) before Christmas. I volunteered in the South Carolina Militia, in a Regiment commanded by Colonel Robert Gooden in the place of my father (Thomas Miles) who had been drafted in said Regiment. Leonard goes on to state that he served off and on from the fall of 1777 through about 1781. He states that he was a private in the cavalry – fighting the British troops – mainly in North and South Carolina and Georgia. While serving, he contracted the small pox in March of 1781. After his recovery, which took four to six weeks, he joined forces under General Sumpter on the Catawba River. There he was involved in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.  The pension application of Leonard Miles can be downloaded from (now known as

Following the close of the war Leonard returned home to the Fairfield District of South Carolina where he married Mary Reden (1760-1849) on 31 March 1785. He can be found there with her in the 1790 census. The census records of this time period don’t yield very much information, but it appears that he was “engaged in agriculture.” Leonard further states in his application that:  I continued to live in South Carolina 15 or 16 years after the close of the war. I then moved to Sumner County in the State then to this County where I have lived and have lived for about 22 years.

I found a Leonard Miles in the 1820 census living in Jackson County, Tennessee and then in the 1830 census we find him in Lincoln County, Tennessee. It appears that this is where he eventually settled and lived out his life. Leonard made a Will* in Lincoln County, Tennessee about seven days before he died on 8 April 1835. I do not know the final resting place of American patriot Leonard Miles.

*The text of Leonard Miles’ Will is as follows:

Lincoln County Tennessee Wills 1827-1850; Page 119-Leonard Miles:

The last will and testament of Leonard Miles. In the name of God amen. I, Leonard Miles, of the State of Tennessee and County of Lincoln, being weak in body but of sound mind, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, revoking all and every other – First, That all my just debts and contracts be justly and truly paid. Secondly, I give and bequeath the whole of my estate, both personal and real to my beloved wife, Mary Miles, during her natural life. Thirdly, after her death, I do give and bequeath to my children as follows: To Polly Caruthers, one dollar, to Elizabeth Atwood*, one dollar, one feather bed and trunk, to Sally Martin, one dollar, to Nancy Gee, one dollar, to William Miles one dollar, to Leonard Miles, one dollar, to Patsy Linsay and heirs, one hundred and fifty acres of land and one feather bed to the daughter of Polly Lindsay. Forthly, I do appoint William Atwood** my executor to settle all my earthly business. Sealed and acknowledged this first day of April, AD 1835.

*Elizabeth Atwood is Elizabeth Ann Miles Atwood, my husband’s gggg-grandmother; and **William Atwood is William James Atwood, my husband’s gggg-grandfather.

On December 22, 1840 in Lincoln County, Tennessee, the widow of Leonard Miles, Mary Miles, age 80 filed for a Widow’s pension based on her husband’s service. With her application she presented the Miles family bible which records the names of the couple’s children as follows:

Courtney Miles – born January 14, 1786
Mary Miles – born January 14, 1788
John Miles – born January 1, 1789
William Miles – born April 25, 1792
Elizabeth Miles – born April 3, 1794
Sarah Miles – born March 25, 1796
Nance Miles – born April 5, 1798
Leonard Miles – born December 26, 1809 (?)
Samuel Con Miles – born October 14, 18___
Pater Miles – born May 21, 1811


Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Atwood, Miles


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4 responses to “The Ultimate American Patriot

  1. Robin Ralston

    April 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Mary Miles’ maiden name is not Redden..Leonard JR. married a Mary Redden, not the father Leonard sr.

    • Judy Curbow

      April 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Robin – thanks for stopping by the blog and for submitting this correction. I will do more research. I changed it on my website – and hopefully anyone reading this blog entry will see this discussion. Thank you again.

      • robin

        July 20, 2018 at 11:04 am

        Hi Judy,
        After much research, I now believe that our elusive Mary was indeed Mary Dodds, whose mother was Susanna Murphy, daughter of James Murphy. Susanna was married to William Dodds in York County Pa.\

  2. Judy Curbow

    July 23, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Robin, thanks so much for stopping by the blog and taking the time to comment. I’m not sure that I have any of these people in my database, however, I wish you much luck on your family history journey!


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