Minutemen – April 19, 1775

Today is Patriots’ Day.

 
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I was surprised to find the phrase “marched on the alarm April 19, 1775″ in so many of our ancestors stories.  It turns out that word of the start of the Revolutionary War spread fast.  There were 77 militiamen at Lexington, 400 at Concord and 3,800 at the end of Battle.  By the next morning,  Boston was surrounded by a huge militia army, numbering over 15,000, which had marched from throughout New England.

I’m also including  our relatives who enlisted in 1775.  They were probably inspired by what Ralph Waldo Emerson, called “shot heard ’round the world.”

Navigate this Report

1. Battle of Lexington and Concord

2. Patriot’s Day

3. Marched on the Alarm of April 19th

4. Enlisted in 1775

5. Siege of Boston

1. Battles of Lexington and Concord

Boston Patriots

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War.  They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of LexingtonConcordLincolnMenotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.

14 Apr 1775 – General Thomas Gage, received instructions from Secretary of State William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, to disarm the rebels, who were known to have hidden weapons in Concord, among other locations, and to imprison the rebellion’s leaders, especially Samuel Adams and John Hancock.

The rebellion’s ringleaders—with the exception of Paul Revere and Joseph Warren—had all left Boston by April 8. They had received word of Dartmouth’s secret instructions to General Gage from sources in London well before they reached Gage himself.

Samuel Adams and John Hancock spent the night of April 19, 1775 with the Wymans.       1666 Francis Wyman House 56 Francis Wyman Rd, Burlington, Mass

18 April 1775 – Adams and Hancock had fled Boston and were staying at the home of one of Hancock’s relatives in Lexington where they thought they would be safe from the immediate threat of arrest.

19 Apr 1775  –  Francis WYMAN  (1619 West Mill, Hertfordshire, England – 1699 Woburn, Mass.) built his country house about 1666 on the outskirts of Woburn, now part of Burlington.  His brother John built his country house next door.  Francis’ house is now managed by the Francis Wyman Association, but all that’s left of his brother’s is the cellar hole.  In 1775 John’s house was owned by Amos Wyman.

John Hancock and Samuel Adams being entertained at the Sewall house on April 19, 1775 —  Mural by Don Gorvette and Jeff Weaver in the foyer of the Burlington Historical Museum and was painted in 1973. The image shows left to right: Madam Abigail Jones, Rev. John Marrett, John Hancock, Cuff Trot, Samuel Adams, and Hancock’s fiance, Dorothy Quincy.

Samuel Adams and John Hancock, two of America’s forefathers, fled to the Wyman’s home from Lexington, ahead of the British troops. Elizabeth (Pierce) Wyman, wife of Amos, is said to have fed her visitors  boiled potatoes, pork and bread instead of the salmon which her guests had planned to eat at the Lexington parsonage, and Hancock is reported to have sent a cow to his hostess at a later date in appreciation of her hospitality.

It’s about 5 miles between the two houses.  Here are driving directions.

On the morning of April 19, 1775, John Hancock and his elderly aunt, Mrs. Thomas Hancock; Hancock’s fiance, Dorothy Quincy; and Samuel Adams were at the home of Rev. Jonas Clarke in Lexington. They had been warned the night before by Paul Revere that the British were moving toward Lexington and Concord.

The orderly sergeant of the Lexington minutemen and proprietor of Lexington’s Munroe Tavern, William Munroe, led the group from Lexington along the road to Woburn’s second parish (Burlington). They stopped just over the Lexington-Burlington line at Capt. James Reed’s house on the old Lexington Rd.; this house stood on the south side of the Burlington Mall parking lot. The group next stopped at the home of Madam Abigail Jones, the recent widow of Rev. Thomas Jones. The house stood on the corner of what is now Lexington St. and Independence Dr. and was known as the Sewall house; the house was destroyed by fire April 23, 1897.

The group was sitting down to dinner when they were warned that the British were coming. Madam Jones’ servant, Cuff Trot, and the minister, Rev. John Marrett, led Hancock and Adams to the Amos Wyman house, just over the Burlingon-Billerica border.

Rev. Samuel Sewall gives an account in the History of Woburn:

Mr. Marrett next conducted Mrs. Jones’ illustrious visitors to the house of Mr. Amos Wyman, situate in an obscure corner of Bedford, Billerica and Woburn Precinct, where were collected the women and children of several of the neighboring families, who had fled thither for safety; fearing that if they remained at home, “the regulars” might come, and murder them, or carry them off. And now, as soon as Messrs. Hancock and Adams had had time to become calm after their flight, they besought Mrs. Wyman to give them a little food; saying they had had neither breakfast nor dinner that day. Their good natured hostess, in ready compliance with their request, took down from a shelf a wooden tray, containing some cold boiled salt pork, and also (it is believed) some cold boiled potatoes unpeeled, and brown bread; and upon this plain, course fare, they made a hearty meal. Upon their return to Mrs. Jones’ the next day, they learned that the enemy had not come there in pursuit of them. Either they and never intended it, or else, being closely pursued from Concord by their exasperated and hourly increasing Yankee foes, they thought it best to take a prudent care for their own safety, rather than to digress in their march, into the neighboring towns, in pursuit of Hancock and Adams. Not many years since, it was a current report in Lexington, that Hancock, in gratitude to Mrs. Wyman for her kindness to him and Adams at her house, in their flight for fear of the British, made a present to her of a cow.

About 700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were given secret orders to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Through effective intelligence gathering, Patriot colonials had received word weeks before the expedition that their supplies might be at risk and had moved most of them to other locations. They also received details about British plans on the night before the battle and were able to rapidly notify the area militias of the enemy movement.

Lexington and Concord Map

The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back, and the regulars proceeded on to Concord, where they searched for the supplies.

At the North Bridge in Concord, approximately 500 militiamen fought and defeated three companies of the King’s troops.  The outnumbered regulars fell back from the minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory.

Concord Bridge Reenactment

More militiamen arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the regulars as they marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Smith’s expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Brigadier General Hugh Percy. The combined force, now of about 1,700 men, marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown. The accumulated militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.

2. Patriots’ Day 

Patriot’s Day is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is observed  in Massachusetts  and Maine (once part of Massachusetts), and is a public school observance day in Wisconsin. Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, (around 6:00 am) and The Old North Bridge in Concord (around 9:00 am). In the morning, mounted re-enactors with state police escorts retrace the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings the whole way.

Since 1969, the holiday has been observed on the third Monday in April, providing a three-day long weekend. Previously, it had been designated as April 19 in observance of the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

The Boston Marathon is run on Patriots’ Day every year so many Bostonians know the holiday as “Marathon Monday”.

The Boston Marathon started in 1897 building on the success of the first modern Olympics in 1896.

The Boston Red Sox have traditionally been scheduled to play at home in Fenway Park on Patriots’ Day every year since 1959.  Since 1968 the games have started early, in the morning, around 11:00 am. The early start to these games usually resulted in the game ending just as the marathon is heading through Kenmore Square.

The Red Sox game starts at 11 am on  Patriot’s Day


3. Marched on the Alarm of April 19th 

Simon NEWCOMB’s grandson-in-law Capt. David Barber (1716 Hebron, CT – 1801 Hebron)

David was an inn‑keeper, and a well‑to‑do merchant in Hebron, but lost his fortune in the Revolution, when he held a wealth of continental currency, which became worthless. He was a Deputy to the Connecticut General Assembly 1769‑72. He also was a Captain in the Militia.

David enlisted for 15 days in the Lexington Alarm, and also joined Capt. James Clark’s Company, 1775, to march to Boston, where they were at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Later he was stationed at Peekskill NY, and participated in the Battle of Saratoga. In 1778 he was appointed Captain in the 8th Company of the 1st Connecticut Regiment. He was a Justice of the Peace from 1777 on.

Edward HAZEN Jr.’s grandson-in-law Jonathan Foster (1719 in Shrewsbury – 1821 in Cortland,  New York)

Jonathan enlisted in 1775; Pvt. New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Served in the Company commanded by Captain Christopher Woodbridge in the Massachusetts line:

Fought and was wounded in the Battle of Bunker Hill:

Applied for and received a pension in 1818;

Widow Mercy applied and received pension in 1831;

‘Revolutionary War Pension File’ #W14742

Edward HAZEN Jr.’s grandson Benjamin Jewett (1724 Groton – 1776 Ticonderoga, New York)

Jewett, Benjamin, Pepperell. Private, Capt. Asa Lawrence’s company, Col. William Prescott’s regiment.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted April 25, 1775; service, 3 mos. 8 days.

William Prescott (1726 – 1795) was an American colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded the rebel forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Prescott is known for his order to his soldiers, “Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes”, such that the rebel troops may shoot at the enemy at shorter ranges, and therefore more accurately and lethally, and so conserve their limited stocks of ammunition.

In 1774, when Massachusetts towns began forming militia companies, Prescott was made a colonel commanding the Pepperell company. Asa Lawrence and Henry Farwell were elected to lead the two companies of about fifty men each.

The alarm that was raised on the evening of April 18, 1775, that British troops were marching on Concord reached Pepperell about 10 a.m. on April 19. The alarm spread quickly to the surrounding countryside, and by late morning the two Pepperell minuteman companies were marching toward Concord, some fifteen miles away. They arrived too late for the fighting so they hurried toward Cambridge, camping overnight at Lexington. At Cambridge, they joined the hundreds, later thousands, of militiamen who were to bottle up General Gage’s Regulars, until the British had to abandon Boston in March of 1776. A few days after the Lexington and Concord action the troops that stayed were enlisted into a Continental Army under the command of General Artemus Ward. Colonel Prescott’s nine companies became the 10th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Line.

On May 25th Prescott’s company captains, to make sure that there would be no change of command, certified in writing to the “Honorable Congress of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay now sitting in Watertown” that they were “well contented with their officers.”

On May 27th, a mixed force of about 200 men under the command of Colonel John Nixon, which including the two Groton companies, were dispatched to remove livestock from Noddle’s and Hogg Islands, now known as East Boston, but in 1775 it was a swampy area on the north shore of Boston harbor. The British detected the movement and sent the schooner H.M.S. Diana, with a company of Royal Marines, to intercept the colonials. After a brief skirmish, the Marines were forced to return to their ship, which then took the militiamen under fire from its ship’s guns. Shortly thereafter, the H.M.S. Diana ran aground in one of the shallow channels, caught by the ebbing tide. Listing badly, her guns no longer could be brought to bear. The British were forced to abandon ship.

Wading through waist deep water, Captain Asa Lawrence led a boarding party which burned the H.M.S. Diana, but only after removing her twelve cannons and other supplies.

Several of our cousins were in Asa Lawrence’s company including Benjamin Jewett, David Hazen  and Nathaniel Shattuck.

On June 16th, Colonel Prescott was ordered to take command of the regiments of Colonel Bridge and Frye, and with his men, proceed to Bunker Hill, under cover of darkness, and erect fortifications to preempt a possible breakout of the British by way of the Charlestown peninsula. Because Prescott’s men thought they would be relieved after the breastworks were completed, they took only their entrancing tools, a minimum supply of ammunition, and almost no food or water. They disobeyed their orders by marching past Bunker Hill to Breed’s Hill, where they worked quietly through the night without being detected. But, with the coming of daylight the surprised British opened a heavy barrage from Copp’s Hill in Boston and from four warships anchored in the Charles River, less then a mile away. Prescott’s men continued their digging in spite of this bombardment, suffering several casualties, including Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding of Asa Lawrence’s company, who was decapitated by a cannon ball as he stood next to Colonel William Prescott.

The British lost 226 killed and 828 wounded for a total of 1,054 or nearly fifty percent of the 2,300 British soldiers engaged. Many companies of about forty men each had only three or four men left, and casualties among the officers were well over fifty percent. A month after the battle, General George Washington put the American losses at 115 killed, 305 wounded and 30 missing, for a total of 450, out of the 1,500 who were actually engaged. More men were lost from Groton than from any other town, a total of twelve, including six of Asa’s men who were killed outright and a number of others wounded.

Thomas FRENCH Srs son Joseph French (1729 Attleboro – 1794 Attleboro)

Served as a Private in Capt. Moses Wilmarth’s 9th company, Col. John Daggett’s 4th Bristol Regiment which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 served 9 days. Also on the alarm caused by the Battle of Bunker Hill (company order of the Town Treasurer of Attleboro July 5, 1775.

Three of Stephen DOW II’s grandsons were at Lexington.

Reuben Dow (1729 Salem NH – 1811 Hollis, NH)

Reuben entered  the Hollis, New Hampshire militia and was its 1st Lieut. when Lexington was fought.  The captain was temporarily incapacitated so Reuben marched to Lexington as acting Captain.

A month later, he was commissioned Captain, the commission to Reuben Dow, gentleman, signed by Gen Joseph Warren, president pro tem of the Mass Provincial Congress. [Warren was commissioned a Major General in the colony's militia shortly before the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Rather than exercising his rank, Warren served in the battle as a private soldier, and was killed in combat when British troops stormed the redoubt atop Breed's Hill. ]

Hollis had been wide awake long in advance and the ordinarily peaceful militia had been carefully drilled for service. 7 Nov 1774, Deacon Stephen Jewett, Ensign Stephen Ames and Lieut. Reuben Dow were a committee to attend a county congress to arrange defense action.  The town then adopted a resolution “that we will at all times endeavor to maintain our liberty and priviledges both civil and sacred, even at the risque of our lives and fortunes, etc.”

Dow’s Company began as the Hollis, NH Militia Company. After receiving word of the Lexington Alarm on the afternoon of April 19, 1775 a total of 92 men marched to Cambridge before dawn the following day. Being a typical New England unit, they opted to elect new officers and NCO’s before they left. In this election, Reuben Dow was elected Captain, John Goss as 1st Lieut., and John Cummings as 2nd Lieut. Four Sergeants and four Corporals were also chosen.

According to town legend, the march to Cambridge was not only long but hot, and they stopped to quench their thirst at a tavern in the Billerica area, where they may have stayed for a few days.  The march to Lexington was made on foot and after a few days the Hollis company returned home to prepare further for the next fight and await the call.   (Reuben’s story is continued in the Siege of Boston)

Richard Dow (1730 Salem NH – 1798 Bow, NH)

 Richard was elected captain of the new company and his commission confirmed by the Continental Congress.  He left four young children to march to Lexington; enlisted 1776 in Col. Joshua Wingate’s regiment for Canadian service.  Next year he was elected captain of the Salem, NH company organized by his father Richard Dow Sr. and was attached to Col. Nathan Hale’s regiment.

Oliver Dow  (1736 Salem, NH- 1824, Waterville, Maine);

Oliver held a Lieutenancy in the Revolutionary War; and later reenlisted as a private. Oliver was a saddler.

15 May – 18 Dec 1756 private in Capt. Samuel Watt company Col Nathaniel Meserve (Wiki) regiment.    During the French and Indian War Colonel Meserve led the New Hampshire Provincial Regiment in 1756 to Fort Edward New York. In the spring of 1756 two New Hampshire battalions were raised with Col. Nathaniel Meserve in command. The 1st battalion was sent to Nova Scotia and the 2nd to the newly built Fort William Henry.

Oliver  was in Salem, NH early in 1775 was due either to a visit or in the expectation of hostilities.  He was at Bunker Hill and 9 Jul 1776 was a 2nd Lieut under  Lieut. Col. Thomas Stickney (wiki).  It would be remarkable for a commissioned officer to re-enlist as a privte, but some Oliver Dow served 21 days in the RI campaign, Capt. Daniel Emerson, Col. Moses, Nichols, mustered out Aug 1778 and we know of no other Oliver.

Birth of Liberty

David WING IV (1732 Brewster  – 1806 Dennis)

19 Apr 1775 – Wing, David, Sandwich. Private, Capt. Ward Swift’s (2nd Sandwich) co. of militia, which marched in response to the alarm.

6 Sep 1778 – Also, Capt. Swift’s co., Col Freeman’s regiment. service 10 days, on an alarm at Dartmouth and Falmouth.

1778 – In Capt. Ward Swift’s company of militia, which marched on the Lexington Alarm

Israel HAZEN’s  son-in-law Nehemiah Jewett  (1737 in Ipswich, Mass – 1815  Ipswich, Mass.)

Nehemiah Jewett from Ipswich served three days in Capt. Moses Jewett’s troop of horse, which marched to Medford on the alarm of 19 April 1775.

Nehemiah was one of the troopers who signed the following document  Source:  Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, by Thomas Franklin Waters, Sarah Goodhue and John Wise.  Published by the Ipswich Historical Society.

14 Nov 1774 , Ipswich, Essex, Mass

The Troop of Horse in the third Regiment of Militia in the County of Essex, Being about to choose their Officers, (agreeable to the Advice of the Provincial Congress) came into the following Agreement this fourteenth day of November, Anno Domini 1774, viz…

We the Subscribers the Troopers hereafter Named promise to subject ourselves to the Officers that may be chosen whither it be the captn or other Officers under him, duely Chosen by a Major part of the Troop, and that we will attend all military Musters, and in case of Delinquency, we Promise to pay a fine as By-Law in that case is made and provided, unless a Reasonable Excuse be given to the Commanding Officer for the time being, in witness whereof We have hereunto sett our hands the Day & year above written

Elihu MINER Sr’s son-in-law Joshua Gates (1737 East Haddam, CT – 1781 East Haddam)

Joshua marched for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm, April 1775 and was on the roll of Captain Eliphalet Holmes Company of Minute-Men which was raised in May 1776. D. Williams Patterson said he was a sergeant in the Revolutionary Army..

Edward HAZEN II’grandson Edward Hazen (1738 Groton – 1796 Little Falls, Herkimer, NY)

Private in Capt. Joseph Hammond’s Company which responded to the Lexington Alarm, April 1775; also in Capt. Davis Howlett’s Co., Col. Ashley’s Regt., N. H. Militia, which marched from Keene to reinforce the Continental Army at Ticonderoga 3 to 11 July 1777.

He was also in Capt. Samuel Wright’s Company, which marched from Winchester to join Stark’s command at Bennington and Stillwater; the pay-roll of 23 Feb 1778 reported to the town meeting reads: ‘Edward Hazen, 12 days to Cambridge, 12 days to Otter Creek, and two months by his son: 6.19.2 pounds.’

Samuel DANFORTH’s son Lt. Joseph Danforth (1738 Newbury – 1807)

19 Apr 1775 – Joseph was a Sergeant in Capt. Jacob Gerriah’s company wich marched on the alarm to Cambridge. Service 6 days.

18 Mar 1777 – Joseph was Lieutenant in Capt Caleb Kimball’s company, Col. Gerriah’s regiment receiving wages for 4 mos. 20 days service at Winter Hill. Regiment detatched from militia of Suffolk and Essex counties to reinforce amry under Gen. Washington.

13 Nov 1777 – Company deteached from militia to guard Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne’s amry.

14 Oct 1779 – Joseph was 1st Lieutenant in Capt. Stephen Jenkin’s company, Col. Gerriah’s regiment.  22 Nov 1779 – Discharged

John WING IV’s grandson James Bangs (1738 in Harwich, Barnstable, Mass –  1810 Stanstead, Quebec, Canada)

Bangs, James, Williamsburg. Sergeant, Capt. Abel Thayer’s co., which marched April 21, 1775, in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 7 days; reported enlisted into the army April 28, 1775; also, Capt. Thayer’s co., Col. John Fellows’s regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted April 28, 1775; service, 3 mos. 11 days; also, company return dated Dorchester, Oct., 1775.

Thomas JEWELL III’s son-in-law  John Eastman (1739 in Rumford, Merrimack, New Hampshire –  8 Jul 1777 in Fort Ann, Washington, New York)

John volunteered in 1775 and marched to Charlestown. He was in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He enlisted again in Jan or Feb 1776 under Capt. John Hale and marched to Canada under Col. John Stark and when returned enlisted again under Capt. Nathaniel Hutchins, Col. Cilley’s Regiment. John was was shot in the head at the Battle of Fort Ann near Saratoga and died instantly.

The Battle of Fort Anne,  fought on July 8, 1777, was an engagement between Continental Army forces in retreat from Fort Ticonderoga and forward elements of John Burgoyne’s much larger British army that had driven them from Ticonderoga, early in the Saratoga campaign of the American Revolutionary War.

Israel HAZEN’s son Jacob (~1739 Rowley, Mass. – 1795 Rowley ) Sgt.  Served under Capt. Israel Herrick, of Boxford, in 1760, in the Canadian campaign, French and Indian War. [Gage, History of Rowley, p. 225.]

He enlisted, 15 Feb  1775, in Capt. William Perley’s Company of Minutemen, Col. James Frye’s Regiment, (10th Massachusetts Regiment), which was in service seven days at the time of the Lexington Alarm, 19 Apr. 1775. Return of men in camp at Cambridge dated May 17, 1775;  Disbanded December 31, 1775.

Those men who enlisted for eight months in the Cambridge campaign:

Jacob Hazen, Asa Smith, John Towne, Andrew Peabody, Allen Perley, Robert Andrews, Joshua Andrews, Samuel Brown, Rufus Burnham, Thomas Dwinnell, Job Davis, Stephen Emery, Edmund Herrick, John Hale, Stephen Perley, Daniel Peabody, Joshua Rea, Jonathan Wood, Moses Wood, Eliphalet Wood, John Wild (or Willet), Seth Burnham, Nathaniel Fuller, Jacob Perkins, Ivory Hovey, Samuel Cole, Eliphalet Cole, Moses Carleton, Nathan Kimball, jr., Enoch Kimball, Benjamin Foster, Asahel Goodridge, John Stiles, John Towne, jr., Elijah Gould, Joseph Simmons, Robert Perkins, Joseph Peabody, Stephen Gould, jr., Daniel Cole, Dudley Foster, Moses Kimball, Ebenezer Peabody, Stephen Merrill, Moses Porter, jr., Jeremiah Robinson, David Sessions, Elijah Clark, and Jonathan Gilman. (from The History of Boxford)

Most of Frye’s regiment was assigned to Col. Prescott and worked to build and defend the redoubt and adjacent breastwork at Bunker Hill, but I can find no evidence Perley’s Company was included. One source cites Frye as being sick at the beginning of the battle and not with the men, another has him wounded during the battle..

Francis RICHARDSON’s grandson Samuel Tiffany (1739 Attleboro, Bristol, Mass –  1781)

Samuel Tiffany Jr, Attleborough, was a private in Capt. Stephen Richardson’s (Attleborough) company of Minutemen which marched probably on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 6 days; He enlisted into the army May 15, 1775 as a Corporal in Capt. Moses Knapp’s company, Col. Joseph Read’s regiment; company return dated Roxbury, Sept. 25, 1775; also, order for bounty coat dated Camp at Roxbury, Nov. 21, 1775; also, Corporal, Capt. Stephen Richardson’s 4th (2d Attleborough, also given Attleborough No. 12) co., Col. Daggett’s regiment.; list of men who were in the 8 months service at Roxbury in 1775, known as the 1st campaign.

Edward HAZEN II’s grandson Samuel Hazen (1740 Groton – 1815 Shirley)

Samuel’s descendant Mr. Thomas L. Hazen reports in “Beside old hearth-stones“. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1897.

“My great-great grandfather Samuel Hazen Jr was at work in these acres [the southerly part of Shirley, not far from the Longley-Hazen Mill] when the alarm of the 19th of April reached him. He immediadately left his plough, ran to the house, took his gun and powder horn [the horn was in possession of Thomas L Hazen in 1897] and said to his wife “Betty, you take care of the children and the cattle! I must go! The family then consisted of five children, the eldest not ten years and the youngest less than two months. He, with the others from Shirley reached Acton about eleven o’clock where they heard of the fight at Concord and of the retreat; but they concluded to march on, and pursued the enemy to Cambridge. Samuel Hazen remained there thirteen days and later joined the army and was made captain of the Shirley company.

Nathaniel PEASE‘s son William Pease (1741 Enfield, CT – 1787 New Hartford, CT)

Responded to the Lexington alarm as private in Capt. Seth Smith’s company from New Hartford, CT.   He was engaged as a teamster in the Revolutionary War under the direction of Commissary General Jeremiah Wadsworth.

Francis BROWN II’s son Capt. Thomas Brown (1745 Newbury – 1803 Essex, Mass)

He was first a private in Capt. Moses Little’s company of minute-men who marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge – Service 5 days.  His story continues below with the Siege of Boston.

Capt. William CLARK’s grandson Lt. Col.  William Clark V. (1742 New Lebanon, CT – 1825 Naples, Ontario, New York)

William Clark V. was  commissioned ensign  of the 6th Regiment of the Connecticut Colony in 1772. Removed with his father to Gageborough (afterwards Windsor)    He was 1st  Lieutenant. in Capt. Nathan Watkins Company of minute men which  which marched Apr 22 1775, in response to the alarm of Apr 19  1775 He was also in Capt. Bliss’ company Col Paterson’s regiment reported commissioned May 3 1776.

He was chosen Captain by election 8th company, 2nd Berkshire Regiment May 4, 1776. and fought at the Battle of Bennington Aug 1777.

Six of Thomas COLEMAN’s grandsons marched on the alarm of April 19

Capt. Thomas Stickney (1734 in Bradford, Mass –  1808 in Bradford)  was a private in Col. Mulliken’s regiment in expedition to Nova Scotia in 1755.  Thomas was first lieutenant of Capt. Nathan Gage’s company of Bradford, Massachusetts which marched on the alarm Apr 19 1775 to Cambridge and participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

In 1777 he was first lieutenant in Capt Joseph Enton’s company, Colonel Samuel Johnson’s regiment Aug 5 1777 to Dec 12 1777. Thomas commanded this company in the Battle of Bennington and was wounded there.

Eleazer Spofford (1739 in Georgetown, Mass – 1828 Jeffery, New Hampshire) was Quartermaster in Col. Daniel Spofford’s regiment of militia.  Col. Spofford marched to Cambridge, April 19, 1775

Thomas Tyler (1741 Rowley – 4 Nov 1776)  Thomas was on the Alarm List and belonged to the Train Band in 1757. He marched on the Lexington Alarm as a private in Capt James Sawyer’s company, James Frye’s Regiment.

At around 7 a.m. on April 19th word came to the town that 700 British Regulars were marching toward Lexington and Concord, presumably to seize a cache of weapons and ammunition stockpiled by the colonials. The bell at the North Parish Meeting House was rung to sound the alarm. The two new companies of Col. Frye’s Andover Minute Men quickly assembled and started marching through Tewksbury, Billerica and into Bedford. There they learned that the British were retreating back to Boston. The Andover Minute Men turned southeast in pursuit. They eventually reached Cambridge where they camped overnight awaiting further instructions.

He was in camp in Cambridge, May 17. His name appears on the Coat Rolls for December 26, 1775, and he was in the Continental Army in 1776. His name appears on a receipt dated March 14, 1777, ” he being deceased.”

Asa Harriman (1742 in Newbury, Mass -1819 Raymond, New Hampshire) was a private in Capt. Eliphalet Spofford’s company, Col. Samuel Genishe’ regiment which marched on the alarm of April 19 1775 from west parish of Rowley to Cambridge a distance of about 32 miles.   Dismissed April 23, 1775.   Spofford was the father-in-law of Asa’s cousin Benjamin Adams

John COLEMAN (1744 Newbury, Mass – 1823, Vassalboro, Maine) was a private in Captain John Walter’s Company, Colonel David Green’s Regiment (2d Middlesex Co) which marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775 (Service 5 days – Page 534 Mass Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War.

Benjamin Adams (1747 in Georgetown – 1812 Georgetown) was a private in Captain John Brickett’s company which marched on the alarm on Apr 20, 1775 in response to the alarm of Apr 19 to Cambridge service 4 days.  

William CLARK Jr’s grandson-in-law Pelatiah Holbrook (1743 in Lebanon, CT – d  1798 Poultney,  Vermont)   Pelatiah was a prince against whom Ezekiel prophesied, and who fell dead at the close of the prophecy Eze 11:1-13 (no wonder this wasn’t a popular baby name choice)

Pelatiah served as a sergeant in Daniel Tilton’s company during the Lexington Alarm in service 18 days and was paid 1 pound 10 shillings and 9 pence.

Private in Capt. Daniel Dewey’s company Col. Obidiah Hosford’s 12th Regiment of Connecticut State Militia marched to East Chester New York in Sep 1776.

Edward HAZEN II’grandson  Benjamin Hazen  (1745 in Groton, Mass – 1807 Groton, Mass.);

Benjamin was a Private in Capt. Josiah Sartell’s company which marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr. 1775 (Lexington) to headquarters at Cambridge, fourteen days; also Private on a Pay roll, dated 13 Jan. 1776, of Capt. Henry Haskell’s Co., Col. Prescott’s Regt., mileage to and from headquarters, seventy miles; also Fifer, Capt. Zachariah Fitch’s Co., Col. Samuel Brewer’s Regt., service 23 Aug. to 30 Sept 1776.

Edward HAZEN II’grandson-in-law Nathaniel Shattuck (1746 Groton – 1815 Groton)

Shattuck, Nathaniel, Groton Private, Captain Asa Lawrence’s Company; Col. William Prescott’s Regiment Muster Rolls dated Aug 1 1775; Enlisted as a private, 25 April 1775, Service 3 months, 8 days; Also company returned dated Oct 6 1776 reported absent

Francis RICHARDSON’s grandson Jedediah Richardson (1747 Attleboro, Bristol, Mass – 1838 Shipton, Richmond, Quebec)

Jedediah of Attleboro marched as fifer to the Battle of Lexington against the British in 1775.  It’s ironic that  37 years later, in 1812, he watched two of his sons go to war for the British and against the United States.

Richardson, Jedediah, Attleborough. Fifer, Capt. Moses Willmarth’s (9th) co., Col. John Daggett’s (4th Bristol Co.) regt., which marched in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 7 days; also, Capt. Stephen Richardson’s 4th (2nd Attleborough, also given Attleborough No. 12) company, Col. John Daggett’s regiment.; list of men who were in the 8 months service at Roxbury in 1775, known as the 1st campaign; also, list of men belonging to Capt. Richardson’s co. of No. 12 Attleborough who hired for the Grand Campaign of all for 3 years or during the war; said Richardson, with others, hired Samuel Bentley.

Jedediah, Private, Capt. Alexander Foster’s co., Col. Isaac Dean’s regt.; marched July 31, 1780; discharged Aug. 8, 1780; service, 10 days, including 2 days (36 miles) travel home; company marched to Tiverton, R. I., on the alarm of July 31, 1780. Roll sworn to at Attleborough.

Edward HAZEN II’grandson-in-law  Jacob Patch ( 1747 Groton. – 1818 Groton)

MILITARY MARKER
Jacob Patch
Corpral in Capt. Josiah Sawtell’s Company
Minute Men April 19, 1775
Private Captain Thomas Warren’s Company
Colbrook’s Regiment
At White Plains

Jacob’s brother Simon was wounded in the thigh at the Battle of White Plains on Oct 28, 1776. Jacob in a distance of more than 200-miles brought him home to Groton, MA on a litter (made by fitting the butt end of small trees to the stirrups of a saddle and covered with a sack of hay). Simon died of these wounds on Dec. 31, 1776 at his father’s home in Groton.

Battle of White Plains - 225th Anniversary Reinactment

Battle of White Plains – 225th Anniversary Reinactment

Robert CROSS’ grandson Nathaniel Cross (1747 Ipswich, Essex, Mass –  1800 Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire)  Private, Capt. Thomas Burnham’s co., which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 3 days.

John CHAPLIN’s grandson David Chaplin (1754 Rowley, Essex, Mass – Waterford, Oxford, Maine) was a private in Capt. Abraham How’s co. of Minute-men, which marched from Ipswich (West Parish) on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 2 days;  His brothers Joseph,  John , and  Daniel  all served in the Revolutionary War.

Also, Capt. John Baker’s co., Col. Moses Little’s (17th) regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted May 11 (also given May 2), 1775; service, 2 mos. 26 days; also, company return [probably Oct., 1775]; age, 17 yrs.; also, order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated in camp Dec. 11, 1775;

Also, Capt. Thomas Mighill’s co., Col. Loammi Baldwin’s (26th) regt.; pay abstracts for Jan.-May, 1776;also, pay abstract for June, 1776, dated New York; 

Also, account of guns returned by persons in the 26th regt. while at Trenton Dec. 31, 1776, and Jan. 1, 1777;

Also, Capt. Benjamin Adams’s co., Col. Johnson’s regt.; enlisted Aug. 15, 1777; discharged Nov. 30, 1777; service, 4 mos., with Northern army

Seth RICHARSON II (1755  Attleboro– 1824 Attleboro).

Seth marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775

Seth Richardson II Son of the American Revolution Application by Bradford Monroe Lindsley

Seth Richardson American Revolution Membership Application by Rex Dodge

Seth Richard Revolutionary War Service  Elias, David and Daniel Bolkom were his wife’s cousins. Source: A sketch of the history of Attleborough: from its settlement to the division By John Daggett 1894

Seth’s commanding officer, Capt. Stephen Richardson (1737 Attleboro – 1808 Attleboro)  was also his 2nd cousin (great grandson of Stephen RICHARDSON)

Col Stephen Richardson commanded a company under Colonel John Daggett and was made Colonel in 1778.

At the first outbreak of the Revolution,he took an active and leading part in opposition to the oppressive measures of the British ministry. On Dec. 6, 1774, Attleboro established “a superior and an inferior court, to hear and determine controversies that had arisen, or might arise in that town.”

Of seven inferior judges, Capt. Stephen Richardson was one. March 19, 1776, he was chosen a member of the ” Committee of  Correspondence, Inspection, and Safety.” May 22, 1776, he was chosen one of a committee of five to prepare instructions to the representative of Attleboro, Capt. John Stearns. Among other things, it was enjoined on the representative, that if the Continental Congress should declare the country independent of Great Britain, he should, in behalf of the town, sustain and defend them in so doing.

Joseph Read (March 6, 1732 – September 22, 1801) was a soldier and a Colonel in the American Revolutionary War.  He was a lieutenant colonel at the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19 1775. Note that Seth’s service started 8 days later on Apr 27.  Thereafter, until the end of 1776, Read served as colonel in command of several regiments of the Massachusetts Line.

The Massachusetts Line was a formation within the Continental Army. The term “Massachusetts Line” referred to the quota of numbered infantry regiments assigned to Massachusetts at various times by the Continental Congress. These, together with similar contingents from the other twelve states, formed the Continental Line. The concept was particularly important in relation to the promotion of commissioned officers. Officers of the Continental Army below the rank of brigadier general were ordinarily ineligible for promotion except in the line of their own state.

In the course of the war, 59 infantry regiments were assigned to the Massachusetts Line. This included the 27 provincial regiments of 1775, the 16 numbered Continental regiments of 1776, the 15 Massachusetts regiments of 1777, and Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment, which later became the 16th Massachusetts Regiment.

Seth Richardson Roxbury Campaignn Source: A sketch of the history of Attleborough: from its settlement to the division By John Daggett 1894

The 4th Massachusetts Bay Provincial Regiment was commanded by Colonel Theophilus Cotton, of Plymouth,  who served as colonel until the end of the year.  In August 1775, Cotton’s Regiment was designated “The 16th Regiment of Foot.” It served in the Siege of Boston until its disbandment.

Seth Richardson and his father-in-law Thomas French were on a Secret Mission in 1777  – Source: A sketch of the history of Attleborough: from its settlement to the division By John Daggett 1894

I haven’t been able to unravel much about this secret expedition except the company marched from Taunton Sept. 29, 1777

4. Enlisted in 1775

Thomas FRENCH Jr (1722 Attleboro – 1793 Attleboro)

Private in Captain Alexander Foster’s Company, Colonel John Daggett’s Regiment marching to Bristol Rhode Island on the alarm Dec 8, 1776. Service 25 Days. December 8, 1776 at Newport, Rhode Island – Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, under orders from Gen. William Howe, who had found Clinton’s insistent advice aggrevating, sailed into Newport with 6,000 soldiers and took possession of Newport without any resistance. Conclusion: British Victory.

Thomas’ sons Christopher and Thomas French Jr. also served in the Revolutionary War. Christopher was Corporal in Captain Isreal Trows Company, in Colonel Josiah Whitneys regiment. the company served in Rhode Island from May 14, 1777 to July 6, 1777.

Jonathan WILMARTHs grandson John Dryer (1725 Rehoboth – 1787 Rehoboth)

“He was a Lieutenant in the Rev. War.”; He was a minute man in Rehoboth who enlisted after hearing the news from Lexington and Concord. He served until the War was over despite his age of being over 50 years old.

John Dryer SAR Application

Thomas COLEMAN’s grandson Lt. Dudley Tyler (1739 Rowley . –  1822 Georgetown)

Dudley was in active service in the French and Indian Wars in 1757, 1759, and later campaigns. He was seven years m the Revolution and was in the Battle of Bunker Hill ; during the time from 1776-1782 his name occurs with frequency on the Revolutionary rolls. He was promoted from ensign to first lieutenant ; was lieutenant in a company of Colonel Thomas Nixon’s 6th Massachusetts regiment ; was wounded at the Battle of Princeton, Jan 3, 1777.

Dudley served as a lieutenant during the entire War of the Revolution, but is said to have failed to receive a pension by leaving the camp at White Plains previous to the formalities of a discharge, though his duties as a soldier were at an end.  In 1757-1760 he owned the Francis Brocklebank place in Rowley. He died, however, in the almshouse.

Alexander BALCOM Jr‘s grandson Daniel Balcom (1739 Attleboro – 1788 Attleboro)

Daniel was also a solider in Captain Richardson’s Company of the Fourth Regiment at Roxbury in 1775

Balckom, Daniel, Attleborough.Private, Capt. Moses Knap’s co., Col. Joseph Reed’s regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted May 8, 1775; service, 3 mos. 1 day.

Balcom, Daniel, Attleborough.Private, Capt. Thomas Hunt’s (8th) co., Col. Henry Jackson’s regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from June 28, 1777, to May 15, 1779; reported deserted May 15, 1779; also, Capt. James Jones’s co., Gen. Jackson’s regt.; pay roll for Feb., 1778, dated Guelph, Pa.; also, pay rolls for June, July and Aug., 1778, dated Providence; also, pay roll for Sept., 1778, dated Pawtuxet; also, pay roll for Nov., 1778; also, pay rolls for Feb.-April, 1779, dated Pawtuxet; reported on command at Newtown in April; enlistment, 3 years.

 Sgt Elihu MINER Jr. (1745 East Haddam, CT – 1821 East Haddam, CT) 

Elihu enlisted 12 May 1775, 1st Company, Col Joseph Spencer‘s 2nd Connecticut Provincial Regiment

Col Joseph Spencer

  • Served at the Siege of Boston,  Bunker Hill, and Arnold’s expedition to Canada.
  • Elihu enlisted again 4 Mar 1777, in Capt Eliphalet Holmes 1st Connecticut Regiment, Col Jedediah Huntington‘s Brigade.
  • Dec 1777 – Jan 1778 On Command
  • Feb 1778 – On Command at Fishkill .  During the Revolution, Fishkill New York was the site of a large supply depot. The depot supplied the northern department of the Continental Army, who were responsible for securing the Highlands and keeping the British from moving north of New York City.
  • Mar 1778 – Sick at Fishkill
  • Apr – Jun 1778 – Tending Sick at Yellow Springs.     America’s first true military’ hospital constructed for that purpose was built at Yellow Springs, a popular health spa about 10 miles west of Valley Forge.  About 300 sick men were accommodated in the large three-story wood structure.

    Yellow Springs Revolutionary War Hospital

  • Washington once visited the Yellow Springs Hospital and stopped to exchange a few words with each patient. Dr. Bodo Otto, an elderly German and his two physician sons, ran the hospital until the end of the war.
  • Much of the sickness was traceable to unhealthy sanitation and poor personal hygiene. Washington constantly complained of the failure to clear the Encampment of filth, which included rotting carcasses of horses. The Commander-in-Chief even issued orders concerning the use and care of privies, but men relieved themselves wherever they felt.  In the absence of wells, water was drawn from the Schuylkill River and nearby creeks. Men and animals often relieved themselves upstream from where water for drinking was drawn.
  • Elihu enlisted third time as Sgt in Capt Zechariah Hungerford’s Company, Col. Samuel McClellan‘s Connecticut militia.
  • Elihu probably participated in the Battle of Groton Heights which was very near his home in East Haddam.
  • He filed for pension, S-36135, 14 Apr 1818 in Middlesex Co, CT.

Elihu Miner – Revolutionary War Pension

Edward HAZEN Jr.’s grandson David Hazen (1751 Groton – 1826 Groton)

Enlisted as a private, 25 April 1775, in Col. Asa Lawrence’s Co., Col. William Prescott’s Regiment, serving three months, eight days. He was also a Private in Capt. Aaron Jewett’s Co., Col. Samuel Bullard’s Regiment, enlisted 15 Aug. 1777, discharged 29 Nov. 1777; this company marched to Saratoga. Col. William Prescott’s Regiment fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill.(Extract from The Hazen Family in America. A Genealogy by Tracy Elliot Hazen, Ph.D. 1947)

Thomas COLEMAN’s grandson Dr. Isaac Spofford (1752 Rowley  –  1786 Beverly, Mass.) was a Physician, Revolutionary War veteran.

Dr. Isaac Spofford studied medicine in Haverhill under Dr. Brickett. After a short period practicing medicine in Topsfield, he removed to Beverly. He served as Continental Army as surgeon in Colonel Thomas Nixon’s 6th Massachusetts regiment.   (See Dudley Tyler’s section below for the story of this regiment) Isaac  was included on a list of surgeons to whom warrants were issued Jun 28, 1775 and was commissioned Jul 5, 1775 by the Massachusetts Prov. Congress. He was among the 31 medical men who rendered service at the battle of Bunker Hill.

During the battle of Bunker Hill the 6th Massachusetts Regiment, under the command of Colonel John Nixon, was positioned in the redoubt on Breeds Hill near Captain Jonathan Brewer and Captain William Prescott regiments. During General William Howe‘s first attack on Breed’s Hill, Nixon was wounded and was withdrawn from the battle. The remaining members of the regiment withdrew when the redoubt was overtaken by Howe’s second attack.

Thomas SKINNER’s grandson Benjamin Capron (1752 Attleboro – 1815  Attleboro ) was a  Private, in Capt. Stephen Richardson’s Attleboro co. of Minute-men, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 6 days; reported enlisted into the army May 15, 1775.

Benjamin was an Ensign, in Capt. Moses Knap’s Attleboro co., Col. Joseph Read’s regt.; list of officers dated Camp at Roxbury, May 18, 1775; also, 2d Lieutenant, same co. and regt.; company return dated Roxbury, Sept. 25, 1775; also, Lieutenant; list of men in Capt. Richardson’s co. of No. 12 Attleborough who served in the 1st campaign, known as the 8 months campaign.

Capron, Benjamin, Jr., Attleborough. Order for wages, etc., on Ephraim Newell, Town Treasurer of Attleborough, dated July 5, 1776, for service on the alarm caused by the battle of Bunker Hill; also, list of men in Capt. Richardson’s co. of No. 12 Attleborough serving in the 9th campaign, known as the quot;quarter-draft” or three months campaign, begun in Dec., 1776; also, Capt. Stephen Richardson’s 4th (2d Attleborough) co., Col. Daggett’s regt.; list of men serving in the 10th campaign, known as the “quarter” or three months campaign at Howland’s Ferry in 1776 and 1777.

Jospeh BALCOM‘s son Elijah Balcom (1752 Attleboro – 1796 Attleboro)

Elijah Bolkcom also served in Captain Stephen Richardson’s Company, second in Fourth Regiment in the “Second Campaign for Cambridge” and in what was called “The Six Week Campaign” in Roxbury, Masschusetts both in 1775.

Baloom, Elijah.Private, Capt. Seth Clark’s co., Barnstable Co. regt.; service between July 1 and Dec. 31, 1775, 5 mos. 27 days.

Balcom, Elijah, Douglas.Private, Capt. Samuel Baldwin’s co., Col. Dike’s regt.; return of men in service from Dec. 14, 1776, to March 1, 1777; reported discharged Jan. 27, 1777.

He also served in the Ninth Campaign in York in 1776.

.

5. The Siege of Boston

The Boston campaign was the opening campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The campaign was primarily concerned with the formation of American colonial irregular militia units, and their transformation into a unified Continental Army.

The accumulated militia surrounded the city of Boston, beginning the Siege of Boston. The main action during the siege, the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, was one of the bloodiest encounters of the entire war. There were also numerous skirmishes near Boston and the coastal areas of Boston, resulting in either loss of life, military supplies, or both.

Throughought May, the British had been receiving reinforcements, until they reached a strength of about 6,000 men. On May 25, three Generals arrived on HMS CerberusWilliam HoweJohn Burgoyne, and Henry Clinton. Gage began planning to break out of the city.

The plan decided on by the British command was to fortify both Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights. They fixed the date for taking Dorchester Heights at June 18. On June 15, the colonists’ Committee of Safety learned of the British plans. In response, they sent instructions to General Ward to fortify Bunker Hill and the heights of Charlestown; he ordered Colonel William Prescott to do so. On the night of June 16, Prescott led 1,200 men over the Charlestown Neck, and constructed fortifications on Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill.   One of his six companies was under the command of our relative, Capt. Reuben Dow.

The fortification of Breed’s Hill was more provocative than fortification of Bunker Hill would have been; it would have put offensive artillery closer to Boston. It also exposed the forces there to the possibility of being trapped, as they probably could not properly defend against attempts by the British to land troops and take control of Charlestown Neck. If the British had taken that step, they might have had a victory with many fewer casualties.  This move would not have been without risks of its own, as the colonists could have made holding the Neck expensive with fire from the high ground in Cambridge.

The first British attack on Bunker Hill. Shaded areas are hills.

Some work was performed on Bunker Hill, but Breed’s Hill was closer to Boston and viewed as being more defensible. Arguably against orders, Putnam, Prescott, and their engineer, Captain Richard Gridley, decided to build their primary redoubt there.  Prescott and his men, using Gridley’s outline, began digging a square fortification about 130 feet  on a side with ditches and earthen walls. The walls of the redoubt were about 6 feet ( high, with a wooden platform inside on which men could stand and fire over the walls.

The works on Breed’s Hill did not go unnoticed by the British. General Clinton, out on reconnaissance that night, was aware of them, and tried to convince Gage and Howe that they needed to prepare to attack the position at daylight. British sentries were also aware of the activity, but most apparently did not think it cause for alarm. Then, in the early predawn, around 4:00 am, a sentry on board HMS Lively spotted the new fortification, and notified her captain. Lively opened fire, temporarily halting the colonists’ work. Aboard his flagship HMS Somerset, Admiral Samuel Graves awoke, irritated by the gunfire that he had not ordered, He stopped it, only to have General Gage countermand his decision when he became fully aware of the situation in the morning. He ordered all 128 guns in the harbor, as well as batteries atop Copp’s Hill in Boston, to fire on the colonial position, which had relatively little effect.  The rising sun also alerted Prescott to a significant problem with the location of the redoubt – it could easily be flanked on either side. He promptly ordered his men to begin constructing a breastwork running down the hill to the east, deciding he did not have the manpower to also build additional defenses to the west of the redoubt.

The British leadership was slow to act once the works on Breed’s Hill were spotted. It was 2 pm when the troops were ready for the assault, roughly ten hours after the Lively first opened fire.   Prescott, seeing the British preparations, called for reinforcements. Among the reinforcements were Joseph Warren, the popular young leader of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, and Seth Pomeroy, an aging Massachusetts militia leader. Both of these men held commissions of rank, but chose to serve as infantry.

The third assault, concentrated on the redoubt, was successful, although the colonists again poured musket fire into the British ranks. The defenders had run out of ammunition, reducing the battle to close combat. The British had the advantage once they entered the redoubt, as their troops were equipped with bayonets on their muskets while most of the colonists were not. Colonel Prescott, one of the last colonists to leave the redoubt, parried bayonet thrusts with his normally ceremonial sabre. It is during the retreat from the redoubt that Joseph Warren was killed.

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull Rather than exercising his rank, Warren served in the battle as a private soldier. Joseph Warren had given our ancestor Reuben Dow his commission

Warren was appointed a Major General by the Provincial Congress on June 14, 1775. He arrived where the militia was forming and asked where would the heaviest fighting be; General Israel Putnam pointed to Breeds Hill. He volunteered as a private against the wishes of General Putnam and Colonel William Prescott, who requested that he serve as their commander. Since Putnam and Prescott were more experienced with war he declined command. He was among those inspiring the men to hold rank against superior numbers. Warren was known to have repeatedly declared of the British: “These fellows say we won’t fight! By Heaven, I hope I shall die up to my knees in blood!” He fought in the redoubt until out of ammunition, and remained until the British made their third and final assault on the hill to give time for the militia to escape. He was killed instantly by a musket ball in the head by a British officer (possibly Lieutenant Lord Rawdon) who recognized him. This account is supported by a 2011 forensic analysis. His body was stripped of clothing and he was bayoneted until unrecognizable, and then shoved into a shallow ditch.

Colonel Prescott was of the opinion that the third assault would have been repulsed, had his forces in the redoubt been reinforced with either more men, or more supplies of ammunition and powder

The retreat of much of the colonial forces from the peninsula was made possible in part by the controlled retreat of the forces along the rail fence, led by John Stark and Thomas Knowlton, which prevented the encirclement of the hill. Their disciplined retreat, described by Burgoyne as “no flight; it was even covered with bravery and military skill”, was so effective that most of the wounded were saved; most of the prisoners taken by the British were mortally wounded.    By 5 pm, the colonists had retreated over the Charlestown Neck to fortified positions in Cambridge, and the British were in control of the peninsula.

The British succeeded in their tactical objective of taking the high ground on the Charlestown peninsula, but they suffered significant losses. With some 1,000 men killed or wounded, including 92 officers killed, the British losses were so heavy that there were no further direct attacks on American forces.  The Americans, while losing the battle, had again stood against the British regulars with some success, as they had successfully repelled two assaults on Breed’s Hill during the engagement.  From this point, the siege essentially became a stalemate.

In July 1775, George Washington took command of the assembled militia and transformed them into a more coherent army. On March 4, 1776, the colonial army fortified Dorchester Heights with cannon capable of reaching Boston and British ships in the harbor. The siege (and the campaign) ended on March 17, 1776, with the withdrawal of British forces from Boston.

Stephen DOW II’s grandson Capt. Reuben Dow (1729 Salem NH – 1811 Hollis, NH )

In our previous episode, Reuben marched his company from Holllis, NH to Lexington on the alarm April 19 and returned home..

Thirty-Nine of his privates returned home in the next few weeks, however Fifty-Three of them volunteered in various units to serve for Eight months. Most of them re-enlisted in a new company under Captain Dow and the same Lieutenants. Shortly after the commencement of the Siege of Boston they were incorporated into Prescott’s Massachusetts Regiment as part of the Grand Massachusetts Army.  Prescott owned land in Hollis and knew most of the men very well, so it must have seemed a natural choice for them to fall under his command, rather than one of the unknown Colonels from New Hampshire.

The call came quickly, so unexpectedly that Reuben’s little son Daniel was left to unyoke the oxen from the plough.  Mrs. Dow made an equal division of the blankets in her store room and her mess pork, one half going to the soldiers.  The company marched 69 strong all Hollis men, assigned to Col.William Prescott, making up roughly one-sixth of his regiment.   It was the second to arrive on the field at Bunker Hill and spent the night of June 16 digging trenches.  Next day, 16 Jun 1775 they were on the firing line

Six men from the Company were killed in the battle, including the 1st Sgt, and eight men were wounded. Rueben was struck in the right ankle by a bullet which shattered the bone.

Nevertheless, he made the retreat in good order with his troops.   The bullet, which was extracted, is still preserved; but the effects of the wound are said to have eventually caused or hastened his demise.  The regiment, as a whole, recorded Forty-Two killed and Twenty-Eight wounded.

By year’s end the enlistments of Captain Dow’s men ran out. Some returned home, many were signed on in other units, and some were discharged with pensions due to wounds. Captain Dow was in this last category. He returned to Hollis and served as Chairman of the Committee of Safety.

On account of his disability he was continued for a short time on half pay, later reduced to quarter.  In 1783 he was cited to appear before the State authorities to show cause whey his pension should not be discontinued.  A large number of witnesses were examined concerning Reuben’s ability to care for himself and the verdict confirmed his pension for life.  He died 9 Feb 1811; he and his wife buried in Hollis church yard.  In 1927, the homestead with all its Revolutionary reliecs was owned by Charles Jeremiah Bell (bcdeabeaa).

He had three sons, Daniel, Stephen and Evan.  Evan was a private under his father at Bunker Hill.  There are four instances of a Dow grandfatherm, father and son being in Revolutionary service at the same time,.

Francis BROWN II’s son Capt. Thomas Brown (1745 Newbury – 1803 Essex, Mass)

His story started 19 Apr 1755 as a a private in Capt. Moses Little’s company of minute-men who marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge – Service 5 days.

Next he was an ensign in Capt. Jacob Gerrish’s Company, Col. Moses Little’s Essex County Regiment. This regiment reach ed Cambridge the morning of battle of Bunker Hill 17 Jun 1775 and although not yet mustered into service, it volunteered to go into action.  Just prior to the action, further reinforcements arrived, including portions of Massachusetts regiments of Colonels Brewer, NixonWoodbridgeLittle, and Major Moore, as well as Callender’s company of artillery

Most of the Regiment including Gerrish’s Company crossed the Charlestown Neck under the fire of British ships on marched into the entrenchments on Bunker Hill.  Gerrish’s Company was with their townsman Little in the redoubt.

Mrs. Brown with her slave Titus followed the regiment to Cambridge.  The night after the battle, she filled a pillow case with provisions (mostly doughnuts made by herself) and placed it on Titus’ back and went with him to Winter Hill to which point most of the continental troops had retreated.  After his freedom had been given him, Titus remained a faithful servant of the family until his death.

Thomas later became First Lieutenant  under Capt. Barnard of the same regiment and then Captain of the Newbury Company under Col Aaron Willard’s Regiment.  As Captain, he marched to Fort Ticonderoga and thence to Fort Edwards to join forces against Burgoyne.

Jasiel PERRY’s  grandson Elijah Perry (1752 Rehoboth –  1779 Woodstock, Windham, CT)

Elijah Perry Rehoboth.Private, Capt. Samuel Bliss’s co. of Minute-men, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service to April 27, 1775, 1 week 1 day.

Perry, Elijah.Corporal, Capt. James Hills’s co., Col. Carpenter’s regt.; enlisted Dec. 8, 1776; discharged Dec. 22, 1776; service, 15 days, on the alarm at Bristol, R. I., of Dec. 8, 1776; roll dated Bristol and sworn to at Rehoboth;also, Sergeant, Capt. James Hills’s co., Col. John Dagget’s regt.; copy of a list of men stationed at Bristol for 3 months from Dec. 28, 1776.

Elijah Perry, Private, Capt. James Hills’s co., Col. Williams’s regt.; service from Sept. 29, 1777, at Tiverton; reported enlisted out Oct. 9, 1777. Roll sworn to at Rehoboth.

Elijah Perry, Sergeant, Capt. Ichabod Wade’s (Light Infantry) co., Col. George Williams’s regt.; service, 21 days; company stationed at Tiverton Oct. 7, 1777. Roll sworn to at Rehoboth.

Perry, Elijah, Rehoboth.Descriptive list of men mustered by James Leonard, Muster Master, to serve in the Continental Army for the term of 9 months from the time of their arrival at Fishkill, agreeable to resolve of April 20, 1778, dated Taunton, June 1, 1778; Capt. Joseph Franklin’s 10th (Rehoboth) co., Col. Thomas Carpenter’s (1st Bristol Co.) regt.; age, 25 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 10 in.; complexion, light; hair, dark; eyes, blue; residence, Rehoboth; engaged for town of Rehoboth; arrived at Fishkill June 16, 1778; also, list of men returned as received of Jonathan Warner, Commissioner, by Col. R. Putnam, July 20, 1778.

Elijah Perry, Rehoboth (probably).List of men drafted to serve at Rhode Island for 1 month, dated March 13, 1779.

Joseph COLEMAN (1765 Newbury, Mass – 1858 Lewiston, Maine)

Joseph’s father John Coleman lived nearby during Battle of Bunker Hill – Boston.   Family legend says Joseph, 9 yrs old, was awakened the night before  by the sound of his father and other men “running bullets and making cartridges for use in the anticipated battle.”

Several of Isaac ESTEY’s grandsons marched on the alarm April 19 from Topsfield

“At a Meeting of the Alarm List and Training Band of the Foot company, in Topsfield, on the 5th of December, 1774  to choose officers for the said Company, (agreeable to the advice of the Provincial Congress), voted, Mr. Stephen Perkins, chairman; voted, Mr. Joseph Gould. Captain.

The Day being Spent, a Motion was made for said Meeting to be adjourned to the next Morning9 o’clock; the Question was put and passed in the Affirmative and accordingly said Meeting was adjourned to said Time.

December 6. Said Alarm List and Training Band met according to adjournment, a Motion was made said Company to be divided into two distinct Companies; the Question was put and accordingly they were divided into two Companies: the first Company voted Mr. Joseph Gould. Captain; Mr. Samuel Cummings, Lieutenant; Mr. Thomas Moore, Ensign; and all the other Officers by a great Majority. The second Company voted Mr. Stephen Perkins, Captain; Mr. Samuel Dodge, Lieutenant; Mr. David Perkins, Ensignand all the other Officers by a great Majority.” (Essex Gazette, Dec. 27, 1774.)

On April 19, 1775 the two companies of the Topsfield Militia left their plows in midfurrow and galloped off to Lexington and Concord to help drive the Redcoats back to Boston. They did not see active service on that day, however, as they arrived after the battle was over.

February 13, 1777, the town voted to give eight pounds to those who volunteered to serve three years in the American army in addition to what Congress granted. A month later the amount was raised to eighteen pounds.

In May, 1778, a rate of one hundred and twenty pounds was assessed to defray the charges of clothing for the Topsfield soldiers in the continental army.

In 1780, the town voted to purchase eight thousand four hundred and forty pounds of beef for the army. In 1777, a committee was formed to look after the soldiers’ families if need be.

South Ward Company

A muster Roll of Capt. Joseph Gould; Company of the Militia whereof John Baker Esq. is Coll. who marched on the 19th day of April last past in consequence of the Alarm made on that Day by the English Troops. Topsfield, December 26, 1775. The company marched 6O miles and saw a service of 3 to 5 days. Capt. Gould was paid £ l-6-5, while the privates received about 12s 19 3/4d. as an average.”

Isaac Estey’s grandchildren

David Balch (1714-1787)

Daniel Eatesy (1739-1830)

Wm Eatesy (1748)

Benjamin Dwinell (1726 – 1805)

Moses Perkins (1732-1807)

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6 Responses to Minutemen – April 19, 1775

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