As I’ve been writing “Honor and Valor”, book two of Duty in the Cause of Liberty, I have had to get back into research mode. I always look for journals written by the men who were there–these journals have an authenticity historians cannot replicate. In writing about the lead-up to the evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga, I found a reference to the “Diary of Lieut. Nathan Weare Kept at Ticonderoga and During the Retreat, 1777.” It was in:
Brown, Warren. 1900 “History of the Town of Hampton Falls New Hampshire From the Time of the First Settlement within its Borders 1640 until 1900.” John B. Clark Co.. Manchester, NH. pp 244-249.
Nathan Weare and his older Brother Richard were the sons of New Hampshire Governor Meshech Weare. Both were in Col. Alexander Scammell’s 3rd NH Regiment.
What was even better is Nathan’s diary specifically mentioned Isaac Frye several times, describing duties he was involved with in April and May. I was thrilled because that was a gap where I had very little information telling what Isaac was doing.
Then I read the rest of the Weare’s journal …
He mentions “Capt. McGregor”, which did not initially catch my attention. At the outset of 1777, David McGregor was the first lieutenant of Captain Daniel Livermore’s company. He was promoted on Aug 4, 1777, to replace Nathan’s brother, Richard who died of wounds sustained at Fort Anne.
A little more checking showed Nathan Weare was a Sergeant in his brother’s company (Richard ranked as a captain) on September 5, 1777. The feature image of this post shows the section listing Nathan in the Sergeant’s column. It is worth noting such rolls were often filled out ahead of time, sometimes weeks and months, and each man’s disposition on the day the roll was taken was added. Another record shows Nathan was promoted to ensign on the same day that McGregor was promoted to captain.
By this point, it was obvious that Nathan Weare’s journal was not written in or about 1777. The dates of 17 through 26 May tell of marching to Easton, PA, and mentions Major General John Sullivan.
Thus, it became clear this journal was actually for the year 1779 and told of the events leading up to Sullivan’s Expedition, rather the retreat from Ticonderoga. It is also perplexing to note that the name Ticonderoga did not appear anywhere in the text of Weare’s journal. Further, Weare’s diary just barely goes into the month of June; the retreat from Ticonderoga occurred in July, so it is a wonder how this diary came to have such a misleading name.