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Full text of "Captain, Reuben Marcy"

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JOHN REED. 



19 



John Latham I should like to find.) 
Elizabeth, m. Joseph Ambler; Benjamin, 

died young ; Lydia, m. Davenport ; 

James, m. Joanna Castle ; Benjamin, m. 
Bethiah Weed ; Ezra, m. Sarah Kellogg ; 
Joanna, m. Stephen Warren ; Elijah, m. 
Esther Bates. 

Of this family Benjamin remained in 
Norwalk and had the homestead. James, 
in 1759, was one of a force intended to 
aid in the capture of Quebec, but it was 
too late for that service, as they received 
the news of its surrender while on the 
way and so retraced their steps. Return- 
ing leisurely towards home he passed 
through the town of Amenia, N. Y. He 
may have stopped for dinner at the 
tavern kept by Daniel Castle at South 
Amenia, and been as much attracted by 
the landlord's daughter as he was by the 
beautiful valley. At any rate they were 
married in the following spring, his 
father meantime having purchased for 
him a farm near at hand where they 
built a house and raised a family of four- 
teen children, all of whom married, and 
all but one of whom left descendants. 



He was miller, farmer and merchant, and 
successful in all ; and he was also a public 
man in a right sense, being prominent in 
town affairs as well as an officer with the 
rank of major in the Revolutionary army. 

His brother Eliakim* Reed moved to 
the same town in 1773, having purchased 
a farm there. His children were as 
follows : 

Sarah, m. Matthew Fitch ; Eliakim, m. 
Rebecca Fitch and Mrs. Breek ; Simeon, 
m. Abial Rice ; Silias, m. Bethiah Hurd ; 
Samuel ; Phineas, m. Esther Reed ; Ezra, 
m. Jemima Fitch and Esther Edgerton ; 
Enoch, died young, Esther, m. Jacob 
Edgerton ; Ruth, m. Jeremiah Fuller. 

Of this family Simeon, Silas and Samuel 
are numbered among the men from 
Amenia who served i: the army of the 
revolution. Ezra bought the farm upon 
the death of his father, and his son New- 
ton Reed, before mentioned, succeeded 
to it in turn, passing his ninety-one years 
there. It is now owned by Henry V, D, 
Reed, son of Newton, and on it have 
been born the ninth generation of Reeds 
in America. 







CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY. 

Orders to Captain Marcy from General James Waclsworth, through Colonel John 
Chester and Major Ripley. 



BY THOMAS KNOWLTON MARCY. 



WHEN a novice begins to study 
closely any part of Colonial or 
Revolutionary history he is surprised to 
find how few documents of the period 
either in print or manuscript have been 
preserved. Letters written home or to 
friends by actors in various scenes for the 
most part were soon lost or destroyed. 
Our early newspapers printed no local 
items on the theory that readers knew 
already the happenings of the neighbor- 
hood. In like manner after events had 
been talked over around the family fireside 
the household did not dream that des- 
criptions of campaigns and battles from 
the absent member could have any further 
value. 

Not so was it with Captain Reuben 
Marcy. He had a praiseworthy habit of 
carefully putting away in his desk every 
scrap of writing. In due time he was 
gathered to his fathers and the desk went 
to the garret to make place for more 
modern furniture. After long banishment 
it was at length restored to its ancient 
honor with its precious treasures intact. 
Here are official papers yellow with age. 
Here are autographs from men and 
women whose descendants have since 
become famous. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution the 
town of Ashford, Conn., had a well 
equipped, well drilled military company 
under command of Lieut. Reuben Marcy, 
the leading merchant of the region. The 



office of captain was vacant. Near by 
lived a farmer who in early youth had 
served in three campaigns and whose 
soldierly qualities were well known. 
Thomas Knowlton was elected to the 
vacancy. His brilliant career proved the 
wisdom of the choice. After the return 
from the hurried march to Boston, fol- 
lowing the Lexington alarm, Lieut. Marcy 
resigned. His business was large, de- 
manding personal attention. Besides at 
that moment there was no lack of volun- 
teers. Every one seemed eager to go. 

A little more than three months after 
the evacuation of Boston by the British, 
March 17, 1776, Sir William Howe, with 
an army of 30,000 men, supported by a 
powerful fleet, appeared off New York 
harbor. Anticipating an attack at this 
place. General Washington put forth 
strenuous efforts in its defense. Heavy 
drafts were made on the resources of 
Connecticut. Seven battalions were 
quickly recruited for the brigade under 
command of Brigadier-General James 
Wadsworth. Capt. Reuben Marcy raised 
and commanded the fourth company of 
Col. John Chester's battalion. It con- 
sisted of seventy- four non-commissioned 
officers and privates. John Holmes, who 
died Aug. 27, was first lieutenant ; Samuel 
Marcy, 2d lieutenant, and Daniel Knowl- 
ton, brother of Col. Thomas Knowlton, 
ensign. This was the second company 
raised in Ashford and vicinity for active 



CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY. 



21 



service. Nearly all the able bodied men 
of the town were now in the field. 

The following documents, copied from 
the originals show the vigor with which 
the work was pressed. 



Sir : 



East Hartford. June 30, 1776. 



I send you a coppy of Gen'l Wad- 
sworths orders by express to me the one 
rote Last Evening the other this Sabbath 
Morning by which you will see the 
Necessity of marching with what men you 



furnished with amies, and that none be 
suffered to go without as it will be im- 
possible to procure them at Head 
Quarters & their service will consequently 
be renderd Useless. 

James Wadsworth Jr., Brig'r Gen'l. 
To Col. John Chester. 

Another Dated 
Durham, June 30th, Sabbath Morn, 1776. 
Last evening by express I receivd 
another Letter from Gen'l Washington 




HOME OF captain REUBEN MARCY IN ASHFORD, CONN. 



can Possiblv equip & furnish by next 
Thursday at fartherest. Orders are as 
follows, viz : 

Durham, June 29, 1776. 
Sir: 

In consequence of orders receivd 
from Gen'l Washington you are hereby 
directed to give the Necessary orders for 
expediteing the march of your Regiment 
in the manner heretofore orderd as soon 
as they can Possibly be musterd and 
equipt, & Direct that all your men be 



requesting in the most pressing manner 
not Loose one moment time in sending 
forward the Regiments Destind for New 
York. Must therefore direct that you 
give all Possible Attention to the Raiseing 
equiping and Sending forward immedi- 
ately your Regiment in manner befor 
Directed as the safety of our army may 
under Heaven depend much on the 
seasonable arrival of the Connecticut 
Regiments. 

jAMfs Wadsworth, Jr., Brig'r Gen'l. 



22 



CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY. 



These letters were sent to me from 
Durham by express to Wethersfield & 
from thence forwarded by another express 
to this place where I was attending the 
funeral of Parson Williams Lady.* I 
have seen the principle men here & they 
are engaged to stir up the people to 
Enlist immediately if they will not Col. 
Wm, & Jno. Pitkin tell me the Gov'r is 
Determined to draught from the Militia. 
I have also orderd the men here to be 
ready to March by next Thursday at 
furtherest — if they find it Difficult to get 



Accoutrements, Blanket and Knapsack, 
&c., &c. 

You will send these orders to all the 
Captains and direct them to communi- 
cate them to all their subalterns in the 
four Companies Nearest you. They 
must give notice to the nearest muster 
Master to Muster them immediately — 
dont fail yourself of going next Thurs- 
day & Let me hear from you again. Ex- 
press must be sent if Necessary. 

I am in greatest haste your verry 

Humble Serv't John Chester. 



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tFAC-SIMII,E OF ACCOUNT OF CAPT. MARCY WITH THE CONTINENTAI, GOVERNMENT. 



compleatly furnishd with Cloathes &c. 
opportunities are frequent & conveyances 
Cheap for Articles of Cloathing to be 
sent them by their friends afterwards but 
they must be compleatly equipt with 



To Capt. Rubin Marcy Sir In persu- 
ance of the foregoing orders from Gen'l 
Wadsworth to Colo. Chester & fm him to 
Me you are hereby Ordered to March 
the Compy Under your Command To 



*The wife of Rev. Eliphalet Williams, daughter of Rev. Elisha and Eunice 
(Chester) Williams. Her father was sufficiently versatile to be a clergj-man, a Colonel 
of a regiment in active service and rector (president) of Yale College. 

tThis document has an added interest from the fact that Capt. Marcy was paid back 
for money advanced in 1776 in sheets of dollars. We do not know just the date, but as 
the United States did not adopt the decimal system for their monej- until 1786, he must 
have waited more than ten years for payment. The note added changing the dollars to 
pounds, shilling and pence and making them agree to the fraction is interesting.^ [Editor. ] 



CAPTAIN REUBEN MARCY. 



23 



New York by Land or water as you think 
Most Convenient there to join the Con- 
tinental Army if the Whole Company is 
Not in Readiness you are to March as 
soon as you have Twenty-five Men Ready 
with one Commissioned & Two Non- 
commissioned officers & in that propor- 
tion. And forward the Rest in Suitable 
divisions as fast as they become ready 
and To do it with all Convenient Speed. 
Thursday next is the Day Perfixed for 
Marching as you see in the foregoing 
orders from Colo. Chester you are to see 
that your Compy is well furnishd with 
Good amies with Bayonets Sa Cotoach 
Boxes Blankets & Knapsacks youl apply 
to Majr Brown who is the Nearest Muster 
Master To Muster your men as they be- 
come Ready. 

Given Under My Hand in Windham 
(by order of Colonel) this 2d day of 
July A.D. 1776. 

John Ripley, Major. 

July 3Td 1776. 

Capt. Marcy please to forward the Let- 
ter to Capt. Lyon by an express this 
night if possible beg you will not fail as I 
am so Unwell & have Took physick this 
Day & Expect to Go to N. York Tomor- 
row so that I Cannot procure any body 
here to go besides you Live Much Nearer 
& I Conclude ye Expence will Be Re- 
mitted again by ye Public & am your 
John Ripley. 

The story of the campaign around New 
York City is too well known to require 
repetition. Col. Chester's battalion was 
stationed at the Flatbush pass on Long 
Island, where it was attacked on August 
27th, and barely escaped capture. It 
shared in the fight at White Plains, Oct. 
28th. Its term of service expired Dec. 
25, 1776. 

The means, patriotism and humanity 
of Capt. Marcy were such that he ad- 



vanced to his men and to their families 
full pay and for indemnity awaited the 
convenience of the government. 

At the close of the campaign he re- 
sumed the cares of a business which de- 
manded personal attention. His store 
was the chief distributing point for an 
area of fully sixty square miles. Imported 
goods for the interior were then hauled 
over land, mostly by oxen, from different 
ports. To meet the demands of his 
trade Capt. Marcy often had over thirty 
teams on the road at the same time. 
During the blockade he transported goods 
from a point as far distant as Portsmouth, 
N. H., though his main sources of supply 
were Boston, Providence and Norwich. 
During the Revolution he was especially 
kind to the families of absent soldiers. 
The freedom with which he gave both 
directly and through credits, made heavy 
drafts upon his fortune. 

In late youth he spent four years in 
Providence and Boston learning in a 
broad way the details of mercantile busi- 
ness. Not only the experience thus 
acquired but the friendships then made 
proved very serviceable in later years. 

Raised on a farm he was noted through 
life for judgment in passing on the points 
and value of horses and live stock. This 
gift proved especially useful in purchases 
made for the American and French 
armies during the Revolution. 

A few articles that once belonged to 
Capt. Marcy are still preserved. Mrs. 
L. B. Loomis, of Windsor, has his watch. 
As it has been under water as well as 
under fire its virtue long ago departed. 
His musket that saw service in the Revo- 
lution descended through intermediate 
generations to the writer, who gave it 
two or three years ago to his youthful 
kinsman, a great-great grandson of Capt. 
Marcy, Charles Guilford Woodward, of 
Hartford, who rightfully inherited from 



24 



A VISION. 



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011 769 531 1 



his grandfather, the late Ashbel Wood- 
ward, M. D., a keen appreciation of 
antiquarian treasures. 

Reuben Marc)^ was son of Edward,* who 
served as first Heutenant, 6th company, 
4th regiment. Conn, troops, in the ex- 
pedition against Crown Point, in 1756, 



Among the descendants of John are to 
be found in both male and female lines 
many persons of distinguished merit. 
Mention might be made of General Ran- 
dolph B. Marcy, of the U. S. Army ; Wm. 
Larned Marcy, Governor of New York , 
Secretary of War, 1845-9, ^.nd of 



and later as captain; and grandson of State, 1853-7; of Prof. Oliver Marcy, 
John Marcy, one of the pioneer settlers &c., &c. 



of Woodstock, Conn. The late Prof. 
Oliver Marcy, LL. D., of the North- 
western University, in a genealogical 
article, published in 1875, says that John, 
the emigrant, was son of the high sheriff 
of Limerick, Ireland. 



Capt. Reuben Marcy was born Nov. 
28, 1732, and died January 14, 1806. He 
married Rachel Watson, of Barrington, 
R. I. 



Prof. Oliver Marcy erroneously makes Reuben the son of James. 




A VISION. 



BY JOHN HOWARD. 



At first the face arose, then that behind 
Slow issued forth my waking sense to charm. 
When, having seen, my heart in glad alarm 
Flowed out to meet in welcome free and kind. 
For as it slow encroached upon my mind 
With silent pace, I glad perceived the form 
Of her, who once, with love's affection warm 
My longing heart did sooth, but since most blind 
Had been to all my love. Now thus she spake, — 
'• Dear heart, I love you," then she kneeling sued 
And sobbing, begged that I the vision take 
As hopeful sign, of former love renewed. 
But I awoke from dreams so wondrous sweet 
Another day of love denied, to greet. 




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