Matthew Payne, Revolutionary War Soldier

From the June 2003 issue of the "Trail Tracker"

Matthew Payne was one of the most interesting Winston settlers. According to family legend, he volunteered as a youth in the Revolutionary War and was wounded in the shoulder and lost an eye by a British saber thrust at Brandywine. He was at Yorktown when the British surrendered. By 1783 he was in Davidson County, Tennessee, where he received a land grant of 640 acres on the north side of the Cumberland River at the mouth of Gaspers Creek. In Davidson County he married Amelia ("Milly") Cooper on June 17, 1791. By 1811 Matthew Payne and family were residents of Madison County, Mississippi Territory (now Alabama), where court records indicate he was active in land speculation, traffic in furs, hides, and frontier commodities, often in partnership with his son John B. Payne. According to an affidavit on file in the National Archives, executed by him November 7, 1850, at Lawrence County, Alabama, he volunteered in the War with the Creek Nation of Indians in 1813 in the regiment commanded by Colonel John Coffee. He was in Captain Russell's Company, one of General Andrew Jackson's spy companies and was mustered into service at Fort Williams on the Coosa River a short time before the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. He stated that he had "followed the Army from home with his son John B. Payne (now dead) and upon catching up with it, at Fort Williams, he found Gen. Jackson there in command, who was his neighbor and friend at home, and that gallant and distinguished soldier, knowing affiant's qualities as an experienced woodsman, frontiersman, and Indian fighter, pressed him to enlist in Captain Russell's Company of Volunteers, who acted as spies, and affiant did so, and continued in actual service in the War with the Creek Nation of Indians until the Battle of the Horse Shoe [Horseshoe Bend] on the Tallapoosa River, on the 27th March 1813 [March 27, 1814], in which battle affiant was severely wounded, having been shot through the body above the hips; this important battle but an end to the Creek War, and affiant was left among the wounded at Fort Williams, where he remained unable to be moved for about forty days, afterwards he was carried to Fort Strother, and thence home, an invalid for life…Affiant was left at Fort Williams by General Jackson's order with his son John B. Payne to attend on him, where it was expected he would have died in consequence of his wound…" He was placed on the pension rolls April 24, 1816, at $96 per annum. In August 1854 he executed as power of attorney appointing a representative in Washington D.C., "my true and lawful agent and attorney to prosecute the claim of my pension for any amt. of Revolutionary Pension or increase of pension that may be due…" The judge of the Hancock County Court of Alabama certified on September 11, 1856, that Matthew Payne died in that county on August 17, 1856, leaving a widow, Milly. Preston Payne (another son) was named attorney for the widow. He was buried in what is now a five-grave cemetery about two miles northeast of Pleasant Hill in Range 8 West, Township 9 South, Section 19, the same cemetery containing the grave of Stephen Garrison.