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British Invasion of
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut,
TOGETHER WITH SO.ME ACCOUNT OF THEIR LANDING
AND UURNING THE TOWNS OF FAIRFIELD
AND NORWALK, JULY, 1779.
CHARLES HERVEY TOWNSHEND.
NEW HAVEN, CONN
New Haven, Connecticut,
TOGETHER WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THEIR LANDING
AND BURNING THE TOWNS OF FAIRFIELD
AND NORWALK, JULY, 1779.
CHARLES HERVEY TOWNSHEND.
NEW HAVEN, CONN.
BY CHARLES HERVEY TOWNSHEND.
NEW HAVEN :
TUTTLE, MOREHOUSE & TAYLOR, PRINTERS.
l8 79 .
NEW HAVEN, CONN., JUNE 26, 1879.
CHAS. HERVEY TOWNSEND, ESQ.
Dear Sir: We have read with great interest your recent
communications to the Morning Journal and Courier relating to the " Invasion of
New Haven by the British forces in 1779." They comprise a fuller account of
the incidents of that event than has yet appeared in print. For the benefit of
those who are to come after us, we request you now to collect and publish this
account in a form more accessible and permanent than the columns of a daily
Yours very sincerely,
JAMES E. ENGLISH,
THOMAS R. TROWBRIDGE,
W. G-. ANDREWS,
H. B. BlGELOW,
ELI W. BLAKE,
THEODORE D. WOOLSEY,
W. L. KINGSLEY,
N. D. SPERRY,
S. E. BALDWIN,
E. E. BEARDSLEY,
CHAS. R. INGERSOLL,
HENRY Gr. LEWIS.
During the boyhood of the compiler it was with the greatest delight that he
listened to the traditional account of the invasion and evacuation of New Haven
by British troops, JuVy, 1779, as related by old citizens ; and as he grew older, he
began to note down their stories, and subsequently to verify them. Without
realizing it, he found the mass of material collected was sufficiently interesting to
himself to induce him to prepare the manuscript which from time to time has
appeared (by request) in print. It was his intention to let it rest in the files of a
morning daily paper, but having been requested by a number of gentlemen of
this city to reproduce the newspaper account in pamphlet form "for the benefit
of those who are to come after us," he has, in compliance with their wishes,
decided to do so. He will here say that it makes no claim as a literary produc-
tion ; the sole object has been to bring forward and preserve existing traditions
which are nearly all supported by documentary evidence obtained from official
sources (on both sides of the Atlantic) relating to this epoch in New Haven's
The brief time allowed for publication will, he trusts, be a sufficient excuse for
repetitions and other errors.
C. H. T.
NEW HAVEN, JUNE 25, 1879.
ACTION TAKEN BY NEW HA.VEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR CEN-
TENNIAL ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, JULY 4ra, 1879.
LETTER FROM THE RRV. DR. BACON.
Feb. 10th, 1879.
To the Honorable the Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of the City of New
Gentlemen The fourth day of July in the current year will complete the 100th
year since the day when New Haven was invaded by a British arrny then rav-
aging our coast, and by the valor of the citizen defenders was saven from the
In behalf of the committee representing the New Haven Colony Historical
Society, I beg leave to submit for your consideration the question whether the
coming anniversary of that day might not be observed with public commem-
If to you it shall seem fit and desirable thus to commemorate the fifth of July,
1779, we respectfully request of your honorable body the appointment of a com-
mittee to confer with the Historical Society, or with any other citizens concerning
the arrangements for such a celebration.
The committee of the Historical Society are Henry Bronson, M. D., and John-
son T. Platt with the subscriber, your obedient servant,
In response to the communication the following committee was appointed no
the subject by the city government :
Aldermen Fuller and Greeley, Councilmen Merrels, Doershuck, Studley, Mache-
leidt, Lum, Chase and O'Connor.
April 5th the following committee was nominated to act with the committee of
the Court of Common Council :
His Honor the Mayor,
E. S. Greeley,
T. R. Trowbridge,,
H. L. Hotchkiss,
S. R. Smith,
N. D. Sperry,
C. R. Ingersoll,
H. B. Harrison,
E. E. Beardsley,
L. W. Sperry,
J. M. Bacon,
H. G-. Lewis,
A. C. Hendrick,
T. A. Tuttle,
J. G. Healey,
R. S. Ives,
G. M. Harmon,
G. H. Ford,
Chas. H. Townsend,
W. J. Atwater,
Jerome B. Lucke,
J. D. Dewell,
Herbert E. Benton,
Dunn, J. G.
A sub-committee, consisting of Rev. Dr. Bacon, Colonel John E. Earle, Capt.
Charles H. Townseud, George A. Harmon, General S. R. Smith, Chief A. C.
Hendrick, Rutherford Trowbridge, William J. Atwater, and M. Frank Tyler, was
appointed to prepare a plan for a celebration.
Early in June the city government appropriated $1,500 to be expended for the
celebration, and $3,500 additional was subscribed by citizens.
Many meetings of the general and sub-committees followed, and the work
of preparation was entered into with great zeal and spirit, and a general public
interest was manifested. Other committees were appointed.
The following Citizens' Committee was appointed :
ON INVITATIONS. His Honor H. B. Bigelow, General S. R. Smith, Chief A. C.
Hendrick, Chief Charles Webster, Capt. Thomas K. Dunn, Charles E. Fowler,
Frederick Botsford, Fred. H. Waldron, A. H. Hurlburt, Patrick O'Connor, F. H.
Hooker, Capt. Geo. M. Harmon, Jerome B. Lucke, Herbert E. Benton, William
Rodman, Henry D. Walker, Rutherford Trowbridge, George R. Cooley, A. Hea-
ton Robertson, John P. Studley, and William A. Beers.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
As historians have told us, the Colony of Connecticut made
itself very obnoxious to the British, Hessian and Tory troops
stationed in and around the neighborhood of New York, by having
manufactured largely for the Continentals munitions of war,
army and navy supplies, besides fitting out frequent expeditions
by land and water, causing great annoyance to the invaders
and their Tory sympathizers, and seriously interfering with all
plans laid down by the British Government and the commanding-
general of the army, Sir Henry Clinton, Kt., who, in the spring of
1779, had his headquarters at the city of New York.
Sir Henry, therefore, considering the great assistance this
Colony had rendered to the rebellion, it having furnished more
troops than any other except Massachusetts, and as more than
three-fourths of its inhabitants were disloyal, conceived a plan to
inflict on it a severe punishment as soon as his successful expedi-
tion up the Hudson should return, after it had captured Stony
Point and other strong works held by the Americans on both
sides of the river below 'West Point. He accordingly organized
a plan for a summer's campaign into Connecticut, the approach to
be made from New York via East River and Long Island Sound.
The land forces for this expedition, 3,000 well disciplined and
perfectly equipped troops, were placed under the command of
Major General William Try on, who was then Colonial Governor
of New York. They were embarked on board a fleet just
returned from an expedition to the Chesapeake which had
been commanded by Commodore Sir George Collier, Kt., who
was then the senior officer on the North American station and
acting Commander-in-chief of all the British naval forces in
American waters. The fleet was manned by a crew of sailors
and marines estimated at 2,000 men, and was the largest
that had ever entered Long Island Sound.* The ships se-
* The fleet, afterwards employed to transport the British from Newport to New
York, consisting of 110 sail, passed New Haven by daylight, making a fine display.
lected were of light draught, and the largest was the Camilla
frigate, Captain Collins, on which Sir George hoisted his pennant
as flagship. The others were the Greyhound, Captain Dickson ;
the Scorpion, Captain - ; and probably the Virginia. These
and other men-of-war, with transports and tenders to the number
of 48 sail, dropped down the East river, passing Hell Gate, to the
entrance of the Sound, and rendezvoused off Whitestone, where
they were joined by the commanding general and staff. About
the 1st of July they got under way, with light southwest gales
and fine weather, and arrived off Huntington, L. I., July 3. There
they were joined by the Commodore, Sir George, who then made
known to the expedition that New Haven was their port of
The sea and land forces are estimated at 5,000 men. Besides
the commanding officers already mentioned there we.re Brigadier-
General Garth, Colonel William Fanning, Colonel Parker,
Adjt. Campbell, and two brothers, William and Thomas Chandler
(sons of Joshua Chandler, of New Haven, barrister-at-law), the
last of whom acted as guides to the expedition, the former to the
west and the latter to the east division as they marched on the
town. The movement of this fleet was watched from the north
shore while its rendezvous was at Whitestone, and its approach
announced by signals made from the principal headlands by day
and beacon fires at night. It was hardly known to the people
of New Haven that their town was the enemy's destination (it
having been rumored that a fleet was preparing for the eastward,
and Newport or New London were supposed to be its first place of
rendezvous) until they had passed Stratford and nearly reached
our harbor, which was late on the evening of July 4th.
That night about 10 o'clock, the signal gun aroused the people of
this neighborhood, and about midnight the whole fleet was at
anchor, the large ships about one mile southwest of the reef of rocks
known as Southwest Ledge, on which the new light-house now
stands. The small vessels came into the mouth of the harbor, and
at 5 o'clock, July 5th (which was at about high tide), the First
division of 1,500 men and four field pieces had landed at Savin
Rock, under the protection of the guns of the small vessels and
galleys, which had come well into the harbor. This division of
1,500 perfectly disciplined and equipped troops, the flower of the
expedition, was under the command of Brig. -Gen. Garth, and con-
sisted of the flank companies of the Guards, the Fiisileers, the
Fifty-fourth regiment, and a detachment of the Yagers, and it im-
mediately marched to West Haven Green, where they seemed to
have arrived without much annoyance or delay. We will turn our
attention to the fleet at anchor in the offing with the Second division,
which, on return of the boats after landing the First division,
entered the boats at about 8 P. M., and were pulling for the shore
with their commander, General Tryon. This body, of about
1,500 men, was composed of the Twenty-third regiment, the Hes-
sian Landgrave, King's American regiment, and two pieces
of cannon. An eye-witness mentions standing on the site at
Morris Point, where the old light-house stands, and thus describes
the imposing scene : " Before, looking seaward, were the broad
waters of Long Island Sound, and north and westward New
Haven's beautiful bay, both studded with the ships of the enemy's
fleet, the shore fringed with summer green forest and meadow,
and in the back-ground the ' Old Sentinels,' the ' Red Mounts '
(East and West Rocks), standing forth in bold relief, seeming to
say, ' Thus far arid no farther shalt thou come, for all before us is
under our care. One step farther and we will arouse the " Sleep-
ing Giant" (Mt. Carmel), who will dash thee back from whence
thou earnest ; leave us in peace is all we ask.' "
As soon as the boats got within range, the field piece, which a
company of East Haven patriots had hauled to the beach at
Morris Point and masked, opened fire, and when half a mile
distant the line of boats divided, one division putting into Morris
Cove; but on account of the well-served battery of three guns
on Black Rock they were compelled to land near where the Grove
House wharf is built. The other landed on the beach east of the
outer rocky point, and as it landed an officer hailed the shore,
saying, "Disperse, ye rebels," and the next moment fell back into
the boat, dead, from the fire of this detachment, who were armed
with rifles. This was the first of the enemy killed on the east
shore, and it was probably Ensign and Adjutant Walkins of the
King's American regiment, which was commanded by Colonel
Edmund Fanning, a graduate of Yale College and son-in-law of
Major General Tryon. The influence of this officer, it is said, con-
tributed to save the town in the latter part of the day from being
consigned to the flames.
It is probable that the firing on this division while landing,
by the small company of the patriots, consisting of not more
than fifty men, was the occasion of the wholesale destruction of
the houses and barns and fields of grain, with one or two excep-
tions, on the road leading from Morris Point to both ferries.
This company was probably under the direction of Captain Josiah
Bradley and Captain Amos Morris, the owner of the Morris
estate, and said to be a near relative of the Morrises of Morrisana,
in Westchester county, New York. His commission, which he
had probably resigned, as captain of the 3d company of Train
band of New Haven, still in the possession of the family, bears
date Oct. 31st, 1748, signed by Thomas Fitch, Esq., general and
commander-in-chief of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut, and
witnessed by his secretary, George Wyllys. His son, Thomas
Morris, was town clerk of East Haven.
Before proceeding farther with the second division, an outline
description of the topography of the west part of East Haven
town and a description of some of its roads, as they then existed,
may be useful as a guide to follow the invaders on their march.
The patriots fell back on their main body, who were entrenched
on Beacon Hill (now the site of Fort Wooster), but were driven
out after considerable slaughter of the enemy, and made a final
stand on the Heights, east of Fair Haven, Foxon and Saltonstall
mountains, with outposts on East Haven green.
The main body, after forming on the beach and thi-owing out
skirmishers, one party going along the Fowler Creek meadows,
east side, and the other along the beach, protected by a section of
marines and sailors in boats in Morris Cove, took up its march.
The road led from the town of New Haven over the bridge
across Mill river to the Neck, which bore at the time and lias ever
since, the name " Neck Bridge," and is noted as being the place
where Goffe and Whalley, the Regicide Judges, concealed them-
selves by standing under it, in water chin deep, while the
officers sent by Charles II. to arrest them rode over the bridge.
This road forked to the south-east, meeting the river at Pardee
Ferry, near the present west end of Quinnipiac bridge. The
other fork of the road followed along the foot of East Rock, across
Lewis' bridge and meadows, eastward toward Middletown and
Connecticut river, branching southward through the Davenport
Farm and east of Fair Haven Heights until it came to the resi-
dence of the late George Landcraft, Avhere a short path joined the
Pardee Ferry, east side, at Red Rock. It then went south-
ward from Landcraft's, by a circuitous route, past Mr. Roswell
Landcraft's to Woodwardtown, then forking eastward to East
Haven Center, and southward to Morris Cove and Fowler Creek.
There were two roads leading from Woodwardtown to the two
ferries, both of which were in continual -use during the evening's
sojourn of the troops in this vicinity. The lower ferry crossing
from Stable Point a few rods north of the east end of Tomlinson's
Bridge, connected with a street from the town through the Oyster
Shell Fields, to about the head of Bridge street. On this site was
a bluff with trees on it similar to the cedars below Hallock Place.
On this bluff was an earthwork, armed with guns taken from a
vessel that had been hauled up the Mill and Quinnipiac rivers out
of harm's way. The earthwork with those on Beacon Hill and at
the West river and Black Rock Fort, poorly manned, were the
only obstacles that this powerful land and sea force had to oppose
them. I will here add that the shores of the town at this date
faced the harbor and Mill river, with bluffs from Neck Bridge to
the Dyke, the other side of which was Mt. Pleasant, quite an
important rise within the memory of the writer. Here and there
was a gully, letting off the surface water which had collected on
the plateau east of the town, and from parts not drained by the
As the advance guard of this division approached the Morris
mansion, it is probable that they were frequently fired upon, and
this grand old manor house, built of stone (but now sheathed
with pine), was consigned to the flames, as well as all barns and
outbuildings and several fields of grain ; also the cattle and other
animals were slaughtered and sent on board the fleet as rations for
the crews. Captain Morris and some friends barely escaped cap-
ture, and in less than one hour nothing remained but the black
walls and towering chimneys of one of Connecticut's finest man-
sions. The march from the Point to the Palisades opposite the
residence of the late Admiral Gregory's family was very rapid,
and three houses belonging to the Pardees, and one to a brother
of Captain Morris, were destroyed. One of the Pardee houses,
(Jacob Pardee's, father of Capt. Chandler Pardee), was held, how-
ever, for a short time as Tryon's headquarters. General Tryon ,it
appears, landed here, and from the top of the Palisades he prob-
ably directed the storming of the Rock Fort, which resulted in the
slaughter of several of its brave defenders, besides numbers of the
enemy, while the captain and others were made prisoners of war
and carried away on the fleet. Among them were Joseph Tuttle
and son, whose house, which stood on the west side of the road a
few rods north of the Townsend house, was at that moment in
The enemy did not get possession of the Rock Fort until its
brave defenders had expended all their ammunition. The brave
patriots then spiked and dismounted the guns, and those that were
able when the landing party took possession retreated along the
beach northward, but were captured when not far distant by the
skirmishers. The advance guard of the main body had by this
time arrived at about the site of the residence of the Hon. Charles
L. Mitchell, and were marching in columns at a double quick, with
fixed bayonets, drums beating and colors flying, carrying all
before them like the whirlwind.
Mr. Joseph Pardee's home was now a smoking mass of ruins.
The family had barely time to throw into an ox cart valuables
which they buried in Bridge swamp, a few rods north-east of
Jeddy Andrews' house. The enemy destroyed everything there,
and several of them had bit the dust and were buried in the thick
woods just off the road. Our troops were forced back, step by
step, but were being now largely reinforced from North Haven,
Hamden, Cheshire and Wallingford. Some of the East Haven
patriots had fallen back on the road east of Prospect Hill ; others
remained with the main body, fighting and disputing every inch
of the way and keeping up a galling fire upon the British from
bushes and hedges in front and flank; and from this point was a
continual slaughter, until the earthworks on Beacon Hill were
carried. They had now reached a more open country than the
Morris and Gregson grants just passed over, and were on the
Tuttle grant, which had its northern boundary at the second ferry
at Red Rock.
The tide having turned flood, during the afternoon and toward
high water Sir George detailed a squadron of light draught ves-
sels, galleys and fleet boats to assist the land force on the east
side, who seem to have met with a check. Leaving the "Camilla"
and fleet in charge of Captain Collins, and taking command of
this squadron in person, the Commodore sailed up the bay, anchor-
ing his vessels according to their draught, the last one, a gun boat,
athwart the first ferry opposite the earthworks on the bluff' (now
Bridge street), which was then occupied by His Majesty's troops
as well as the Pier, now a part of Union or Long Wharf.
The condition of affairs in the harbor at 2 o'clock was about
this : A line of the enemy's ships lay anchored the whole length
of the bay, with springs on their cables and guns run out on both
sides ready to belch forth fire and destruction as soon as the
expected order should be given to fire the town.
I have often heard described the appearance of this divis-
ion marching in column (on the road since named Townsend
avenue) by those whose fathers were eye-witnesses of the
scene. On each side of the road, two rods wide, was fencing,
composed of bushes, stone, and, in some instances a Virginia
fence. The patriot fojces were about equally divided, some in the
road, and some in the fields, keeping back the skirmishers, and
getting an occasional volley into the advance guard, always with
There were also two field pieces in the street, which would open
a raking fire, and then be rapidly hauled back by the brave
patriots and then moved to a new position, each shot making a
swath through the ranks of the invaders. On the left, and just
north of the Townsend house, stood the quiet home of Mr.
Joseph Tuttle, surrounded with gardens, orchards and meadow,
and his golden field of grain, just ripe for the harvest, but not yet
cut. Before, looking westward, a landscape of remarkable and
diversified beauty, and at the time said to be second to none in
New England ; the pointed spires of the "old" churches (Trinity
and Red Brick), with Yale College just peeping through the trees,
marking the spot of future wealth and increasing knowledge. To
the north-east, Beacon Hill, then often called Grave and Tuttle
Hill, on which was marshalled the flower of New Haven's yeo-
manry. Eastward, and directly back of the Townsend house, is
Prospect Hill, on which next day, when the enemy were retiring
to their ships, one of the signal corps was stationed (by the chief-
tain's grave, a red sandstone boulder), out of whose number the
commander and two of his men (whose remains were buried at the
foot of the hill) were picked off by Captain Jedediah Andrews and
some of his neighbors. Andrews and party had crawled up in a
louse fog then prevailing, under cover of the hedges and bushes,
and picked off their men with their Queen Anne arms, or long
ducking guns, while the party was cooking a sheep for breakfast.
Evergreens, o'errun with bittersweet and greenbrier, now mark
Mr. Joseph Tnttle, before mentioned, had gone forth the morn-
ing of the 5th, with his eldest son, then a lad of 1 7, to meet the
invader and fight for his home and fireside. They were of the
little garrison of 19 men under the command (supposed) of Capt.
Moulthrop in the Rock Fort, and were among the number cap-
tured and carried away by the fleet to New York. His wile with
six children (one an infant) yoked the oxen, threw a few useful
things into the cart, buried the silver plate in an iron pot among
some weeds in the garden, and went to the north part of the
town, looking behind at their home in flames. They were the
parents of the Rev. Timothy Tuttle, of Ledyard, Connecticut, a
graduate of Yale College.
The enemy had now nearly i-eached the object of their march,
but here met with a severe check. To the north-east of the Tuttle
house, on the site of the residence of the Hon. A. L. Fabrique,
was a clump of bushes, and toward the road a brush hedge. Some
40 of the patriots masked themselves behind this hedge. Below,
our troops were hard pressed, as the enemy's cannon were better
served, and it was decided to make one more stand, fire and fall
back up the road to the entrenchment on Beacon Hill where they
had sent their cannon. As the enemy followed, the party behind
the fence were to welcome them with a shower of leaden hail and
then fall back to the hill.
The stand was made when the enemy were about half way
s between the site of the Mitchell and Townsend houses. The
order was given to fire, which was accomplished with consider-
able effect. A general stampede was then started as agreed upon,
but Mr. Adam Thorp, of Cheshire, did not believe in running.
So when he had reached about the site of the north gate at Town-
send house, he turned and declared he would not run another step
for all Great Britain, loaded and fired his piece and soon fell
pierced with -many bullets. He was the first man of the patriots,
killed on the east side, that we have any record of, and his
grave was marked with a stone bearing this inscription, " Here
fell Adam Thorp, July 5th, I'Z'ZQ." I will here diverge by saying
Honor our illustrious and patriotic dead with suitable monu-
ments, as England always has done. No stone now marks the < spot
where this brave man was buried.
This check brought the whole division to a halt, and after
the smoke had cleared the scene, and the rebels were found
to be actually retreating toward the hill, the division again
advanced at the double quick and the advance guard had
quite passed the party of patriots in the bushes, when Capt.
Bradley said to them, " Wait until you can see their eyes
and then fire and run," which was done with tremendous
effect. The street was strewn with killed and wounded. The
Tuttle house, barns and outhouses and fields of waving grain
were all fired at once. The booming guns from the ships in
the bay, the awful heat and great excitement of the day must
have suggested to the invaders that direful place which the
good Dr. Dodd taught the existence of, to the descendants of
these brave patriots.
The small party that fell back to the hill and were pursued by
the British in hot haste, had lost one of their field pieces, but the
other was now opened upon the enemy from that point and was
served with good effect, causing them to halt under the depres-
sion of the hill out of range, at a spot a few rods north of the
new residence of Mr. H. H. Benedict and that of E. J. Upson,
Esq. There, lying flat on the ground and out of harm's way,
they rested, waiting for reinforcements, which having come up,
the hill was stormed, the patriots falling back, some northward
towards the Ferry, others to the heights about Saltonstall, and
another party, of which Chandler Pardee was one, toward the
fresh meadow, where Mr. Pardee was shot through the lungs by
a ball from the party in pursuit and left for dead. Soon after, he
was taken to the Gov. Saltonstall house, and the next day Dr.
Hubbard, of New Haven, extracted the ball and he recovered to
tell the story, while a prisoner at New York, to the same party of
soldiers, who had left him, as they had supposed, dying on the
field. Near the spot where Chandler Pardee fell, just north of
the road, and west of Tuttle Brook, lived Samuel Tuttle, father
of the late Frederick William Tuttle, Esq., a lineal descendant
of William Tuttle, the original grantee, who was of the family
of Tuttle, or Tuthill, which gave several Lord Mayors to the
City of Exeter, County Devon, England. Mr. Tuttle had with
his neighbors in the morning marched to meet the foe, but being
satisfied the day was lost returned home and started with a cart
load of household effects for the quarry east of the upper ferry,
where lived an Englishman, William Day, who had lately married
Abigail Woodward, grand-niece of Rev. John Woodward, who
on his coming here purchased 600 acres of the Tuttle grant and
was ancestor of the Woodwards, of Woodwardtown.
While Messrs. Tuttle and Day were storing away their goods
in the quarry the Chandler Pardee party and their pursuers
passed near his house, which was set on fire. Mrs. T. rushed out
with her children into the uncut grass and rested there. Some
one called out to her to look out, and she saw the regulars
aiming their muskets. She called to the children to lie down in
the grass and say their prayers as they had but one minute to
live, and the next moment the whole volley went over their
heads. The pursuers passed on but lost their game, and the
neighbors put the fire out with water from the brook. This
party seems to have made the circuit of the peat meadow, and
coming back found Day and Tuttle and made them prisoners.
Their cattle were afterward slaughtered. Day made his escape
by showing them the spring of water in the rear of Mr. W. S.
Landcraft's house, one of them saying to him, " When I'm
drinking I cannot see all that passes." Tuttle was carried to
New York where he was detained six months. Immediately on
occupying Beacon Hill, Gen. Tryon made it his headquarters and
sent a detachment to occupy the village of East Haven, but the
enemy's advance got only as far as the "Stone Meeting House,"
which they ransacked for plate and then fell back to the knoll
west of the church, near the present residence ol Edward Granniss,
Esq. From the knoll, shots were constantly exchanged between
the patriots and the British, and when the old Bradley House
was pulled down, many bullet-holes were found in its timbers,
thus serving to sustain the tradition. As Gen. Tryon in his
dispatch to Sir Henry Clinton mentions meeting Garth in town
during the afternoon, it is probable he met there also Sir George
Collier, when a council of war was called which resulted in a
speedy and immediate evacuation.
Besides occupying the western outskirts of East Haven village,
one detachment was sent to Ferry Hill, another to the hill north
of Captain Stephen Thompson's, and here in the evening was
roasted an ox which was distributed to the soldiers of the several
corps ; also forty head of cattle which had been driven in by
the foraging expedition, and sheep, pigs and poultry in great
numbers, were slaughtered and sent on board of the fleet.
The field piece used on Beacon Hill was brought here on the
retreat and fired a number of times, but at last abandoned,
spiked and rolled down the hill into the bushes near Mr. Koswell
Landcraft's house, where it was found and sent on board the fleet.
After the enemy had left, Mr. Isaac Pardee took from this hill
many sheep and cattle skins and tanned them. While widening
Townsend Avenue, June, lS7o, a tradition of the slaughter of the
enemy near the Tuttle house was well sustained by the discovery
of human bones found while moving stumps of trees planted by
the late William Kneeland Townsend, Esq., forty years before.
These bones were proved not to be Indian by Dr. T. Beers
Townsend, who was on the spot when the graves were opened,
and he made a most careful examination. These dead were all
probably buried in the ryelands, on the west side of the road and
just north of the Tuttle mansion, and the spot being burned over,
the locality of the graves was not discovered ; and as many
wounded soldiers were seen taken to the boat and carried on
board the fleet, it was supposed that the dead were also removed
in order to hide their great loss. While the doctor was making
a careful examination of the bones, the writer, with a spade,
thoroughly searched the graves, and besides bones found a
number of German silver buttons, and some of lead and com-
position (white metal), about the size of a dime. A copper coin
was also found, which has excited much interest. It was the size
of an English half-penny and known as a stiver. It had a hole in
the circumference and was probably held by means of a string
attached to the neck of the wearer. On the face side is the
following motto: "Dominus Auxit Nomen" ("the Lord increased
our glory ") ; in its center the figure of a man with a mantle about
his loins, in a sitting position, left hand on his hip and in his right
hand a sword drawn over the head as if to strike ; to the right a
laurel branch. The figure is represented sitting inside a circular
fence with gate in front. The other side is a laurel wreath with
the word in center, " HOLLANLIA." The date looks beaten
out as with a hammer; but Dr. Jonathan Edwards, of Yale
College, who has kindly looked the matter up for me, being an
expert and the best authority, says this coin was struck off
between the years 1648 and 1795 in Holland, a province (sic) of
the Netherlands. A pompon socket of brass, bell shaped, was
also found. It had also upon it a No. 8 or 5, with the following
letters, D. M. A. U. X., as traced by Dr. E.'s powerful micro-
scope. The above relics satisfy me that these were the graves
of soldiers belonging to Tryon's division, killed while marching
on the town of New Haven.*
* The writer, during a visit to Europe, substantiated this impression fully, dis-
covering and obtaining in an old print store in Paris some colored engravings of
the uniforms worn by the Hessian Landgraves, a regiment of which WHS a
part of the Second division of Tryon's army, which participated in the different
engagements on East Haven shore.
Immediately on the capture of Beacon Hill, General Tryon
crossed over the lower ferry to the town, where he met in council
of war Sir George Collier and General Garth and other officers
of the expedition. At the same time a detachment of his
division marched through Woodwardtown for both ferries and
encamped on the Neck and opened communication with the town.
On their line of march, the dwelling houses of John Wood-
ward, Sen., and John Woodward, Ji\, were burned. The former
stood on the site of the present Woodward mansion ; the latter
of stone, sheathed with pine, is now part of the residence of
Collis Granniss, Esq. All cattle, sheep, swine and poultry, and
everything else of value, was appropriated by the enemy and
carried off. The next places destroyed were the residences of
Jehiel Forbes and Mr. Tuttle at Waterside. Mr. Hughes' house
was left standing, being used as officers' quarters. The house was
taken down shortly after the war and a portion of the frame used
in the construction of the house now occupied by Mr. Henry
Burr (his wife being a granddaughter of Mr. Hughes), for many
years agent of the New Haven, Hartford and Springfield Rail-
road Company at Meriden, Conn. I cannot allow his name to
pass without more than ordinary mention. One of "Nature's
noblemen," he at the first roar of the guns of the late great
rebellion left his lucrative occupation and threw aside the com-
forts of home, family and friends, and marched forth to defend
his country's flag, her constitution and laws, and after weary
marches and many battles we find him wounded on the battle-
field of Antietam, where he had lain for hours among the dead.
After the amputation of one of his limbs he remained for months
in the hospital, returning to his home crippled in his country's
service, but with the same honest name and reputation that he
had always borne. Pensioned, 'tis true, but on a paltry pittance ;
small compensation for all his sacrifice. Having destroyed the
Tuttle and Forbes places and the new house just built by Mr. Elam
Ludington, at Waterside, this detachment either fell back on Ferry
Hill or crossed over by the lower, or Hughes ferry, on the Neck
and joined the other which had crossed at the upper, leaving only
a corporal's guard at this ferry. After the war Mr. Forbes, with
the energy of his race, restored this beautiful residence, which is
to-day the finest stone house in the town, showing not only the
excellent taste of the builder, but the good quality of its mate-
rial. Its date is 1767. There was one other bouse not destroyed
besides the Hughes house, which stood near the upper ferry, and
belonged to Mr. Pardee, the ferryman,* and was for many years
the residence of William B. Goodyear, Esq.. of this city, a lineal
descendant of Gov. Stephen Goodyear of the New Haven Colony,
and who, a short time since, erected a beautiful monument in
Centerville Cemetery to the memory of this honored Deputy
Governor of the old Colony. This Gov. Goodyear was the first
in New Haven to offer material aid tendering his house for the
purpose for a college, and a vote of thanks for the same appears
in the old town records of Guilford.
The council of war was probably held in the old State House,
which stood near the site of Trinity Church. Of this council
were, Sir George Collier, Kt., Maj. Gen. Tryon, Brig. Gen. Garth,
and other officers of the British army and navy, and probably
several loyal gentlemen of the town, whose earnest petitions, with
Col. Fanning's efforts, saved a conflagration. After the council
was over the principal officers made a tour of inspection of the
place, and it is said that from the top of the old Admiral Foote
house, corner of Temple and Chapel streets, a bird's-eye view was
taken; the officers being exceedingly delighted with the beautiful
surroundings, and Gen. Garth made the remark, " 'Tis too pretty
a place to burn." The abusive and cruel treatment of the
inhabitants, the wanton and malicious destruction of property
that could not be carried away, sufficiently proves that it was not
owing to good will that the town was saved. It is not the writer's
intention to enlarge on the depredations of the drunken and hos-
tile soldiery, but I will here recite an incident which will illustrate
how the towns-people, after being turned over to the soldiery,
were treated. Capt. Abraham Bradley and wife, Amy Heming-
way, resided on the corner of State and Chapel streets. The
remains of Mrs. Bradley lie in the beautiful crypt under Center
Church recently opened through the public spirit and most efficient
aid of Thomas 11. Trowbridge, Jr., Esq. This lady was sister of
Mary Hemingway, wife of Ezekiel Hayes, Esq., great uncle of the
President of the United States. The captain had been out all the
morning trying to prevent the enemy getting into the town, and
had returned, hid his musket and become a quiet citizen, deciding
to keep in the house the rest of the day. Soon after the corporal's
* Mr. Pardee was descended from Geo. Pardee, first Principal of the Hopkins
Grammar School, 1660. This family bought the Ferry from the Browns, it
belonging to their grant of land.
squad came in and demanded rum. Not having any he took
them, they leaving a guard in the house, to Mr. Thaddeus
Beecher's, corner of Chapel and Church streets, but was made to
go through the hot sun without his hat. The wife, almost dis-
tracted at the absence of her husband, was soon unexpectedly
relieved by his return. The rum had done its part, but in the
meantime the soldiers left at the house had broken or destroyed
everything they could ; crockery, looking glasses, windows, pic-
tures torn from the frames and bedding ripped up with bayonets
and short swords. Mrs. B. kept busy about the house and said
nothing. Finally one of them espied her string of gold beads
and tore it from her neck, but was at that moment stopped by an
elegantly dressed officer, who entered the house and seeing the
robbery, ordered the beads placed on her little daughter's neck
and thus they were saved, and in the shape of a gold chain re-
main in the family to this day. This little daughter was after-
ward Mrs. Hervey Mulford, and the officer was General Garth.
A sentinel was then placed in the house, and another outside, and
the rest of the soldiers ordered away. Soon after, the one in the
house cut his buttons off his coat for little Nancy Bradley to play
with, and while so doing a corporal came along and seeing him
on the floor playing with the little girl, knocked him over the
head with his musket and left him bleeding on the floor. Mrs. B.
stopped work, dressed the fellow's wound, and soon after he was
Among the patriots that went forth to meet the invaders were
Caleb and Jona Hotchkiss (cousins), paternal and maternal great
grandfathers of Henry L. Hotchkiss, Esq., of this city. Mr.
Caleb Hotchkiss was shot dead by the enemy just as they entered
the town. Mr. Jona Hotchkiss escaped, having captured a Hes-
sian* in Hotchkisstown woods, taking from him a fine musket and
box filled with cartridges, Mr. H. having only one charge left and
that was in his gun. The weapon is now deposited in the Museum
of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. The way that Mr.
H. captured his man was by " surrounding " him. It seems that,
passing a clump of bushes, Mr. H. heard a rustling sound and
called, "Who's there?" and from the reply he knew it was a
foreign soldier. He at once ordered a halt, sent (imaginary) Jirn
* The enemy intended to destroy the Powder and Paper Mills and actually
entered the latter, but were driven off and 14 of their number captured.
to right and Joe to left, and David was sent for reinforcements.
He then commanded the man to come forth and surrender, which
was done without resistance.
The council of war now found that their losses in officers and
men had been very heavy and that the rebels were better armed
than they expected, and had made a very stubborn resistance ; that
the country around New Haven being very hilly it was not safe
to go far inland for forage ; that large reinforcements with heavy
cannon were actually occupying high ground about the north
part of the city, and that the militia commanded by Generals
Ward and Hart were coming in from all directions. The harbor
was shoal and many of the vessels at this moment (8 P. M., July
5th) were touching the bottom, and one large vessel did actually
lay on her broadside, guns just out of water, during this low tide.
It was therefore agreed to hold the north and west part of the
town over night with a part of the first division and the balance
of the tired and drunken soldiers were collected on the Green or
Market Place and commanded to lay on their arms all night
ready if attacked, while sentinels were placed the whole length
of York, George, State and Grove streets. Gen. Tryon then
went to his camp on the Neck, or on the East Haven Heights, and
Sir George Collier on board his vessel at the pier. The pier was
then that part of Long Wharf in the channel and not connected
with the land end. Commodore Collier was fired on from a
chamber window as he passed down the street ; he also had two
very narrow escapes while landing his marines and sailors. Gen.
Garth remained with his division, and by daylight (about high
water) the whole division had embarked in boats sent from the
fleet, some crossing over the ferries and marching to Black Rock
Fort with the second division, where they embarked after firing the
barracks. As the last boat shoved off from the East Haven shore,
the Pardee house in Morris Cove, in which officers had been posted,
was standing. This boat was ordered back and the house burned,
making the eleventh house besides as many barns destroyed by the
enemy.* After the war, to meet these losses and others of a
similar nature, in May, 1 792, the General Assembly of Connecticut
passed an act appropriating 500,000 acres of land west of Pennsyl-
* The next winter Mr. Pardee drew on the ice across the harbor, on sledges, a
house from the foot of Olive street (Old ship yard), and placed it on the same
foundation and there lived.
vania, for the relief of the sufferers by fire. The damage and
amount of each person's loss in East Haven was estimated by
commissioners appointed for the purpose, as follows:
. s. (1.
Amos Morris 1,235 15 4
John Woodward, 838 17 3
John Woodward, Jr., 740 19 11
Elam Luddington, 408 6 7
Joseph Tuttle, . 79 9 5
Jacob and Abijah Pardee, 402 8 2
Jehiel Forbes, 173 13 1
Mary Pardee, 134 14
Mary and Lydia Pardee, 40 8 4
Noah Tucker, 99 17 4
Total 4,154 9 5
Equal in dollars at the time, $23,843.24
Gurdon Bradley lost 66 in a sloop which was burned. The
enemy plundered the inhabitants of all they could carry off. The
whole loss to East Haven by the invasion was at least $25,000.
The land given the East Haven sufferers was located in Itfew Con-
necticut, Ohio, bordering on Lake Erie and called the Fire land.
These sufferers not caring, as they said, to own lands beyond
where the moon sets, threw their grants into market, and Kuee-
land and Isaac Townsend bought their land warrants soon after
1 800, and finally, with other lands they had bought, located their
whole tract, 22,000 acres, in Huron County, Ohio, naming their
township, Townsend. Here Kneeland Townsend built a block
house in which to trade with the Indians and early settlers, which
was constructed with loop holes for defensive purposes if necessary.
So sudden and unexpected was the evacuation of the town to its
inhabitants and the surrounding militia that it was broad daylight
before the militia marched in, and then (about 6 A. M., July 6th)
took quiet possession. The enemy fired the buildings on Long
Wharf as the last boat load pushed off.
The last vessel of the enemy's fleet sailed from the harbor on
the afternoon of July 6th, and as she was passing Black Rock
Fort, which had been re-occupied by the patriots, as well as the
earthworks on Beacon Hill, she rounded to, and fired a whole
broadside at the fort and many of the balls bounded as far as
Beacon Hill, one of which struck Isaac Pardee, severing his head
clean from the body. He was just ascending the hill on the street
side with Mr. Smith, of South End, they having gone to a spring
to fetch water. Smith says they " heard the report of the firing ;
he turned with Pardee to look, saw the ball, he dodged, and it
carried away Pardee's head." Some estimates make the enemy's
losses during the invasion sum up two hundred in killed, wounded
and missing, which is not far from right. As for the missing it is
known that many Hessians deserted and remained at New Haven,
choosing good trades and occupations and becoming useful citizens.
There were certainly several killed and wounded while landing,
also others in the woods north of Morris Cove and back of Prospect
Hill. Old farmers mentioned the loss as heavy after Thorp fell.
We also hear of numbers being buried at Waterside and on the
Neck (Grapevine Point). May not the bones recently found there
have been those of British soldiers rather than the Hospital dead ?
There are very many relics of this invasion in possession of
New Haven residents, such as cannon shot, musket balls, old mus-
kets and cutlasses, which ought to be deposited in the museum of
the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Many of the old can-
non standing on the corners of the streets were used probably in
the invasion, and therefore have a historic interest. Judging from
the great numbers of cannon shot that have been picked up on
the East Haven side of our harbor, it is natural enough to believe
the tradition that this section, as well as the town, was at times
under heavy fire from the fleet in the bay.
Among many revolutionary relics in possession of the writer's
family is one of more than ordinary interest a bureau or chest
of drawers with a cannon shot through it. This old piece of
furniture, on the morning of July 6th, 1779, stood in a house
belonging to Theophilus Munson in Chapel street, known as the
old Nathaniel Lyon house, and was given to the writer's great
great great grandfather by Abigail, a daughter of Mr. Munson.
It seems when the last ship left the pier, which was probably the
one that gave Black Rock Fort a broadside or parting salute, she
fired several shots on the town as she sailed down the bay, one of
them going through a chamber in this house in which one of the
family was sitting, passing out of the house into a pile of rubbish
where it turned up many years after, and was found to fit the
hole in the bureau, and is now also in the custody of the writer.
The enemy certainly fared harder on the east than the west
shore, the East Haven men being all armed with long range
Queen Anne muskets and being most excellent marksmen, keep-
ing just out of the enemy's longest range, and knowing every
tree and fence, and fighting with a sense of right and duty for
home and fireside.
LIST OP KILLED, WOUNDED AND TAKEN AWAY BY THE FLEET.
Capt. John Gilbert.
Pomp, a negro.
Elisha Tuttle (whose tongue
the enemy cut out).
Rev. Dr. Daggett, Pres. of Y. Col.
Capt. Caleb Mix.
Atwater, a negro slave.
Taken away Prisoners of War.
Captain John Mix,
Isaac Towusend, went in place
of negro slave, Lark,
Hezekiah Sabin, Lieut.
Captain Elijah Forbes,
There were also several loyal gentlemen and their families who left with the
fleet, never to return, as their property was confiscated by the United States
Government after the war.
Many of the wounded died on account of being bayoneted
after being shot. The patriots also took several prisoners, who
were exchanged and sent away by a cartel ship which sailed from
New Haven, August 8, 1779.
As a list of the names of East Haven residents who went forth
to meet the invader and who were more or less active at the time,
may be of interest, I have added it to the account.
Rev. Nicholas Street, Captain Amos Morris.
Josiah Bradley, Captain Jedediah Andrews.
Edward Russel, Jr.,
Isaac Chidsey, 1st,
John Woodward, Jr.,
Samuel Smith, Jr.,
Captain John Moulthrop, Captain
James Adkin Broton,
John Woodward, Sen.,
Isaac Chidsey, 2d,
Amos Morris, Jr.,
Henry Freeman Hughes,
There were many others which I have no means now of knowing.
The surrounding towns all contributed largely in men and sup-
plies, and before night, July 5, there were not less than 1,000
men within the limits of East Haven and Branford ready to
attack the enemy. Before sunset on the afternoon of July 6th
the rear division of the enemy's fleet was observed from Beacon
Hill, off Stratford, hull down and steering westward. We heard
of them off Fairfield at 4 o'clock next morning, where they landed
in the afternoon, having the same commanding officers as at New
Haven, Sir George Collier by sea, and Generals Tryon and Garth
The following address to the inhabitants was read to a few
citizens of the town on arrival of the enemy, July 5th, 1779. It
was also printed in the London Gazette of October 6th, 1779.
By Commodore Sir George Collier, Commander-in-chief of His
Majesty's ships and vessels in North America, and Major Gen-
eral Tryon, commanding His Majesty's land forces on a
ADDRESS TO THE INHABITANTS OF CONNECTICUT.
The ungenerous and wanton insurrection against the sovereignty
of Great Britain, into which this colony has been deluded by the
artifices of designing men, for private purposes, might well justify
in you every fear which conscious guilt could form, respecting
the intentions of the present armament.
Your town, your property, yourselves, lie within the grasp of
the power whose forbearance you have ungenerously construed
into fear; but whose lenity has persisted in its mild and noble
efforts, even though branded with the most unworthy imputation.
The existence of a single habitation on your defenceless coast
ought to be a subject of constant reproof to your ingratitude.
Can the strength of your whole province cope with the force
which might at any time be poured through every district in
your country? You are conscious it cannot. Why, then, will
you persist in a ruinous and ill-judged resistance ? We hoped
that you would recover from the frenzy which has distracted this
unhappy country; and we believe the day to be near come when
the greater part of this continent will begin to blush at their
delusion. You who lie so much in our power afford that most
striking monument of our mercy, and therefore ought to set the
first example of returning to our allegiance.
Reflect on what gratitude requires of you; if that is insufficient
to move you, attend to your own interest: we offer you a refuge
against the distress which, you universally acknowledge, broods
with increasing and intolerable weight over all your country.
Leaving you to consult with each other upon this invitation,
we do now declare that whosoever shall be found, and remain in
peace, at his usual place of residence, shall be shielded from any
insult, either to his person or his property, excepting such as bear
offices, either civil or military, under your present usurped gov-
ernment, of whom it will be further required, that they shall give
proofs of their penitence and voluntary submission; and they
shall then partake of the like immunity.
Those whose folly and obstinacy may slight this favorable
warning must take notice that they are not to expect a continu-
ance of that lenity which their inveteracy would now render
Given on board His Majesty's ship Camilla, on the Sound, July
The writer would append at this point the following account of
the invasion, taken from the Connecticut Journal, July 7th,
1779, which paper is at the present time the weekly edition of the
Journal and Courier, and would add a letter taken from " A
Sketch of the Life and Character of Deacon Nathan Beers," by
the late Rev. S. W. S. Dutton.
[From the Connecticut Journal, July 7th, 1779.]
About 2 o'clock on the morning of the 5th inst., a fleet, consist-
ing of the Camilla and Scorpion, men-of-war, with tenders, trans-
ports, etc., to the number of forty-eight, commanded by Commo-
dore Sir George Collier, anchored off West Haven. They had on
board about three thousand land forces, commanded by Major-
General Tryon; about 1,500 of whom under Brigadier-General
Garth landed about sunrise on West Haven point. The town
being alarmed, all the preparations which the confusion and dis-
tress of the inhabitants and a necessary care of their families
would permit was made for resistance. The West Bridge, on
Milford road, was taken up, several field pieces carried thither
and some slight works thrown up for the defence of that pass.
The division under General Garth being landed, immediately
began their march toward the town. The first opposition was
made by about twenty-five of the inhabitants to an advance party
of the enemy of two companies of light infantry. These, though
advancing on the height of Milford hill, were attacked with great
spirit by the handful of our people, driven back almost to West
Haven and one of them was taken prisoner. The enemy then
advanced in their main body, with strong flanking parties, and
two field pieces ; and finding a smart fire kept up from our field
pieces at the bridge aforesaid, chose not to force an entrance to
the town by that, the usual road, but to make a circuitous march
of nine miles, in order to enter by the Derby road. In this
march, our small party on Milford Hill, now increased to perhaps
150, promiscuously collected from several companies of the mili-
tia, had a small encounter with the enemy's left flank, near the
Milford road, in which was killed their adjutant (Campbell), the
loss of whom was lamented, with much apparent sensibility. Our
people, on the hill, being obliged by superior numbers to give
way, kept up a continual fire on the enemy, and galled them
much, through all their march to Thomson's bridge, on Derby
road. In the meantime, those posted at the West bridge, per-
ceiving the movements of the enemy, and also that another large
body of them had landed at South End, on the east side of the
harbor, quitted the bridge and marched thence to oppose the
enemy at Thomson's bridge. But by the time they had reached
the banks of the river the enemy were in possession of the bridge,
and the places at which the river is here fordable ; yet having
received a small accession of strength by the coming in of the
militia, they gave the enemy a smart fire from two field pieces and
small arms, which continued with little abatement till the enemy
were in possession of the town. Our people being obliged to
retreat, either to the fields north and west of the town, or through
the town across the Neck bridge, the enemy entered the town
between 12 and 1 o'clock. In the meantime the division of the
enemy/ before mentioned to have landed at South End, which was
under the command of General Tryon, was bravely resisted by a
small party of men, with one field piece, who, besides other execu-
tion, killed an officer of the enemy in one of their boats at the
landing. This division marched up by land and attacked the fort
at Black Rock ; at the same time their shipping drew up and
attacked it from the harbor. The fort had only nineteen men and
three pieces of artillery, yet was defended as long as reason or
valor dictated, and then the men made good their retreat.
The town now being in full possession of the enemy, it was,
notwithstanding the enemy's proclamation, delivered up, except
a few instances of protection, to promiscuous plunder ; in which,
besides robbing the inhabitants of their watches^ plate, buckles,
clothing, bedding, and provisions, they broke and destroyed
household furniture to a very great amount. Some families lost
everything their houses contained ; many have now neither food
nor clothes to shift.
A body of militia, sufficient to penetrate the town, could not be
collected that evening ; we were obliged, therefore, to content
ourselves with giving the enemy every annoyance in our power,
which was done with great spirit, for most of the afternoon, at or
about the Ditch Corner.
Early on Thursday morning the enemy, unexpectedly and with
the utmost stillness and dispatch, called in their guards and
retreated to their boats, carrying with them a number of the
inhabitants captive, most, if not all of whom, were taken without
arms, and a few who chose to accompany them. Part of them
went on board their fleet, and part of them crossed over to
General Tryon at East Haven. On Tuesday afternoon the militia
collected in such numbers and crowded so close upon General
Tryon that he thought best to retreat on board his fleet and set
sail to the westward.
The loss of the enemy is unknown, but, for many reasons, it is
supposed to be considerable, and includes some officers, whom
they lament, besides Adjutant Campbell. Ours, by the best
information we can obtain, is 27 killed and 19 wounded. As
many of our dead, upon examination, appeared to have been
wounded with shot, but not mortally, and afterward to have been
killed with bayonets, this demonstrated the true reason why the
number of the dead exceeded that of the wounded to be, that
being wounded and falling into the enemy's hands, they were
afterward killed. A further confirmation of this charge is, that
we have full and direct testimony, which affirms that General
Garth declared to one of our militia who was taken that " he was
sorry his men had not killed him instead of taking him, and that
he would not have his men give quarter to one militia man taken
Although in this expedition it must be confessed, to the credit
of the Britons, that they have not done all the mischief in their
power, yet the brutal ravishment of the women, the wanton and
malicious destruction of property, the burning of the stores upon
the wharf and eight houses in East Haven ; the beating, stabbing
and insulting of Rev. Dr. Daggett, after he was made a prisoner;
the mortally wounding of Mr. Beers, Senior, in his own door and
and other ways abusing him ; the murdering of the very aged and
helpless Mr. English* in his own house, and the beating and finally
cutting out the tongue of, and then killing, a distracted man, are
sufficient proof that they were really Britons.
* The old gentleman lived on the corner of Brown and Water street, and was
father of Benjamin English, Jr.. Esq., and great grandfather of Ex-Senator James
E. English of Connecticut. It seems that a squad of the enemy had occupied his
house and compelled his daughter to provide refreshments for them, arid on
account of his reproving them for bad behavior, his utterance being in the most
inoffensive manner, they murdered him by running him through the body several
times with bayonets; and as he lay on his back, bleeding on the floor, in the ago-
nies of death, his daughter coming in exclaimed, " Oh ! how could you murder my
poor old father so cruelly?" One of them asking, " Is he your father?" to which
she answered, " Oh 1 yes, he is my father," the inhuman villain immediately stood
and stamped upon his breast, and then upon his face, crushing down his nose.
Mr. Kennedy, a noted Loyalist, who rejoiced at their coming, they plundered of
his silver buckles, etc., and on his expressing some resentment, they stabbed
him to death.
LETTER FROM ISAAC BEERS.
NEW HAVEN, 16th July, 1779.
DEAR BROTHER I suppose that long before this, you have-
heard of the great misfortune that has befallen this town, in being
plundered by the enemy. As I was so taken up in attending on
father, and was in such confusion other 'ways, I desired Mr.
Hazard, who was then here, to inform you of our situation and
that our dear father was then near his end, by a wound he
received from those bloody savages (which letter was sent last
post and I hope came to hand). Our father was wounded in his
own house some time after the enemy had been in town. The
shot was aimed at his breast, but he pushed the gun so. far one
side that it passed through his hip. It was thought at first the
wound was not dangerous, but he had lost so much blood before
he could have relief, that the wound proved fatal. He lived from
Monday afternoon, the time he received the wound, till the Satur-
day following, the most of the time in great distress, and then
left this troublesome world, I hope for one far better. Thus we
have lost a kind parent by the hand of those merciless wretches,
at a time which added greatly to the distress we have already
had to bear with.
As I suppose you will learn by the papers the particulars of the
action while they were here, I shall omit them, and only just inform
you of some of their behavior in town. They landed at West
Haven about sunrise, but were kept from gettinginto town till about
noon on Monday, the 5th of July. I was made a prisoner, but
had the good luck to be released soon. No sooner had the enemy
got into town than they began to plunder without any distinction
of Whig or Tory, carrying off all the valuable articles they could,
breaking and destroying the remainder. In many houses they
broke the doors, windows, wainscotwork, and demolished every-
thing inside the house they possibly could. Some few houses
escaped by mere accident, Joel Atwater's, Michael Baldwin's
and five or six others in that neighborhood, although the families
have all fled. I had the good fortune to be plundered but little.
Elias was not plundered a great deal. Father's house was plun-
dered considerably but not damaged any. Old Mrs. Wooster
stayed in her house, and was most shockingly abused; everything
in the house was destroyed or carried off by them not a bed
left, nor the smallest article in the kitchen. Deacon Lyman's
house shared as bad, also William Lyon's and several others in
different parts of the town. They left early Tuesday morning.
They have carried off several inhabitants prisoners ; amongst
them are John Mix, Hezekiah Sabin, Sr., Esq., Whitney Thomas
Burrell, Isaac Townsend, Capt. Elijah Forbes, Adonijah Sherman,
etc. There were killed belonging to the town, Constable Hotch-
kiss, John Hotchkiss, Ezekicl Hotchkiss, Elisha Tuttle, a crazy
man, Capt. John Gilbert, Joseph Dorman, Asa Todd, and several
others from the farms and country round.
Since the enemy left this place they have burned the towns of
Fairfield and Nor walk, and we were again alarmed that they
were returning to burn this town. A person who made his escape
from them when at Xorwalk, says the officers found much fault
with the general for not burning this town when they were here,
and they swore it should be done yet. This alarms us so much
that we have moved all our effects from this town back into the
country, and a great many families have gone out, so that we are
almost destitute already indeed, it is the most prevailing opinion
among the most judicious that they intend to burn all the seaport.
As it will be interesting to know the state of the moon and the
time of high water on the several days of the invasion, Professor
Lyman, of Yale College, has made the following computation.
Dr. Bacon informs me the thermometer, according to Dr. Stiles'
record, was 90 the 4th, Sunday, and it is very probable the next
day was still warmer.
Sunday, July 4th, 1779, 2:58 p. m.
Monday, " 5th, " .. 3:40 "
Tuesday, " 6th, " 4:30 "
Wednesday, " 7th, " 5:25 "
Thursday, " 8th, " 6:26 "
Third quarter. .July 6th, 1779, .. 3:34 p. m.
New moon, " 13th, " . 11:03 a. m.
First quarter,. . " 20th, " 4:16 a. m.
Full moon, ' 28th, " 6:08 a, m.
From the above we find it was high water at Savin Rock when
the First division, under General Garth, landed with artillery,
about 3:40 A. M. ; and as the sun arose at about 4:30 A. M.,
it is probable that the whole division was landed before sunrise.
On account of ebb tide and the Rock Fort, the fleet did not get
into the harbor until the next change of tide, which was probably
after 12 M. The condition of affairs must have been very bad
about 9 P. M., evening of July 5th, as the British soldiers were
mostly all dead drunk and lying in open air on the Green, sur-
rounded by a few sober ones who stood guard to keep them from
getting more rum. The officers were at dinner with the loyal
gentlemen of the town. We understand that a banquet was given
in the Chandler house, which then stood on Church street facing
the Green, and is now the residence of Rev. Dr. Bacon. General
Garth's headquarters were at the Totten house (still standing
corner of Meadow and West Water streets), in sight of General
Tryon's headquarters on Beacon hill ; and Commodore Sir George
Collier's were -on board one of his vessels which was moored at
Every vessel in the harbor was aground and boats could not be
used to advantage on account of the mud flats, and on account of
the militia keeping up a fire on the outposts at Ditch Corner (out
Broadway) and Prospect street, where stood the Mansfield house,
which was occupied by British officers and soldiers, and was rid-
dled with bullets by the patriots while thus in possession of the
enemy. The enemy were in such a constant state of alarm that
orders were given to march at 1:30 A. M. The sentinels were
doubled on George, State, Grove and York streets, so that the
whole division was thus, as it were, in a hollow square of sentinels
for the night, and it was believed afterward that had the militia
known the state of things, they could have come into town about
midnight and made the whole division prisoners.
The withdrawal of this division from the Green and town has
been described by eye-witnesses as perfectly ridiculous, with the
drunken and reeling soldiers trying to keep in line, and carts and
wagons and even wheel-barrows in use to get them down to
It appears that Adjutant Campbell, of the Guards, was killed
while in the road on Orange hill reconnoitering the small company
under command of Captain James Hillhouse, and students under
President Daggett of Yale College, which had marched forth and
met the enemy's advance guard at Allingtown, about one mile
north of West Haven. He was shot by a young man, by name
Johnson, and carried into the house which stood on the south side
of the road. The family were very kind to him, and before he
died he gave them some articles of clothing. A handkerchief
with his initials remains in the family, I understand, to this day.
He made a particular request that his plume, sash and watch
should be sent to his family, and they were sent to his regiment
soon after their return to New York. It is said of Adjutant
Campbell that he was near when the Rev. Mr. Williston, of West
Haven, broke his leg getting over a fence to escape from the
enemy. This officer ordered the surgeon of his regiment to set
Mr. Williston's limb, and treated him with great humanity.
Campbell was buried on the iiortb side of tbe road, where a rough
stone now marks the spot.
I find in possession of Mr. Frank Kent an account book, made
in the old style and bound in parchment. It was kept by the
before mentioned Benjamin English, Jr., and has been used for a
scrap-book, and much interesting matter is covered up with cut-
tings pasted therein. A few of the entries I have copied
enough to show the doings of this powder mill :
Xov. 20, 17*74-5 Mentions as received at mill Nov. 20, 1774, several lots of
saltpetre from Mr. Stephen Gorham and Mr. Isaac Doolittle.
Dec. 1, 1776 Account of powder brought from the mill as private property
charged to Benjamin English, Isaac Doolittle and Stephen Hine, and 334 Ibs. by
John Pierpont for the Privateer, per Doolittle.
Dec. 24, 1776 Long account of powder carried to owners.
Feb. 5, 1777 Sale of powder to Haledy Bradley. Total'29, 14s., lid.
May 1, 1777 Sale of powder delivered to Isaac Doolittle as private property.
May 5. 1777, to 500 Ibs. powder, by Mix.
" 7, " 100 " " " Church
" 12, " 500 " " " Osborne.
" 13, " 66 " " " Mix.
" 15, i; 16 " " " yourself (sic).
(t 1 ij ) (( 46 a it a it
" 19, " 100 " " " Mix.
" 23, " 16 " " " yourself.
" 27, " 30 " " " "
" 28, " 100 " " " Joseph Mix.
" 29, " 100 " " " "
June 9, " 17 " " " Bill.
" 14, " 100 " " " Mix.
July 2, " 40i " " " "
" 3, " 400 " " " "
" 16, " 15^ " " " self.
" 20, l^ ' 10 " " " "
About 2,180 Ibs. were sold.
Sept. 22, 1777 This day began to sell powder for eight shillings by the barrel
to Mr. Brown, and nine shillings by retail.
March 9, 1778 This day began to sell powder for eleven shillings by the barrel,
and when the act took place sold for ten shillings.
Account with Stephen Gorham from Dec. 23, 1776, to Jan. 27, 1778, when all
accounts with him are settled. It seems to have been cooperage.
The following was found on one of the leaves of the powder
book, and illustrates how powers of attorney were drawn in this
colony prior to the Declaration of Independence :
I, Robert Upham, in the County of New Haven and Colony of Connecticut, in
New England, do constitute Mr. Benjamin English, Junior, of said New Haven,
my lawful attorney in all causes moved or to be moved for me or against me in my
name to appear, plead, persue, finish judgment and executors.
Witness my hand and seal, 8th day of January, in Sixteenth year of His
Majesty's Reign, Anno Domini, 1776.
New Haven, in the County of New Haven, Jan. 8, 1776. Personally appears
Robert Upham, and acknowledges the above to be his act and deed before me.
DAVID PHIPPS, Master of ship i: Alfred."
Soon after having penned the previous papers, the writer sailed
from New York per steamer Germania (March 22, 1879), for
Europe, and while in London obtained access to the British war
records through the assistance of friends, members of the Houses
of Lords and Commons, who kindly offered every courtesy in their
power, and to whom the writer would express his grateful acknowl-
edgments. He desires to thank, also, the keeper of the Records
at the Roll Office, Mr. Kingsford, and also W. W. Woods, Esq.,
librarian at the Colonial Office, for assistance rendered. By
the aid of these gentlemen the writer obtained information and
letters regarding the invasion never before printed this side of the
water; among them a letter of instruction from Sir Henry Clinton*
commander-in- chief of His Majesty's forces in America, to Major
General Try on, commander of the expedition into Connecticut ;
the full report from Gen. Tryon to Sir Henry Clinton regarding
the attack upon New Haven, Norwalk and Fairfield, and a report
from Brig. -Gen. Garth to Sir Henry Clinton, dated at " New Ha-
ven, half-past 1 o'clock, July 5th, 1779," and dispatched to Major
General Tryon, whose headquarters were on Beacon Hill, the
present site of Fort Wooster ; also an abstract of dispatches from
Sir Henry Clinton, dated " Headquarters, Dobbs Ferry, 25th July,
1779, to the Right Honorable Lord George Germane," the head
of the American department of the British war office, to whom
all dispatches relative to the war in the rebellious provinces were
sent. Sir Henry Clinton gives his reason for the invasion of Con-
necticut and recites as follows :
(America Military, 1779. Sir Henry Clinton.)
HEADQUARTERS, DOBBS FERRY, 25th July, 1779.
The expedition of Major General Tryon in the Sound was a measure subservient
to my main design. To secure him in his operations and at the same time be at
hand to take advantage of his success, I withdrew from Verplanck's all the troops
which were not destined for the Garrison, and took Post with them at Byram and
Marnaroneck on the 9th.
I have the honor to be with the greatest respect,
Your Lordship's Most Obedient and Humble Servant,
Right Hon'ble Lord Geo. Germane,
(endorsed) Headquarters, Dobbs Ferry, 25th July, 1779.
Sir Henry Clinton, by Major General Gaughan.
This brief note is the only mention to the Home Government to
be found in the records (after a diligent search by skilled attaches
of the department), giving the commanding general's reasons for
his expedition into Connecticut. The parts eliminated refer to
invasions into New Jersey and other places.
The following is a copy of the official instructions to Major
Gen. Tryon by Sir Henry Clinton, which have probably never
before been published in America. They were obtained by the
writer, as before remarked, among the archives of the British
Government. The paper has a local interest as showing the plan
of the British general, who, as already indicated, was one of the
leading British officers in this country and a man of power and
influence at home, and its minute details indicate a thorough prep-
aration for the attack upon New Haven and a familiarity with
well known points hereabouts, which there is no doubt was derived
from New Haven. These instructions let us into the secret plan
of the commanding general, Sir Henry Clinton. They disclose
that these marauding expeditions to New Haven, Fairfield and
Norwalk were intended to affect the plans and movements of the
Father of his Country, whose name Sir Henry gave a limited
attention to in this letter, giving only the first and last letters.
The writer is pleased to note that this and other documents in his
possession sufficiently attest the correctness of tradition in its gen-
eral and important features regarding the mode and manner of
the attack. The document is as follows :
(Military America, 1779, Sir Henry Clinton.)
(Instructions to Maj. Gen. Tryon.)
Sir As New Haven is the only port in which the rebels have
any vessels (except New London) it is, in my opinion, better to
begin there. The lauding seems good on the east side (1) or
tongue, nor can you be insulted on your retreat. You must, when
landed, by a rapid march get possession of the rebel work, two
miles to the northward, on a bluff (2) commanding the harbor,
and then your ships, &c., may enter it. The troops may afterward,
if they cannot ford the creek (3), be landed on the other side (4),
or being landed on New Haven beacli (5) proceed at proper time
of tide to New Haven. The country is populous and there are
many friends (6), but 'tis not advisable to stay any time in the
force you will be. I should suppose your business must be done
in 24 or 48 hours, at each place you will think an object, and being
done, the sooner you embark the better (7). The cattle may be
embarked from the New Haven beach.
Your next object seems to be Fairfield. Once in possession of
the Black Rock battery (8), at the head of the harbor, all becomes
easy, and you can always retire by Fair Weather Island, which
has deep water on the south side, but not above six feet within.
You may likewise land at Stratford Point, drive the cattle of that
district and embark them from thence at your leisure from C.
Island (9). You may do the same with those you find at or near
Milford. By these desultory expeditions you will, particularly at
this season, annoy the rebels much, deter their militia from assem-
bling, and having cruisers off New London, you will know what
there is in that harbor and keep it there ; but, in my opinion, it
must not be attempted without there are vessels to make it an
object, and to do it you must be reinforced. I expect from this
move W n (10) will either pass the North river with his
whole army or strong detachments, and I wish you to be always
within 24 or 48 hours of joining me. With every wish for your
success, believe me, sir, yours, &c.,
(Signed) SIK HEN BY CLINTON.
July 2, 1779.
The following foot notes refer to the figures in parentheses in
the above :
1. Morris Point, where the old light house stands.
2. Now Fort Hale, (which was named after Capt. Nathan Hale of Connecticut,
the American Martyr, a graduate of Yale College, 1775), and the earthworks on
Beacon Hill, now site of the ruins of Fort Wooster.
3. West river.
4. Savin Eock.
5. Oyster, or City Point.
6. The Loyalists.
7. As was fully demonstrated by the events alluded to in a former paper.
8. Near Bridgeport.
9. Charles Island, Milford.
The following is the entire official report of Major General
Tryon to Sir Henry Clinton regarding the expedition against New
Haven, Fairtield and Norwalk, never before, we believe, pub-
lished in this country, except a small part, that relative to the
N T e\v Haven attack. The paper throws light upon the character
of General Tryon and the manner of man he was, especially those
portions of the report, as the reader will perceivj, apologizing for
the burning of two churches in Fairfield, in which we will credit
him trusting to his " official utterances," as they say in Pinafore
with having uttered the truth in asserting that the burning was
accidental. These expeditions were intended, as before said, to
affect the plans of Washington. This is indirectly again referred
to in General Tryon's mention of orders he received from Sir
Henry to return. The sharp firing kept up by "the rebels" on
Tryon's forces, which he " resented," and his displeasure at the
handful of rebels for not coming out in open battle with the Brit-
ish army, and other matters, hints of which are afforded in the
paper, are interesting in the light they cast upon events of those
days of one hundred years ago. It will be observed that the fleet,
after the attack on Fairfield, sailed over to Huutington, probably
for rest and provisions, the troops being exhausted with their
labors and the extreme heat of the weather. Then on the llth
the fleet re-crossed the Sound and made the attack on Norwalk.
It then recrossed to Huntingdon, and soon after sailed back to the
starting point at Whitestone, the rendezvous of the British fleet.
Sir Henry Clinton with his army lay, according to his dispatch,
at By ram river (the dividing line between Connecticut and New
York) and Mamaroneck, and within twenty-six or forty-eight
hours' march from Norwalk. The report of General Tryon is as
NEW YORK, 20th July, 1779.
Sir Having on the 3d instant joined the transports at White-
stone, Sir Geo. Collier got the fleet under way the same evening,
but the winds being light he did not reach the Harbour of New
Haven until the oth in the morning.
The Fifth Division, consisting of the flank companies of the
Guards, the Fusileers, Fifty-fourth regiment, and a detachment of
the Jagers, with four field pieces, under Brigadier General Garth,
landed about 5 o'clock (a. m.) a mile south of West Haven, and
began their march, making a circuit of upwards of seven miles to
head a creek on the western side of the town.
The Second Division could not move until the return of the
boats, but before noon I disembarked with the Twenty-third, the
Hessian, Landgrave and King's American regiments and two
pieces of cannon on the western side of the Harbour, and instantly
began the march of three miles to the Ferry from New Haven, east
We took a field piece, which annoyed us at the landing, and
possessed ourself of the Rock Battery of three guns, commanding
the channel of the Harbour, abandoned by the Rebels on our
approach. The armed vessels then entered and drew near the
General Garth got into the Town, but not without opposition,
loss and fatigue, and reported to me at half-past 1, that he should
begin the conflagration, which he thought it merited, as soon as
he had secured the bridge between us over Neck Creek.
The collection of the enemy in force on advantageous
ground and with heavier cannon than his own, diverted
the General from that passage and the boats that were to
take off the troops being not up, I went over to him ; and
the result of our conference was a resolution that with the first
division, he should cover the north part of the town that night,
while with the second I should keep the Heights above the Rock
Fort. In the morning the first division embarked at the south-
east part of the town and crossing the Ferry, joined us on the East
Haven side, excepting the 54th, which were sent on board their
In their progress of the preceding day from West Haven, they
were under a continuous fire, but by the judicious conduct of the
General and the alertness of the troops, the Rebels were every-
where repulsed. The next morning, as there was not a shot fired
to molest the retreat, General Garth changed his design and
destroyed only the public stores, some vessels and ordnance,
excepting six field pieces and an armed privateer which were
The troops re-embarked at Rock Fort in the afternoon with lit-
tle molestation ; and the fleet leaving the Harbour that evening,
anchored the morning of the 8th off the village of F airfield.
The boats being not sufficient for the whole of the First divis-
ion, I landed only with the flank companies of the Guards, one
company of the Landgraves and the King's American Regiment
with two field pieces, east of the village and southwest of the
Black Rock battery, which commands the Harbour.
We pursued our march (under a cannonade without effect)
toward the village, but on our approach received a smart fire
of musketry. The rebels fled before the rapid advance of the
Guards and left us in possession of it, and of the Heights in the
West, until General Garth, who landed two miles in the south,
joined us with the remainder of the troops in the evening.
Having laid under arms that night and in the morning burnt
the greatest part of the village, to resent the fire of the Rebels
from their houses and to mark our retreat, we took boat where
the Second Division had landed, the enemy throwing only a weak,
scattered fire on our flank, the Regiment De Landgrave by a
very proper disposition having very effectually covered our rear.
Wanting some supplies we crossed the Sound to Huntingdon
and there continued till the eleventh, and repassing that day,
anchored five miles from the Bay of Norwalk. The sun being
nearly set before the 54th, the Landgraves' Regiment, and the
Jagers were in the boats, it was near nine in the evening when I
landed with them at the Cow Pasture, a Peninsula on the east of
the Harbour within a mile and a half of the bridge, which formed
a communication between the east and west parts of the village,
nearly equally divided, by a salt creek
The King's American Regiment being unable to join us before
three next morning, we lay that night on our arms. In our march
at the first dawn of day, the 54th led the column and soon fell in
with the rebel outposts, and driving the enemy with great alac-
rity and spirit, dispossessed them of Drummond Hill, the Heights
at the end of the village, east from and commanding the bridge.
It being now but four o'clock in the morning and the rebels
having taken post within random cannon shot upon the hills on
the north, I resolved to halt until the Second Division landed at
the Old Wells, on the west side of the harbour, had advanced
and formed the junction. Gen. Garth's division passed the bridge
by nine, and at my desire, proceeded to the north end of the
village, from whence, and especially from the houses, there had
been a fire for five hours upon our advanced guards. The Fuzil-
leers supported by the Light Infantry of the Guards began the
attack, and soon cleared that quarter, pushing the main body, and
an hundred cavalry, from the northern heights, and taking one
piece of their cannon.
After many salt pans were destroyed, whale boats carried on
board the fleet, and the magazines, stores and vessels set in flames,
with the greatest part of the dwelling houses, the advanced corps
were drawn back, and the troops relieved in two columns, to the
place of our first debarkation, and unassaulted took ship and
returned to Huntingdon Bay.
We were waiting only for fresh supplies of artillery and force
adequate to the probable increase of the rebels by the decrease of
the objects of their care, and the alarm of the interior country,
when I was honored on the 13th with your command of the 12th
for the return of the troops with the fleet to Whitestone.
The rebels in arms at New Haven were considerable, more
numerous at Fairfield, and still more so at Norwalk.
Two hundred and fifty Continental troops had now joined their
militia, under Gen. Parsons, and together were said to be upwards
of two thousand. The accounts of their loss are vague. It could
not be trifling.
The general effect of the printed address from Sir George Col-
lier and myself to the inhabitants recommended by your Excel-
lency, cannot be discovered till there are some further operations,
and descents upon their coast. Many copies of it are left behind
at New Haven and at Fairfield. I sent one by the Rev. Mr.
Sayre, their Episcopal missionary, under flag to a party in arms ;
and received the answer of defiance already transmitted.*
I regret the loss of two places of public worship at Fail-field,
which took fire unintentionally by the flakes from other buildings;
and I gave strict orders and set guards for the preservation of
that burnt at Norwalk; but it is very difficult when the houses
are close, and of very combustible materials of boards and shin-
gles to prevent the spreading of the flames.
I should be very sorry if the destruction of these two villages
would be thought less reconcilable with humanity than with the
love of my country, my duty to the king, and the law of arms to
which America has been led to make the awful appeal. The
usurpers have professedly placed their hopes of severing the
empire, in avoiding decisive actions, upon the waste of the British
Treasures, and the escape of their own property during the pro-
traction of the war.
Their power is supported by the general dread of their tyranny,
and the arts practiced to inspire a credulous multitude with a
presumptuous confidence in our forbearance.
I wish to detect this delusion and if possible without injury to
I confess myself in the sentiments of those who apprehend no
mischief to the public from the irritation of a few in the rebellion
if a general terror and despondency can be awakened among a
people already divided, and settled on a coast everywhere thinly in-
habited and easily impressible, and to which their property is prin-
cipally confined. [I should do injustice if I closed this Repoi't with-
out giving every praise to the troops I had the honor to command.]
Sir George Collier cooperated with us in the direction of the
armed vessels employed in the descents, and I have the pleasure to
add that we had a perfect concert of opinion in the main operation.
The Loyal refugees possess a zeal, which with their intimate
and minute knowledge of the country will always render them
useful in such services.
I need not withhold my commendations even from the mariners
of the transports, who were generally employed in manning the
flatboats and batteries, and who were as alert as if they had been
entitled to the National Reward.
I have the honor herewith to transmit your Excellency a gen-
eral return of the killed, wounded and missing on this expedition,
and am with all possible respect,
Your Excellency's Most Obedient
and Very Humble Servant,
WM. TRYON, M. G.
P. S. I have the honor to transmit your Excellency herewith
a copy of Gen. Garth's report from New Haven, with the return
of the ordnance and stores taken and destroyed on the Expedition.
(Copy of a letter from Major Gen. Tryon to Sir Henry Clinton,
New York, July 20th, 1779.)
* See Pres. Stiles' Diary.
The following is a copy of a letter from Gen. Garth to Gen.
Try on, written at New Haven (while he was in possession of the
town), dated " New Haven, half-past one o'clock," and an expla-
nation of the circumstances is necessary. The letter has never
before been printed in this country. Gen. Garth, when he wrote
this letter was clearly of the opinion that New Havea " merited
the flames," as he himself said. This was July 5th, 1779. Gen.
Tryon was then at Beacon Hill with his staff and a part of the
Second Division. Ge.n. Garth clearly intended securing Neck
Bridge (referred to as " the Bridge "), and making his retreat
through what is now Fair Haven to Grapevine Point, called
in those days the Neck, and then crossing the Pardee " Ferry "
to East Haven, following the same route through Woodward-
town to Gen. Tryon's headquarters. But first, as the letter
shows, Gen. Garth intended a destruction of New Haven,
by a conflagration, and the inhabitants momentarily expected to
see the lurid flames with forked tongues bursting forth and
wrapping the town in their embrace. Gen. Garth says he in-
tended to break up Neck Bridge (after having wrapped the town
in flames) to make his departure easy, or "with less moles-
But something happened to change the General's plans just
before night. This was after the council of war at the old State
House. As stated in a previous article, the General, just before
his departure, expressed the sentiment that the town was too
pretty to burn. Tradition attributes generosity to the General as
the motive for not consigning the town to the flames, and the
intercession of influential loyalists, and this seems to be the ex-
planation for the change of programme. The General had
not had an easy time in New Haven, but, coming as sud-
denly and unexpectedly as he did met with a warm reception
and a constantly increasing harrassing from the Patriots. The
hard work of July 5th, the intense heat and the abundance of
liquor had reduced the British forces to a state which warranted a
speedy exit from the town, especially as the Patriot forces were
hourly being augmented. Gen. Garth, as has been stated, moved
his army over to Tryon's headquarters, a large part by the way
of the Ferry at the toot of what is now Bridge street, and the
rest embarking from Long Wharf after setting the store-
houses on the wharf on fire. The following is Gen. Garth's
(Despatches.) MILITARY, AMERICA, 1779, )
SIR HENRY CLINTON. \
NEW HAVEN, past One O'clock.
Dear Sir We have had a little difficulty with the rebels in
coming hither, but I hope the loss is not much. The troops are
greatly fatigued through heat, and every kind of cattle is driven
from the country, and this place is almost entirely deserted, and
therefore merits the flames. The enemy are following us with
cannon and heavier than what we have. I shall therefore, as
the Bridge is secured that communicates to you, begin the con-
flagration and retire over it and then break it up, as we may
either lay there a few hours or embark with less molestation than
from any other place I have seen.
I have the honor to be with great respect, your most obedient
servant, (Signed) G. GARTH.
I shall send this when the Bridge is passed by us.
To Maj. Gen. Tryon, &c., &c. Endorsed.
The above letter was " endorsed " in the records of the British
war office as a copy of Brigadier General Garth's report to Major
General Tryon, New Haven, " in Sir Henry Clinton's dispatches,
The full list of killed and wounded at New Haven, as ap-
pended in Tryon's report, is as follows:
" Names of the Officers Killed and Wounded."
Guards, Adjutant Campbell, killed ; Captain Parker, wounded.
54th Regiment of Foot, Captain Bickop, Lieut. Powell, wounded.
King's American Regiment, Ensign and Adjutant Walkins, killed.
Guards, 1 officer, one rank and file killed ; 1 officer, 1 sergeant, 9 rank and file
wounded; 14 rank and file missing.
7th, or Royal Fuziliers, 1 sergeant, 7 rank and file wounded ; 2 rank and file
23d, or Royal Welch Fuziliers, 1 drummer, 1 rank and file wounded.
54th Regiment of Foot, 1 sergeant, 6 rank and file killed ; 2 officers, 1 drum-
mer, 5 rank and file wounded ; 1 sergeant, 7 rank and file missing.
Landgrave Regiment, 2 rank and file wounded.
Detachment of Jagers, 1 rank and file wounded; 1 rank and file missing.
King's American Regiment, 1 officer killed ; 1 sergeant, 6 rank and file wounded.
Royal Artillery, 1 driver wounded. WM. TRYON, M. G.
NOTE. It was fully believed at the time of the war by the Patriots that the
British loss was as much as double that reported by Tryon. The writer during
his late visit to England endeavored to obtain a list of the stores, war material,
etc., captured at New Haven, but no light was thrown upon the matter in the
records. It will be noticed the Hessian loss reported is small, which was usual,
as the Government, we are told, had to pay for every one killed, according to rank.
The writer having been given access to the diary of President
Ezra Stiles, of Yale College, by President Porter, with permission
to use the same in this account of the invasion, takes this oppor-
tunity to thank President Porter for the great kindness ; also
Professors Fisher, Van Name, Dexter, Brewer, and Mr. Wm. L.
Kiugsley, the able editor of the New Englander, for lending a
hand to assist with advice and otherwise.
The abstracts from the diary may seem a repetition, the first
being kept on separate sheets of paper and afterwards compiled
and copied into the aforesaid diary. As both are most important
revolutionary documents I have copied them verbatim, leaving
each to tell its own story.
Old Diary kept on slip of paper.
DIARY OP PRESIDENT EZRA STILES OF YALE COLLEGE. VOL. IX,
1779, July 4th, Lord's day, 10 o'clock evening, advices received
in town. Fleet off Westfield (Bridgeport) when our sentries gave
alarm and we, here, fired the alarm of three cannons. I earnestly
pleaded to send for militia immediately. But would not believe
the enemy intended landing.
July 5th, Monday morning about l A. M. Alarm guns again.
Rang bells and beat to arms in earnest received advices, fleet
had anchored. At daylight saw the ships distinctly from steeple
of College Chapel. Began to remove all property, &c. Militia
meeting. Tories calm. With telescope from the tower or steeple
clearly saw the boats putting off from the ship and landing a
little after sunrise. Immediately I sent off College records and
papers and my plate three miles out of town and a bag of my
own things. Sent my daughter off on foot for Carmel (Mt.
Carruel) about VI. Our artillery and militia moved to West
bridge, pulled it up and planted artillery to make a stand. Our
people crossed, however, and went forward to Milford hill, where
they received the enemy in a marching column. Here Mr. John
Hotchkiss* was killed, and soon after Dr. Daggett wounded and
taken. The enemy turned and avoided the bridge, marched
through the Westfield to the bridge on Derby Road, about half
a mile from town. One corps of about 100 volunteers; militia
harrassed them on their march, hanging on their left flank. They
crossed Derby Road bridge and came into town at xii. 40 (12:40
p. M.) The action became general at entrance of town, on corner
(Ditch corner) when several were killed. We retreated to Neck
bridge and made stand. The militia rushed in and formed into
* He was a graduate of Yale College, class 1748, and his wife was a grand-
daughter of Gov. Eaton, first Colonial Governor of New Haven Colony.
4 divisions, at East Haven, at Neck bridge, at Mill Lane and
Ditch corner and fought all day. At VIII o'clock firing ceased.
Enemy plundering the town from entrance till VIII evening.
July, 6th, A. M., 1^ morning. Enemy paraded. Sailors came
on shore and took their turn at plunder. About sunrise began
(enemy) to march. Crossed Ferry to East Haven. Last about
sun one hour high or half hour high. Gen. Ward entered VII
morning, 4 stores, 7 vessels fired ; Gen. Tryon and Gen. Garth.
Enemy 3,000. All day engaged at East Haven at Beacon Hill, &c.
Gen. Ward there and Gen. Hart in town ; 4 regiments in East
Haven, Col. Russel, Col. Cook, Col. Worthington, Col. .
Sunset, enemy embarked and sailed. I went into town a few
hours after evacuation, 10 A. M.
July 7th. About 11 p. M. enemy landed and burnt Fairtield,
leaving only 15 houses in two miles around. Town composed 80
or 90 dwelling houses. About 70 were burnt, also meeting house
July 8th. Removing my furniture broke my Fahrenheit Ther-
mometer which I have had since 1762.
July 9th. British army at Byratn river.
July 10th. Fleet anchored off Norwalk. Burnt. Inhabitants
New Haven removing, expect return of enemy.
British army at Byram river. 6 Regiments Green Light
Infantry; Queen's Rangers, 300 men; Emerick Corps (sic), 150
men; British Legion, Cathcart's, 200 men; 22d Reg't., 300 ; 23d
Reg't., 37th Reg't., Horse (total 800). Total 3,000." Infantry say
6,000. Total British Army, New York, 12,000 men.
July llth. Lord's day. Heard, 1:11 p. M., Stamford in flames.
(Later, crossed out.)
July 12th. The whole town moving. Mr. Baldwin came in
(town supposed). Enemy left Norwalk this morning. Mr.
Baldwin entered upon enemy's departure, all but few houses,
burnt church. Clergymen of both places fled with enemy.
July 27th. Went to East Haven to recover some of President
July 28th. Returned to Yale College.
Diary of President Ezra Stiles compiled probably from a brief found in his diary,
vol. 14, p. 66.
NEW HAVEN TAKEN BY THE ENEMY.
The next morning after this was written (refer to former entry)
we were thrown into great distress by the approach of the enemy
in a fleet of about 40 sail. I sent my children and the college
* In a subsequent paper an account will be given of the ill treatment of Mrs.
Maj. Gen. Wooster (Lady Wooster), daughter of President Clapp, of Yale College
and the plundering of her house in Wooster street of valuable papers, known as
the Olapp MSS., which were, after the British sailed, thrown overboard. Some
of them were recovered in a damaged condition.
records and papers and my own MSS. and papers out of town
before the enemy reached the town. I did not bring back this
diary till Aug. 9th. I propose to catch a few leisure moments
to note some occurrences of the time elapsed from July 5, the day
of the enemy landing, to this time.
About one o'clock, morning July 5th, the fleet of about 40 sail
under command of Sir George Collier, anchored off West Haven.
Alarm guns were fired and Lieut. Col. Sabin of the militia
ordered to beat to arms. A lethargy seemed to have seized the
inhabitants, who would believe the fleet would pass by us in the
morning. However, s.ome of us set about putting up and remov-
ing furniture. But all was confusion. At daylight we descried
the fleet, and with a telescope on the top of the tower of the
college steeple we plainly saw the boats putting off from the
shipping for shore at 5 o'clock, or a little after sunrise. All then
knew our fate. Perhaps one-third of the adult male inhabitants
flew to arms and went out to meet them. A quarter moved out
of town doing nothing, the rest remained unmoved, partly Tories
partly timid Whigs. Sundry of the Tories went armed and went
forth. About 90 or 100 men finally stayed in town.
The numbers are very differently estimated, more generally
considered as 3,000 troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Tryon.
There were but two Generals, Tryon and Garth. They had but
20 square-rigged vessels, ships, scows and brigs, of which 15 were
ships, others were tenders, galleys, etc. Gen. Glover marched
next Lord's day with his Continental brigade, which was judged
by the staying inhabitants larger than Gen. Garth's division, and
yet I was assured by a knowing officer that this corps did not
exceed a thousand privates. I judge Garth's division 600 or 800
in column and 250 on each flank 1,200 at most; Tryon's division
larger and yet excluding marines the total of both divisions
might be more truly estimated at 2,000. Sir George Collier says
At 5 morning, Gen. Garth's division landed at West Haven
and marched to the meeting house, one mile, and formed upon a
green, where they halted two hours. About ix or x o'clock Gen.
Tryon lauded his division at 5 Mile Point. Both divisions
became engaged in their respective operations at the same time.
CoL Sabin, with 2 pieces of artillery, went to West bridge.
Capt. Hillhouse, with 20 or 30 brave young men, together with
many others, crossed the bridge over the Milford hill, and within
100 rods or a quarter of a mile of the meeting house, where the
enemy were paraded. Upon their beginning the march, Capt.
Hillhouse fired upon the advance guard so as to drive them into
the main body. But coming in force the enemy perceived others
besides Hillhouse's party had by this time passed the bridge and
reached the hill to perhaps the number of 150 men. These kept
up a galling fire on especially their outguards, extending perhaps
to 40 or 50 rods each side of the column, and yet the column
marched in a huddled confusion in about 30 companies and three
divisions thus :
00 f> . g
i 40 Rods. Ha* 40 Rods - '3
Gen. bq Garth.
Is 40 Rods. Q 40 Rods. .2
The above is the order in whirh the enemy marched in column from West
Haven Green, where they formed. The line of march of the "West Division
under Brig. Gen. Garth and the East under Maj. Gen. Tryon, will be shown in
several engravings which have been executed, to accompany this work.
The enemy were not so much attending to their street order as
a general vigorous march.
On Milford hill Adjutant Gen. Campbell, of the enemy, was slain
and left behind. Sundry more were wounded, near 2d mile stone.
Dr. Daggett, Professor of Divinity (ex-President of Yale College)
was captured. He discharged his piece and then submitted as
prisoner. They after this pierced and beat him with bayonets
and otherwise abused him so that his life was in danger for a
month afterwards. Also on our side John Hotchkiss, A.M., was
slain by the enemy. Our artillery at the bridge was well served
by Capt. Bradley and threw shot successfully across to Milford
hill and prevented the enemy passing the causeway and so into
town that way. Thereupon they turned off and continued their
route round to Derby bridge. As they came along, our people
divided, some crossed the bridge ; others kept to the enemy's left
and under command of Col. Burr* (son of President Burr)
harrassed the enemy's march. At the bridge Major and
some militia repulsed an expedition of the enemy towards the
powder mill. The light troops of the right flank forded the river
perhaps twenty rods below the bridge while the main body
crossed the bridge. Upon their passing the second mile stone
and it appearing evidant that they aimed round, Col. Sabin and
the field piece, Capt. Hillhouse, &c., &c., crossed the field with
two pieces to meet them at Derby bridge. Then at the enemy's
rising a hill and taking the road to town we gave them a hearty
fire and took a number of prisoners ; also on the other side near
the mill we took a number.
The northern militia and those from Derby by this time
crowded in and passed on all sides and some behaved with
amazing intrepidity. One captain drew up and threw his whole
company (the Derby Company, probably), directly before the
enemy's column and gave and received their fire. We fought upon
a retreat into the town. Just at the northwest (Ditch corner)
entrance the battle became very severe and bloody for a short
time, when a number were killed on both sides. The enemy,
however, proceeded along in force and entered the town at 40
minutes after 12 or a little before 1 o'clock p. M. From their
first entrance till 8 in the evening the town was given up to
ravage and plunder, from which only a few houses were protected.
Besides what was carried off, great damage was done to furniture,
etc., left behind.
While these things were transacting on this side of the harbor,
Gen. Tryon was pursuing his desolation on the East side. Upon
landing he set fire to Mr. Morris' elegant seat. He was molested by
the Fort on Black Hock, 3 miles from town, under the command
of Lieut. Bishop, and also by a field piece under the gallant
Lieut. Pierpont. At length the fort was evacuated and the
enemy reached Beacon hill in the afternoon. The enemy pushed
out almost to East Haven meeting house. But the militia col-
lecting in from every part pressed upon them. The enemy drew
nearer on to water on the west or town side. The confluence of
militia accumulated chiefly at three places, at Neck bridge (which
the enemy had pulled up and retired), Mill lane and Ditch
corner. At the last place was incessant firing on both sides all
* See Drake's Dictionary of American Biography. Aaron Burr, A r ice Pres't of
U. S., born New Jersey, Feb. 6th, 1756, died Staten Island Sept. 14th, 1836, son
of President Burr and grandson of President Edwards. Colonel Burr had that
morning taken a daughter of President Edwards to a place of safety in North
Haven, and hurrying back took part in the several engagements that followed.
the afternoon, and sundry were slain, and at length the firing on
both sides ceased in the evening.
In the afternoon of Monday, 28 large boats came ashore from
the shipping with about one thousand seamen to share in the
plundering. But General Garth absolutely forbid them landing
and sent them back, all but six boats which landed, alleging that
it would be dangerous should the boats be left on the flats at low
water. Gen. Tryon kept chiefly on the east side of the harbor
(Beacon Hill). He was, however, over on this side in the course
of the afternoon. (Met at council of war.) Garth feared lest his
men would become too drunk to remain safe on shore, and pro-
posed to Tryon going on board that night, but Tryon refused it.
The troops were ordered to parade at 1 o'clock next morning, and
the tories were notified of the departure. Four families (Messrs.
Chandler, Camp, Botsford and ) accordingly prepared and
went off with them next morning.
Though they began to call in their outposts, etc., and march the
main body a little before sunrise of the morning of the 6th of
July, yet they left 150 men to set fire to several stores on the
wharf and the vessels. These (troops) resumed plundering while
their galleys kept up a fire. The ships and stores were fired
between vi and vii morning. At the distance of three miles north
of the town I espied this conflagration, when we supposed the
whole town was destined to the flames. But a merciful God
ordered it otherwise.*
A few of the troops went directly to their shipping. Those fit
for duty (for they had been very drunk) crossed the ferry and
joined General Tryon's corps or division on Beacon Hill, half a
mile from the water. General Ward, of the militia, had command
at Ditch corner, and indeed all around on Mondav. On Tuesday
morning he entered the town after it was evacuated and then pro-
ceeded round to East Haven, where he took command of four
militia regiments now arrived, viz : Colonel Cook's, Colonel Rus-
sell's, Colonel Worthington's and Colonel Sage's, forming a corps
of 1,000 men, besides as many more spectators and volunteers not
under command. This body, together with the field pieces,
greatly disturbed the enemy till at length they quitted the hill
about noon on Tuesday. We immediately took it and brought a
field piece there, between which and the galleys at Black Rock
there was kept up an enlivening, incessant and animating fire all
Our militia grew bold and adventurous, and approached so
* I am informed that Mr. C. S. Maltby's grandfather, Colonel Eussell, had a
horse shot under him at this time. General Maltby, of Washington's staff, who
compiled the first army tactics of those days for the United States army, was a
brother-in-law of the aforesaid Colonel Russell.
f This accounts for the many cannon shot found on the Town send property in
East Haven, and agrees with tradition.
close to the enemy as to become very troublesome. Brig. Gen.
Hart, of the militia, had entered the town and took the necessary
measures there. The galleys fired at the militia on the wharves
and shore. In a word, a vigorous, incessant and heavy fire was
kept up till sunset, when the enemy fired the barracks in the fort,
and embarked and sailed Tuesday evening. On Tuesday morn-
ing, upon their crossing over the ferry, the enemy displayed their
vengeance by setting fire to houses, barns and stores in East
Haven. On both sides of the river or harbor the amount of their
conflagrations was burning eight dwelling houses, six stores, five
or six barns, eight vessels. The total damage to the town, accord-
ing to an account rendered unto the selectmen, is about 21,000.
L. M. Oldway (sic.) When they came into town the dead and
wounded were carried down to the ships and through the Green
in seven chairs and five wagons, in one of which wagons were ten
men, as I had it from one that lived at the water side and counted
them. They killed of our people in action twenty-one besides
some that died of their wounds, and besides two aged men, Mr.
English and Mr. Beers, whom they bayoneted in their houses,
making no resistance. Their barbarity was savage and cruel, if
not without a parallel, yet to the degree of the highest and most
brutal rigor of war.
At the entrance of the town they, the British, dispersed a few
printed proclamations issued by Commodore Sir George Collier
and Gen. Try on jointly, offering protection to all that either sub-
mitted or kept peaceably in their houses. This they violated in
most instances. They also read on the Long Wharf a proclama-
tion of freedom to negroes who should join them. But few, and I
think none, of the negroes, went off with them. They carried off*
between 20 and 30 prisoners, among the rest Jonathan Whiting,
Esq., judge of probate, Capt. Mix and Mr. Sabin. Notwithstand-
ing they burned no dwelling houses in town on the west side of
the water, yet they damaged the windows, doors, wainscots, etc.,
of many, but they did not the least damage to the President's
house or college edifices, and very little to the meeting houses,
State House, etc.
Upon their landing I sent off my four daughters in town, one
being absent in Hartford, who walked on foot for Mount Carmel.
I sent the college records and a quantity of colonial papers three
miles off by my youngest son. I sent off a horse load of bags of
clothes another way ; then sent Isaac with a carriage to overtake
his sisters ; and then ray oldest son Ezra went to West Bridge,
and was in all the actions of both the days on both sides of the
harbor. At length I was ready to depart and set off on horseback
to get a few miles out of town, and sent in a cart which happily
brought off four beds, etc., and trunks from my house. The rest
of my furniture was left, yet they neither took nor damaged any
except one large looking glass, into which they fired a ball which
demolished it. I retired a few miles (2 or 3), but spent the day
in riding around among our confluence of militia from Neck Rock
to Ditch corner, and next morning soon after the evacuation I
returned to town and visited the desolation, dead corpses and con-
flagration. It was with a sense of mixed joy and sorrow, plun-
der, rape, murder, bayoneting, indelicacies towards the sex, inso-
lence and abuse and insult toward the inhabitants in general,
dwellings and stores just setting on tire in East Haven in full
view, etc., etc., etc.; joy and rejoicing that the buildings had
escaped the flames in the compact part of the town, yet mixed
with fear of re-landing and future conflagration of which they had
left vigorous threatening. The fleet left the evening or night of
Tuesday, the 6th inst.
On Wednesday morning, July 9th, they anchored off Fairfield,
and landing here, took possession of the town of about one hun-
dred dwelling houses. They sent out Parson Sayre and a flag
with the proclamation to the military, at the same time setting
the town afire. Colonel Whiting of the militia sent back this
"Connecticut having nobly dared to take up arms against the cruel despotism of
Britain, and the flames having preceded their answer to your flag, they will persist
to oppose to their utmost the power exerted against injured innocence.
SAMUEL WHITING, Col. Commanding.
July 7th, sunset.
MAJOR GEN. TRYON."
At New Haven we heard the heavy cannonading at their land-
ing at Fairfield, being 3 p. M. of Wednesday, 7th. They burned
the most of the town that night, with the village of Green's Farms.
The public buildings were spared until next morning, when they
were burned. Gen. Tryon in person at Mrs. Burr's (lady of Thad.
Burr, Esq.,) had given her a written protection for her person,
house and property. The English embarked next morning. Their
rear guard at departure finished the conflagration and burned
Mrs. Burr's house, though she showed the written protection, they
damning Tryon's protection and paying no attention to it. Thus
Gen. Tryon laid in ashes all the town, except perhaps a dozen
buildings, but even these were set fire to, but extinguished by our
people; and among the rest not only the meeting house and State
House, but the Episcopal church, were laid in ashes by a member
of the Society for Propagating the Gospel.
On Thursday morning they departed for Fairfield and crossed
over to Huntingdon on Long Island to refit. While at Fairfield
they made an excursion five or six miles to Green's Farms, which
they burned and plundered, also the meeting house and dwelling
of the minister, Rev. Mr. Ripley. A large body of militia assem-
bled around and annoyed and shortened their stay.
Lord's day, evening. The fleet crossed over from Huntingdon
and anchored five miles off the town of Norwalk, and about sun-
set landed in about twenty boats. At six, Monday morning,
12th July, they marched for town. Major General Wolcott and
Brigadier General Parsons witli militia and Continentals, from 900
to 1,000 opposed them. Our men gave way. The enemy entered
the town about nine or ten A. M., and immediately laid the town
in ashes, which was completed by noon of 12th instant. Gen.
Parsons judged the enemy 2,000 at Nor walk. They burned the
meeting house and Episcopal church at Norwalk with this
blasphemous and heaven-daring expression at setting fire to the
latter, " Now God Almighty come and defend your own house."
The enemy ascribed the burning of this place of worship to
accident and as unavoidable from the vicinity to other buildings.
But here at Norwalk the Episcopal minister's house, the nearest
to the church, was indeed set on fire just at departure, but extin-
guished by our people, though the church could not be saved.
They embarked immediately, having in seven days, from Monday
morning, 5th, to Monday, 12th, or in one week, visited three cap-
ital towns on the Connecticut sea coast, burnt three meeting
houses and two Episcopal churches, eighty or ninety dwellings in
Fairfield, one hundred and thirty in Norwalk, and plundered and
desolated to an amount of damage rendered in to Gov. Trumbull
of about one hundred thousand pounds sterling. This is a taste
of British clemency. The same week the main body of the
army, under Sir Henry Clinton, of 6,000 or 8,000 men with
twelve field pieces and perhaps five hundred horses, had advanced
to the heights on the west at Byrara River, and within a mile of
Horse Neck, whence they sent a detachment and burned Bed-
ford. Here they burned the meeting house as a little before
they burned the meeting house at . So they have burned
seven places of public worship within a few days. Arise, O
God ! Soon after these operations all retreated and drew in
towards King's Bridge.
Sir George Collier in his letter to the ministry, July 27th, says
" the land forces under Maj. Gen. Tryon in this expedition were
2,600 men. The number of killed, wounded and missing on our
(King) side amount to 56." Assigns our firing from windows as
cause of burning. Not a fact.
Account of conflagrations of New Haven, East Haven, Fair-
field, Green's Farm and Norwalk ascertained by order of Gov.
New Haven, .
and 2,000 bushels of wheat.
July llth, 1779. Lord's day. So many had left the town that
two congregations agreed to meet together in forenoon at Mr.
Edwards' meeting, p. M., Mr. Whittlesey. I was to preach A.
M., but was interrupted in middle of sermon with news of burn-
ing of Norwalk on enemy's landing. Congregation broke up and
spent the day moving furniture and effects.
July 13th. Mr. Tutor Baldwin came yesterday morning from
Norwalk. Place in ruins.
July 14th. I went to Carmel and Cheshire and put my chil-
dren to board.
July 17th. Writing the Sieur Gerard diploma.
July 18th. Lord's day. News of the taking of Stony Point
Fort Friday morning, 16th inst., and garrison of 500 men. I
preached for Mr. Whittlesey, p. M., Rev. xii-11. At seven this
evening Gen. Glover's Continental Brigade came into town. He
told me Dr. Johnson would be for encouraging an application to
Gen. Tryon by town of Stratford offering neutrality.
July 20th. Town meeting held in New Haven and sent to
Gov. Trumbull for troops to be sent here.
July 21st. Enemy left Byram River last Lord's day, 18th inst.
July 22d. Most vigorous operations of the war everywhere.
July 23d. Copying diplomas on parchment. Gov. Trumbull
sent for our sufferings (sic), but 160 troops here. Col. Sage
2,000 at New London under Gen. Tylei*.
July 25th. Loi-d's day. I preached at West Haven for Rev.
Mr. Williston, who broke his leg in escaping from the enemy at
July 26th. Gen. Ward came to town ; stationed here militia ;
ordered down to the sea coast. Maj. Gen. Wolcott commands from
Byram River to Stratford particularly and generally through the
State ; Brig. Gen. Ward for Stratford from Stratford to Saybrook ;
Brig. Gen. Tyler thence to Paucatuck; perhaps 4,000 militia
actually in this division at this time.
July 27th. Mr. Tutor Atwater set off with diplomas to be signed
by the corporation. Went to East Haven with Gen. Ward and Col.
Sage to reconnoiter Beacon Hill, etc., for fortifications. At Mor-
ris's recovered some of President Clapp's College MSS., took up
by a boat at sea off against Fairfield the night of enemy's land-
ing there. The enemy threw overboard a large chest of his MSS.,
now lamentably and irrecoverably lost. A treasure of great
value. [See President Stiles' and General Tryon's Correspondence
in Clapp MSS.
July 29th. Visited Rev. Messrs. Arms and Goodrich (sic) in
consultation of College affairs. The morning of the enemy's
landing I dismissed the students till further orders.
Aug. 1st. Lord's day. I preached for Mr. Edwards; sick A. M.
Aug. 3d. New Haven militia received half want arms. Forti-
fying the town.
Aug. 8th. I preached at Carmel and admitted five persons in
Aug. 9th. I find all the parishes agree to a fast.
Aug. 1 Oth. Bro't home this MSS. yesterday. This day fin-
ished the Sieur Gerard diploma and sent it by the post to the
care of Hon. Henry Merchant, Esq., Delegate to Rhode Island to
Aug. 27th. Flag returned with nine New Haven prisoners.
The following is the letter of President Stiles of Yale College,
(found in his diary) to General Tryon, making enquiry for the
manuscripts of President Clapp* of Yale, which were carried
away in the British fleet from N e w Haven :
NEW HAVEN, July 14th, 1779.
Sir : The troops of the separate expedition under your Excel-
lency's command, when they left New Haven, on the 6th inst.,
carried away with them among other things, the papers MSS. of
the Rev. President Clapp, the late head of this seat of learning.
They were in the hands of his daughter Mrs. Wooster, lady of
the late General Wooster, and lodged in the general's house.
Among them, besides some compositions, were letters and papers
of consequence respecting the college which can be of no service
to the present possessor. This waits upon you, sir, to request this
box of MSS., which can have no respect to the present times, as
Mr. Clapp died in 1767. A war against science has been repro-
bated for ages by the wisest and most powerful generals. The
irreparable loss sustained by the of letters by the destruc-
tion of the Alexandrian Library and other ancient monuments of
literature have generously prompted the victorious commander of
modern ages to exempt these monuments from ravages and deso-
lation inseparable from the highest rigour of war. I beg leave
upon this occasion to address myself only to the principles of
politeness and honor, humbly asking the return of those MSS.,
which to others will be useless to us valuable. I am, sir, Your
Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant.
EZRA STILES, President.
His Excellency Major General Tryon.
Sent by Captain Sabin, August 17, 1779.
GOVERNOR TRYON'S LETTER IN ANSWER.
NEW YORK, 25th Sept., 1779.
Sir : Disposed by principle as well as inclination to prevent the
violence of war from injuring the right of the republic of learn-
ing, I very much approve of your solicitude for the preservation
* Spelled with two Ps in the Stiles Diary.
of Mr. Clapp's MSS. Had they been found here they should
most certainly have been restored as you desire, but after dili-
gent inquiry I can learn nothing concerning them. The officer of
the party at the house where the box is supposed to have been
deposited has been examined, and does not remember to have seen
it, nor apprehends that any such papers fell into the hands of the
soldiery. I Avould therefore indulge a hope that better care has
been taken of the collection than you were led to imagine at the
date of your letter. This, however, will not abate my attention
and inquiry, nor shall I, if I succeed, omit the gratification of your
I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
To the Rev. Mr. Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College
at New Haven.
Received Oct. 21, 1779.
PRESIDENT STILES' ANSWER.
YALE COLLEGE, Dec. 14, 1779.
Sir : The latter end of October last I received your letter of
25th September. It is unnecessary for you to make any further
inquiry respecting President Clapp's manuscript. Capt. Boss-
well of the Guard, while here on the fatal 5th of July last,
showed some of them in town, which he said he had taken from
Gen. Wooster's house, and it is presumed that he well knows the
accident which befell the rest. Your troops carried away from
Mrs. Wooster's a box and two large trunks of paper. One of
them was a trunk of papers which the General took to Canada,
the others were his own and the President's. On the night of the
the conflagration of Fail-field three whale boats of our people on
their way from Norwalk to the eastward passed by your fleet at
anchor off Fairfield (then in flames), sailed through a little ocean
of floating papers, not far from your shipping. They took up
some of them as they passed. 1 have since separated and reduced
them all to three sorts and no more, viz : Gen. Wooster's own
papers, Gen. Carlton's French Commissions and orders to the
Canadian Milita, and Mr. Clapp's, a few of which last belong to
this College. This specimen, sir, shows us that the rest are un-
happily and irrevocably lost, tinless perhaps Capt. Bosswell might
have selected some before the rest were thrown overboard. If so,
your polite attention to my request convinces me that I shall be
so fortunate as to recover such as may have been saved.
I am, sir, your very humble servant,
To His Excellency, Gen. Tryon, New York.
Sent by Major Harnage of the Saratoga Convention Troops.
The history of New Haven never can be properly written with-
out mention of the illustrious name of Hillhouse, and as we turn
over the pages of a sketch of his life and public services, by the
Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D., LL.D., and from which we make
copious extracts, this most appropriate inscription meets the eye :
" JAMES HILLHOUSE "
THE STATESMAN, THE PATRIOT, THE CHRISTIAN,
Born Oct. 21st, 1754. Died Dec. 29th, 1832.
He lives in the affection of his countrymen, and his deeds are his monuments."
We will not .enlarge on this gentleman's ancestry, which was
second to none in New England, and the part he took in
the various engagements of July 5th and 6th has been often
referred to in former papers. We will therefore only make brief
mention of fragments of facts and anecdotes collected from
tradition and otherwise, which tie him most firmly to the affection
of his townsmen and bestow on his memory the highest respect
his countrymen are able to give him.
His efforts and stirring appeal inviting enlistment under Gover-
nor TrumbulPs proclamation, published in New Haven papers of
June 23d, 17*79" To all friends of American freedom" had their
weight. His brave conduct as captain of the Second Company
of Governor's Foot Guards* of Connecticut, and the part he took
in the resistance to the British, as well as the services of this
highly honorable corps, which history tells us was the finest
body of troops in America, both shall stand forth and forever
adorn the pages of New Haven's history.
Captain Hillhouse was entrusted by Governor Trumbull with
the duty of promoting enlistments in one of the brigades. The
appeal above mentioned was published in the Connecticut Jour-
nal of June 23, 1779.
* It will be remembered that this splendid corps, composed of some of the first
citizens of New Haven, on receipt of the news of the battle of Lexington, marched
to Cambridge under the command of Captain Benedict Arnold, arriving just before
the battle of Bunker Hill, and were detailed to deliver the dead body of an officer
to an officer appointed by the British general to receive it. This officer paid the
corps this compliment, that he was astounded to find such a splendidly equipped
body of men, and that their superior was not to be found in His Majesty's service.
A portion of this Company went with Gen. Arnold to Canada and marched through
Maine on their route.
(From the Connecticut Journal of June 23d, 1779.)
To all Friends of American Freedom :
The period is now come, when, in all probability, we may, with
proper exertions, put a speedy termination to the war. And
nothing is more necessary to bring about so desirable an event
than furnishing a competent number of men for the field. The
encouragement for soldiers to enlist is truly great, and the offers
generous. The time of service will most likely be short ; they are
to suffer nothing by the depreciation of currency ; their families
are to be supplied with the substantial of life at the old price;
the army are well clothed, and provided with everything neces-
sary and convenient ; and at the end of the war they are to
receive a handsome reward for their services. I am sensible our
internal foes, our worst enemies, will throw every discouragement
in the way, will tell you that our money is almost run out and
that we must inevitably submit. But you may be assured that
no exertions will be wanting on the part of the United States to
disappoint their expectations. And 1 am confident that should it
ever be our misfortune to experience such a calamity, the free
born sons of America would arm themselves and go forth, without
hire or reward, against our enemies, and never lay down their
arms till they had driven every invader from our land. Never
have the Americans been animated with a beaming spirit but they
have been successful. No sooner were our Southern brethren
roused to proper exertions than they defeated the troops sent
upon an expedition, from the success of which our enemies have
made such pompous boasts, and have driven them off loaded with
infamy and disgrace.
His Excellency the Governor has directed me to enlist all within
this brigade who shall be so nobly and virtuously inclined. It
being a matter of public concern, I beg every individual will use
his influence to encourage a competent number to enlist, as it
will save the disagreeable necessity of a draft. And voluntary
enlistment is certainly the most eligible, as it will convince our
enemies we have not yet lost our spirits, and will fill our brethren,
already in the field, with new life and courage to find us ready
with cheerfulness to lend them our aid.
Lest there should be any who cannot engage upon the above
terms, for fear the war may continue longer than they think they
can possibly absent themselves from their families and farms, I
am authorized by His Excellency to offer those who will engage
to serve in said army until the 15th day of January next, twenty
pounds bounty, a new regimental coat, and the same pay, refresh-
ment and family support, during the term of their services respect-
ively, as other soldiers in the Continental army, with liberty to
choose the company in which they will be joined. And who is
there that will deprive himself of the pleasure and satisfaction he
would derive through his whole life, from reflecting upon his hav-
ing served a campaign in so important a period of the war. I
hereby invite all, and shall make the offer to as many as possible,
to engage before the 10th day of July next, when I am to make
return to His Excellency. Those who incline to accept will, by
making application, receive their bounty in bills and be kindly
treated by their most obedient and humble servant,
New Haven, June 21, 1779.
James Hillhouse at the time was a member of the family of
the widow of James Abraham Hillhouse, Esq., to whom he was a
near relative. Madam Hillhouse was a member of the Church of
England, and her political sympathies were with the British.
Hers was therefore one of the few houses to be protected from
pillage. Some of the British officers were quartered there, and
were received with the courtesy due to men who bore His Maj-
esty's commission. Yet the loyal lady was in great danger from
the imputation of her nephew's patriotism. It happened that the
newspaper containing Captain Hillhouse's patriotic call for
recruits came under the notice of the officers almost as soon as
they entered the house which was to be protected for its loyalty.
The house and its contents would have been immediately given
up to the plundering soldiers had not the lady, with a dignified
frankness which repelled suspicion, informed her guests that
though the young man whose name was subscribed to that call
was a near and valued relative of hers, and was actually resident
under that roof, the property was entirely her own ; and that the
part which he had taken in the conflict with Great Britain was
taken, not only on his own responsibility, but in opposition to
her judgment and sympathies.
New Haven's leafy, arched streets are known to every one, and
most of the old magnificent elms around the Green and colleges,
and through Temple street and Hillhouse avenue, were trans-
planted by the Hon. James Hillhouse from his beautiful estate,
which was on the northern outskirts of the town. While Mr. H.
and his men were thus employed, a neighbor passed and remarked,
" Hillhouse, you will never live to see these trees large enough for
shade." Mr. Hillhouse replied, "But some one else will," and
this little incident gives his character. He lived for others.
The following incident will be of interest : " In connection with
Mr. Hillhouse's superintendence of the Hartford and New Haven
turnpike, a story is extant which, if it is only a myth, is never-
theless worth repeating. The tradition is that while Mr. H. was
working the road, he was visited by Gen. Wade Hampton, of
South Carolina, one of his associates in the House of Representa-
tives. Of course it was a part of the ' Sachem's ' hospitality to
show his Southern friend the great work that was in progress.
The well-trained oxen, as well as other things that he saw, were
much admired by the stranger. ' See,' said he to the negro ser-
vant who attended him, 'how those oxen work! Tom! they
know more than you do.' ' Oh ! mas'r,' said the negro in reply,
'dem. ar oxen has had a Yankee bringing up.' ''
The following is one of the incidents of the invasion, also hap-
pily preserved : "It was 'at the second mile stone,' just where
the road to West Haven diverges from the Milford road, that the
Rev. Dr. Daggett, Professor of Divinity in Yale College (and the
acting president for nine years before the accession of Dr. Stiles)
encountered the enemy. He had come from the town, riding
furiously on his old black mare, with his long fowling piece in his
hand. At the bridge he had addressed a few 'patriotic and earn-
est' words to the little company that was to serve the artillery.
Rushing by the company of young men under Capt. Hillhouse,
several of them students, he was greeted with cheers. As they
turned southward toward West Haven, they saw him ascending
a little to the west, and taking his station deliberately in a little
copse of woods. When the young men, having driven back the
advanced guard and encountered the main body of the enemy,
were making their hasty retreat to regain the other side of the
river, the professor, who had never learned to ' advance back-
ward,' kept his station with characteristic fearlessness and tenac-
ity, waiting for the enemy. As the British column came up,
several successive shots from the hillside arrested their attention,
and the sturdy form of the professor in his clei'ical costume was
easily discerned by the party sent to the spot whence the firing
proceeded. ' What are you doing there, you old fool, firing on
His Majesty's troops?' was the exclamation of the officer. 'Exer-
cising the rights of war,' replied the professor. The oddity of
such an answer, proceeding from such a person, probably arrested
the shot or the bayonet that might have killed him on the instant ;
and the question was put whether, if his life was spared, he would
be likely to do such a thing again. 'Nothing more likely,' said
he, 'I rather think I should.' He was permitted to surrender
himself, but was cruelly pierced with* bayonets and driven at the
head of the column until they reached the town. For a month
afterward his life was in danger from the wounds and injuries
which he had received, and indeed, his death which took place
in the following year, was hastened by those sufferings. See the
article on Prof. Daggett in Sprague's Annals of the American
Pulpit, Vol. 1.
The following episode may also be of interest. It will be remem-
bered that it was customary in all New England towns to keep Sat-
urday nights with great strictness, but Sunday night was treated
for business purposes the same as any other evening of the week.
It was now the third anniversary of American independence.
New Haven had never celebrated this great event, as other cities
and towns of importance had done. The patriots of New Haven,
had decided to have a celebration this time. The Fourth of July
came on Sunday. A meeting was therefore held in the "old mid-
dle brick church" at sundown Sunday, to make arrangements and a
programme for the intended celebration. When everything was all
arranged it was decided about nine o'clock in the evening, for the
Second Company Governor's Foot Guards, which was made up
of both patriots and loyalists, to escort or lead the grand proces-
sion on their march to the Green, where orations and proper
ceremonies befitting such an anniversary would take place.
Delegations from the adjoining towns were expected and the
whole programme was successfully arranged. The Guards were
under the command of Captain Hillhouse, and the militia which
were to participate, were under the command of Lieutenant Colo-
nel Sabin, the recognized commander of the militia of this district.
The inhabitants had quietly retired, when at about ten o'clock the
booming of a signal gun announced the approach of the enemy.
It was then supposed that a fleet which had been observed in the
Sound a day or two before, and was supposed bound to Newport or
New London was merely passing. Daylight came and imagine the
surprise and consternation of everybody, and especially the loy-
alist members of the Foot Guards when it was discovered by
parties with spy glasses on the tower of Yale College, that the
enemy had landed. The loyalists were compelled by pride to
march forth to assist in the defence, which they did without
Thos. R. Trowbridge, Esq., senior partner of the house of Messrs.
H. Trowbridge's Sons, shipping merchants, and President of the
Chamber of Commerce, gives me the following reminiscences:
When it was found that the enemy were surely making a descent
upon the town, Mr. Rutherford Trowbridge, grandfather of Mr.
Trowbridge, who lived in a fine brick mansion across the Dyke
(corner of Columbus and West Water street, still to be seen),
hurried his family, which consisted of his wife and several young
children, most of them daughters, into a boat and sent them up
the Quinnipiac River to North Haven, to the house of a friend,
where they remained until the enemy left town. As soon as his fam-
ily were out of harm's way, Mr. T. started with his musket (now in
the Historical Society Museum) and joined the company under
the brave Capt. Hillhouse, and with other patriots met the enemy
at 2d mile stone and disputed every step of their advance into
town. Mr. Trowbridge's family left in such a hurry that they
did not take the bread from the oven, which was found "well
done" on their return, and everything in the house was intact, just
as it was left. The reason their house was not plundered was that
Capt. Rice, a gentleman loyal to the King and crown, and a par-
ticular friend of Mr. Trowbridge, interceded for his neighbor's
property and saved it. Mr. Thomas R. TroAvbridge is the seventh
in descent from "Thomas Trowbridge," one of the first settlers
of New Haven Colony under Gov. Eaton, 1638-9.
Some new facts have been lately elicited from members of the
Tuttle family in regard to the diabolical murder of Mr. Elisha
Tuttle in Broadway on the afternoon of July 5th, 1779. Mr. T.
was a lineal descendant of Wm. Tuttle, who came out with Gov.
Eaton from Somerset county in 1638-9. His family owned the
site of Christ church, and it was here that he was spending his
time while on a visit to New Haven. His mind had been im-
paired by a shock occasioned by the burning and destruction of
his home on the frontiers of New York and Canada by the British
and Indians, and the murder of his wife and children while he was
on a visit the year before to his friends in New Haven. A daughter
alone remained, and she was a captive in the hands of the savages.
Mr. T., after fruitless search for his child, returned to his native
town, a discouraged and ruined man. While the enemy were
advancing, and as they passed down Broadway, he was kept
quiet by one of the family and had been left for only a moment,
when he espied a party of British soldiers out of the window,
and thus inspired by revenge, his crazed brain prompted him to
seize an old rusty and unloaded musket and rushing into the
street, he pointed the musket at the party. The neighbors tried
to stop him and called to the soldiers that the poor man was
deranged, but they all, more or less under the influence of rum,
heeded not, and as he could not speak they pried open his mouth
with a bayonet while on the ground where he had fallen in a
scuffle, and then one of them was brute enough to cut out his
tongue. The late Stephen D. Pardee, Esq., for many years the
honored treasurer of the New Haven Savings Bank, was a grand-
nephew of Mr. Tuttle. Charles Dickerman, Esq., of Howe street,
is also a grandnephew.
The following interesting reminiscences are given by Dr. Levi
Ives. His grandfather, Dr. Levi Ives, was a surgeon during the
Revolution and attached to a Connecticut regiment, and was
with it during the attack on Quebec under General Montgomery,
where the latter was slain. Dr. Ives lived at the time of the
invasion in Broadway, second house east of Mr. Eleazar Fitch's.
The old "lean-to" house is now standing and in it Dr. Levi's
father, the late Prof. Eli Ives of Yale College, was born, and in
1779 was one year old. About ten o'clock on the evening of the
4th of July, Dr. Ives had retired and was sound asleep when the
first alarm gun was fired announcing the approach of the enemy.
Mrs. Ives called him and soon a second and third gun followed.
Dr. Ives at once ordered his servant to take his wife and child in
the gig to the house of a relative in North Haven, and at day-
light, the doctor and Mr. Mansfield, father of Major Benjamin
Mansfield, joined others and went with Captain Hillhouse to
meet the invaders at Allingtowu, where they both commenced
flighting on their own hook behind a stone wall. Gen. Garth
sent a detachment to cut this party off. One of them (Mansfield)
happened to look around, and saw the foe before and behind.
They ran behind a large chestnut tree, just as a whole volley
was fired at them, the bullets cutting the limbs of the tree and
showering them with leaves and twigs. They then ran and
joined their comrades without receiving a wound.
Mr. Beers, who was murdered as before noticed, was a great
grandfather of Dr. Levi Ives. His son was Captain Nathan
Beers, an old Governor's Foot Guard, who was guard over Andre
the night before the execution of that officer, and to whom Andre
presented a sketch of himself drawn in pen and ink before a glass,
which was presented by Captain Beers to Yale College. The
said Captain Nathan Beers was father of the late Isaac Beers,
Esq., and Prof. Timothy Beers of Yale College, of this city.
Dr. Ives mentions the fact (more fully related hereafter), that
Squire Painter, of West Haven, went with some of his neigh-
bors at daylight, July 5th, to Savin Rock to meet the enemy,
and as they landed he lay flat on the ground and fired upon
them. Dr. Ives says the season was so far advanced that
Indian corn was high enough for the Patriots to mask themselve 8
in and fire on the regulars as they marched from West Haven to
Hotchkisstown (now Westville).* He also tells of a little discus-
sion which the Hon. Eleazar Goodrich, father of Prof. Goodrich,
had with a British soldier concerning a certain musket the soldier
was armed with while on duty in the town, the afternoon of its
capture. Mr. G. lay wounded in his uncle Charles Chauncey's
house. The soldier seeing him, stabbed him with his bayonet.
Goodrich being a very powerful man wrenched the loaded mus-
ket from the soldier, throwing him on the floor and there held
him, expecting assistance from some of his neighbors. Just
at that moment several British soldiers entered and rushed upon
Goodrich, who at once called out, " I surrender !" and they were
about dispatching him when the soldier from whom he had taken
the musket called out, "You have saved my life and I will
yours," and Mr. G. was told he could go, much to his surprise and
I am indebted to Mr. George B. Bassett, of Orange street, for
the following : His great-grandfather was James Bassett, son of
John Bassett, who moved out of town to his estate on Hamden
Plains, and built the fine old residence known as the Bassett
House, where his son James was born in 1724, and which was
pulled down about three years since. The house was built in the
year 1720, and was a fine two-story lean-to house, situated on the
right-hand side as one drives toward Centerville. The aforesaid
James Bassett was a lineal descendant of William Bassett of the
New Haven colony, and is supposed to have been the one of that
name who came to New Plymouth in New England in 1621. Mr.
James Bassett had three sons, viz : James, Timothy and John.
James and Timothy served in the Continental army during the
revolution, and, just previous to the invasion of New Haven, we
find James serving in a Connecticut regiment in New York state,
* Mr. Charles Dicker-man says his father was in the engagement at Alliugtown,
and when the enemy had passed the bridge, he went on West Rock, and looking
down on the scene, lie observed the patriots masked in the corn and firing on the
where two years before he had witnessed the surrender of Lieu-
tenant General Burgoyne and his army to the fortunate Major-
General Gates. I say fortunate, because it was the opinion of
many who were present and were eye-witnesses of the several
engagements preceding the surrender, that nothing but the great
energy and daring of General Benedict Arnold (the Captain
Arnold of the old Governor's Foot Guards of New Haven),
brought about the capture of this army of between 5,000 and
6,000 men, which frustrated the well laid plans of Sir Henry Clin-
ton to march an army from Canada via North river to New York
and thus, sever New England from the other colonies. This
James Bassett and his brother Timothy happened both to be at
home on a furlough, and when the alarm guns were fired, which
at daylight (morning of July 5) announced the actual landing of
the enemy at Savin Rock and East Haven, they took down their
muskets from the hooks over the fire-place in the kitchen, and
went forth to join their townsmen, who were mustering on the
Green before the middle brick meeting-house. They were in all
the engagements from West Haven to the Ditch Corner, where
both were wounded. James had his arm broken with a ball, and
was carried home behind a neighbor on horseback. He reported
to his father that Timothy was shot dead in the same battle, as
he had seen him fall. It seems that at the Ditch Corner the
patriots made a stand. James was wounded as before mentioned,
and Timothy, grandfather of Mr. George B. Bassett, was shot
through the body, the ball lodging in the back of his waistcoat
which he kept until his death. As he lay wounded, a British sol-
dier stripped him of his silver shoe-buckles, and was about knock-
ing out his brains with his musket when Chandler came up and
said, " That man has his death wound ; let him alone. I have
hunted foxes with him many a time." And so they passed on into
the town. He was soon taken from the road where he had fallen
to a house near, and a friend reported to his father that he was
dead. The next day, the British having evacuated the town, his
father took his chaise and drove to the house for his son's body
and found him living. He was at once put into the chaise and
carried home, his father leading the horse, and two friends accom-
panying him, one on each side to lift the chaise over the rough
places on the road. He was laid up with his wound for more
than a year, but lived many years, dying aged 60.
This Timothy Bassett was stationed at West Point and assisted
in building Fort Putnam. It was commenced in the winter;
the weather was very severe and the soldiers picked dry cat-tails
and stuffed their blankets with them to keep out the cold.
Among the brave defenders of New Haven was David Atwater,
of Cedar Hill, Hamden, whose wife Elizabeth, was a cousin of the
Bassetts of Hamden Plains. These two families had their grants
of land north of the town, several hundred acres each, between
Quinnipiac and Mill rivers and East Rock, at one time; and the
Neck (Fair Haven West), was on the Atwater grant. This David
Atwater was a lineal descendant of Joshua Atwater, from County
Kent, England, the first treasurer of New Haven Colony under
Governor Eaton. On the morning of the invasion this David
Atwater took his Dutch horse and whiffletree, and with some of his
friends went to an armed vessel which was laying at the wharf,
and dismounted one of its six-pound brass guns (an old Spanish
piece), and hitching his horse to it, drew it out to West Bridge,
and there mounted it with stone and rails from the fence and fired
several shots on the approach of the enemy. On account of this
and the bridge being taken up, the enemy decided to cross the
West river higher up on the Derby road, and the gun was drawn
across the fields and fired several times with good effect, and
finally abandoned about the Ditch Corner after having been
The citizens of the towns of Woodbridge and Bethany seem to
have been exceedingly patriotic, but none more so than the fami-
lies of Sperry of Woodbridge. Mr. Simeon Sperry was grand-
father of two ol our most honored citizens, ex-Mayor Sperry and
the Hon. N. D. Sperry. The latter for the past eighteen years has
been postmaster of this city, and now the longest in office in the
United States, whose accounts the United States Auditor tells us
have never been short one cent. Simeon Sperry was descended
from Richard Sperry, of the New Haven Colony, whose grant of
land was at or near Hatchet harbor and the Judge's Cave on
West Rock, and who was made famous in Colonial history for
supplying food to the Regicides, Goffe and Whalley.* The pioneer,
* It is a noticeable fact that two of the finest streets radiating from Broad-
way (old Ditch Corner) towards the Sperry estates where the Regicides found
refuge, are named Goflfe and Whalley avenues, and they are now banded together,
(as the Regicides were by friendship, more than 200 years ago), by a street,
bearing the name of their protector and provider, Richard Sperry, the first white
man living within the beautiful and picturesque town of Woodbridge.
Mr. Richard Sperry, resided in the famous old moated manor
house in Woodbridge, which was approached in colonial times by
a long causeway leading across his estate from the river. On
these estates is the celebrated " Ravine " noted for its former
woolen manufactories successfully conducted by the Sperrys, and
forming a part of one of the wildest and most romantic bits
of scenery in New England.
On the morning of the invasion Mr. Sperry, with his neighbors,
the Lines', Perkins' and Merwins, shouldered their muskets and
marched to Allingtown, and there joined Captain Hillhouse's and
ex-President Daggett's companies in disputing the enemy's ad-
vance into town, and it was this detachment, tradition informs us,
that saved the powder mills and captured a large body of the
enemy, mostly Hessians.
The father of these gentlemen also assisted in erecting the
earthworks on Beacon hill, then called Fort Treadwell and after-
wards Fort Wooster, after the lamented Major General Wooster,
killed by the British at Danbury.
Captain C. H. Town send, Dear Sir: Thinking that it might be of some interest,
and perhaps also of some use to you, I have made some extracts from an unpub-
lished history of West Haven, and life of my grandfather, Captain Thomas Pain-
ter, giving some account of the landing of the British in this place, as seen by
himself when a youth of nineteen years.
Respectfully yours, D. C. COLLINS.
West Haven, May 27th, '79.
EXTRACTS FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THOMAS PAINTER, ESQ.
"About the first of March, in the year 1779, I enlisted in a
company of artillery under the command of Captain Bradley,
which had been raised and stationed in and about New Haven for
the defence of the town. The company was divided into three
portions one for the East Haven side of the harbor, one for the
West Haven side and one for New Haven itself. My place of
service was my native village (West Haven) under the immediate
command of Lieutenant Azil Kimberly.
While I was serving in this company, the enemy paid us a visit
early in the month of July, landing at the " Old Field " shore.
The night that they came I was upon guard (as it was my tour of
duty) at the house then owned by Deacon Josiah Platt, now the
property and residence of Mr. Wilmot. Not far from midnight
the news came that a large fleet of the enemy's ships were in the
Sound, and it was feared that they were destined for New Haven.
Soon I, with some others of the guard extended our walk to Clark's
Point. As it was a starlight night, we soon discovered the fleet
standing in to the eastward with a slight breeze on the land. We
watched their maneuvres until they came to anchor off the " Old
Field" shore a little before day. I then hastened up to my
Uncle Steven's to inform them of the impending danger, but they
were extremely incredulous and unwilling to believe there was
really any danger, for they had become accustomed to frequent
and unnecessary alarms.
I told them that they must be up immediately and get their
breakfast if they intended to have it at home and in peace ; and
I also advised them to hide their valuables and handy articles of
clothing, for fear of the worst. Then mustering up what ammu-
nition I had, and crossing into the other street, I, with three
others of the guard obtained permission of an officer to go down
to the shore and watch the enemy's landing.
We then went to the " Old Field " shore, where we waited
until sunrise, when a gun was fired from the Commodore
as a signal for landing, and instantly a string of boats was seen
dropping astern of every transport ship, full of soldiers, and pull-
ing directly for the shore. It was near high water, and a full
tide, so the boats could come plump up to the beach. As soon as
they came within point-blank shot we fired into them, and con-
tinued the fire until they began to land within a few yards of us.
Then I thought it was time either to retreat or, on the other hand,
resign and beg for quarters, rather than run the risk of crossing
the open field under the shower of shot which I well knew would
be hurled after me. It was an emergency in which I knew not
what to do ; for after we had been so.foolish and impudent as to
fire into an army of men all huddled into their boats, with no
opportunity of returning our well-aimed shots, I knew they
would soon make short work of us if they once had us in their
power. So there was really no alternative but to run and abide
the consequences. I therefore instantly started across the fields
at the top of my speed, and the bullets after me like a shower of
hail, which seemed to prostrate all the grass around me. But
fortunately I escaped unhurt, and retreating to another good
stand on the Rock pasture, waited the approach of the flank
guard. Then I would fire a few shots and retreat to another am-
bush, and fire a few more and again retreat, and so I continued to
do until I got nearly up to the Milfbrd turnpike road, where there
was an adjutant of the enemy killed and left behind.
By this time the main body of the British had passed up
through Allingtown, on their way to Thomson's bridge on the
Derby road. Our people had planted some field pieces on the east
side of the West bridge in order (if necessary), to rake the cause-
way, but it being supposed by the enemy that the bridge had
been blown up (which was attempted), was the reason of their
taking the upper route to the Derby road.
The company to which I belonged had passed into New Haven
and up to Neck bridge, and I thought it not best to pursue after
them to join them, and therefore returned back to West Haven.
The enemy staid over night in New Haven, doing much damage
by plundering ; then early the next day crossed over to East
Haven, where they burned several houses ; then marched down to
Morris' Cove, burnt his house, then embarked once more onboard
their fleet, and getting under way proceeded to the westward.
They landed at Fairfield and Nor walk, burned both those places
and then returned to New York.
As the roll of the Grand Army of the American Revolution is
called, we notice the name of Major-General David Wooster,
husband of Madam Wooster, from whose house the before men-
tioned Clap MSS. and other papers belonging to Yale College
were taken; also that Connecticut contributed more troops for
the cause of freedom in proportion to her population than any
of the colonies except Massachusetts, and on almost every battle-
field her sons were found paying tribute to the cause of liberty
with their blood. Such was the case at New Haven, and the
great effort made by a handful of our townsmen against tre-
mendous odds, taken unawares as they were, and meeting the
enemy as they landed on both sides of the harbor, as the Saxons
met the conqueror, disputing step by step their march on the
town, shall stand forth on the pages of New Haven's history as
an illustration of the great valor of those
" Whose good swords are rust,
Whose bones are dust,
Whose souls are with the saints we trust."
Such also was the case at Ridgefield a short time before, where
the gallant Major-General David Wooster, of this town, fell
mortally wounded on the 27th of April, 1777, dying of his wounds
on the 2d of May following; and it may not be out of place here
to make mention of his brilliant service to his country, not only
in the Revolution, but in the old colonial wars, which gave a drill
and preparation to our yeomanry for the struggle that followed,
and assisted much in finally crowning their herculean efforts with
the laurel branch of liberty.
Colonial records, traditions and copious extracts from the well-
prepared oration of the Hon. Henry Champion Deming, delivered
at Danbury, Conn., April 27th, 1854, at the completion of the
Wooster monument, have furnished me with material for a
brief account of this good man's brilliant career. The son of
Abraham and Sarah (Walker) Wooster, born at Stratford,
then Colony of Connecticut, March 2d, 1710-11 old style
the youngest of six children, reared in Puritan principles,
member of the Congregational Church of Stratford, 1732, grad-
uated at Yale College 1738, appointed Lieutenant (under Captain
George Phillipses by the Connecticut Assembly, at its May ses-
sion, 1744), to the sloop "Defense," which was built at Middle-
town, Conn., fitted out and armed to cruise against Spanish
pirates by order of the same Assembly at its May session the
year before ; these events epitomize his early career. The
"Defense" was the first war vessel built by Connecticut. We
find him captain of the "Defense" October, 1742, when he is
ordered to discharge his men and lay his vessel up at New London,
and he seems to have held command until May, 1746, when we
find a petition of David Wooster, late commander of the
" Defense," asking for remuneration for services, etc. His cruises
seem to have been from Cape Cod to the capes of Virginia, run-
ning into New Haven " on a stolen visit " to Mary, the daughter
of Rev. Thomas Clapp, president of Yale College, whom he
married March 6th, 1745, "a wife who, from the date of her
nuptials till she followed him to the grave, clung to his fortunes
with all a woman's unfaltering constancy and devotion." It was
then he bought the old homestead in this town,f as proved by a
search of our records made about 1854 for Mr. Deming by
Alfred H. Terry, Esq., of this city, now Major-General Terry,
U. S. A., whose many brilliant achievements during the late War
of the Rebellion, and whose successful plan and capture of Fort
Fisher rank him with those noble commanders whose deeds can
never be obliterated from the history of our country.*
We will not linger on the part which Captain Wooster took in
preparing the Connecticut fleet for the invasion of Cape Breton
(then a French colony at war with New England), the fleet con-
sisting of eight transports under the convoy of the Connecticut
sloop-of-war "Defense," which sailed from New London April
llth, 1745, meeting the united armament of the Northern colonies,
consisting of one hundred sail, and anchoring off Louisbourg (the
stronghold of the French and the strongest fortress north of the
* The deed conveying the old "Wooster Place to David Wooster, dated January
18, 1744-5, consideration 800.
f Site standing in George street, near the foot of College street.
Gulf of Mexico), on the 30th of the same month, when His
Majesty's squadron from the West India station, Admirals
Warren and Townsend (afterwards Governor Isaac Townsend
of Greenwich), joined them. Of the colonists, William Pepper-
ell (Sir William afterwards), of Maine, was in command. Roger
Wolcott, of Connecticut, was second, and after a siege of
forty-eight days, during which time the part performed was of a
herculean order, Duchambeau, its governor, on the 19th of June
sent out his flag of truce with an offer to surrender. 'Tis said
the strong heart of General Roger Wolcott (also of Yale College,
class of 1747 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence),
sank within him when he saw the great guns on the towers
of the fortress forty feet high, and a moat twenty yards
wide, but step by step they were led on to victory. In consider-
ation of the gallantry and gentlemanly deportment of Captain
Wooster, he was entrusted with the command of a cartel ship
that was to convey the trophies and prisoners to England, and
.was received in London with extraordinary exultation. His
portrait adorned the pages of magazines and walls of the principal
taverns and the chief places of entertainment, and as he seemed
to be the only victorious hero in town he was feted, presented at
court and gladdened with the sunshine of royal smiles. He was
rewarded with a captaincy in His Majesty's service, and with the
single exception of the lieutenant-general of the expedition he
was the only one engaged in it that received any mark of minis-
terial honor. While abroad he became impressed with the neces-
sity of some tie which should unite all mankind in a universal
brotherhood, and on his return home, which was soon after by
packet to Boston, he procured from the Provincial Grand Lodge
of Massachusetts a charter under which Hiram Lodge of New
Haven was organized in 1750 and Wooster appointed its first
Master, and thus with the Father of our Country these two
brothers pursued the same straight path which will forever be to
their honor and glory.
The fourth intercolonial war, called the French and Indian war,
was approaching; the school in which Washington, Wooster,
Prescott, Putnam, Arnold, Allen, Montgomery, Lyman and Wol-
cott were educated for the Revolution, and during its seven
years' war New England sent forth 13,000 men, more than one-
fifth of her male population. Mr. Bancroft says: "No State in
the world has such motive for publishing its historical record,
partly because the modesty of those who have gone before you
has left unclaimed much of the glory due to her, and partly that
it is only in the past that you find the Connecticut people an
undivided whole. Since then her increase in numbers has been
so disproportional to her original territory that her citizens or
their descendants are scattered all the way from Wyoming to the
mouth of the Oregon."
In 1756 was organized the finest army ever then seen in America,
designed to be under the guidance of the Earl of Loudon to cap-
ture Ticonderoga and Crown Point and drive the French out of
Canada. Wooster was appointed Colonel of the Third regiment
of Connecticut, and joined at Albany with his regiment this fine
body of regulars and provincials more than 10,000 strong. The
season was lost in waiting the movement of their sluggish com-
mander, the Earl of Loudon, and so the Connecticut troops
It is from the lips of an eye witness, Captain Nathan Beers, a
venerable citizen of New Haven, now no more, himself an officer
of the Revolution, that the following account of Colonel
Wooster's leaving New Haven for this campaign is recorded:
" He was at the head of his regiment, which was then embodied
on the Green in front of where the Center Church now stands.
They were ready for the march, with their arms glistening and
their knapsacks on their backs. Colonel Wooster had dispatched
a messenger for his minister, the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, with a
request that he would meet the regiment and pray with them
before their departure. He then conducted his men in military
order into the meeting house, and seating himself in his own pew
awaited the return of the messenger. He was speedily informed
that the clergyman was absent from home. Colonel Wooster
immediately stepped into the deacon's seat in front of the pulpit
and prayed with the zeal of an apostle ; then leaving the house
with his men in the same good order they had entered it, the
regiment at once taking up its line of march for Northern New
Next year, 1757, a third levy of 5,000 men was made in Con-
necticut, and Wooster marched his regiment again from New
Haven to the head waters of the Hudson. It was this season that
Abercrombie recklessly rushed his troops into the cannon's mouth,
behind which lay the gallant Montcalm with three thousand six
hundred French and Canadians. The carnage was terrible,
resulting in the loss of Lord Howe, Col. Towrishend and several
hundred officers and men.*
Wooster led his regiment into the thickest of the fight, but the
battle was lost. Then followed inactivity, and winter coming on,
the troops went into barracks. In 1759 Wooster led his regiment
to Fort George to join the memorable expedition under Gen.
Amherst, which completed the conquest of Canada. It may be
interesting to know that the morning the regiment left New
Haven they mustered on our historic Green, and then after
stacking arms. Col. Wooster marched his whole regiment into
the "White Haven" or North church, and there a sermon was
preached to them (now extant) by the Rev. Samuel Bird, V. D. M.,
subject, " The importance of the Divine presence with our
hosts," text, Ex. xxxiii. 15. The sermon closed with an address
to Col. Wooster and the officers and soldiers of his command. In
this spirited address, Madame Wooster is beautifully alluded to.
Upon the advance of Gen. Amherst's forces, Ticonderoga and
Crown Point were abandoned by their garrison. Meanwhile
Wolfe fell in the arms of victory on the Heights of Abraham,
and this successful army marched into Quebec, which had capit-
ulated to Brig. Gen. (afterwards George 1st Marquis) Town-
send. Montreal was the last foothold of the French in Canada.
Early in the spring following, Gen. Amherst divided his forces
into two columns. One, led by Gen. Haviland, of 5,000 men,
inarched by the way of Lake Champlain, and the other, under
Amherst, 10,000 strong, to which Col. Wooster's regiment was
attached, went by one of the longest and most fatiguing marches
recorded in our military annals. Arriving at Oswego the army
crossed Lake Ontario in open galleys and thence down through
the Thousand Islands, capturing all French vessels and military
posts and reached Montreal early in September, which town
surrendered without a battle to a combined army of regular and
provincial troops of 20,000 men ; thus the French, with the excep-
tion of a chain of small and feeble settlements stretching from the
Lake to the Mississippi, were driven from the continent of North
America. Wooster returned with the regiment to New Haven at
the close of this war and being engaged in mercantile pursuits,
was appointed Collector of Customs, which office he held for
* Col. Roger Townshend was buried at Albany and his tomb is in Westminster
Abbey, next Major Andre's. He was the youngest son of Charles. 3d Viscount
Townshend of Raynham and brother of the 1st Marquis.
twelve years afterwards, being he longest period of his life, in which
he was allowed to enjoy happiness and repose among his friends.
His fortune was ample. His wife, in addition to other claims upon
his admiration, possessed also those solid charms which were not;
entirely despised even in the heroic ages of our ancestors. He
continued to draw his half-pay as Captain of His Majesty's 51st
Regiment of foot, and from various sources he derived an
income which enabled him to surround himself with all the
comfort and luxuries of wealth. His style of living was in the
highest elegance of olden times. He spread a bountiful table,
kept his horses and phseton and a troupe of black domestics.
The old mansion house in Wooster street, then fairly isolated in
the country with an unobstructed prospect of the Sound, opened
wide its doors in genuine hospitality. It was the resort of
learning, the talent and polish of that era the dawn of the
Revolution. Madam Wooster was herself a heroine of the
Revolutionary type, strong in mind and bold and earnest in
character, and witli a presence and manner so dignified and
imposing as to awe into reverence the drunken British soldiery
who subsequently sacked her mansion under the command of
Captain Bos well of the Guards, who were stationed for the
protection of her house and property by order of the command-
ing general, Garth.
When news of the bloody fight at Lexington forever closed
the doors of reconciliation, Gen. Wooster resigned his com-
mission in the army, also his collectorship of the port of New
Haven, spurning the temptation of a high commission in the
British army, which was earnestly pressed upon his acceptance,
and at once, when it became apparent that war was inevitable,
enrolled himself on the side of his country, not waiting even
for official position, but with other private Connecticut gentlemen
planned the seizure of Fort Ticonderoga, pledging their own
personal security for the loan which defrayed the expense of
the expedition, thus participating in the first aggressive act
against the Crown.
The General Assembly of Connecticut in its May session, 1775,
threw off all disguise respecting their warlike preparations,
and in plain terms ordered one-fourth part of our militia to be
armed and equipped for immediate service. The forces thus
organized were divided into six regiments and David Wooster
was appointed Major General and Commander-in-Chief, with
Joseph Spencer and Israel Putnam as his Brigadiers. Active
service immediately followed this appointment. At the solicita-
tion of the Committee of Safety of New York, Wooster was
ordered with the troops of his command to defend its metropolis
against a threatened demonstration of the enemy. He was then
sixty-five years of age and his long experience had prepared him
in every way for the war. During July and August, 1775, he
was encamped at Harlem, and while there his enthusiasm met
with a cruel rebuff, he having the mortification to see General
Putnam, his junior, raised by Congress to the rank of Major
General while he was made only a Brigadier, although he still
held his commission in the service of the colony of Connecticut
as major general of her militia. This slight on the part of
Congress of course brought forth a long correspondence, but
Wooster nobly accepted the brigadiership in the Continental
service, and was soon ordered to Ticonderoga with Connecticut
troops, this department being then placed under command of
Major General Schuyler, whose headquarters were at Albany.
History gives abundant proof of the disagreement of these
officers. Wooster was sent to Canada, second in command
under the unfortunate Montgomery, with whom he heartily
co-operated, and to their joint exertions the capitulation of St.
John was due, dispersing the forces under Sir Guy Carlton,
for which meritorious achievement they received the thanks of
Congress. Together they marched on Montreal, and when Mont-
gomery started thence for Quebec, Wooster was left there
(Montreal) in command of its garrison, and on the ill-fated
desperate assault of December 31st, when the brave Montgomery
was slain, he entered on his duties as commander-in-chief. But
his command was brief, and on account of a new misunderstand-
ing with General Schuyler he asked to be recalled, and within
one month of his departure the American Army withdrew to
the New York frontier. Impartial history has ratified the verdict
and charged our misfortune in Canada, not to the officers in
command, but to the poor means put at their disposal. Wooster
returned to Connecticut with the undiminished respect and con-
fidence of his fellow-citizens, and as the Assembly had recently
raised six brigades for home defense, he was again appointed
by it Major General and Commander-in-chief. With zeal unchilled
either by age or misfortune, he again entered the service of the
Madam Wooster was frequently heard to say that when the
General was called to lead the Connecticut troops he would say,
"I cannot go with these men without money," and drew from
O ' '
his own funds to pay officers and men, taking their receipt for
the same. The papers and vouchers for these disbursements
were destroyed when the British pillaged the Wooster house,
and this venerable and accomplished lady was, in her declining
years, actually imprisoned for debt and the keys of the jail turned
upon her from the impossibility of recovering the money her
husband had advanced to his suffering country. On the morning
of April 25th, 1777, the British fleet landed two thousand men
at Cedar Point, on the Connecticut shore, and having formed
in close column passed through the little village of Compo,
guided by Eli Benedict and Stephen Jarvis of Danbury. camping
over night at Weston. The expedition was under the command
of Gov. Tryon,of N"ew York, whose operations afterwards in New
Haven, Fail-field and Norwalk have been mentioned in former
articles, and it was this same Governor who was driven on board
the "Asia" frigate, lying in North river, by Wooster and his
Connecticut Continentals, when the American army took pos-
session of New York previous to their arrival after the evacuation
of Boston in 1776. News of the enemy's landing was received
by Wooster at New Haven early on the morning of the 26th of
April, 1777. General Arnold was also home (New Haven) on a
furlough and at once both Generals proceeded to the scene of
operations. On their way through Fairfield news was received
that General Silliman (a graduate of Yale, class of 1752, father
of the late Prof. Benjamin Silliman and grandfather of the
present Prof. Silliman of Yale College) had ordered the militia
to rendezvous at Reading. Passing on, they arrived at General
Silliman's headquarters, when Wooster took command, and with
his troops followed the enemy to Bethel, arriving there about
midnight with a small force of 700 men. On the 27th General
Wooster ordered Silliman and Arnold out with 500 men to
intercept Tryon, in front, while Wooster with about 200 followed
in Tryon's rear and captured about 40 prisoners. A few miles from
Ridgetield, Wooster again attacked their rear guard, which was
supported with artillery, which wheeled to receive him. A
severe skirmish followed, and the undisciplined militia staggered.
The brave old man rushed forward into the thickest of the fight,
and waving his sword, he called aloud, " Come on my boys, never
mind such random shots," and the next moment he was struck
by a shot, breaking his spine and burying itself in his body.
Thus fell the gallant and noble Wooster fainting and mortally
wounded, and was carried from the field by his soldiers on a sash
worn by him during the battle, the same which was presented,
with his sword and portrait, to Yale College by Admiral
Wooster in 1837.*
The surgeon, Dr. Turner, was at once by his side. Wooster
was told he could not survive, which tidings he received with the
most serene composure. He was removed to Danbury and
Madame Wooster summoned to his side, but she arrived too late
to see him in his right mind. For three days he lingered in
extreme agony aggravated by the further search of the surgeon's
probe for the fatal bullet. During his delirium he imagined him-
self making long marches, at sieges and in battle, at the home of
his childhood, beautiful Stratford, street and green before him
and neighbors around many of whom were not in sympathy
with his views, but as neighbors and old friends were always glad
to see David Wooster the cabin of his ship and his own mansion
looking out on New Haven's beautiful bay. Thus on the 2d of
May, 1777, in the service of his country, died Major General
David Wooster. He was buried at Danbury with military hon-
ors befitting his rank, a few days after.
The following is a copy of President Daggett's account of the
treatment he received from the enemy, with his affidavit, which
is preserved in the Secretary of State's office, Hartford, a copy of
which may be seen in Barber's Connecticut Historical Collections,
page 174-5 :
An account of the cruelties and barbarities which I received
from British soldiers after I had surrendered myself a prisoner
* REV. J. DAY, President of Yale University :
DEAR SIR: As I shall soon leave this my native place and there is much uncer-
tainty as to my ever returning to it again, I beg you to receive in behalf of the col-
lege these relics of my much respected grandfather, whose memory is still cher-
ished by every American patriot. His portrait I found by mere chance in the city
of Santa Yago, the capital of Chili, in the year 1822. The sword is the same
which he had drawn at the time when he fell in repelling the inroads of the enemy
of our country, and the sash is that on which he was carried from the field after
receiving the wound which caused his death.
With feelings of high respect and esteem, I remain, reverend sir,
Your obedient servant,
A. D. 1837. CHAS. W. WOOSTER.
into their hands. It is needless to relate all the leading circum-
stances which threw me in their way. It may be sufficient first
to observe that on Monday morning the 5th inst. the town of New
Haven was justly alarmed with the threatening appearance of a
speedy invasion from the enemy. Numbers went out armed to
oppose them. I among the rest took the station assigned me on
Milford hill, but very soon was directed to quit it and retire fur-
ther north, as the motion of the enemy required it. Having gone
as far as I supposed was sufficient, I turned down the hill to gain
a little covert of bushes which I had in my eye, but to my great
surprise I saw the enemy much nearer than I expected, their
advance guard being a little more than twenty rods distant, with
plain, open ground between us. They instantly fired upon me,
which they continued till I had run a dozen rods, discharging not
less than fifteen or twenty balls at me alone. However, through
the preserving providence of God I escaped from them all unhurt
and gained the little covert at which I aimed, which concealed
me from their view, while I could plainly see them through the
woods and bushes advancing towards me within twelve rods. I
singled out one of them, took aim and fired upon him. I loaded
my musket again, but determined not to discharge it any more,
and as I saw I could not escape from them I determined to sur-
render myself a prisoner. I begged for quarter and that they
would spare my life. They drew near to me, I think two only in
number, one on my right hand, the other on my left, the fury of
inf ernals glowing in their faces. They called me a damned old
rebel, and swore they would kill me instantly. They demanded,
"What did you fire upon us for ?" I replied, " Because it is the
exercise of war." Then one made a pass at me with his bayonet
as if he designed to thrust it through my body. With my hand
I tossed it up from its direction and sprang in so near to him that
he could not hurt me with his bayonet. I still continued plead-
ing and begging for my life with the utmost importunity, using
every argument in my power to mollify them and induce them to
desist from their murderous purpose. One of them gave me four
gashes on my head with the edge of his bayonet to the skull and
bone, which caused a painful effusion of blood. The other gave
me three slight pricks with the point of his bayonet on the trunk
of my body, but they were no more than skin deep. But what is
a thousand times worse than all that has been related is the blows
and bruises they gave me with the heavy barrels of their guns in
the bowels by which I was knocked down once or more and
almost deprived of life, by which bruises I have been almost con-
fined to my bed ever since. These scenes might have taken up
two minutes of time. They seemed to desist a little from their
design of murder, after which they stripped me of my shoes and
knee buckles and also my stock buckle. Their avarice further led
them to rob me of my pocket handkerchief and a little old tobacco
box. They then bade me to march towards the main body, which
was about twelve rods distant, when some officers soon inquired
of me who I was. I gave them my name, station and character,
and begged their protection that I might not be any more abused
and hurt by the soldiers. They promised me their protection,
but I was robbed of my shoes and was committed to one of the
most unfeeling savages that ever breathed. They then drove me
before the main body, a hasty march of five miles or more. I
was insulted in the most shocking manner by the ruffian soldiers,
many of whom came at me with fixed bayonets and swore they
would kill me on the spot. They damned me and those that took
me because they spared my life. Thus, amid a thousand insults,
my infernal driver hastened me along faster than my strength
would admit in the extreme heat of the day, weakened as I was
by my wounds and the loss of blood, which at moderate computa-
tion could not be less than one quart. And when failing in
some degree through faintness he would strike me on the back
with a heavy walking staff and kick me behind with his foot.
At length by the supporting power of God I arrived at the
Green in New Haven, but my life was almost spent ; the world
around me several times appeared dark as midnight. I obtained
leave of an officer to be carried into Widow Lyman's and laid on
a bed, where I lay the rest of the day and succeeding night in such
acute and excruciating pain as I never felt before.
New Haven, July 26th, 1779.
NEW HAVEN, July 26, 1779.
Personally appeared the Rev. Dr. Naphtali Daggett and made oath to the afore-
said account as true and genuine before me. DAVID AUSTIN,
Justice of the Peace.
The following with reference to President Daggett is copied
from " Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit " and was written
by Hon. Elizur Goodrich, LL.D., member of Congress and Pro-
fessor of Law in Yale College, and who, as will be seen, was in
the various engagements from West Haven to Ditch Corner.
On the evening of the 4th of July, 1779, a force of 2,500,
which had previously sailed from New York, landed in the south
part of West Haven, a part of New Haven, about five miles from
the center of the town. College was of course broken up and the
students, with many of the inhabitants, prepared to flee on the
morrow into the neighboring country. To give more time for
preparation and especially for the removal of goods, a volunteer
company of about one hundred young men was formed, not with
the expectation of making any serious stand against such a force,
but simply of retarding or diverting its march. In common with
other of the students I was one of the number, and I well remember
the surprise we felt next morning (July 5th) as we were march-
ing over West Bridge towards the enemy, to see Dr. Daggett
riding furiously by us on his old black mare with his long fowling
piece in his hand ready for action. We knew the old gentleman
had studied the matter thoroughly and satisfied his own mind as
to the right and propriety of fighting it out, but we were not
quite prepared to see him come forth in so gallant a style to carry
his principles into practice. Giving him a cheer as he passed, we
turned down toward West Haven at the foot of Milf ord hill, while
he ascended a little to the west and took his station in a copse of
wood where he seemed to be reconnoitering the enemy like one
who was determined "to bide his time." As he passed on
towards the south we met an advanced guard of the British, and
taking our stand at a line of fence we fired upon them several
times and then chased them the length of three or four fields as
they retreated, until we suddenly found ourselves involved with
the main body and in danger of being surrounded. It was now
our turn to run, and we did for our lives. Passing by Dr. Dag-
get in his station on the hill we retreated rapidly across West
Bridge, which was instantly taken down by persons who stood
ready for the purpose, to prevent them entering the town by that
road. In the meantime, Dr. Daggett, as we heard the story
afterwards, stood his ground manfully, while the British column
advanced along the foot of the hill, determined to have the battle
to himself, as we had left him in the lurch, and using his fowling
piece now, and to excellent effect, as occasion offered, under cover
of the bushes. But this could not last long. A detachment was
sent up the hillside to look into this matter, and the commanding
officer coming suddenly, to his great surprise, on a single individ-
ual in a black coat blazing away in this style, cried out, "What
are you doing there, you old fool, firing on His Majesty's troops?"
"Exercising the rights of war" says the old gentleman. The very
audacity of the reply and the mixture of drollery it contained
seemed to amuse the officer. "If I let you go this time, you
rascal," said he, " will you ever fire again on the troops of His
Majesty ?" "Nothing more likely" said the old gentleman in his
dry way. This was too much for flesh and blood to bear, and it
is a wonder they did not put a bullet through him on the spot.
However they dragged him down to the head of the column and
as they were necessitated by the destruction of West Bridge to
turn their course two miles further north to the next bridge
above, they placed him at the head and compelled him to lead
the way. I had gone into the meadow in the meantime on the
opposite side of the river, half a mile distant, and kept pace with
the march as they advanced toward the north. It was, I think,
the hottest day I ever knew. The stoutest men were almost
melted with heat. In their way they drove the old gentlemnn
before them at mid-day under a burning sun rovmd through
Westville about, five miles into the town, pricking him forward
with their bayonets when his strength failed, and when he was
ready to sink to the ground with utter exhaustion. Thus they
marched him into New Haven, shooting down one and another
of the unoffending citizens as they passed through the streets,
and keeping him in utter uncertainty whether they had not been
reserving him for the same fate. When they reached the Green
he was recognized by one of the loyal citizens of the town, who
had come forward to welcome the troops, and at his request was
finally dismissed. His life was for some time in danger from
extreme exhaustion and from the wounds he had received. He
did, however, so far recover as to preach regularly in the chapel
a part of the next yea,r, but his death was no doubt hastened by
his suffering on that occasion. He died about sixteen months
We find in the New Haven Journal & Courier the following ad-
ditional, from a correspondent, F. H. T. H., regarding Dr. Daggett:
Rev. Naphtali Daggett entered Yale College in 1744 and
graduated in 1748. He was settled as minister of Smithtown on
Long Island in 1751. In 1755 he was elected Professor of Divin-
ity in Yale College, which he accepted, and removed to New
Haven. After the resignation of Mr. Clapp in 1766, he officiated
as president till 1777. During the barbarous attack on New
Haven, July, 1779, he distinguished himself for the part he took
in the defence of the country. He had made himself obnoxious
by his bold opposition to the British cause. In the pulpit and in
the lecture room he inculcated upon the students the duty of
resisting Biitish oppression, consequently he incurred the marked
displeasure of the invaders. What he preached, that he prac-
ticed. When the enemy landed he shouldered his musket to
repel them. He was taken prisoner and treated with all possible
indignity. His clerical character did not exempt him from their
most outrageous abuse. When asked by them who he was, he
immediately replied, "My name is Naphtali Daggett: I am one
of the officers of Yale College. I require you to release me."
"But we understand that you have been praying against our
cause." " Yes, and I never made more sincere prayers in my life."
He was saved by the courage of the lady into whose house he
had been conveyed. The enemy having retired, they sent back
an officer and tile of soldiers to convey him as prisoner on board
their fleet. They came to the house and were refused admittance
by the lady, who pleaded the excuse that he was so badly
wounded that it would be impossible to convey him on board
alive. "My orders," said the officer, "are positive to take him
with me." But she pleaded that he was in the agonies of death.
After continual demands and refusals, the officer left to report the
case and never returned.
He died in 1780 in consequence of the wounds he had received
in his engagement with the British. He held the office of Pro-
fessor of Divinity twenty-five years, and presided over the uni-
versity eleven years,
I am informed by Mrs. Grace Wheeler, widow of the late
Capt. Stephen Wheeler, and her daughter Mrs. Grace (Wheeler)
Glenny, of 55 Wooster street, this city, that during the invasion
of the 5th of July, 1779, her great grandmother, Mrs. Abiah.
(McCumber) Hall, wife of Mr. John Hall, whose residence was
on the northeast corner of Fair and State streets, while crossing
the street was met by a party of British soldiers. One of them
espied her gold beads, and cut them from her neck with the
point of his bayonet ; the others took fi % om her shoes the silver
buckles. It was this house that a cannon ball passed through
and lodged in the chimney over the fire-place. Mr. Hall's daugh-
ter married Major Win. Munson, of this city, an officer in the
Continental army, also a member of the Society of Cincinnati,
and Surveyor of Customs of the port of New Haven, appointed
by Gen. Washington, which office he held until his death, a period
of thirty-three years. The major was first cousin to Benedict
Arnold's first wife, Margaret Mansfield, and accompanied him to
Canada. He was then a lieutenant in Col. Elmore's regiment, as is
proved by his papers, dated May 6th, 1776, now in possession of
the family. Major Munson was also commanding officer at Dobb's
Ferry at the time of Andre's execution. His son, Wm. Munson,
Jr., died there soon after of small-pox, aged about ten years.
This young gentleman, aged eight years and nine months, left
New Haven with his father, as an officer (perhaps clerk) on half
pay, dressed in a full suit of Continental. His father's desire was
to educate him for the army. The lad was exceedingly promising
and became the pet of the army. He breathed his last in Gen-
eral Hazen's arms just as his father was returning from a short
absence, the youth having been suddenly taken ill. Mrs. Captain
Wheeler is now eighty-seven years of age, and a lady of wonder-
ful spirit, and energy, and gifted with fine conversational powers.
Mrs. Wheeler's father, Major Munson, paid a visit of condolence
to Lady Washington soon after the General's death. He spent
some time at Mt. Vernon, and Mrs. Wheeler well remembers the
lemons brought by Major Munson from Mt. Vernon, which were
kept for many years in a dried condition. Major Munson's com-
missions are in the possession of Mrs. Wheeler, and she has another '
relic, one of two punch bowls ordered by Captain Daniel Green
of the ship Neptune, while on one of his voyages to China, for
Major Munson, one of which was given to General Washington.
They weie both beautifully decorated with Masonic emblems.
Two letters written to Major Munson by General Washington
are in the possession of Mrs. Wheeler and the commissions
signed by Washington and Hancock respectively are still in the
Mr. A. C. Raymond, stationer, of Center street, was told the
following by Frederick Lines :
Old Mr, Pinto, living in State street, at the time of the inva-
sion, remained at home all day. He told this story to Mr.
Frederick Lines, that while sitting in his door, a finely-dressed
officer in red uniform came riding down Elm street and turned up
State toward Grove street. Just then a Mr. Bradley, from East
Haven, came from a direction which is now Grand street, on
horseback, with musket loaded and primed, and seeing this officer,
he leveled his piece and fired. The officer dropped off his horse,
and Bradley at the same time rode up to him, took the officer's
sword and gave him several cuts over the head. He then took the
officer's, horse and on his own rode out of town. The officer
crawled into Mr. Bishop's garden (Mr. Bishop was Abraham
Bishop, afterward collector of the port), and there lay until found
by some of his comrades. The Bishop house is still standing,
on State street, north of Elm.
Mr. Raymond also gives me the following interesting reminis-
cence : During the afternoon of July 5, Mrs. Attwater was sitting
in her parlor window (in the old house once occupied by George
Rowland, Esq., and now the site of the Attwater block on Fleet
street), with her little child Elnathan, afterward Captain Elnathan
Attwater, a noted shipmaster of New Haven, when General Tryon
(described as a short, thick-set man) with his staff passed with an
umbrella over his head, it being an exceedingly hot day, and see-
ing Mrs. Attwater, he stopped and took little Elnathan in his arms.
After a short conversation with the lady he gave up the little boy
and ordered a guard placed at the house. She at that time had
the gold beads and jewelry of many of her neighbors on her
person. On the next afternoon while the last of the fleet were
sailing out of the harbor, Mrs. Attwater went to the garden to get
some vegetables to boil in the pot and a cannon shot struck near
her, covering her with soil and weeds from the garden.
The following from the genealogical work on the " Hughes and
Allied Families " is an incident worth repeating. We are indebted
to Miss Sarah E. Hughes, principal of the Dixwell avenue school
in this city, who herself largely assisted in the compilation of the
Hughes book and contributed much to its success, for the infor-
mation. She says : "When in 1779 the town was invaded by the
British troops, under command of Major General William Tryon,
great consternation and fear filled the inhabitants, as the roaring
of cannon and the sharp crack of musketry were heard, and the
smoke of burning dwellings marked the line of march. Many
fled with their families, while others sent their wives and children
with such valuables as they could most speedily collect, to the
woods, and other places of supposed safety, while they staid to
resist and harass the enemy.
It happened at this time that two of Henry Freeman Hughes'
sons, John and Daniel, had gone into the country to Simsbury to
visit their brother Henry, who had removed thither a year previ-
ous, on a farm he had purchased. Their object was to see the
country, with the intent to buy also each a farm if sufficiently
pleased. His daughter Abigail and John's wife filled bags with
the valuables of the house, and, placing them on a horse, fled
to the woods where they remained over night. His son Freeman,
with his wife and two children, joined the British. This left him
alone with his wife, who was a cripple and had not walked for
years. She was greatly alarmed feared that she would be taken
and killed and persuaded him to desist from his purpose of
fleeing. The enemy came in to the Ferry. Reaching the house,
the advance guard turned their horses into his fields of rye and
corn, broke open and scattered his flour, pitched his pork about
with their bayonets, and let out his molasses and rum till his cel-
lar was shoe deep with the mixture. When the officers came up,
he went out and asked protection. They said : "Are you a friend
to King George ?" He replied : " I am." Then they told him
no further violence would be done, and placed a guard around his
house. From this circumstance he was often called a Tory, which
the family justly resented and denied.
The British encamped for the night on the heights north of
his house, known as Tuttle's Hill. Early on the morning of the
6th, seeing the inhabitants collecting in force, those on the west
side of the river called in their guards ; the first division crossed
the ferry and joined Gen. Tryon on the East Haven side ; thus
making his homestead the place where one of the historical events
of the times occurred. They retreated to their boats, carrying
with them a number of the inhabitants captive, who were taken
without arms, and a few who chose to accompany them.
Henry Freeman Hughes came from Wales and married Lydia,
a daughter of Noah Tuttle, whose interest in her father's property
fell to her. It seems Mr. Hughes owned and kept the lower, or
Hughes Ferry, the boat of which was propelled by means of horse
power. Their mother not having been able to walk, her husband
remained with her, which accounts for their being home when the
enemy arrived. Their two sons gone, taking with them the
horses so that the enemy were not able to use the scow ferryboat
when the evening arrived, they weie very much enraged and
abused Mr. Hughes, but he being a Welchman and this com-
pany belonging to the Welch Fusileers all was made right,
and of the four houses at Waterside his was the only one
left standing. The positions of these houses were as follows :
The Tuttle house stood a few rods south of the road on the shore ;
the Elam Luddington house was a new house on the site of the
house now owned by Capt. David Forbes, and the stone house
mentioned in a former paper, is now the residence of Mrs. Captain
Bradley, built 1767. Directly opposite was the house of Henry
Freeman Hughes, which was used as office quarters not the
Henry Burr house before mentioned, which was built partly of
the timber of the Henry Freeman Hughes house, which was
demolished soon after the war.
There were also sheds at Stable Point, which is a few rods
north of the now east end of Tomlinson's Bridge, also a ferry
house and others on the west side for ferry purposes, just under
the earthworks or battery, which was standing in 1781 when the
late Beriah Bradley, Esq., came to New Haven. Mr. Bradley
informed the writer that the earthworks in his day were on a
bluff with trees around and had mounted on them ship guns, and
one day a strange vessel was observed lying in the harbor, and
the next day she was gone and these guns also.
We are informed by Major Benjamin F. Mansfield, town agent,
of this city, that his father was in all the engagements with the
Gen. Garth columns on their march from West Haven to the
town, and that several prisoners were taken at Hotchkisstown by
the patriots, and were marched to the Green, where they were
held for some time ; and when it was found the enemy would
surely occupy the place they were marched off to North Haven
and there confined until the enemy had been driven off. Major
Mansfield's father was with Gen. Wooster when mortally wounded
at Ridgefield, Connecticut. One of these soldiers wore a bright
green nmf orm. Miss Sarah E. Hughes also informs us that during
the enemy's stay at Norwalk a detachment of the Welch Fusileers
deserted and came to New Haven and called at the house of Mr.
Henry Freeman Hughes, at Waterside, where they remained
some time, and finally settled in the neighborhood after the war,
marrying Connecticut wives.
SECOND COMPANY GOVERNOR'S FOOT GUARD.
Having made former mention of New Haven's Centennial
Corps, the writer cannot allow the Fourth of July to pass without
making more than ordinary mention of the splendid and brilliant
record of the Second Company of Governor's Foot Guard of
Connecticut, to-day, as it always has been, an honor to our town ;
and where is the New Havener, at home or abroad, who can trace
to ancestor or relation who was one of the original members of
this company without being proud to point to him and say, " He
was of the Old Guards," and with the same fraternal feeling that
Wellington (second only to our Washington), had when he hailed
his old Guards at Waterloo. And we hope that this highly dis-
tinguished and honorable corps will, on the coming centennial
celebration, be given its true place of honor, the right of the line,
which, with one hundred years of faithful service, it has so nobly
earned. The first entry in the record book of the company is the
following article of association :
NEW HAVEN, Dec. 28, 1774.
As we, the subscribers, are desirous to encourage the military
art in the town of New Haven, and in order to have a well disci-
plined company in said town, have agreed with Edward Burke to
teach us the military exercise for the consideration of three pounds
lawful money per month, till such time as we shall think ourselves
We then propose to form ourselves into a company, choose offi-
cers and agree upon some uniform dress, such as a red coat, white
vest, white breeches and stockings, black half legging, or any
other dress that may be thought proper.
We also agree that we will endeavor to furnish ourselves with
guns and bayonets as near uniform as possible, and other accoutre-
ments as may then be thought necessary. (But no person shall
be obliged to equip himself as above by signing this agreement
if he desires dismission before he signs other articles.)
This agreement only obliges every signer to pay his propor-
tional part of expenses of instruction, etc.
Hezekiah Sabin, Jr.,
Abraham Tuttle, Jr.,
Nathan Beers, Jr.,
Timothy Jones, Jr.,
John Sherman, Jr.,
At a meeting of the military company at the State House in
New Haven, Thursday evening, January 5th. 1775, Jonas Prentice
moderator, the following votes passed, viz :
That Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., be the company clerk for the month
ending Jan. 25th.
That any person who is desirous of joining this company shall
attend the general meetings, which are appointed every Thursday
evening, and be received by vote of the company or refused.
At said company meeting Thursday evening, January 26, 1775,
Nathaniel Fitch moderator, voted as follows, viz :
That Thaddeus Beecher be the company's clerk for one month,
ending Feb. 22.
That Edward Burke be the company's instructor, to be employed
for four weeks from this date, and allowed for his services four
That Messrs. Parmelee, Burbank, Prentice and Sabin be a
committee to get fifers and drummers ; that instructors be pro-
vided to teach the drummers and fifers, and their wages paid by
an equal tax on the members of the company.
Thursday Evening, Feb. 2, 1775.
Voted, That the dress for the company be as follows, viz: A
scarlet coat of a common length, the lappets, cuffs and collar buff
and trimmed with plain silver-wash buttons; white linen vest,
breeches and stockings, black half legging, a small fashionable
and narrow ruffled shirt.
Adjourned to Thursday evening next.
Thursday, February 9, 1775.
Voted, That the company supply themselves with a stand of
arms if they are to be had.
That Captain Jonas Prentice be desired to make a journey to
Stratford to inquire how a stand of arms can be procured, and
make return to the next meeting.
Thursday Evening, July (sic) 6.
Timothy Jones, Jr., Moderator.
Voted, That Messrs. Benedict Arnold, Jesse Leavenworth and
Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., be a committee to make inquiry how a stand
of arms can be procured in the best way.
That Hezekiah Sabin's cartridge box be a pattern for this
That the company uniform coat be made with a side pocket
That this company on Monday next be trained by their own
instructor provided Captain Thomson will allow such of the
company as are on his rolls to exercise with us.
That Messrs. Jonas Prentice, Benedict Arnold and Samuel
Greenough be a committee to wait on Captain Thomson and
inform the company what answer he gives to the above desire.
That application be made to the General Assembly at their
session in March next by this company to be established a distinct
Thursday Evening, Feb. 23, 1775.
Voted, That Elias Stillwell be the company's clerk for one
month, ending the 22d of March next.
That Messrs. Jones, Arnold, Leavenworth and Prentice be a
committee to draw a petition and wait on the Assembly.
That the company's instructor, Edward Burke, be employed
four weeks from the present date, and allowed for his services
That Elijah Austin import twelve pieces of colored broadcloth
for company use.
Wednesday, March 1st, 1775.
Col. Leveret Hubbard, Moderator.
Voted, That Pierpont Edwards, Esq., is appointed our agent
to prepare a petition to the General Assembly. That a memorial
drawn up by Timothy Jones, Jr., is approved of by this company,
and ordered to be presented to the Assembly.
[Copy of the memorial preferred to the General Assembly, March 2d, 1775.]
To the Honorable General Assembly of the Colony of Connect-
icut, now sitting at New Haven in New Haven County :
The memorial of us, the subscribers, inhabitants of New Haven,
many of us independent of any military company, humbly show-
eth ; that your memorialists, anxious for the safety of our country
and desirous of contributing all in their power to the support of
our just rights and liberties, have formed themselves into a mili-
tary company, have hired a person to instruct them in the military
art which they are daily practicing, and have been at much
expense in providing a uniform dress, etc. Your memorialists
therefore humbly pray Your Honors to construct them a district
military company by the name of the Governor's Second Com-
pany of Guards, with power to choose their proper officer to be
commissioned by Your Honors, and that they may be under the
same regulation and enjoy the same privileges and exemption as
the military company in Hartford called the Governor's Guards or
under such regulations as to Your Honors shall seem meet and
your memorialists as in duty bound shall ever pray (58 members).
NEW HAVEN, March 2d, 1775.
The above is signed by all the original members, except Ezekal
Hayspin, Russel Clark, Barnabus Mulford, Samuel Nevins, Elias
Shipman, Francis Sage, William Atwater, John Beckwith, John
Thatcher, Samuel Willard.
THE FIRST FORMATION OF THE SECOND COMPANY GOVERNOR'S ^
FOOT GUARDS THEIR EARLY HISTORY MARCH UNDER BENE-
DICT ARNOLD TO BOSTON BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE
The following is a copy of the act incorporating the Second
Company Governor's Foot Guard :
Copy of an act of the Honorable General Assembly of the Colony of Connecti-
cut for Constituting the Military Company called the Second Company of the
Governor's Foot Guard.
At a General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the
Colony of Connecticut, holden at New Haven by special order of
the Governor of said Colony on the 2d of March, A. D. 1775,
upon the memorial of Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., and others of New
Haven, living within the limits of New Haven, showing that
they have formed themselves into a military company and have
with great pains and expense endeavored to advance military
skill and exercise, and praying that they may be made a distinct
military company by the name of the Second Company of the
Governor's Foot Guards, as per memorial on file
Resolved by the General Assembly, That the memorialists be
and they are hereby constituted a distinct military company, by
the name of the Governor's Guards, consisting of sixty-four in
number, rank and file, to attend upon and guard the Governor
and General Assembly at all times as occasion shall require,
equipped with proper arms and uniformly dressed, with power
under the direction of the field officer to elect and choose their
own officers, viz: captain, lieutenant and ensign, and other sub-
ordinate officers that shall be necessary. And that the chief in
said company shall have power in case of death, dismission, or
removal of any of said company to enlist, receive and enroll
others in the room of those so dismissed or removed, provided
the number of men in the several companies in the town of New
Haven be not thereby reduced below the number by law estab-
lished. And said company shall be subject to the general law as
to day and time of training and mustering, and are hereby
exempt from being called upon and from doing any military
duty in any other company. And the Colonel of the Second
regiment of militia in this colony shall cause them to be duly
warned and lead them to the choice of the captain s lieutenant
and ensign. And that the commission officers of the said, or a
major part of them, shall have full power to dismiss any member
of said company upon application by them made and sufficient
reason shown ; provided, nevertheless, that the person so dismissed,
if liable to train before his enlistment into said company, be
still liable to train according to the law of this Colony. And
that the said Second Company of Guards shall have power, by
their major vote, to nominate and appoint days and times of
meeting, and training, and military exercises over and above the
day and times already limited and appointed by law for that
purpose, and to appoint and set fines for and penalties on such
soldiers as shall neglect to attend at such days and times of train-
ing and exercise, and the same by warrant from the commission
officer of said company to levy and collect ; provided such fines
and penalties do not exceed the sum by law inflicted for like
offenses in the other military companies in this Colony.
Transcribed from the Secretary.
Attest copy of Colony Record.
Thursday, March 7, 1775.
Benedict Arnold, Moderator.
Voted, That the company be uniformly dressed before the offi-
cers are chosen.
That this company appear uniformly dressed on the loth of
Friday, March 10, 1775.
Elisha Painter, Moderator.
Voted, That Mr. Eleazer Oswald is appointed to make a journey
to Merideu to engage a tifer and to employ Mr. Penfield to make
two drums for the company.
Monday, March 13, 1775.
Voted, That we reconsider a former vote with respect to choos-
ing officers, and appoint for that purpose Thursday, 16th March,
at 2 o'clock P. M.
March 16th, 1775.
Col. Leverett Hubbard in the chair Voted, That a petition be
presented to the General Assembly in October next for liberty to
choose our non-commissioned officers every year.
The following gentlemen were elected officers by vote of the
company, viz: Benedict Arnold, Captain; Jesse Leaven worth,
Lieutenant ; Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., Ensign ; Samuel Greenough,
Eliakim Hitchcock, Nathaniel Fitch, Jeremiah Parmelee, William
Lyon, Clerk. The choice of corporals was postponed.
March 23d, 1775.
Jesse Leavenworth, Moderator Voted, That Edward, Burke,
the company instructor, be employed four weeks from present
date and allowed for his services four pounds; that the company
attend the military exercises at 5 o'clock, morning and evening.
Adjourned to Thursday evening next.
MONDAY, April 3d, 1775.
Elias Stillwell, Moderator Voted, That this company for the
present delay purchasing a stand of arms and repair their old
ones ; that the Norfolk plan of exercise be taught this company ;
that Elijah Austin's bill for buff broad cloth is accepted, and that
said cloth is to remain in his hands to be dealt out to the com-
pany in suit for regimental coats at 6s. per man, he accounting
with the company therefor.
TUESDAY, April 4th, 1775.
Amos Morrison, Moderator Voted, That Mr. Greenough has
presented to the company as a pattern is approved of as to cut,
color and cost ; that Mr. Burr is to purchase blank ribbons for
the cockades that may be wanted in his company; that the uni-
form for head dress be a club behind the side locks, braided and
powdered ; that black garters fastened with black buttons be
worn by the company ; that for the future the following is
established for the method of admitting members into this
company, viz: the candidate not admitted unless every mem-
ber present be in his favor, but if there is a majority for his
admission it shall be postponed to the next general meet-
ing and a majority in the meantime apply to the commission
officer with objections, who shall hear the same and endeavor to
have the matter settled, but if it cannot be done then the affair is
to be laid before the company.
THURSDAY EVENING, April 6.
James Hillhouse, Moderator Voted, That the drummers be
dressed in buff, faced with scarlet.
That the fifers be dressed in plain scarlet coats, with buff collars
That the company's clerk draw up a subscription paper to
procure money to defray the expenses of said clothing.
THURSDAY EVENING, April 13, 1775.
Thaddeus Beecher, Moderator Voted, That the company
attend military exercises at five o'clock A. M., and six o'clock p. M.,
and those members that do not attend once a day be fined 4d.,
and the officers if absent as above be fined 8d. each, to be applied
towards defraying the company's expenses.
That half a day in each week until the general muster be set
apart for training, and that a fine of one shilling be imposed on
absent members, and that Sunday in the afternoon is appointed as
muster for this week.
THURSDAY EVENING, April 20th, 1775.
Nathan Beers, Moderator Voted, That Mr. Edward Burke,
the company instructor, be dismissed from the company with a
character of good instructor, and that the clerk is ordered to give
Mr. Burke a written dismission to that effect.
That the second vote of the 6th of April respecting the dress
of the drummers be rescinded, and instead of buff be substituted
any light color, lapelled with scarlet.
That the clergy of New Haven, viz : those living in the town
plot, be invited to dine with this company the 2d day of May
THE MARCH TO CAMBRIDGE.
The news of the battle of Lexington arrived at New Haven on
Friday, the 21st of April, about noon, and Captain Arnold imme-
diately called out his company and proposed their starting for
Lexington to join the American army. About forty of them con-
sented to accompany their commander. Being in want of ammu-
nition, Arnold requested the town authorities to furnish the
company, which they refused to do. The next day, immediately
before they started, Arnold marched his company to the house
where the Selectmen were sitting, and after forming them in front
of the building sent in word that if the keys of the powder house
were not delivered up in five minutes he would order the company
to break it open and furnish themselves. This had the desired
effect and the keys were delivered up. They stopped at Wethers-
field the second night, where the inhabitants vied with each other
in their \attention to them. They took the middle road through
Pomfret, at which place they were joined by General Putnam.
On the Guards' arrival at Cambridge they took up their quarters
at a splendid mansion owned by Lieutenant Governor Oliver,
who was obliged to flee on account of his attachment to the
British cause. The company was the only one on the ground
complete in their uniform and equipment, and owing to their
soldierlike appearance were appointed to deliver the body of a
British officer who had been taken prisoner by the Americans and
had died in consequence of his wounds received at the battle of
Lexington. Upon this occasion one of the British officers,
appointed to receive the body from the guards, expressed his sur-
prise at seeing an American company appear so well in every
respect, observing that in their military movements and equip-
ments " they were not excelled by any of His Majesty's troops.
After remaining nearly three weeks at Cambridge the Guards
(except those who remained in the army) returned to New Haven.
The company, for certain reasons, went to Cambridge under
the name of the New Haven Cadets.
The following is a copy of the agreement subscribed to by
Captain Arnold and his company of fifty men when they set out
from Connecticut and went as volunteers to the assistance of the
Provincials at Cambridge :
To all Christian people believing in and relying on that God to whom our
enemies have at last forced us to appeal.
Be it known, That we, the subscribers, having taken up arms
for the relief of our brethren and defence of theirs as well as our
just rights and privileges, declare to the world that we from our
hearts disavow every thought of rebellion to His Majesty as
supreme head of the British Empire or of opposition to the legal
authority, and shall on every occasion manifest to the world bj r
our conduct this to be our fixed principle. Driven to the last
necessity and obliged to have recourse to arms in defense of our
lives and liberties, and from the suddenness of the occasion
deprived of that legal authority the dictates of which we ever
with pleasure obey, find it necessary for preventing disorder,
irregularities and misunderstandings in the course of our march
and service, solemnly agree to and with each other on the follow-
ing regulations and orders, binding ourselves by all that is dear
and sacred carefully and constantly to observe and keep them.
In the first place we will conduct ourselves decently and inoffen-
sively as we march, both to our countrymen and one another,
paying that regard to the advice, admonition and reproof of our
officers which their station justly entitles them to expect, ever
considering the dignity of our character, and that we are not
mercenaries whose views extend no farther than pay and plunder,
but men acquainted with and feeling the most generous fondness
for the liberties and inalienable rights of mankind, and who are
in the course of divine providence called to the honorable service
of hazarding our lives in their defense.
Secondly Drunkenness, gaming, profaneness and every vice
of that nature, will be avoided by ourselves and discountenanced
by us in others.
Thirdly So long as we continue in our present situation of a
voluntary independent company, we engage to submit on all
occasions to such decisions as shall be made and given by a major-
ity of the officers we have chosen, and when any difference arises
between man and man it shall be laid before the officers, the cap-
tain, lieutenant, ensign, sergeant, clerk and corporal, the captain,
or in his absence the commanding officer, to be moderator and
have a turning or casting vote in all the debates, from whom all
orders shall from time to time issue, scorning all ignoble motives
and superior to the low and slavish practice of enforcing on men
their duty by blows. It is agreed that when private admonition
for any offense by any of our body committed, will not reform,
public notice shall be made, and if that should not have the
desired effect, after proper pains taken, and the same repeated,
such incorrigible person shall be turned out of the company as
totally unworthy of serving in so great and glorious a cause, and
be delivered over to suffer the contempt of his countrymen.
As to particular orders, it shall from time to time be in the
power of the officers to make and vary them, as occasion may
require, as to delivering out provisions, ammunitions, rules and
orders for marching, etc.
The annexed order for the present we think pertinent and
agreeable to our mind, to which with the additions or variations
that may be made by our said officers, we bind ourselves by the
ties above mentioned, to submit. In witness whereof we have
hereunto set our hands, this 24th day of April, 1 775.
THURSDAY EVENING, May 25th, 1775.
Gold Sherman, Moderator Voted, That for the future any
member that is admitted into the company be obliged to dress
himself uniformly in three weeks unless he gives sufficient reason
to the contrary.
JUNE 15, 1775.
Thaddeus Beecher, Moderator Voted, That twelve men be
chosen from the company to act as grenadiers.
JUNE 22d, 1 775.
Voted, That Messrs. Thatcher, Sabin and Shipman be a com-
mittee to provide caps for the grenadiers as soon as possible, and
that this motto be engraved upon the plate :
" For Religion and Liberty."
Note copied as it appeared in record :
" Last Wednesday, His Excellency General Washington, Major
General Lee, Major Thomas Mifflin, General Washington's aid-
de-camp, and Samuel Griffin, Esq., General Lee's aid-de-camp,
arrived in town and early next morning set out for the provincial
camp near Boston, attended by numbers of the inhabitants.
They were escorted by two companies (one of them the guards,
probably), and a company of youug gentlemen from the sem-
SEMINARY (Yale College, probably), )
October 2d, 1775. )
Voted, That the company on the 2d Thursday of this mouth
escort His Honor the Governor and the Council to the Council
Chamber at 8 o'clock A. M.
OCTOBER 16th, 1775.
That for the future when any officer is absent his place shall be
filled by a man chosen out of the ranks and not be the next in
command unless the company orders otherwise; nevertheless,
provided that the vote shall not extend to the commissioned
officer, but that they rise by succession.
WARNED FOR THE DEFENSE OF NEW HAVEN, ETC.
STATE OP CONNECTICUT,
By the Captain General.
To the present Commanding Officer of the Governor's Guard, at
New Haven, Greeting :
You are directed to see that your said Guard is duly armed
and equipped, and held in readiness to march for the defense of
said town of New Haven and others on the sea coast.
And your are further ordered upon information of the approach
or appearance of an enemy, at the request of the civil authority
or Selectmen of said New Haven, to muster, array and equip
your said company, and do your utmost to defeat, repel and
Given under my hand in Lebanon the llth day of September,
Anno Dom. 1776.
The above is a true Copy.
Attest. JOHN SHERMAN,
Juror and Clerk.
THURSDAY, October, , 1777.
Nathaniel Fitch, Moderator Voted, That fines, hereafter shall
be applied for purchasing powder ; that this company will wear
their uniform the first Sunday in October after the meeting of
Monday, October 12th, 1778, the following order from His
Excellency, the Governor, was read :
STATE OF CONNECTICUT.
By the Captain General.
To the Commander of the Governor's Guards at Neio Haven :
You are hereby ordered and directed to furnish and order a
guard of two sentinels to attend at the door of His Excellency
the Governor's lodgings, from eight of ye clock in the evening
through the night during the sessions of this Assembly, as per
advice of my council.
Given under my hand at New Haven, the 9th of October, 1778.
June 2Uh, 1783.
Voted, That Messrs. Jacob Daggett and Isaac Doolittle be a
committee to procure the loan of arms from the selectmen for the
use of the Company.
October 23d, 1788.
Voted, That a memorial to the General Assembly, asking the
loan of a number of arms for the Company use, read this evening
by Captain Hillhouse, be presented this session. At which session
the use of said arms was granted to Second Company of Gov-
May 1st, 1786.
Voted, That the present clerk shall receive twenty per cent.,
for doing the business of the Company.
Jacob Daggett was then clerk.
In the list of deaths we find the following entry :
"David Moulthrope, July 22d, 1788, aged 28, murdered by the
enemy in New York prison."
The temperance reform is of later date than the following vote :
May 1st, 1789.
Voted, That the committee appointed to procure an entertain-
ment for the Company on the first Monday in this month, be
empowered to contract for liquor to the amount of Is. for each
man, and that they be directed to invite the Rev. James Dana, to
dine with the Company on said day mentioned above.
October 25th, 1793.
Benjamin Beecher, Elihu Spencer, Samuel Ward, Luther
Bradley and Wm. Lyon, Jr., were admitted as members of the
May 15th, 1795.
Captain Wm. Lyon resigned his office, and his successor was
Upon taking leave of the Company, Captain Lyon made the
following remarks. They are not upon record, but were found
among some old papers, in the possession of a gentleman of this
city, a descendant of his.
"GENTLEMEN OF THE GOVERNOR'S GUARD: I presume the
present occasion is the last time I shall have the pleasure of
meeting with you as a member. I therefore crave your patience
to a short address.
As a considerable number before whom I now speak, are not
fully acquainted with the rise and progress of the company, it
may not be improper to give a concise account thereof on the
present occasion. In the fall of the year 1774, my very dear and
honored friend, Samuel Greenougb, now of Boston, proposed to
myself and a few others of his friends, the raising an inde-
pendent Company. Fifty-eight gentlemen soon associated, and
obtained from the General Assembly of the State, in January,
1775, an act constituting them a Military Company. At their
first election of officers, in March following, Benedict Arnold,
Esq. was appointed Captain, he entering into the American Army,
rose to the rank of Major General. His knowledge, activity and
bravery, for several years, and his final infamous defection at
West Point, are too well known to need any comment. In 1779,
Hezekiah Sabin, Esq. was elected Captain, and being promoted to
the command of a regiment in 1780, the Hon. James Hillhouse
was chosen to fill the vacancy. In 1783 he was appointed Major
of a regiment, but resigning both that and the command of his
company, he was succeeded by Daniel Bishop, Esq. who resigning
his commission in 1786, was followed by Nathaniel Fitch, Esq., he
procuring a dismission in October, 1788, you were pleased to
appoint for the Captain, the man who now has the honor of
addressing you. This mark of your esteem was gratifying my
ambition to the utmost, but I accepted the office with diffidence
from a full conviction that I was placed over a number of gentle-
men, on many accounts, my superiors.
I have ever aimed at the greatest impartiality in the discharge
of my duty, and to the utmost of my power, promoted the welfare,
the honor, and the privileges of the company. If my conduct on
the whole has given satisfaction I rejoice, and trust that your
candor will excuse my errors.
In May last, the Hon. General Assembly were pleased to give
me the command of a regiment, a task to which, in my present
low state of health, I feel myself very unequal. I consider the
appointment a compliment paid this Company, as it sanctions
their choice, and promotes a man whom they had first distin-
guished. Twenty years have elapsed since raising this Company.
In that time nineteen persons have died belonging to it, and two
others, who had been members, were dismissed.
His Excellencey the Governor, at my fourth application, has
granted me a dismission from the command of the Guards which I.
have held more than six years, double the time I determined or
expected, on my accepting the commission. I leave behind me
but two of the original members. I should be guilty of black
ingratitude if I did not, in the most explicit manner, return to
you my thanks for all the obliging marks of esteem and friendship
that I have received from you, for your prompt obedience when
under arms, and for that general orderly conduct which on many
occasions, and particularly in October, 1793, attracted the notice
and received the approbation of the most dignified members of
the Legislature. These things, while they give the camp any
respectability, are peculiarly grateful to the officer commanding.
I cannot suppress my feelings, as a man, nor take my leave with
Believe me, gentlemen, from the long intimate acquaintance and
mutual exchange of kind offices, you are become dear to me, and
I shall ever retain a pleasing remembrance of the many days we
have passed together in great sociability, a pleasure that has
never been alloyed by any altercation between me and my re-
spected Company. In every situation of my future life, my "best
wishes, and on every proper occasion my best services attend you.
Suffer me to hope that this affection is mutual, and that the mem-
bers of this Company will not at once forget a man who is
warmly attached to them.
I have no doubt that your conduct under your new Captain
will be such as will do you and him honor, nor do I feel at all
abashed in delivering over to any gentleman, the Company I have
lately had the honor to command.
Gentlemen, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
Lieutenant Hanover Barney and Parsons Clarke, are probably
the persons alluded to as the two remaining original members.
At the same meeting of the Company, the following vote,
together with several others, was passed, viz :
Voted, That the knapsacks be deposited with the Captain on
or before the first day of September next.
We infer from this that the Company had knapsacks at that
time, although this is the first allusion made to them in the records.
August 25th, 1796.
Voted, That Captain Dyer White, Lieutenant Hanover Barney,
and Ensign James Merriman, be appointed agents to prefer a
memorial to the General Assembly at their next session, to obtain
an alteration in our charter, so far as to enable the commanding
ofiicer to enlist men to the number of sixty-four, out of the militia
companies in the town of New Haven, notwithstanding there
may not be sixty-four rank and file in each of said militia
May 1th, 1798.
Voted, That no person be admitted to this Company, unless he
be five feet five inches high.
That the Guards meet at the usual place of parade on the 4th
day of July next, at half past 8 o'clock A. M. in order to celebrate
This appears to be the first parade of the Company for that
purpose, at least as far as we can learn by any record.
September 26th, 1803.
Voted, That those soldiers who have long hair shall have it
plaited and turned up, to conform to those that have short.
May 1th, 1804.
Voted, That there be a committee appointed to petition the
Assembly for an enlargement of the powers in the charter of said
The three commissioned officers appointed such committee.
The first band in New Haven, attached to any military company,
was that for this corps formed in 1806.
May 4th, 1807.
Voted, That the sample coat now presented by Lucius Atwater,
viz: red, turned up with black velvet trimmed with gilt cord, be
adopted as a uniform for the Company, excepting the length, the
length to come within two inches of the knee.
That the Company appear on parade complete, in the above
uniform, on the first Monday of September next. That the facings
on the skirts of the coats be white kerseymere.
That the belts of the Company be all white webbing.
June 2d, 1809.
Voted, That every new member pay seventy-five cents for the
benefit of the ammunition chest.
That any member leaving the Company, forfeit his right to the
August 22d, 1809.
Voted, That as a tribute of respect to the memory of our
highly popular chief magistrate, his Excellency the Governor,
Jonathan Trumbull, Esq.,* the Company wear crape every parade
day this fall.
Copy of the Resolve of the Honorable, the General Assembly
of the State of Connecticut, enlarging the privileges of the
Second Company of Governor's Foot Guards.
At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, holden at
New Haven, on the second Thursday of October, 1809.
Upon the petition of Jeremiah Attwater, 3d, of New Haven,
showing this Assembly that by the existing charter of the Second
Company of Governor's Foot Guards, which the petitioner com-
mands ; said company consists of one captain, one lieutenant, one
ensign and sixty-four rank and file; that the said company is
under the necessity of chosing non-commissioned officers to serve
for one year only; and that being desirous of promoting the
respectability and good discipline of said Company, and in pur-
suance of a vote of the same, the petitioner prays the Assembly
to make certain alterations in the charter of said Company, as
per petition on file.
Resolved by this Assembly, that said Company may hereafter
consist of one captain, four lieutenants, one ensign, eight sergeants,
eight corporals and ninety-six privates, and that said Company
shall hereafter have liberty to choose their non-commissioned
officers to serve for an indefinite length of time ; and that the
captain of said Company is hereby authorized to enlist men from
the companies of New Haven, East Haven, North Haven, Ham-
den and Woodbridge, to augment said Company to said number.
Provided, that in consequence of such enlistment, the other mil-
* Died at his seat at Lebanon, August 7, 1809.
itary companies in said towns, out of which he shall enlist, shall
not be reduced below the number of sixty-four rank and file.
A true copy of Record, examined by
Transcribed from the Assistant Secretary's attested copy.
Attest : T. BISHOP, Clerk.
The company, until this year, dined together twice yearly. A
motion was made to the effect that the company dine together on
the first Monday of May, which was negatived; but the practice
of dining together once a year was kept up until within a few
Resolve of the General Assembly, passed October 30, 1811.
Resolved by this Assembly, That one dollar and fifty cents be
allowed in future for each man of the Second Company of Gov-
ernor's Foot Guards, including hired music, actually on duty, on
the day of meeting of the General Assembly at October session,
and that the comptroller is directed to allow the account of the
commander of said Company, and to draw an order on the Treas-
urer for the amount thereof accordingly.
General Assembly, October Session, 1811, Passed.
Attest : W. J. WILLIAMS,
Clerk of H. R.
Concurred in the Upper House.
Attest : THOMAS DAY,
This year the company completed its organization in regard to
the non-commissioned officers, in conformity to the late amend-
ment of its charter.
MAY 7th, 1813.
Major Bradley, Chairman Voted, That the Second Company
of Governor's Foot Guards in New Haven, deeming it highly
important that some measures should be adopted for the safety of
our city in case of any sudden attack, severally engage to volun-
teer our services for its defense, and do consider ourselves in
honor bound, upon an alarm being given, to repair with all pos-
sible speed, with our arms to the place of rendezvous which shall
be agreed, and to act in as strict obedience to the commands of
our superior officers present as when on parade duty. The place
of rendezvous shall be the center of the lower Green. The sig-
nal agreed upon is the ringing of the church bell, accompanied
by the discharge of two cannon in succession.
Signed, LUTHER BRADLEY, Chairman.
Attest : W. SHERMAX, Clerk.
NEW HAVEN, April 9th, 1814.
Information having been received that a British frigate and
man-of-war brig (same which sent seven barges up Connecticut
river and burnt twenty-six vessels at Pettipaug*) were ofl
Guilford, and standing towards this port. By request of General
Howe, and other military officers, with the recommendation of
the mayor, the Second Company of Governor's Foot Guards
were ordered out under arms, after nine o'clock in the evening
and stood guard on the Long Wharf until morning.
The following members were on duty during the night, viz:
Major Bradley, Corp. At water, S. Chatterton,
Lieut. Bishop, B. Bassett, P. Lexton,
" Doolittle, J. Barnes, D. Brown, 1st,
" Platt, G-. Mansfield, S. Woodward,
Ensign Beach, H. Mix, L. Griswold,
Sergt. Hotchkiss, Eli B. Austin, G. Morse,
" Mattoon, B. Thompson, J. G. law,
" Fenn, B. Resraison, D. Brown, 2d,
" Sherman, J. Tnttle, L. Albrecht,
Corp. Tuttle, F. Laforges, J. English,
" Bradley, D. M. Walbridge, Bela Peck.
WEDNESDAY, April 13, 1814.
A British frigate and man-of-war brig and tender maneuvered off
the harbor this day, and came to anchor a few miles to the west-
ward of this port at evening.
The Company were warned to appear at S. Bishop's Hotel at
seven o'clock p. M., where they met and then marched to the
State House, where arms and ammunition (12 rounds ball cart-
ridges) were distributed and the Company ordered to hold them-
selves in readiness and repair to the flag-staff on the lower Green
in case of alarm. Alarm to be given by guns from the Fort,
firing on Prospect Hill, and ringing of bells.
AUGUST 25, 1814.
Voted, That the Guards appear with knapsacks and canteens
on Wednesday morning next, at seven o'clock for the purpose
of placing themselves under the direction of the Committee
appointed to fortify Beacon Hill, in East Haven.
TUESDAY, August 30, 1814.
In conformity to the above vote, the Company met on the
parade ground, at seven o'clock in the morning, equipped
with knapsacks, canteens, shovels, picks, hoes, crow-bars, etc., and
after being formed, marched, with music and colors, to Beacon
Hill, where they diligently labored until half past five o'clock in
the afternoon, when they again formed and marched with a quick
step, and halted at the store of Lieut. Doolittle, received some
refreshments, and dismissed.
* Now Essex.
In the course of the afternoon his Excellency the Governor
visited the works and on his approval a salute from the music,
and three hearty cheers from the Company were given.
TUESDAY, September 6, 1814.
Express Information was received this morning by express
to Gen. Howe, that the enemy in considerable numbers were land-
ing near Branford. The alarm was soon given by the discharge
of cannon and ringing of bells, whereupon the members of the
Company immediately assembled and took up their march for the
place of rendezvous, to wait for orders where they continued
until nearly night, when advice was received that the enemy had
withdrawn, and the Company returned to the place of parade and
and were dismissed.
JANUARY 12, 1824.
Pursuant to an order from the sheriff, Maj. Granniss, called out a
detachment of the Guards, consisting of twenty-six members, to
suppress a riot, whice had been created through improper con-
duct on the part of some members of the Medical Institute, and
remained on duty until seven o'clock next morning. The follow-
ing night (Jan. 13), another detachment of twenty men, were
ordered out, and remained on duty all night.
AUGUST 21, 1824.
Orders having been issued on the 20th inst. by the major com-
mandant of the Guards to pay a tribute of respect to that distin-
guished benefactor of the American Republic, LAFAYETTE, the
Guards mustered to the number of fifty.
The General arrived in the city about ten o'clock in the morn-
ing, and was hailed with joy by as large a concourse of people as
was ever assembled in this city.
1. Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., the second commandant of the corps,
kept a crockery store in State street, on ground now occupied by
the stone house of H. Mullbrd, Esq., next to corner of Chapel
street; afterwards' removed to Providence, where he died.
2. Samuel Greenough lived in the Herrick house, where Divin-
ity College now stands ; afterwards removed to Boston.
3. Elias Stillwell, school master, lived in house where Booth &
Bromham's store stands.
4. Thaddeus Beecher, grocer merchant, etc., store on the corner
of Church and Chapel streets, where Exchange Building now
5. John Townseud, trader, lived corner of College and Elm
streets, house still standing opposite the Methodist Church.
6. Ezra Ford, on opposite corner, house yet standing ; kept
tavern there for a time.
7. Nathan Beers, Jr., only survivor of the company, 94 years
of age, became a captain, etc., in the Revolutionary army ; lives
in Elm street, a few doors above College street.
The information in these brief notes was obtained in part from
him, July 14th, 1846, by a gentleman,* who, when he called upon
him, found him in his garden, tying up his shrubbery, and appar-
ently yet in good health, and bearing the infirmities of age won-
derfully well, for one of his years. He says : " To talk face to
face with so venerable a man, and he a busy and somewhat dis-
tinguished actor in the scenes of the Revolution, and feeling that
he stood almost alone (and quite alone so far as his old military
company was concerned), between the living and the dead, was
indeed a privilege. He stated a fact in regard to Major Andre's
execution, which he witnessed, that we do not remember to have
heard before, or if heard, we had forgotten. He stated that
Major Andre was dressed in his full uniform, except his sword,
and that Washington allowed him to walk to the place of execu-
tion, unbound, between two officers. He took the arm of each,
and as he passed along and caught the eye of any officer with
whom he was acquainted, he bowed slightly, and gave to each a
pleasant smile of recognition.
" Deacon Beers, we believe, served through the war of the
Revolution, and came out with a captain's commission. He was
also a paymaster in the army. He is an excellent specimen of
some of the best of the Revolutionary worthies."
8. Nathaniel Fitch, the fifth commandant of the corps, a select-
man in 1794, lived in College street, house yet standing, next
south of the new house of Ransom Burritt, Esq.
9. James Warren, particulars not known.
10. Nathan Oaks, chair maker, lived on George St., near
Meadow, nearly opposite the stone house.
11. Daniel Ingalls. particulars not known.
12. Jonas Prentice, afterwards a Colonel, lived in the wood
house opposite Assembly House ; well remembered by the present
13. Francis Sage, particulars not known.
* The editor of the Palladium.
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. fft? tfu
it Mffl-Tiase o of ISfowHawen Ccnio
" , East .t-llv>t EcA-j.-XetirHaven, seeriinthf distance.
14. Archibald Austin, merchant and mechanic, lived in
Crown st., north side, second house east from Orange ; house now
15. Eliakim Hitchcock, silver smith, lived in Union near
16. James Hugging, particulars not known.
17. Parsons Clarke, saddler, from Colchester, store in Chapel
st. where Mitchell's building now stands ; lived in Union st.
second house south from the new city market ; house now stand-
18. James Prescott, died recently, a merchant, lived corner
of Chapel and High sts. ; house standing.
19. Hanover Barney, the eighth commandant of the com-
pany, saddler, ship owner, etc., died a few years since ; father of
the lady of Dr. Beers.
20. Stephen Herrick, joiner, lived in Crown St., on the north-
east corner of Orange and Crown ; house yet standing, and occu-
pied by James S. Arnold, grocer.
21. Jonathan Austin, joiner, lived on opposite corner of
Orange and Crown sts. ; house standing.
22. David Burbank, not known.
23. Daniel Bishop, firm of Bishop & Hotchkiss, kept an
extensive hat store in Chapel st. where the New Haven Bank
now stands ; the pump near the bank formerly their well. He
lived in State st. next the brick house of the late Stephen Bishop,
24. Elijah Austin, brother of Archibald Austin above named,
store on the wharf; concerned in navigation, etc.; lived in the
house now occupied by E. A. Prescott, Esq., in Whiting st.
25. Amos Morrison, barber, rather eccentric person, lived on
the corner of State and Grand sts., opposite A. & F. Lines.
26. Rossiter Griffing, grocer, lived in State St., about where
James T. Mix's hardware store now stands.
27. Gold Sherman, tailor, in rather extensive business.
28. Wm. Noyes, leather dresser, business in George st. south
side near College st.
29. Abraham Tuttle, shoemaker, lived in Fleet St., on the
north corner of Prout St., shop in Fleet st. just below the pump,
and in front of the premises now occupied by Charles B. Whit-
tlesey, Esq. ; the street was upon either side of it.
30. Jabez Smith, not certain ; believes he kept the Ogden Tav-
ern, where Tontine now stands.
31. Jonathan Mix, Jr., variety store, where New Haven County
Bank stands ; lived in Elm st., house now occupied by Dr. N. B.
Ives ; afterward removed to New York where he died.
32. Jeremiah Parmele, lived in Chapel st., house now occu-
pied by Benjamin Beecher, Esq., which he b'uilt. He served in
the war of the Revolution ; was in the battle of Brandywine,
where he was wounded, and while suffering from the effects was
attacked with the small pox, from which he died. The ball by
which he received his wound, is yet in the possession of his
daughter, Mrs. Beecher.
33. Joshua Newhall, shoemaker, lived in High st. When the
British, in the Revolution, landed at West Haven, Mr. N. touched
the train by which the West Bridge was blown up, thereby pre-
venting the enemy entering the city from that quarter, and com-
pelling them to march up the west side of the river, as far as
Westville, and enter the city by Broadway. His shop was in
Chapel st. near the present residence of Nathaniel A. Bacon, Esq.
34. Josiah Burr, merchant, lived corner of Broadway and
York sts. ; lot now occupied by store of George D. English.
35. William Lyon, cashier of New Haven Bank, an enthusiastic
antiquarian, etc., lived in Chapel st. opposite Central Row, in a
wood house, yet standing, and occupied by Miss Ford, milliner.
At the time of his election as Colonel of the infantry regiment,
he was unacquainted with horsemanship, but to prepare himself
for the duties of that office, would take his horse into the yard, in
order to be unobserved, and there practice riding.
36. Eleazer Oswald, an accomplished foreigner and strong
friend of liberty ; man of leisure.
37. Benoni Shipman, a mechanic.
38. Hezekiah Bailey, a seaman.
39. Jesse Leavenworth, the first lieutenant of the corps, trader,
lived in College St., second house south from Crown st. ; after-
ward removed to Waterbury.
40. Timothy Jones, Jr. ; an acting Justice of the Peace, etc. ;
lived in State st,, house kept as a boarding school, north of the
residence of the late William McCrackan, Esq.
41. John Thomas, particulars not known.
42. Elisha Painter, supposed to have belonged to West Haven.
43. Benedict Arnold, druggist, sea captain, etc., well known to
the world as " the Traitor Arnold" ; lived in a large white house
now standing in Water st., and occupied by the family of the
late Captain James Hunt; same house was once occupied by the
late Dr. Noah Webster.
A celebrated historian, in speaking of Arnold, says he was " a
man even more rash than audacious, of a genus fertile in resources,
and of a firmness not to be shaken." Immediately upon the
breaking out of hostilities between the Americans and British,
and the formation of the siege of Boston, Arnold, with a com-
pany of fiity men, repaired to the scene of action, and soon after
received the appointment of Colonel. Possessed by nature of an
extraordinary force of genius, a restless character, and an intre-
pidity bordering on prodigy, this officer had, about this time, con-
ceived the plan of taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and
thus secure to the Americans this important pass to the Canadas.
To this end he had consulted with the committee of safety of
Massachusetts, who had appointed him colonel, with authority to
levy troops for the above purpose. His surprise was extreme,
when upon arriving at Castleton, the point of rendezvous, he
found himself anticipated by Cols. Allen and Eaton, so rapid and
yet silent had been their enterprise for the same end. But he
was a man not to be baffled by trifles, and as nothing could
delight him more than the occasion for combat, he concerted with
the other leaders, and consented, however hard he must have
thought the sacrifice, to put himself under the command of Col.
Allen. After taking these important fortresses, their plan would
not have been completely accomplished, except they secured to
themselves the exclusive control ol' the lake, which they could not
hope to obtain without seizing a corvette of war, which the Eng-
lish kept at anchor near fort St. John. They therefore fitted out
a schooner, the command of which was given to Arnold. So
well did he perform the duty intrusted to him, that he took the
corvette without the least resistance, and in a few hours returned
sound and safe to Ticonderoga. After having taken the fortress
and garrison at Sckeensborough, Allen put sufficient garrisons
into all of the conquered fortresses, deputed Arnold to command
them in cjiief, and returned to Connecticut.
Washington, in his camp near Boston, had conceived an enter-
prise as surprising for its novelty, as terrific for the obstacles and
dangers which it presented in the execution, but if it was hazard-
ous, it was no less useful.
The plan was an attack upon Quebec, through the upper parts
of Maine and New Hampshire. The command of this adventur-
ous enterprise was confided to Col. Arnold. The force selected
to follow him was ten companies of fusileers, three of riflemen,
and one of artillery, under the orders of Capt. Lamb. A few
volunteers joined them, among whom was Col. Aaron Burr, who
afterwards became Vice President of the United States. The
State of Maine is traversed by a river called the Kennebec,
which takes its source among the mountains that separate this
State from Canada, and running north and south, falls into the
sea, not far from Casco Bay. Opposite the sources of the Kenne-
bec on the other side of the mountains, rises another river, named
the Chaudiere which empties itself in the St. Lawrence a little
above Quebec. In going from one of these sources to the other
it is necessary to pass steep mountains, interspersed by frequent
torrents and marshes. No living being was to be found at that
time in all this space. Such was the route Col. Arnold was to
take in order to arrive at Quebec. He took his departure from
the camp of Boston about the middle of September, 1775, but
six months after his election as Captain of the Guards.
In the assault upon Quebec, which followed, Arnold received a
musket ball in the leg which wounded him severely, splintering
the bone, and from which he suffered much during the winter.
Shortly after, early in 1776, he was raised to the rank of Briga-
dier-General. After the retreat of the Americans from Canada
and the capture of New York by the British who overran New
Jersey, the situation of Philadelphia became somewhat critical,
and the Congress in order to preserve it in the power of the
United States, ordained the formation of a camp upon the west-
ern bank of the Delaware, with the double object of receiving all
the troops that arrived from the south and west, and of serving,
in case of need, as a reserve. Here also were to assemble all the
recruits of Pennsylvania, reinforced by several regiments of regu-
lar troops. This army was placed under the command of General
Arnold, who was then at Philadelphia.
In the spring of 1777, Arnold, who happened to be in the
vicinity, engaged in the business of recruiting for the army had
an engagement with a detachment of British, under Tryon, at
Ridgefield in this State, who were out destroying stores and pro-
visions, which the Americans had gathered during the winter at
Danbury and other places. The Congress testified their satisf'ac-
tion towards Arnold by the gift of a horse, richly caparisoned.
These events transpired in the early part of 1777, about the time
of Arnold's visit to this city, where he was received and escorted
to his quarters by the guards, and at the same time resigned the
office of captain of the company.
Arnold was the commander in the first naval engagement
between the Americans and British, in which the fleets of the two
nations were engaged. This action was fought upon Lake Cham-
plain, in the summer oJf 1776 ; the American forces consisting of
fifteen vessels, viz : two brigs, one corvette, one sloop, three gal-
leys and eight gondolas. The largest vessels mounted only
twelve, six, and four pounders. Though Arnold had been unsuc-
cessful on this occasion, the disparity of strength duly considered,
he lost no reputation, but rose on the contrary, in the estimation
of his countrymen. He had, in their opinion acquitted himself
with no less ability in this naval encounter, than he had done on
At the battle of Bemis' Height, immediately preceding the sur-
render of Burgoyne, Arnold received a severe wound in the same
leg which had been already shattered at Quebec, while leading on
an attack against a part of the intrenchments occupied by the
light infantry, under Lord Balcarres. This day he appeared per-
fectly intoxicated with the thirst of battle and carnage. Numer-
ous wounds, and especially those which had almost deprived him
ot the use of one leg, had forced him to take repose at his seat in
the country. The Congress, with the concurrence of Washing-
ton, in recompense for his services, appointed him commandant of
Philadelphia, immediately after that city was evacuated by the
British and was repossessed by the Americans.
In 1780, while the season had caused the suspension of hostil-
ities in the two Carolinas, and while in the State of New York
the superiority of the Americans by land and the British by the
sea, had caused a similar cessation of arms, an unexpected event
arrested general attention. But a moment more, and the work of
so many years, cemented at the cost of so much gold and blood,
might have been demolished ; the army of Washington, and per-
haps the independence of America, involved in total ruin ; and
the English arrived at the object, which, with five years of in-
trigues and of combats, they had not been able to attain ; and it
was at the hands of one they least suspected that the Americans
were to receive this fatal blow. The name of Arnold was deserv-
edly dear to all Americans, for he was one of their most intrepid
defenders. If fortune does not always favor the brave, neither do
the brave always to know how to use fortune.
Arnold established himself in the house of Penn, at Philadel-
phia, and lived in a style sumptuous in the extreme, and to sup-
port which his own fortune and the emoluments of his office
being far from sufficient, he betook himself to commerce and
privateering. His speculations proved unfortunate; his debts
accumulated, and his creditors tormented him. Under these cir-
cumstances he conceived the shameful idea of reimbursing him-
self from the public treasury, for all he had squandered in riotous
living. Accordingly he presented accounts more worthy of a
shameless usurer than a brave general. The government, aston-
ished and indignant, appointed commissioners to investigate
them. They not only refused to approve them, but reduced the
claims of Arnold one-half. Enraged at their decision he loaded
them with reproaches and insults, and appealed from them to
Congress. Several of its members were charged to examine
these accounts anew and to make report. They declared that
the commissioners had allowed Arnold more than he had any
right to demand. His wrath no longer observed measure ; the
Congress itself became the object of the most indecent invective
that ever fell from a man in high station. But this conduct,
far from restoring tranquility, produced quite a contrary effect.
He was accused of peculation by the State of Pennsylvania, and
brought before a court martial to take his trial. Among the
charges laid against him he was accused of having converted to
his own use the British merchandise he had found and confiscated
at Philadelphia in 1778. The court sentenced him to be repri-
manded by Washington. His pride could not brook so public a
disgrace. In the blindness of his vengeance, and in the hope
that he might still glut his passions with British gold, since he
no longer could with American, he resolved to add perfidity to
avidity, and treason to pillage. Determined that his country
should resume the yoke of England, he developed his projects hi
a letter to Col. Robinson, and General Clinton was immediately
made acquainted with them. In order to carry them out more
fully and with more decided success, he pretended to have taken
an aversion to the residence of Philadelphia, and that he wished
to resume active service in the army, he requested and obtained
from Washington, whose confidence he yet retained, the command
of West Point and all the American troops cantoned in that
quarter. The latter part of September, while Washington was
absent upon business at Hartford, was the time hit upon for the
execution of these designs. But they were detected. Washing-
ton and his army were yet safe.
About one month previous to the discovery of his perfidity, he
was traveling through this State in his coach, attended by one
servant only (which circumstance was noticed at the time), upon
business, as since supposed, connected with his treachery, and
took breakfast at the house of Mr. Amos Bostwick, in New Mil-
ford. Mr. B. was the father of Chas. Bostwick, Esq., of this
city, who well remembers the above circumstance.
Arnold was created a brigadier general in the British armies,
and in the spring of 1Y81 was dispatched with an army to the
Chesapeake Bay, to discourage the Virginians from sending any
reinforcements to General Green, and thereby aid Cornwallis in
his design of reducing North Carolina and Virginia. But this
piratical expedition, for it deserves no milder name, produced but
very imperfectly the effect which the British generals had hoped
from it. It delayed, it is true, those succors which the Virginians
destined for the Carolinas ; but not one of them joined Arnold.
Devastations, plunder, conflagrations, murder, virtue despoiled,
had no such fascinations as could gain him partisans.
When Cornwallis became confined to Yorktown, by an army
of twenty thousand men, and a fleet of near thirty sail of the
line, and a multitude of lighter vessels, which a concurrence of
well concerted operations and of circumstances, most auspicious
to his adversaries, had drawn around him, General Clinton
adopted every expedient to extricate him from his perilous sit-
uation, and in consequence had meditated a diversion into Con-
necticut, hoping thereby to draw thither a part of the American
forces which were besieging Yorktown. The object was to seize
New London, and the command was given to Arnold, who had
just returned to New York from his inroad into Virginia. But
this movement had no effect upon Washington, who, instead of
sending troops to Connecticut, drew them all into Virginia.
Arnold took New London, massacred alike those of the inhabi-
tants who resisted and those who surrendered, laid the place in
ashes, and retreated, marking his steps with most horrible devas-
Subsequent to the termination of the war, and after the perpe-
tration of various atrocities against his countrymen, Arnold went
to England, and received a commission in the British army. He
was frowned upon by the officers, and everywhere received with
contempt, if not indignation. Various public insults were offered
him, and in private life he was the object of perpetual scorn.
Soon after Arnold threw up his commission in the army in
disgust, and removed to St. Johns. He there engaged in the
West India trade, becoming as notorious for his depravity in
business as he had been before false to his country. His integ-
rity was suspected at various times, and on one occasion during
his sudden absence, his store was consumed, upon which an enor-
mous insurance had been effected. The company suspected foul
play, and a legal contest was the result. During the trial, popu-
lar odium against Arnold increased and manifested itself by a
succession of mobs, and burning of him in effigy.
The pi'oof was not enough to condemn Arnold, but there was
enough detected of foul play to vitiate his policy. From that
time the situation of Arnold, at St. Johns, became even more
uncomfortable, and that of his family distressing. Mrs. A. was
treated with great kindness, but he was both shunned and des-
pised. She was a lady of great delicacy and refinement, with a
mind cultivated by more than ordinary care, and, of course, her
sufferings were rendered acute by the imputations against her
husband's integrity, aside from his treason. They shortly left St.
Johns and went to England, where Arnold became lost to the
public eye, and died in degradation and obscurity in 1801.
Arnold is said to have been agreeable, but a man of ungov-
ernable passions, and very bad moral character. His first wife
was Margaret Mansfield, whom he married in this city ; she died
June 21, 1775. His second wife was a Miss Shippen, of Phila-
delphia, youngest daughter of Edwai'd Shippen, afterwards
Chief Justice of Pennsylvenia, whom he married while a resident
44. Hezekiah Beecher, one of the youngest members, was an
uncle of Rev. Dr. Beecher. the celebrated clergyman. His
brother was a blacksmith, as was Hezekiah, who lived on the
corner of George and College streets.
45. Amos Gilbert, farmer, lived in George street, on the low
lot now occupied by leather store of J. Gilbert & Sons, who are
another family. The west part of the store was his house.
46. Seabury Champliu, particulars not known.
47. James Hillhouse, a name dear to New Haven, was the
third captain of the company, a United States Senator, &c.
48. William Larman, particulars not known.
49. Caleb Trowbridge, sea captain, etc., lived in Water street,
at the corner of Meadow, where the house of Henry Trowbridge,
Jr., now stands. He aided Arnold in raising a volunteer com-
pany, with which they repaired to the American camp near Bos-
ton, and of which Mr. T. was a lieutenant. Soon after he received
a captain's commission, returned to New Haven, and in a few
days raised a fine company of volunteers with which he repaired
to New York. Prior to their departure they employed a man by
the name of Fitzgerald to teach them the manual exercise, etc.,
met for that purpose in Mr. Trowbridge's house, and his parlor
was for a time changed into a drill room. He was at the battle
of Brooklyn, where he and most of his company were taken
prisoners. He was a prisoner near two years, a part of the time
upon Long Island, and the remainder in the old Sugur House in
Liberty street, which was removed but a few years since. It was
his unwillingness to yield to the wishes of his captors that caused
him to be detained so long a prisoner, as an officer of equal rank
was frequently offered in exchange, but the British demanded
that he should not again take up arms against them, a consid-
eration he would not agree to ; on the contrary, he told them
that as soon as he should get his liberty he " would be at them
again." His imprisonment was much easier than it would have
been, had not his wife sold her plate, and found means to forward
him money to Long Island, with which he purchased many priv-
ileges denied to other prisoners.
Upon his release he returned to New Haven, and after waiting
some time for a major's commission which had been promised
him, he became impatient, repaired to Boston, and taking out
letters of marque, commenced the warrior's life upon the sea.
After remaining in this calling a while, he again returned to New
A company of citizens had fitted out a vessel for the West
Indies, which was upon the point of sailing when the British
cruisers made their appearance. The vessel was taken above the
bridge and shot fired at her in order to sink her, and thereby save
her from the enemy, when by some accident she took fire and
was burned to the water's edge. The hull was soon after raised,
built into a brig, fitted out for a trading voyage to Holland, and
Mr. Trowbridge put in command. She was very well armed, and
took several prizes. She made two voyages to Amsterdam
the most exciting period of the war, when the ocean was covered
with British cruisers in search of French, Spanish, Dutch and
American vessels. The name of this little vessel was the Fire-
Brand, from the circumstance of her having been built from a
Before the war Arnold and Trowbridge had some account
together, the settlement of which led to a dispute. They parted,
Arnold saying, " You meet me to-morrow morning at
o'clock," naming the hour, " and we will settle it." Trowbridge
supposed him to be joking and thought no more of it. Early
next morning he was called from his bed by two gentlemen, who
requested to see him on particular business, and when informed
that Arnold had repaired to the spot designated by him the day
previous, he was much surprised, but expressed his determination
to meet him, nor were entreaties to dissuade him from it of any
avail. Upon repairing to the swamp just west of the pi'esent
residence of Dr. Totteu, he found Arnold waiting for him. He
advanced towards him when Arnold drew two pistols, and told
Trowbridge to choose one of them. He was much surprised,
but not frightened, and without giving Arnold time to guard
himself, rushed upon and wrenched both pistols from him, threw
them both into the creek, and told Arnold to go home, a bidding
which he was not long in performing.
50. Pierpont Edwards, a distinguished lawyer, lived in Elm
street, in house now occupied by Rev. Mr. Brewster's school ; his
office was in Elm street, near his residence, but was afterwards
removed to the corner of Court and Orange streets, where it now
stands. He became United States District Judge, and removed
to Stratford, where he died.
51. Kiersted Mansfield, mason, lived in Church street opposite
52. Elias Townsend, joiner, lived in Meadow street, east side,
first house south from Whiting street.
53. Hezekiah Augur, joiner, lived upper part of Broadway, at
junction of Whaley and Goffe avenues, in the large house recently
removed into Samaritan, above Howe street, was the father of
Hezekiah Augur, the sculptor.
54. Joseph Peck, formerly jailor ; jail then kept in present
college yard, was the father of the late Bela T. Peck, recently a
major of the corps.
55. Wm. Jones, school teacher, lived in State street nearly
opposite the residence of the late William McCrackan, Esq.
56. Ebenazer Huggins, a wealthy merchant, lived in Crown
street, house now standing nearly opposite the residence of Joel
Root, Esq. ; store was in Chapel street, where the store of Messrs.
Sanford & Allen now stands. He was the father of Henry Hug-
57. Aner Bradley, aftei-ward a militia colonel in Watertown,
and a town clerk there for many years.
58. Amos Doolittle, engraver of many historical prints of Rev-
olutionary scenes, well remembered by many of our citizens ;
lived in College street, house next north of the livery stable of
LIST OF MAJOR COMMANDANTS, WITH THE DATES OF THEIR
Luther Bradley, - . Oct. 24, 1810
Timothy Bishop, May 22, 1815
Ezekiel Hotchkiss, Oct. 23, 1817
Bela T. Peck, May 21, 1821
Chas. B. Grannis, May 27, 1823
Wm. "W. Boardman, May 18, 1826
Leverett Candee, Sept. 11, 1828
Jas. E. Hotchkiss, .May 12, 1830
John Merriman, May 7, 1832
Lucius K. Dowd, May 27, 1834
Allen X. Smith, May 9, 1836
Gardner Morse, -May 22, 1839
Benj. M. Prescott, Mar. 2, 1844
LIST OF CAPTAINS BEFORE THE APPOINTMENT OF MAJOR.
Benedict Arnold, Mar. 16, 1775
Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., May 8, 1777
James Hillhouse, May 3, 1779
Daniel Bishop,... ...Oct. 3, 1783
Nathaniel Fitch, Oct. 30, 1786
William Lyon, -.. Oct. 23, 1788
Dyer White, Oct. 18, 1 793
Hanover Barney, Oct. 14, 1796
James Merriman, -May 5, 1800
Jeremiah Atwater, Oct. 31, 1805
LIST OF FIRST LIEUTENANTS, WHO RANK AS BREVET CAPTAIN.
Henry Eld Oct. 24, 1810
Timothy Bishop, Nov. 1, 1813
Jared Doolittle, May 22, 1815
Ezekiel Hotchkiss, Sept., 1816
Wm. B. Wallace, Oct. 23, 1817
Wm. C. Atwater, Oct. 21, 1819
Joel Mattoon Sept. 15, 1820
Chas. B. Grannis, May 6, 1822
Wm. W. Boardman, May 27. 1823
Leverett Candee May 18. 1 826
James E. Hotchkiss, Sept. 18, 1828
Jno. Merriman, May, 18, 1830
Matthew H. Read, ..May 7, 1832
Wm. B. Peck, May 13, 1835
Noble Catlin, -May 19, 1836
Silas Pardee,-.. May 22, 1839
Joshua Miller, 1840
Elias S. Main. 1842
John M. Hendrick, Aug. 28, 1845
Russell W. Norton,... Dec., 1845
LIST OF LIEUTENANTS.
Jesse Leavenworth, Mar. 16, 1775
James Hillhouse, May 8, 1777
Major Lines May 3, 1779
Nathaniel Fitch, Oct. 23, 1783
Wm. Lyon, Oct. 30, 1786
Jacob Daggett, Oct. 28, 1788
Dyer White, Oct. 18, 1 793
Hanover Barney. May 15, 1795
James Merriman. Oct. 24, 1 96
Jer. Attwater, 3d., May 4, 1801
Timothy Chittenden, Oct. 31, 1805
Luther Bradley May 19, 1808
Timothy Bishop, Oct. 24, 1810
Eleazer Foster, ...Oct. 24, 1810
Jared Doolittle, Nov. 1, 1813
Timothy Plant, Nov. 1, 1813
Hezekiah Hotchkiss, May 22, 1815
Ezekiel Hotchkiss, May 22, 1815
Wm. B. Wallace. ...Sept., 1816
Wm. 0. Atwater, Oct. 23, 1817
Daniel Brown, 2d., Oct. 21, 1819
Silas Ford, Oct. 21, 18)9
Joel Mattoon, May 26, 1820
Bela T. Peck, Sept. 15, 1820
Charles B. Grannis, May 21. 1821
James Augur, May 6, 1822
\\*m. W. Boardman, Aug. 7, 1822
Eli W. Blake, ...May 27, 182S
Elisha Dickerman, Jr.,.. .May 22. 1823
Rodney Burton, May 27, 1823
James E. Hotchkiss, May 18, 1826
Samuel H. Drake, _ Sept v 1 828
Jno. Merriman,... May 19, 1829
Andrew Benton, May, 1 830
Matthew H. Read May, 1 830
Lucius K. Dow, May 7, 1 832
Everard Benjamin, May 7 , 1832
Edwin J. Peck .May 7, 1832
Wm. B. Beck, May 27, 1834
Noble Catlin, May 13, 1835
Elisha M. Gorham, May 19, 1836
Joshua Miller ..May 22, 1839
Edward McNeil, May 22, 1839
Ellas S. Main, May, 1840
Frederick Dodd,... -.May, 1840
Geo. A. Smith, May, 1842
Jno. M. Hendrick, May, 1842
Russell W. Norton, Aug. 28, 1845
Elihu Myers, Dec., 1845
Walter Stickney, Dec., 1845
LIST OF ENSIGNS.
Hezekiah Sabin, Jr., Mar. 16, 1775
Major Lines May 8, 1777
Daniel Bishop, May 3, 1779
Wm. Lyon, Oct. 23, 1783
Jacob Daggett, Oct. 30, 1786
Elihu Lyman, Oct. 28, 1788
James Merriman. May 15, 1795
David Btmce,-- Oct. 24, 1796
Jeremiah Atwater, 3d.,-. .Oct. 29, 1799
Timothy Chittenden, May 4, 1801
Luther Bradley, Oct. 31,1805
Henry Eld, May 19. 1808
Timothy Plant, .Oct. 24, 1810
Horace Beach, Nov. 1, 1813
Wm. B. Wallace, Nov. 4, 1814
Wm. C. Atwater, May 22, 1815
Daniel Brown, 2d., Sept., 1816
Joel Mattoon. ... Oct. 23, 1817
Chauncey Bradley Oct. 21, 1819
Eli W. Blake, May 21. 1821
Klisha Dickerman, Jr., May 6, 1822
Rodney Burton, .Aug. 7. 1822
Eli Dickerman, May 27,1 823
Leverett Candee, May 2, 1825
Joseph Fairchild, .May 18, 1826
Andrew Benton, May 7, 1827
L. K. Dow, May 19, 1829
Everard Benjamin, May, 1830
Wm. B. Peck, May 7, 1832
Noble Catlin, May 27, 1834
Elisha M. Gorham, May 13, 1835
Wm. E. Waterbury, May 19, 1836
Nathan M. Smith, 1840
Jas. M. Vader, 1841
Vacant since .,, . . 1 842
NOTE. The compiler cannot close this account without thanking his friends.
Horace Day, Esq., and Mr. Jerome B. Lucke (the latter author of the very
interesting work, "The History of the Xew Haven Grays," who has for
many years been connected with the press of this city,) for their assistance and
advice in the arrangement of this hasty compilation ; also other citizens of this
city and surrounding towns, for their reminiscences of this important event in New
Page 2, for 1878, read 1879.
4, line 6, ' "saven," read saved.
' 4, 22, " 'no," read on.
1 6, " 27, " 'were," read was.
" 7, " 6, " 'p. M.," read A. M.
8, ' 5, " 'Morrisana," read Morrisania.
" 17, 24, " 'proves," read prove.
" 29, 12, " 'seaport," read seaports.
" 3i. 8, " 'this powder mill," read his powder mill.
" 33, ' 12, " 'attaches," read attaches.
" 3. " I, " 'western," read eastern.
" 60, 12, " 'wounded," read asleep.
" 88, ' 2, " 'has," read hat was.
" no, " 27, " 'Rev. Mr. Brewster," read Mr. Reynolds.
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