Happy 4th of July! After publishing the List of Americans in the Battle of Breed’s Hill from the Rolls last year, I had intended to also publish the ArcGIS Pro map I used as part of the research to compile the list. I am finally sharing that here today.
I continue my Memorial Day habit of documenting little-known soldiers of the American Revolution who made the ultimate sacrifice. This year I chose two. They were equals in pay, misery, risk, and soldierly duties.
The Americans at Fort Ticonderoga numbered about 3,000 with a majority being Continental Army soldiers and the rest Massachusetts and New Hampshire militia. On boats they carried cannon and baggage south toward Skenesborough (now Whitehall), though most marched east and then turned south toward Hubbardton. Will Burton, barely 15-years-old, a fifer with the 3rd New Hampshire Continental Regiment, and likely full of adrenaline marched with them
"a Scout of 40 men under Command of Capt. fry of Colo. Scammels Regt. was Surpris'd By a Body of Indians & others Consisting in the whole of about 300. we Lost out our scout 9 men kild & taken--"
Do the math: In the Battle of Freeman's Farm, the Americans fired upwards of 60,000 bullets and maybe 1,000 found an enemy soldier. The British fired about the same number and only hit half as many Americans.
Got to love the Internet for providing the basis to connect the threads of history! See my comment proposing the connecting the thread at the end.
In the last post, I related a Knickerbocker family legend that the fort near the Mansion was occupied by Hessian soldiers at the time of the battle of Saratoga. Though I doubt very much that that was true, there is no doubt that there were bands of Tories, Indians, and perhaps Hessians and British roaming through the area during the summer of 1777 before the battle of Saratoga. Major Dirck VanVeghten of the local militia unit, the 14th Albany County, was killed by one band when he came from Saratoga just before the battle to check on his home in Schaghticoke. One source states that VanVeghten came home on “an intelligence gathering mission.” In either event, he was accompanied only by Solomon Acker, one of the soldiers in his company of the 14th Albany County Militia.
The story of Major VanVeghten really illustrates the great variety…
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This Memorial Day, take some time to consider what you've learned from a Revolutionary War soldier who was killed or died while serving.
On May 5, 1776, General George Washington wrote to Congress. Among the many items was this paragraph:
"I beg leave to lay before Congress, a Copy of the proceedings of a Court Martial upon Lieutenant Grover of the 2d. Regiment, and of his defence, which I should not have troubled them with, had I not conceived the Courts Sentence upon the facts stated in the proceedings, of a singular nature; the small fine imposed, by no means adequate to the enormity of his offence
Early on I learned my ancestor, Isaac Frye, recruited a company of soldiers for the Continental Army in early 1777. He ranked as a captain at that time, and records show was given 300£, for to be paid as bounties to induce the men to enlist.
For years, I took that literally, i.e., he was given species as in hard sterling silver money. In those days that was enough money to buy a nice plot of land.
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.