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Full text of "The ranger service in the upper valley of the Connecticut, and the most northerly regiment of the New Hampshire militia in the period of the revolution : an address delivered before the New Hampshire Society of Sons of the American Revolution at Concord, N.H., April 26, 1900"

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In approaching the specific theme which has been chosen for this 
address certain preliminary suggestions may be permissible : 

i. A correct understanding of the geography of any locality re 
lated to events to be described is an important prerequisite in the 
treatment of such a subject as is now under consideration. The 
"Twelfth Regiment of Foot," as the most northerly organization of 
the provincial military establishment was termed, was a description 
and designation in military phrase of a region which was then recently 
settled, and, for the larger part, sparsely populated. It extended 
along the Connecticut river on the New Hampshire side from Or- 
ford to Colebrook. The settlements on the Vermont side of the river 
had not been extended as far north as those of the New Hampshire 
pioneers on the east side, except a very few that had been effected by 
those going north by way of Lancaster, and occupying the valley 
along the river opposite Lancaster, Northumberland, and Stratford. 
To the east of the Twelfth Regiment was a mountain wilderness. The 
northern part of the Connecticut valley, lying between the Upper Coos 
on the north and the Ammonoosuc valley and the Lower Coos on the 
south, had not been securely settled. Thus the extreme north part 
of the regiment was isolated from the south part. The locality of the 
regiment was, therefore, a narrow tongue of settled and unsettled 
townships eighty miles in length, with vast tracts of virgin wilderness 
on either side. Forts had been constructed at Haverhill, Bath, Lis 
bon (then known as Concord or Gunthwaite), Lancaster, Northum 
berland, and Stratford. A line drawn due east and west through Ben- 
nington to the Connecticut river was sixty miles south of Orford. An 
uninhabited and mountainous region seventy miles wide intervened 


between the principal part of this regiment and the line of military 
operations along the Champlain route; it was eighty miles from 
Stratford, and a hundred miles from Newbury to St. Johns in Can 
ada ; and the distance was a hundred miles from the southern boun 
dary of the regiment to the seat of operations about Boston. 

2. A regiment of militia in the Revolutionary period was a territorial 
designation, and not, as now, an aggregation of organized men as 
sembled by companies and battalions without reference to the location 
and residence of their individual constituents. It was a provision 
of law that certain contiguous towns should form a regiment. The 
designated area constituted the regiment, and every able-bodied man 
of military age, with a few statutory exceptions, was a member of the 
regiment in the same sense that a citizen is at this day a part of his 
senatorial district. It was not usual to attempt to get one of these 
regiments into active service in its entirety. In fact, this was practi 
cally impossible. It was not ordinarily necessary to call out every 
enrolled soldier, and if such a call could have been made effective it 
would have deprived the district of almost its entire body of citizens 
engaged in its various avocations. Out of these regiments minute- 
men were organized into other regiments to be immediately available 
in cases of emergency. On other occasions quotas were assessed 
upon the militia regiments, and these contingents were assembled 
and reorganized into new companies, battalions, and regiments. In 
exceptional instances summary calls were made on all the militia to 
volunteer for campaigns like that at Saratoga, when, as General Bur- 
goyne said, the New England militia hung like a black cloud upon 
his left. Liberal as the response was at that time, it was not univer 
sal. Stark s first brigade was returning while his second body of vol 
unteers was assembling for Saratoga. This explains the fact that such 
prominent militia officers or military men as Col. Timothy Bedel of 
Haverhill, Lieut. -Col. David Webster of Plymouth, and Lieut. -Col. 
Charles Johnston of Haverhill were volunteers, one at Bennington, 
the others at Saratoga. Had their militia regiments been called into 
service, in the form and entirety of their primary organization, these 
men would not have been doing duty as volunteers in the temporary 
regiments in the field. 

3. The student of the official records of this period, both those 
of military and those of civil character, will observe superficially 
that titles were freely employed in the designation of persons. A 
more critical examination of this feature of the old prints and manu 
scripts will establish the assumption that these titles were applied with 

scrupulous accuracy. When the verifying documents can be found it 
is always discovered that the prefix which appears in other connec 
tions is correct, and that the person to whom it is accorded in speech or 
writing receives only the distinction to which he is rightfully entitled. 
An act of the Revolutionary period of a somewhat peculiar import 
created a section of militia to be composed of men in advanced years, 
who had passed the usual age limit of military service. 1 The com 
panies so constituted were each entitled to a captain holding the rank 
of colonel, a lieutenant of the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and an ensign 
of the rank of major. Although this law was not long in force, it 
served to multiply the number of officers bearing the titles of the higher 
grades of military service. 

4. The opposite side of the river from Morey s regiment was occu 
pied by regiments of Vermont militia, the upper one commanded by 
Jacob Kent of Newbury and the lower one by Peter Olcott of Nor 
wich. Thomas Johnson of Newbury was lieutenant-colonel of Kent s 
regiment. Jacob Bayley of Newbury, a colonel at the beginning of 
the war and later a brigadier-general, also serving as commissary- 
general for the Northern department, exercised a commanding in 
fluence on both sides of the river throughout the war. He is regarded 
now, with good reason, as one of the neglected heroes of the Revolu 
tion. His services were of singular value at all stages of the conflict. 
He was skilful and potent in management of the Indians who roamed 
the wilderness between the frontiers of the Vermont and New Hamp 
shire settlements and those of Canada. (Hist, of Newbury, Vt., by 
Frederic P. Wells, p. 73.) 

In co-operation with Hurd, Charles Johnston, Thomas Johnson, 
Kent, Morey, Childs, Olcott, and Bedel, he succeeded in such meas 
ures for the protection of the settlements in the northern valley of 
the Connecticut that the inhabitants were not only able to hold their 
ground but also to accomplish some extension of their farms and 
clearings. The recent history of Newbury, Vt., by Mr. Wells, con 
tains an admirable presentation of the story of the Revolution as 
related to this region. It is a progressive addition to the notably satis 
factory treatment of the same subject, in its special reference to Hano 
ver and vicinity, by Judge Frederick Chase in his history of that 

The military events which transpired in Upper Cobs, as the western 
side of the present county of Coos was designated in the Revolution 
ary period, have been accorded thorough and reliable treatment in the 

1 Passed June 24, 1786. Laws, i78o- 89, p. 409. 

History of Coos County by Fergusson, 1888, and in the History of 
Lancaster by A. N. Somers, 1899. 

In 1775 Canada was occupied by the Americans. They had 
carried the war into the enemy s country. This proved to be the 
best possible method of protecting the Vermont and New Hampshire 
frontiers. Until the termination of these operations in Canadian 
territory by the retreat of the army finally under General Sullivan in 
the month of June, 1776, comparative security for the Coos country 
resulted from the fact that the enemy had all it could do to protect it 
self at home. This was the status upon which the people of this re 
gion relied with good reason until the summer of 1776. In July of 
that year the immediate defense of the Upper Coos was provided for 
by the dispatch or assignment of a company of 50 men for service in 
the region of Northumberland and Stratford under command of Jere 
miah Eames. At the former place Fort Weare was erected. This 
company served from July 13 to October 13, 1776. (17 State Papers, 
65.) Three statements from the inhabitants of these towns addressed 
to the general court, one of date September 16, one September 26, 
1776 (17 State Papers, 77, 78, 79), and one without date (8 State 
Papers, 379), afford interesting accounts of the state of affairs on 
this frontier. Evidently there were two parties among the people of 
that locality, one recommending Captain Eames and one Captain 
Bucknam for the command of the rangers in that region and of the 
garrison at Fort Weare. Captain Eames succeeded in securing the 
endorsement of the legislature. The next company raised for service 
at this point consisted of 26 men, and was under command of Captain 
Eames. They were on duty from October 14 to December I, 1776. 
(17 State Papers, 113.) A third company under Captain Eames, 
consisting of 1 1 men for winter duty at the Upper Coos, served from 
December 2, 1776, to April 15, 1777. (14 State Papers, 473.) 

Meanwhile at the Lower Coos similar measures were being taken for 
the public defense in the summer and fall of 1776. Capt. Thomas 
Simpson of Haverhill with 52 men, serving from September 14 to 
December 2, Capt. Samuel Atkinson of Boscawen with 49 men, serv 
ing from September I to December I, and Capt. Josiah Russell of 
Plainfield with 53 men, serving from September 19 to December I, 
guarded that region. (17 State Papers, 82, 83, 88, 89, 91, 92.) 

Colonel Hurd, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, James Bayley, and 
Maj. Jonathan Hale were authorized to give directions as to the 
scouting routes of Simpson s and Russell s companies. (8 State Papers, 
335 ? 336.) 

A company was also raised for the same purpose to be under the 
immediate command of Capt. David Woodward of Hanover, but under 
the general direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston and General Bay- 
ley at Coos. (17 State Papers, 67.) Colonel Kurd reports that this 
company was operating at Royalton, Vt., and apparently without taking 
directions from the superior officers at the Coos designated for it by 
the vote of the general court. (8 State Papers, 315.) Later Cap 
tain Woodward appears to have been at Haverhill in person, and to 
have been the bearer of messages sent by Colonel Kurd to the govern 
ment at Exeter. (8 State Papers, 326, 327.) During the winter of 
i776- 77 and the year 1777 the offensive operations that were in pro 
gress, and which culminated in October at Saratoga, were the suffi 
cient guaranty of a reasonable protection of this valley. The business 
of British-Canadian-Indian-Tory raiding seemed to have been concen 
trated and confined at this period within a region lying along the 
track of Burgoyne s movements. 

In the winter of 1 777^78 the continental congress threatened an in 
vasion of Canada, with a proposition to put Stark in command of it. 
Bedel was authorized to raise a regiment in this valley and in the ad 
jacent regions for the same enterprise. The men were enrolled by him 
in December, 1777, and, upon a change of purpose in regard to the 
Canadian expedition or the actual accomplishment of that purpose by 
the mere fact of its announcement, Bedel s regiment was disbanded 
in March, 1778. (16 State Papers, 306.) Soon after, however, the 
plan of carrying the war back into Canada was again prominent in 
continental councils. Lafayette was now designated to command the 
army of invasion. Bedel enrolled another regiment in the expecta 
tion, as he stated, that it would have service in the North. (15 State 
Papers, 584.) Stark called upon Bedel to send the regiment to New 
York, where a part under Lieutenant-Colonel Wheelock actually pro 
ceeded in partial compliance with orders of Gates and Stark. The 
organization was continued certainly until the following November, and 
possibly until the next March (1779), which was the date of the ex 
piration of the terms of enlistment. (17 N. H. State Papers, 232, 233, 
237, 239, 243, et passim ; chapter on the Revolution, Chase s History 
of Hanover and Dartmouth College ; correspondence of John Stark in 
his Memoir by Caleb Stark, passim ; Potter, Military Hist, of N. H., 
account of Bedel s later regiments, Part 2, pp. 387-392 ; Aldrich, 
" The Affair of the Cedars and the Services of Col. Timothy Bedel in 
the War of the Revolution, "3 Proceedings N. H. Hist. Soc., 194-231.) 

Bedel s battalion on the frontier seems to have remained of neces- 


sity in service until relieved by other local levies in March, and by 
Colonel Hazen s regiment in May, 1779. 

General Bayley writes Bedel, March 16, 1779: "Agreeable to 
your Letter the committee met at Dresden, Capt Morey is arrived 
with a Party to relieve your Guards." "20 men was ordered with 
Capt. Morey, and 30 are ready from Lebanon and Colo Olcot." (17 
State Papers, 320, 321.) 

It may, perhaps, be a reasonable inference from the facts now de 
veloped in the history of that period that General Washington was 
not in sympathy with the plans for another invasion of Canada. It 
would appear also that their abandonment was contemporary with the 
downfall of the so-called " Conway Cabal." 

At this time (1778) the union of seventeen towns (including Dres 
den), all of them except Cornish being in Grafton county, with the 
towns west of the river, had been apparently effected, and Colonel 
Morey and Colonel Bedel were now members of the Vermont legisla 
ture. This movement was strenuously antagonized by the Benning- 
ton and the Exeter state governments, and this first so-called union 
soon collapsed. 

It was, of course, inevitable that these political considerations should 
disadvantageously affect the military status of Colonel Bedel and his 
regiment in the relations which would necessarily exist with these 
two state governments. (Town and College in the Revolution, History 
of Hanover and D. C., by Frederick Chase, p. 390 et seq., 469.) 

It was proposed, in the spring of 1779, to have the scattered detach 
ments of Whitcomb s rangers collected and stationed at Haverhill for 
the defense of that region. This was presumably not accomplished, 
as Hazen s continentals, consisting of 17 companies, several of them 
being constituted of French-Canadians who had enlisted in Canada 
with him and remained in his command, a total of between 500 and 
600 officers and men, according to the rolls of the regiment as made 
up in the fall of 1778, were ordered to the Lower Coos. (18 State 
Papers, 911-916.) They arrived here about the first of May, 1779, 
and remained until September. (17 State Papers, 292-309, 331.) 

"After the departure of Hazen s regiment the frontiers were 
guarded by the regiment of Col. Moses Nichols for a short time, when 
that, too, was withdrawn to West Point, and the people were left to 
take care of themselves as best they might under the command of Maj. 
Benjamin Whitcomb. 11 (Potter, Mil. Hist. N. H., 366; 8 State Pa 
pers, 869, 872; Chase, Hist. Hanover, 402.) 

Meanwhile, in the same year, the state had provided a company 

of scouts, 5 men, under Capt. Jonah Chapman of Campton, for ser 
vice in the Upper Coos. These men were on duty from July 15 to 
October i . The inhabitants of the three towns of Lancaster, North 
umberland, and Stratford organized as a municipal group, certainly 
this year and perhaps in other years. They chose a committee of 
safety for 1779 and provided for a local military organization for the 
defense of these settlements, then the most northerly in the state. 
(13 State Papers, 474, 475; 15 Id., 705; Fergusson, Hist. Coos 
County, 86, 87; Hist, of Lancaster, 83.) Nathan Caswell, formerly 
and afterwards of Apthorp (now Littleton), was made captain of this 
organization of the settlers. 

In June of this year a party of Indians with a French-Canadian leader 
had raided Stratford, taking away considerable plunder and two pris 
oners. This affair of course served to intensify the sense of insecurity 
which prevailed in that season in the north country. (Hist, of Lan 
caster, 82.) 

In January, 1780, a convention of towns on both sides of the river 
in the vicinity of Hanover and Norwich voted to enlist or detach a 
regiment of 500 minute men, David Woodward to be colonel, and two 
companies of scouts, each of 61 men, one of the companies being 
commanded by Timothy Bush. The proportion of Morey s regiment 
for the minute men was 130 and of the scouts 36. 

This activity is thus explained : 

" In January, 1780, information was received that the Indians were 
preparing to make a descent during the winter. There was a general 
apprehension of an attack, not only on account of the defenceless 
state of the frontier, but also from an idea that the Indians were espe 
cially exasperated against New Hampshire because of the havoc made 
among the Six Nations the preceding autumn by the New Hampshire 
troops under the New Hampshire general, Sullivan." (History of Han 
over, Chase, p. 402.) 

Lieut. James Ladd of Haverhill served with a detachment, in 
connection with Captain Lovevvell of Vermont, in January, February, 
March, and April, 1780. Capt. Joseph Hutchins of Haverhill, later 
in the same year, had command of a company of rangers consisting of 
52 men. (Potter, Mil. Hist. N. H., Part 2, p. 395.) 

Capt. Peter Kimball of Boscawen and Capt. Thomas Nichols 
of Antrim were in command of companies of rangers at Coos, raised 
in February and discharged in April, 1780. (16 State Papers, 215.) 

Samuel Paine of Lebanon was captain of a company of 32 officers 
and men serving six months from June 18, 1780, and, according to a 


memorandum in the pay-roll, at the upper Coos. (16 State Papers, 
178, 179.) 

The house of representatives by vote of June 22, 1780, authorized 
the raising of 120 men to be sent to the western frontiers of the state 
to reinforce Major Whitcomb. 

One company was commanded by Ephraim Stone of Westmoreland, 
45 officers and men, enlisted in July for six months. Capt. Samuel 
Runels of Durham commanded another company of 37 officers and 
men, raised for six months service by the same authority and for the 
same purpose. (16 State Papers, 166, 167, 168, 169, 215.) 

It is not improbable that the companies of Hutchins, Stone, and 
Runels were constituted out of the 120 men raised under the authority 
above mentioned. 

Another and later company was engaged in the same service under 
Lieut. John Adams of Moultonborough. It was raised in October 
and discharged in November, 1780. (16 State Papers, 215. ) 

Whitcomb s corps, sometime previous to this year, had been made 
a part of the continental establishment. Its personal constituents for 
1780 are given in 16 N. H. State Papers, 170, 171. 

In 1781 several raids occurred and were the occasion of extraordi 
nary alarm in the Upper and Lower Coos. One of these incursions 
reached Dartmouth (now Jefferson), and Joseph Whipple, then the 
most prominent resident of that region, narrowly escaped capture on 
his own plantation. 

In June of this year a part of a company under Lieut. Peter 
Stearns was raised at Plymouth by Colonel Webster and forwarded to 
these frontiers. (Potter, Mil. Hist. N. H., Part 2, p. 395.) 

Aroused by the audacity of the Dartmouth raid the state authorities 
forwarded a company under command of Jacob Smith of Sandwich, 49 
officers and men, for the defense of the " northern frontiers." These 
men served from August 29 to November 6, 1781. (Potter, Mil. His. 
N. H., Part 2, p. 396.) 

Sergt. James Ladd of Haverhill had a scout of eleven men on the 
western frontiers from January 28 to April j, 1782, operating from 
Haverhill. (16 State Papers, 293.) 

Sergeant James Blake s party " for the defense of the upper Coos," 
consisted of 1 1 men, and was in that service n months and 18 days 
from April 13, 1782. (16 State Papers, 288.) 

At the Lower Coos two companies were on duty the same season. 
One was commanded by Capt. Ebenezer Webster of Salisbury, the 
father of the statesman and a veteran of Bunker Hill and Bennington, 


67 officers and men, in service from April I to November at Haverhill 
and vicinity (16 State Papers, 295), and the other, a party of 13 men 
under Capt. Jonathan Smith of Surry, on duty in the same region 
from July 4 to September 30. (16 State Papers, 298.) 

The Conway and Androscoggin scouting companies have not been 
particularly mentioned in this narrative, but they were valuable auxilia 
ries to the defense of northern New Hampshire by their operations on 
the passable approaches to the Upper Coos from the eastern side of the 
mountain and lake region. 

There were many special alarms in respect to which the militia were 
called out or volunteered in this section, or that of other sections came 
to the relief of this, of which a detailed account has not been attempted 
in this narrative. The capture of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson at 
Peacham and the Royalton affair, as to which the storm centers were 
in the vicinity of the last-named town and along the valley of the Con 
necticut to Newbury, are examples of these episodes. (History of Han 
over, 410-421 ; History of Newbury, Vt., passivi.} 

Whitcomb s corps of rangers was largely recruited from the Connec 
ticut valley. It is probable that they had at several periods important 
part in the defense of the frontiers of northeastern Vermont and north 
western New Hampshire. These men were led with superior skill and 
audacity, and performed valuable service of the same kind as that for 
which Rogers s men were famous in the French and Indian war. 

A memoir of Major Benjamin Whitcomb and an account of his corps 
is in preparation by George F. Morris, Esq., of Lisbon, at which 
place that officer resided after the war, and will afford a valuable 
additional chapter of Revolutionary history as respects a special line of 
operations in the general field, as well as new light on important mil 
itary events and movements on the frontiers of New Hampshire and 

It is difficult at this day to determine what other influences, besides 
those exerted in the ordinary military way, and as such made the sub 
ject of historical record, served to protect this region in the Revolu 
tionary period. The temporizing policy of some of the Vermont 
leaders, which has been disclosed to some extent in the so-called 
Haldimand Correspondence" (Records of Vermont, 2 Gov. and Coun 
cil, pp. 398-485), may have had the result of modifying or postponing 
the prosecution of guerrilla warfare in Vermont and western New 
Hampshire by staying the encouragement and initiative of such oper 
ations on the part of those in authority in Canada. It is also believed 
that the influence of President Eleazer Wheelock of Dartmouth college 


with Joseph Brant, the famous Mohawk Indian leader and once a 
pupil of Dr. Wheelock, was another important factor affecting the atti 
tude of the Indians in a favorable way towards the inhabitants of the 
Connecticut valley. (Wells, Hist, of Newbury, Vt., 104.) 

This well-informed writer well says (p. 97) that "people in these 
days who suppose that the Revolutionary war ended with the surrender 
of Cornwallis in October, 1781, will be surprised to know that at no 
period in the war did the patriot cause seem more hopeless to the peo 
ple in Cobs, or their own situation more dangerous, than in the two 
years mentioned" [i. e., the two years succeeding that event]. 

It may also be suggested in passing that the divided allegiance that 
existed during the entire period of the war among the people of the 
lower Coos between the governments of Vermont and New Hampshire 
could hardly be otherwise than detrimental to almost any plan of cam 
paign against the common enemy. 

As the stress of war moved to the west and south the Loyalist ele 
ments became more active and aggressive in the east. Between 1779 
and 1783 Vermont was seriously harassed, and the people of western 
New Hampshire were kept in a state of constant alarm by these ma 
rauders. At this time Rogers and Pritchard were making their mis 
chievous and not infrequently destructive incursions on the Vermont 
side of the valley of the Connecticut. Among the more important 
depredations of these and similar bands are to be named the descent 
upon Peacham and the capture of Thomas Johnson, the investment of 
Newbury, including the two unsuccessful attempts to capture General 
Bayley, and the destruction of Royalton. 

The heroic endurance of the frontier farmers all through these 
eight years of doubtful, harassing, and destructive struggle constitutes 
a monumental epoch in the history of the achievement of American 

5. In these days far removed from that long, doubtful and heroic 
struggle we often speculate, and invoke the service of theory and 
imagination, as to the spectacle of the "embattled farmers" as 
they stood in formation at Bunker hill, at Saratoga, and at Yorktown. 
There is a picture, word-painted at the surrender of Burgoyne, which, 
in vivid and inspiring portrayal of the personnel of those victorious 
columns, is not surpassed in graphic eloquence in the literature of the 
Revolution. It is given in a letter by a British officer who was in 
cluded in Burgoyne s capitulation, and I cannot forego the opportunity 
to reproduce it as the best contemporary descrip tion of the youth and 
manhood who, trained, disciplined, and organized as were our fore 
fathers, the minute-men, at the call of Stark, of Sullivan, of Whipple, 


of Poor, of Weare, and of Langdon, marching with the colors and 
challenging the hosts of the enemy from New Hampshire to Georgia, 
wrested victory from the greatest power in the Old World, and made a 
republic possible. 

The closing scene of this most memorable campaign is thus de 
scribed by one of the actors in it. He says : 

"About ten o clock we marched out, according to treaty, with drums 
beating, and the honors of war ; but the drums seemed to have lost 
their former inspiriting sounds, and though we beat the Grenadiers 
March, which, not long before, was so animating, yet now it seemed 
by its last feeble effort as if almost ashamed to be heard on such an 

" I shall never forget the appearance of the American troops on our 
marching past them. A dead silence reigned through their numerous 
columns. I must say their decent behavior to us, so greatly fallen, 
merited the utmost praise. . . . Not one of them was uniformly 
clad. Each had on the clothes he wore in the fields, the church, or 
the tavern; they stood, however, like soldiers, well arranged, and 
with a military air, in which there was but little to find fault with. 
All the muskets had bayonets, and the sharpshooters had rifles. The 
men all stood so still that we were filled with wonder. Not one of 
them made a single motion as if he would speak with his neighbor. 
Nay, more, all the lads that stood there in rank and file kind nature 
had formed so trim, so slender, so nervous that it was a pleasure to 
look at them, and we were all surprised at the sight of such a 
handsome, well-formed race. The whole nation had a natural turn 
for war and a soldier s life. 

" The generals wore uniforms and belts, which designated their 
rank, but most of the colonels were in their ordinary clothes, with a 
musket and bayonet in hand, and a cartridge-box or powder-horn 
slung over the shoulder. There were regular regiments, which, for 
want of time or cloth, were not yet equipped in uniform. These had 
standards, with various emblems and mottoes, some of which had a 
very satirical meaning for us." (" Burgoyne s Invasion of 1777," by 
Samuel Adams Drake, pp. 137-138.) 


Mr. President and Members of the Society of Sons of the American 
Revohition : 

At the close of the French and Indian war the military system of 
the province of New Hampshire was in a state of marked efficiency. 
It was definitely established by law. The several organizations were 

well equipped and well officered. Nearly all of them were numerically 
strong, and geographically distributed with judicious reference to con 
siderations of organization, instruction, and mobilization. The per 
sonnel of the militia of that day had the benefit of a traditional spirit, 
which was developed, stimulated, and intensified by the dangers 
attendant upon actual frontier service through generation after genera 
tion, for a period of more than a hundred years. The hereditary 
aptitude of the people in military enterprise had been well proven by 
the requirements of many arduous campaigns in the long war which 
was terminated by the peace of I76O, 1 and by which all the French 
possessions to the northward were acquired. Immediately after this 
event an overflowing population, seeking new fields for settlement, 
poured into the unoccupied lands in the northern and western parts of 
the province, and over the Connecticut river upon the New Hampshire 

By an act of the assembly five counties were erected in 1771, but 
Grafton and Strafford were not organized till 1773. (" History of 
Administration of the Law in Grafton County," Child s Gaz., 32.) 
Contemporaneously with the establishment of a county administration 
of civil affairs, it seems that the militia system was extended over the 
same territory. (Mills and Hicks, British and Am. Reg., 1774.) 
Two additional province regiments were accordingly created, with 
headquarters for the first at Plymouth, and for the second at Haverhill. 
The field officers of the Second Grafton regiment were Hon. John 
Hurd of Haverhill, colonel, Asa Porter, Esq., of Haverhill, lieuten 
ant-colonel, and William Simpson, Esq., of Orford, major. For the 
first regiment, Hon. John Fenton was colonel, David Hobart, lieu 
tenant-colonel, and Jonathan M. Sevvall, major. Colonel Hurd, then 
holding the offices of chief justice of the court of common pleas, 
receiver of quit-rents, county treasurer, and register of deeds, was 
the most prominent citizen of the Coos country. (Biography, by 
William F. Whitcher, Grafton and Coos Bar Asso. Proceedings, 1888, 
vol. i, p. 467; Proceedings N. H. Society of Colonial Wars, 1902.) 
At this time regiments for military purposes were territorial designa 
tions. Fenton s regiment embraced approximately that part of the 
county which is now known as the eastern judicial district, and was 
numbered eleven ; and Kurd s occupied the remainder. Hurd s regi 
ment at this time was numbered twelve, and was so designated on the 
official records afterwards, while it was under the command of Morey 

1 The conquest of Canada was actually completed in 1760, but the formal acqui 
sition of this territory by England was determined by the treaty of Paris in 1763. 

and Johnston. (8 Province and State Papers, 834, 972; 16 State 
Papers, 924.) 

In 1774 another regiment was constituted of the towns of Hanover, 
Lebanon, Lyme, Orford, Cornish, and Plainfield, with Samuel Gil 
bert of Lyme as colonel. (Chase s Hanover, p. 327.) Probably 
Lyme was not retained in this regiment, as at later dates it appears as 
a town in Morey s regiment. (14 State Papers, 556.) Colonel Gil 
bert having died, Lt.-Col. Jonathan Chase was made colonel by act of 
the assembly August 30, 1775. (Chase s Hanover, 329.) The north 
regiment is sometimes mentioned by Colonel Potter as the Sixteenth, 
but this is not in accord with the references to the regiment made in 
the acts and votes in the assembly and council in the war period, and 
down to the last of the year 1784- 1 

There is evidence that a company was organized in the Coos coun 
try before the county of Grafton was created or a regiment estab 
lished, and that the settlers thus became an organic part of the prov 
ince militia as early as 1768. (Letter, Gov. John Wentworth to 
Timothy Bedel, August 5, 1768, manuscript among the Bedel Papers, 
in custody of New Hampshire Historical Society.) 

With the development of the revolutionary movement the status 
and disposition of the militia became an important consideration. 
The royal governor, in the disposal of the civic offices of the county, 
may not have entertained the idea of placing the officers of the two 
regiments under a sense of obligation to himself as representative of 
the crown, but it happened that no one was commissioned as a field 
officer who did not hold one or more civil offices of honor and emolu 
ment for the county. Besides the bestowal of the five important 
positions to which Colonel Hurd had been assigned, the governor 
made Colonel Fenton judge of probate and clerk of courts, Major 
Sewall register of probate, Lieutenant-Colonel Porter and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Hobart judges of the court of common pleas, and Major Simp 
son sheriff. When, however, the governor was compelled to abandon 
the province in 1775, Colonel Fenton alone of all those recipients of 
executive favor cast his fortunes with his chief and attempted to de 
part with him. (Biography, by Charles R. Corning, G. & C. Bar 
Asso. Proceedings, vol. i, p. 151; Proceedings N. H. Society of 
Colonial Wars, 1901.) He was, however, intercepted by the state 
authorities and detained for a considerable period as a state prisoner. 
Colonel Porter was of the same mind but more politic as to taking a 

1 Council Records, Mss. VIII, 112; House Journal, Mss. XI, 391, XII, 419; 8 
Prov. and State Papers, 834, 972; Potter, Mil. Hist. N. H., 2 Adjt.-Gen s. Report, 
1866, 284; XIV State Papers, 558. 


stand openly against the revolt of the province. Major Simpson and 
Major Sewall took a conservative course and were non-committal. 
Colonel Hurd and Lieutenant-Colonel Hobart espoused the cause of 
independence promptly, openly, and effectively. Hobart was even 
tually made colonel of Fenton s regiment, and Hurd became councilor 
and member of the revolutionary committee of safety for Grafton 

The imperative necessity of a re-organization of the militia was 
manifest as soon as all reasonable hope of obtaining a redress of 
grievances without a final appeal to the arbitrament of war had van 
ished. Among the field officers, all having been appointed by the 
royal governor, a certain element, as might have been expected, re 
mained in sympathy with the mother country, lukewarm in the cause 
of independence, or in doubt as to the expediency of the movement. 
The last recorded session of the old assembly is on July 18, the gover 
nor having retired to the fort July u. The Fourth Provincial (Re 
volutionary) Congress had, after the final dissolution of the last (royal) 
province assembly, an open field as the only representative body ex 
ercising legislative powers in the province. Colonel Hurd was a mem 
ber in attendance at the July session. This body, by vote on the 24th 
of August, 1775, the very day on which Governor Wentworth sailed 
for Boston on the Scarborough, re-organized the regiments with strict 
reference to the exigency by which the commonwealth was con 
fronted. Timothy Bedel and Israel Morey, as well as Colonel Hurd, 
were influential Grafton county members of this congress. Morey 
was of Orford, and was made colonel of Kurd s regiment, with Charles 
Johnston of Haverhill as lieutenant-colonel, Jonathan Child of Lyme as 
first major, and Jonathan Hale of Haverhill as second major. (7 Pro 
vince Papers, 578.) Colonel Morey was an energetic officer and a 
conspicuous citizen during the entire war period. Besides the organi 
zation and command of his regiment, constant attention to the defense 
of the frontier which it occupied, and compliance with calls upon his 
territory for oft-repeated levies of men and material for operations 
abroad, he acted as one of the chief executives of the commissary de 
partment in the Connecticut valley. The records are fragmentary and 
incomplete, but the following abstract will indicate something of the 
importance of this regiment in contributions for various lines of ser 
vice in the course of the long conflict : 

In 1776 the assembly voted to raise 2,000 men for " the service," of 
which the Sixteenth (Twelfth) regiment, Col. Israel Morey of Orford, 
was to furnish forty-three. (14 State Papers, 256.) 

Men raised to fill up the three continental regiments, March, 1777 
(total 2,063). 

Col. Israel Morey s regiment, forty-three. (14 State Papers, 559.) 
Apportionment of men to be raised for service in Rhode Island, 
1779 (total 280). 

Colonel Morey s regiment, six. (15 State Papers, 655.) 
June 1 6, 1780, the legislature passed an act ordering 600 men to be 
raised to recruit the three regiments in the continental army from this 
state ; of these 

Colonel Morey s regiment, sixteen. (16 State Papers, 58.) 
In the latter part of June, 1780, the legislature voted to raise 945 
men for a term of three months, to reinforce the army at West Point ; 
of these 

Colonel Morey s regiment, two officers, twenty-six privates. (16 
State Papers, 104.) 

June 22, 1780, the house of representatives voted to raise 120 men 
to be sent to the western frontiers of this state" to reinforce Maj. 
Benjamin Whitcomb. These men were to serve six months ; of these 
Colonel Morey s regiment, five. (16 State Papers, 166.) 
"In October, 1780, a great alarm was occasioned by the destruc 
tion of Royalton, Vt., and from a report that 4,000 British troops had 
crossed Lake Champlain with the intention of proceeding to Con 
necticut River. At this time Mr. [Absalom] Peters marched at the 
head of six companies from the northern part of New Hampshire to 
Newbury, Vt., the place designated for their rendezvous, and on his 
arrival was appointed aid to Major-General Bayley, which office he sus 
tained until the close of the war." ( 3 Coll. N. H. Hist. Society, 245.) 
April 5, 1781, the house of representatives voted to raise two com 
panies, to consist of sixty-five men each, to rendezvous at Haverhill by 
theistof June, and to be under the command of Lieut. -Col. Charles 
Johnston. It was subsequently voted not to send them so early; but 
on the 3oth of June a vote passed requiring them to be raised and for 
warded immediately. The men were to be raised from the militia 
regiments commanded by Colonels Ellis of Keene, Chase of Cornish, 
Morey of Orford, Webster of Plymouth, and " the regiment of the late 
Colonel Bellows " of Walpole, and \vere to serve six months. (16 
State Papers, 249.) 

From the Vermont records it appears that, in a call for 1,500 men 
for the defense of the northern frontier against the common enemy in 
1781, 310 men were apportioned to the regiments on the east side of 
the river, two officers and forty -three non-commissioned officers and 


privates being required from Morey s regiment. (2 Records of Gov 
ernor and Council of Vt., p. 87.) 

Other calls of a like character, of which no record has been preserved, 
would undoubtedly enlarge the account to the credit of Morey s regi 
ment as an important factor in the great struggle. (See also 8 State 
Papers, passim.} 

The local military government of the towns in the lower part of 
Moray s regiment all through the war period, which was also the 
period of their disaffection against the Exeter government, was very 
largely managed through the instrumentality of delegate conventions 
from the towns on both sides of the river. The details of the pro 
ceedings of these assemblies must be sought in the State Papers and 
historical collections of New Hampshire and Vermont. 

The supreme effort on the part of New Hampshire in behalf of the 
cause of independence was made in 1777. Morey s regiment, on 
account of its location, was naturally subject to urgent calls for the 
reinforcement of the army by which General Burgoyne s forces were 
invested. David Hobart of Plymouth, colonel of the Eleventh regi 
ment of militia, commanded one of the provisional regiments of 
Stark s brigade at Bennington. His record in that battle was highly 
commended by General Stark. His fame in later years, however, was 
obscured by the fact that Stark s despatches made the name appear to 
be " Hubbard." Belknap, Barstow, and other historians have fol 
lowed the error. Whiton does not mention Hobart by either name. 
He died soon after the war in Haverhill, Mass., to which place he had 
removed. (Potter, Military Hist, of N. H., p. 320; Farmer s Bel- 
knap, p. 374; Barstow s N. H., p. 257.) 

The roll of the men of Stark s brigade, compiled by Col. George 
C. Gilmore, 1891, in which the residence of each individual is given 
by towns, credits Morey s regiment with a contribution of 50 men. 
Nearly or quite all of this contingent served in the regiment com 
manded by Colonel Hobart. Davenport Phelps of Lyme was quarter 
master on the regimental staff. Charles Johnston of Haverhill was 
Hobart s lieutenant-colonel, and Johnston s dramatic valor is still a 
conspicuous feature of the story of the battle. (15 State Papers, 
142 ; 15 Granite Monthly, p. 85, biography of Charles Johnston by J. 
Q. Bittinger.) 

Colonel Hurd writes from Haverhill, under date of September 30, 
1777, to the committee of safety as follows : 

" I congratulate with you on the success of our army to the North 
ward & the glorious prospect there now appears of destroying the 

whole Force of our Enemys both North & South, & compleating the 
business of this, campaign ; if the people do but continue their spirit & 
exertions. Tis rather unluckey tho 1 that General Stark s Brigade 
is so soon broke up, w ch has struck a panic into the Enemy they 
will never recover ; more of our men this way however are turning 
out at the earnest request of General Bayley from Castleton, & by 
orders of Col Morey, who I hear was going off himself. I am ex 
tremely chagrin d that my infirm Limbs will not permit me to share 
the Toils & dangers of the field with my countrymen. I have spared 
two of my family & and sent them off with horses and provisions for 
near a month; one of them, my son Jacob, tho 1 hardly of age suffi 
cient, but a well grown lad of good heart & disposition, to supply his 
father s place." (8 State Papers, 700.) 

No account is here taken of the so-called Ticonderoga alarms in 
the early part of 1777, to which due response was undoubtedly made 
by the men of Morey s regiment for the brief terms which character 
ized those somewhat desultory movements. 

Gen. Jacob Bayley forwarded the following letter to Colonel Morey, 
dated September 22, 1777 : 

" S r Success attend us as yet, in part we have cut of their Com 
munication we have taken Tic. side except the old fort hope soon to 
have all Lake George Taken about 500 Prisoners we want help 
much our Divition is only 1500 men General Lincoln s gone to Join 
General Gates you and all the melitia Eastward must turn out with 
Horses and one months Provitions which will I hope put an end to 
the dispute this way. Gen rl Arnold fought a battle two day ago on 
the Left of Gen rl Gates great numbers fell on both sides he took 250 
Prisoners and three field peaces and the field Pray turn out ." 
(17 State Papers, 136.) 

Writing from Cornish, October i, 1777, Colonel Morey makes the 
following report to Gen. Jonathan Chase : 

" Sir This is to inform you that I have collected what men I could 
out of my Regiment (in so short a time) I marched them as far as 
this place hoping to find you at home but as you was gone forward 
& as I have rec d new orders from the Court of this state thro 1 the 
Hands of Brigadeer Gen 1 Whipple to exert myself to the utmost & 
send all the Militia that can possibly turn out, I concluded to turn 
back & raise another Company & send forward as soon as possible 
Cap* Chandler commands the men which I have sent forward I have 
directed him to put himself under your Command my Adjutant 
Simeon Goodwin is gone forward & will serve if needed & he is a 


Man that may be relied on for his punctuality & fidelity Gen 1 Bay- 
ley will show you what further I have wrote respecting the men and 
soforth I send my son Israel with the Men he is to wait on Cap 1 Hay- 
ward when he comes ." 

By reference to the rolls in 15 State Papers, 379, 383, 385, we are 
able to identify the volunteers from Morey s regiment, to whom the 
colonel refers. 

The officers of Morey s regiment with this battalion at the outset 
were Major Jonathan Child of Lyme, Adjutant Simeon Goodwin of 
Haverhill, Chaplain Obediah Noble, formerly of Orange, Capt. Jona 
than Chandler of Piermont, Lieut. Jonathan Derby of Orford, Ensign 
James English of Lyme, Capt. Joshua Hayward (or Howard) of 
Haverhill, and Lieut. Thomas Hibbard of Haverhill. Major Child and 
Surgeon Frederick Obrey appear to have served in General Lincoln s 
command. (15 State Papers, 366.) 

Lieutenant-Colonel Webster of Hobart s Plymouth regiment accom 
panied this contigent with a company of 24 officers and men from that 
regiment under Capt. John Willoughby. (15 State Papers, 381, 385.) 

There were 30 men in Captain Chandler s company, and 36 in that 
of Captain Howard, besides the three officers of the field and staff. 
The detachment served under Colonel Chase. The rolls of Chase s 
men give the number in this particular service as 142. Chandler s 
contingent and Willoughby s company gave Colonel Chase a regiment 
of 235 men. 

The following certificate of service relative to the regiment is pre 
served (17 State Papers, 150) : 

" H. Q. Saratoga, Oct r i8 th 1777 

"These may Certify that Col Chase with a Regiment of Volunteers 
have faithfully serv d until this date in the Northern Army, and are 
now Discharged with Honor. 

" By order of General Gates 

* Jacob Bayley Brig r Gen 1 " 

Another company of 38 officers and men were engaged in this 
campaign under Capt. Joseph Hutchins of Haverhill. General Bay- 
ley certifies that they were in his brigade. Capt. John Sloan s com 
pany, raised in Lyme, Orford, Piermont, and the vicinity in Cob s, 27 
officers and men, were also in the same service. (15 State Papers, 

The roll of officers for Hutchins s company is given in Potter s Mili 
tary History, Part 2, p. 386. The officers named by Colonel Potter 

Joseph Hutchins, captain. Joseph Howe, second lieutenant. 

Timothy Bedel, first lieutenant. Ezekiel Ladd, ensign. 


The period of service was from August 18 to October 5. This 
roll should be read in connection with that of the rank and file 
printed in 15 State Papers, 279. 

It makes the full number of the company 38, and by that much in 
creases the aggregate of men furnished from Morey s regiment for the 
Saratoga campaign. 

In July, 1777, it appears by the record that 50 men were recruited 
from this regiment for the continental regiments, and the names, resi 
dences, and regiment to which each man was assigned are given in 
detail. (15 State Papers, 424, 425.) 

These enlistments were in ample time for the Saratoga campaign, 
in which all the New Hampshire continental regiments which are 
referred to participated. The total strength of Morey s regiment being 
347, as already officially stated, it is now shown by actual reference 
to the rolls and names of the men that nearly two thirds of the regi 
ment (234) volunteered for the Bennington and Saratoga campaigns, 
and that was equivalent to two thirds of the entire body of men of 
military age within the territorial limits of the regiment. 

In a letter addressed to Lieut. -Col. David Webster, reproduced in 
Hon. Alfred Russell s biography of that officer in the Granite Monthly, 
vol. 30, p. 93, General Bayley formally thanks Colonel Webster for 
the services of himself and his regiment. 


"Oct. 18, 1777. 

"These may certify that Col. Webster, with a regiment of N. H. 
Volunteers, have faithfully served in the Northern Army until this 
date, and are discharged with honor. 

" By Gen. Gate s order, 

"JACOB BAYLEY, Brig. Gen" 1 1" 

The letter does not specify the regiment to which reference is made, 
whether to the regiment with which Colonel Webster served or a regi 
ment which he commanded. It could not have been the Eleventh, or 
Plymouth regiment of militia, for the same reason that two companies 
volunteering out of Morey s regiment were not Morey s regiment, and 
142 volunteers from Chase s were not Chase s regiment. 

It is perhaps a fair inference from the roll given in 15 State Papers, 
385, that Webster served as lieutenant-colonel in the provisional reg 
iment of which Jonathan Chase was colonel. 

Colonel Bedel s first regiment, 1775, serving in Canada, and the sec 
ond, 1776, also operating in the same region, both contained compa 
nies raised within the area of Morey s regiment. Bedel s third, 1777, 
and his fourth, 1778, also contained large enlistments from Morey s 


militia, although Bedel s later regiments, with the exception of the 
contingent of 100 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Wheelock called to 
Albany, N. Y., in 1778, were not actually engaged in field service 
outside of New Hampshire or Vermont. Add to this exhibit the re 
cruitments from the northern militia for many companies of rangers, 
of which the official rolls afford evidence, and it may fairly be as 
sumed that the number of men in active service assignable to Morey s 
regiment very largely exceeds the numerical strength of the regiment, 
notwithstanding the somewhat paradoxical nature of the claim. 

The militia was governed by the existing province laws, modified in 
some particulars by occasional legislation, until September, 1776, when 
a new system was established by act of the two houses of the legisla 
ture. This law created two classes in the militia, the training band 
and the alarm list. All the able-bodied males in the state, with cus 
tomary exemptions, between sixteen and fifty years of age, were in 
cluded in the train band, and an alarm list in which the liability to 
military duty in emergencies was extended to sixty -five years. 1 The 
companies, including those upon the alarm list, a field officer presiding, 
were to choose a captain, two lieutenants, and an ensign to each. 
The non-commissioned officers were chosen by the companies. 

Each officer and private soldier was " to equip himself and be con 
stantly provided with a good firearm, good ramrod, a worm, priming 
wire and brush, and a bayonet fitted to his gun, a scabbard and belt 
therefor, and a cutting sword or a tomahawk, or hatchet, a pouch con 
taining a cartridge-box that will hold fifteen rounds of cartridges at 
least, a hundred buckshot, a jackknife and tow for wadding, six flints, 
one pound of powder, forty leaden balls, fitted to his gun, a knapsack 
and blanket, a canteen or wooden bottle, sufficient to hold one quart." 
Each town was to provide and deposit in some safe place, for use in 
case of an alarm, a specified number of spades, axes, and picks, and to 
provide arms and equipments for those unable to provide for them 
selves ; and parents, masters, and guardians were to provide for those 
under their care. Each company was to muster eight times a year, 
including the regimental musters. (Potter s Mil. Hist. N. H., vol. 2, 
Adjt. -Gen s Report, 1866, p. 281.) 

The law imposed very serious burdens upon the people, not only in 
personal services but in the expense of equipment. A census taken in 

i A Conway return of June 10, 1775, in which all the men able to bear arms from 
sixteen years upward are enumerated, shows 61 men, with 10 on the alarm list, a total 
of 71. Of this 61, moreover, n were reported as already gone to the war. This may 
indicate approximately the respective proportions of men in the two classes in other 
northern towns. 14 State Papers, 246. 

the fall of 1775 (7 Prov. Papers, 724-784) indicates approximately 
the amount of arms and military supplies in the hands of the people. 
The following table is an abstract of their returns, limited to the towns 
in Morey s regiment : 

Names of Towns. 

arms fit 
for use. 









30 Ibs. 

Lyme . . 





3 8 


8 Ibs. 

l c 

Cockburne (Columbia) . . 







Piermont . . . 








Apthorp (Littleton and 

Gunthwaite (Lisbon) .... 





I I 


Landaff . 

3 Ibs 

Morristown (Franconia 
and Lincoln) . 



lead, 2 
10 Ibs. 
lead, 20 


In a short time after Colonel Morey assumed command of the 
" North Regiment" it furnished a large contingent of men and mili 
tary equipment for Bedel s regiment of Rangers which was ordered to 
Canada early in the winter of 177 $-76 to reinforce Montgomery s 
army. In the absence of Colonel Bedel and Lieutenant-Colonel Wait 
a part of this Ranger regiment was surrendered at a fort called 
"Cedars," under circumstances most discreditable to Major Butter- 
field who was in command. (Potter s Mil. Hist., Adjt. -Gen s Report, 
1866, vol. 2, p. 287.) This necessarily resulted in a serious loss of 
equipment which had been drawn from the western New Hampshire 
militia contributing the men and material for Bedel s regiment. The 
burden of replacing the loss in arms and accoutrements from this dis 
graceful affair was a serious matter for the farmer soldiers of the fron 
tier. 1 

^Memorial of Charles Johnston, Joseph Hutchins, Simeon Goodwin, and Joshua 
Howard, 12 State Papers, 187. American Archives, series 5, vol. i, pp. 398, 399 
memorial of the officers of Bedel s regiment to Major-General Gates, dated at Ticon- 
deroga, July 17, 1776. 

2 4 

The numerical strength of Morey s regiment can be ascertained with 
reasonable accuracy. The record, printed in 14 State Papers, 556, 
which gives the statistics of enrolment for an apportionment of recruits 
called for to fill the three continental regiments in 1777, is apparently 
complete except as to Colonel Morey s regiment. The total strength of 
the regiment is given as 347. This is manifestly based on the census 
returns of the fall of 1775. (7 Prov. Papers, 724.) The part which 
remains in the original manuscript is indicated by italics. The part 
in Roman is reconstructed from the census returns above mentioned. 
The result is so nearly that given in the record summary that we have 
a right to assume our method of reconstruction of the statistics of en 
rolment for the regiment to be sufficiently accurate. 

Orford 47 

Lyme 69 

Bath 35 

Cockburne 6 

Colebrook I 

Haverhill 86 

Piermont 43 

Stratford 16 

Apthorp (estimated) 1 5 

Gunthwaite 1 1 

Northumberland (14 State Papers, 559, 7) 20 

Lancaster (" " " ". . .6) 17 

Lyman (" " " " . . . o) . . (estimated) 9 

Landaff 9 

Morristown 6 

Reconstructed summary 378 

Record (official) 347 

Variance 31 

The difference in the record statement (14 State Papers, 559) of 
the number of men in Lancaster, Northumberland, and Lyman, and 
the statistics as corrected by the census returns (7 State Papers, 724 
to 781) with the uncertainty taken into account as to Lyman and 
Apthorp, from which necessarily only estimates are given, is not very 
important, and, due allowance being made according to the apparent 
requirements of the case, no serious historical error will be possible. 

It may, therefore, be assumed, for the purposes of this narrative, 
that we have the territorial extent of the regiment outlined, and its 
numerical strength also, as nearly as it is practicable to state it from 
the records, read in connection with the census of 1775. 

1 See 7 Province Papers 672, for authority for estimates. 


We are also enabled to locate most of the companies which consti 
tuted the regiment, and to give the roster of field and company officers 
with the exception of one or two companies. This statement refers 
to the organization as it stood in September, 1775. 


SEPT. 5TH, 1775. 1 
Commissioned 5th Sept., 1775. 

Israel Morey, Esq., Colonel. Charles Johns [t] on, Esq. Lt.Col. 

Jonathan Child, Esq., Major. Jonathan Hale, Esq., 2d Maj. 

Haverhill First Company. 

Joshua Hayward, Capt. Samuel Ladd, Lt. 

Ebenezer Rice, 2d Lt. John Ladd, Ensign. 

Orford 2nd Company. 

Daniel Tillotson, Capt. Peletiah Bliss, Lieut. 

Eldad Post, 2d Lt. Jonathan Derby, Ensign. 

Lyme 3rd Company. 

John Sloan, Capt. Benjamin Grant, Jr., Lt. 

Jabez Vaughn, 2d Lt. James English, Ensign. 

4th Company 
(Name of town and roster not in original.) 

Piermont 5th Company. 

Jonathan Chandler, Capt. John Weed, Lt. 

Azariah Webb, 2d Lt. Burgess Metcalf, Ensign. 

Gunthwaite 6th Company. 

Luther Richardson, Capt. Jacob Shuff, Lieut. 

William Martin, 2d Lt. Timothy Bagley, Ensign. 

Bath 7th Company 

Samuel Titus, Capt. Daniel Bedel, Lieut. 

Henry Hancock, 2d Lt. Aaron Bayley, Ensign. 

Bath, Commissioned 2Oth June 1780 
Ebenezer Sanborn, Capt. Thomas McConnell 

Joshua Sanders 2d Lt. Job Moulton, Ensign. 

1 1 6 State Papers, 924. 


It is apparent from the statistical view that there would be serious 
practical obstacles in the way of an organization of a company of 
militia in the scattered townships to the north of Gunthwaite. Nei 
ther Lancaster nor Northumberland, the two most populous settle 
ments, had enough men of military age for a company of the strength 
required by law. It is hardly to be supposed that people so much 
dispersed could effect very much for the purpose of maintaining a com 
pany of militia. The theory that they did not so unite in the early 
years of the Revolution seems to be sustained by the fact that the 
Coos forts were garrisoned by companies or squads of rangers some 
times recruited from the northern towns within a wide circuit, and 
sometimes sent in from distant places. We may assume, in the 
absence of contemporary records, that the service constantly required 
in guarding and scouting this frontier, and in contributing to the 
requirements of a more general service, was a sufficient test of the 
devotion of these pioneers to the cause of independence, and that 
their duties in the fields and in the forts left no opportunity or occa 
sion for further organization into a company or companies in Morey s 
regiment of militia, to which territorially they would be constituent. 
Conditions did not change materially till the end of the war. 

There are certain facts in the official records, pertinent in this con 
nection, which have not been overlooked. It appears in the State 
Papers as early as January, 1776, that Edwards Bucknam of Lancas 
ter, in a vote of the legislature appointing coroners for the county of 
Grafton, is accorded the title of captain. This may indicate that he 
had such command before he settled at that point or afterwards. No 
evidence is accessible to settle the question. Furthermore, in 1779 it 
appears that the settlers in those parts chose Nathan Caswell to be 
captain of some sort of local military organization. Whether it was 
merely a temporary measure or intended as an extension of the militia 
system is not disclosed by the record. (8 State Papers 21 ; i*$id., 

474, 4755 IS id., 705.) 

The history of Morey s regiment derives interest from events which 
had a peculiar significance in the politics of the towns embraced 
within its limits. A number of the leading men in these settlements 
were from Connecticut, and their ideas of government were naturally in 
accordance with their education and experience in the commonwealth 
from which they had emigrated. 

Hanover, with its college and faculty, which constituted a Connecti 
cut colony of itself, was the intellectual centre for this movement, 
which took substantial form early in 1776. The form of government 


adopted for the time being by the Fifth Provincial Congress was not 
acceptable to the majority of the people in the towns now constituting 
the western part of Grafton county. Colonel Hurd and Lt.-Col. Charles 
Johnston, however, were not partisans of the views which generally 
prevailed on this subject in their vicinity. Colonel Morey and Colo 
nel Bedel were conspicuous among the opposers of the party in power 
in the so-called Exeter government. The group of towns which 
included Gunthwaite on the north and Lebanon on the south, in Graf- 
ton county, organized themselves by town groups and local commit 
tees for the management of civil and military concerns, and formally 
declined to recognize the new state government of New Hampshire. 
It will not be found useful to pursue the history of this controversy at 
length in this connection. It may be remembered, however, that the 
Independents of the Connecticut valley manceuvered with skill and 
persistence to accomplish such a union of Vermont towns with New 
Hampshire as promised either to augment the influence of the western 
part of the state and to diminish in a corresponding degree the politi 
cal power which the eastern section had acquired, or to sever them 
selves from New Hampshire and join with the proposed state of Ver 
mont or New Connecticut under more favorable conditions than they 
could expect from New Hampshire. At two periods between 1776 and 
the close of the war, that is to say, in 1778 and 1781 82, these towns 
were in active union with Vermont as far as the formal action of both 
parties could accomplish such a result. 1 

i Briefly stated, the contention of the New Hampshire party was that upon the dis 
solution of political relations between the colonies and the mother country, and more 
especially in respect to the territory in controversy between New York and New 
Hampshire, the towns, being the political units and the original sources of political 
authority, were invested with the right to determine for themselves the question 
whether to accord allegiance to the one or the other of the disputing states, or whether 
to erect themselves into a state independent of the mandate of any other association 
of towns or committees formed for the purposes of government. They urged that 
inasmuch as the New Hampshire constitution of 1776 had never been submitted to 
the people or to the towns for ratification, and had been accepted by a part of the 
towns only, it was operative only upon such as had elected to ratify its provisions. 
The protesting towns took care not to do any act which could be construed as a rati 
fication of that form of government in the six years from early in 1776 to 1782. 
Their argument was presented in the controversial and official literature of that time 
with great skill and effectiveness. They succeeded in making themselves felt as a 
political force to be reckoned with by three established states and the continental 
congress, as well as the prospective commonwealth of Vermont. 

A number of the more important collections of documents and historical treatises 
relating to this subject in its various aspects are mentioned in the preface to vol. 
26, State Papers, p. ix. Several valuable contributions to the history of the same 
controversy are embodied in recent biographies of historic personages of that time. 


Colonel Bedel of Haverhill and Colonel Brewster of Hanover were 
members of the Vermont Board of War (2 Gov. and Council Records, 
Vermont, p. 89), and Colonel Morey recognized the civil and military 
authority of Vermont, and as far as his authority and influence were 
effectual, his regiment was a component of the Vermont militia. Col 
onel Bedel s regiment, which had been organized under continental 
authority, was discontinued by vote of congress November 27, 1778. 
There is evidence that Colonel Bedel s connection with the Vermont 
controversy was a moving cause in this result. (See letters of Lieut - 
Col. John Wheelock and General Washington on this subject, both of 
date November 20, 1778, and the comments of the historian of Hano 
ver, Chase s Hist, of Hanover, p. 395.) He represented the adjoining 
towns of Bath, Lyman, and Morristown, as well as Haverhill in the 
Vermont assembly in I78I. 1 

Among them the following are especially noteworthy: Elisha Payne, by William H. 
Cotton, G. & C. Bar Ass n, vol. i, p. 497 ; Samual Livermore, by Charles R. Corning, 
Id., p. 365 ; John Sullivan, by Alonzo H. Quint, address at the dedication of the 
Sullivan monument at Durham, Proceedings of that occasion, published by the state, 
p. 53; Meshech Weare, a Monograph, by Ezra S. Stearns, pamphlet, 1894; Id., vol. 
i, Proceedings of the New Hampshire Society of Sons of the American Revolution, 
p. 62 ; Timothy Bedel, by Edgar Aldrich, 3 Proc. N. H. Hist. Soc., 194-231. 

1 Colonel Bedel was the most prominent figure from the region of western Grafton 
in the continental service. He was principally occupied in guarding this frontier and 
cooperating with the northern army. He ceased to be active in the field, after con 
gress in November, 1778, declined to continue his regiment under authority of the 
confederacy. Col. Moses Hazen was in a measure his successor with a regiment 
partaking of the characteristics of the ranger service and with continental commis 
sion. The two men were in intimate relations, and Colonel Bedel was often called 
upon, after his formal retirement, to aid in the collection and forwarding of military 
stores in and from the Coos country. (Bedel Papers, 1 7 State Papers, passim.} He was 
not in favor with President Weare, the executive head of the New Hampshire Revo 
lutionary administration (Letter to the Delegates in Congress, August 19, 1778, and 
Vt. State Papers, 303), and in Vermont politics he was a strenuous opponent of the 
party represented by Governor Chittenden and the Aliens. The Haldimand corres 
pondence discloses an attempt on the part of the British-Canadian diplomats to 
enlist Colonel Bedel in cooperation with the leaders of the Bennington party in the 
truce that was proposed, with a cessation of hostilities against Vermont. (2 Coll. Vt. 
Hist. Soc., 267, 273.) In view of the attitude of his political associates in the valley 
(Id., 173) the eventual conclusion of Colonel Bedel in respect to such a convention 
between Governor Haldimand and Governor Chittenden, the Aliens and Fay, could 
be foreseen with comparative certainty. 

As already stated in the text, Colonel Bedel was a member of the Vermont Board 
of War in i78i- 82. From the standpoint of military strategy no one could better 
appreciate the importance of the fertile and populous middle and upper valley of the 
Connecticut as a source of supply for the continental army than Colonel Bedel. He 
was keenly alive to the necessity of keeping a strong force well in hand in that region 
at all times ; otherwise invasion would be invited, and its disastrous consequences 

2 9 

Colonel Morey, notwithstanding his open and persistent support of 
the independent movement, continued in command of the Twelfth 
regiment until hostilities reached the verge of armed collision between 
New Hampshire and Vermont over the jurisdictional issue. He was 
then, on the nth day of January, 1782, summarily removed from his 
command by the New Hampshire legislature, and Lieut-Col. Charles 
Johnston was made colonel. This, the last experiment in any form of 
a union of the towns on the east side of the river with Vermont, 
shortly resulted in a definite and unqualified failure. The leaders in 

in the depopulation and devastation of the valley inevitable. Colonel Bedel s insist 
ence upon this policy undoubtedly caused the discontinuance of his command. 
(Memoir of Gen. John Stark by Caleb Stark, 1877, pp. 161, 166, 179.) If he was after 
wards in any sense a party to the negotiations with Governor Haldimand it was 
without doubt moved by his skepticism as to the efficacy of the measure sanctioned 
by congress for the defense of this region and a conviction that it was justifiable 
in the prospective failure of other protection to keep the enemy beyond our own 
boundaries by recourse to the methods of diplomacy. With the failure of the 
Independents of the valley as a controlling force, either in the politics of the one state 
or the other, which immediately followed the settlement of the boundary at the west 
bank of the river, Colonel Payne of Lebanon, Judge Woodward of Hanover, Colonel 
Bedel, Colonel Morey, and their associates found themselves in irretrievable political 
defeat and squarely face to face with the inevitable. With a few exceptions these 
men loyally adapted themselves to the settled conditions. Colonel Potter, in a note 
to his Military History, states that Bedel was a major-general of the second division 
of the N. H. militia after the war, and this statement is adopted by Governor Harri- 
man and other writers. (Adjt.-Gen s. Report, N. H., vol. 2, 1866, p. 242 ; Granite 
Monthly, vol. 3, p. 513.) Noting the absence of any record to verify the assertion, 
taking into account the significant fact that he is always designated as " colonel " in 
the Journals of the House in i/84- 85, while those known to have been commissioned 
as generals in the militia are invariably given the title in the same record whenever a 
military designation is attached, and considering the attitude of Colonel Bedel towards 
New Hampshire authority in the later years of the war, we are convinced that on this 
point Colonel Potter was in error. There was but one major-general in command of 
the New Hampshire militia at any one time until about the date of the decease 
of Colonel Bedel, and this office had but two incumbents until 1786, first General 
Folsom and later General Sullivan. No official record mentions Colonel Bedel as a 
brigadier or major-general. In the two years intervening between the failure of the 
union with Vermont and the inauguration of a state government under the constitu 
tion of 1784 the animosities and disappointments engendered by the struggle between 
the states for jurisdiction over the territory between the Green Mountains and the 
Masonian line were becoming less appreciable before other interests and fresher 
issues. Colonel Payne for Lebanon and Colonel Bedel for Haverhill were returned 
to the new legislature, and were at once accorded recognition commensurate with their 
character and ability. (20 State Papers, passim.} 

Colonel Bedel died in 1787 in the full prospect of supplementing a useful and dis 
tinguished military career by one as honorable on the civic side in public affairs. (See 
also Biography of Timothy Bedel by Edgar Aldrich, 3 Proceedings N. H. Hist. Soc., 


the movement generally acquiesced in the result, but Colonel Morey 
could not bring himself to such compliance with the logic of events. 
He removed at once and permanently into Fairlee on the Vermont 
side of the river. There he passed the remainder of his days and 
occupied a commanding position for many years both in civil and 
military affairs. 

Colonel Morey was undoubtedly a consistent partisan. In antago 
nism to the Exeter party in New Hampshire his attitude was unequiv 
ocal and his conduct straightforward. In the politics of the new 
state of Vermont he was the same sturdy and persistent opponent of 
the Bennington party. This is not the place for a treatment of the 
negotiations between the Vermont leaders and the British-Canadian 
authorities in the latter part of the war period. (Haldimand Papers, 
2 Hist. Soc. Coll., Vt., p. 55.) As indicating the position of some of 
the prominent men on the east side of the river, then claimed as a 
part of Vermont, an extract from a report of one of the commissioners, 
dated September 30, 1781, is given: 

" I find that Congress are much alarmed, and have lately at great 
expense employed a number of emissaries in Vermont to counteract 
underhand whatever is doing for government. The principal of these 
are General Bailey, Colonels Chas. Johnston, Moron, (Morey?), 
Brewster, and Major Childs on Connecticut River. 

" This junto, of which General Bailey is the soul, are endeavoring 
to set the populace against their present leaders by insinuating to 
them that they are tories and intend to sell Vermont, c." (2 Hist. 
Soc. Coll., Vt., 178; Amory, Life of Sullivan, 305.) 

It is entirely to Colonel Morey s credit that he was the subject of 
such criticism as this at the hands of the British-Canadian officials. 
Indeed, all the evidence which throws light on the character of the 
men at that time vindicates the loyalty and patriotism of Colonel 
Morey in the cause of independence. 

The circumstances in which he was placed and the attitude he as 
sumed in state politics put him at a serious disadvantage in his rela 
tions with the dominant party in New Hampshire. (Biography of 
Israel Morey by Frederic P. Wells, in preparation for the Proceedings 
N. H. Hist. Soc.) 

In November, 1779, Capt. Joshua Howard of Haverhill was pro 
moted to be second major in place of Major Hale. 1 In the records this 
officer s name appears occasionally as Hayward, as well as Howard. 
There is nothing to indicate that any changes were made in the field 
officers of the regiment after the advancement of Lieutenant-Colonel 
1 8 State Papers, 834. 

Johnston until March I, 1783, when the house of representatives 
voted 1 " That Capt. Ebenezer Green [of Lyme] be and hereby is ap 
pointed Lieut. -Col. of the twelfth regiment of militia in this State. 1 

"That Joshua Howard, Esq r [of Haverhill] be and he hereby is 
appointed first Major of the twelfth regiment of Militia in this State." 

"That Capt. Edwards Bucknam [of Lancaster] be and he hereby 
is appointed a Second Major of the twelfth regiment of Militia in this 

The council records, as now preserved, do not indicate a con 
currence in these votes by that body. Perhaps there was an error of 
omission at this point on the part of the recording officer. It will be 
noted that Capt. Edwards Bucknam is named by his title. This may 
and probably does indicate that a company or companies had at this 
date been organized further north than Gunthwaite (Lisbon) 2 , and 
that Captain Bucknam had been in command of one of them. There 
is significance in the appointment of a major to be located in the north 
part of the territory of the regiment. It presupposes a developement 
of the organization either already in progress or expected in that direc 

The numbering of Morey s regiment in the Vermont military es 
tablishment has not been ascertained with absolute certainty, though 
it was assigned as a regiment east of the river to the brigade of Gen. 
Peter Olcott. Col. Jonathan Chasers regiment, according to the his 
torian of Hanover, became the third in the Vermont arrangement, and 
Morey s was probably the first. (2 Records Gov. and Council, Vt. 

From the date of Colonel Johnston s advancement to the colonelcy 
in January, 1782, he continued in command, and his regiment existed 
territorially as it had been during the war until the state government 
had been re-organized under the constitution of 1784. In the latter 
part of that year the laws governing the militia were remodeled on a 
peace basis and a resulting rearrangment of regiments and reappoint- 
ment or reassignment of officers ensued. 

Twenty-five regiments of infantry were established besides several 
regiments of artillery and cavalry. The northern regiment became the 
Twenty-Fifth and contained the towns of Lyinan, Landaff, Lincoln, 
Concord (alias Gunthwaite), Cockburne (Columbia), Franconia, 
Littleton, Dalton, Lancaster, Dartmouth (Jefferson), Northumber 
land, Stratford, Colebrook, and Percy (Stark). Joseph Whipple of 
Dartmouth became colonel, and held the command until the reorgan- 

i 8 State Papers, 972. 28 State Papers, 21. 

8 Biography by J. Q. Bittinger, 15 Granite Monthly. 85. 

3 2 

ization in 1792. (Biography, by Chester B. Jordan, 2 Proceedings 
N. H. Hist. Soc., 289.) Bath was included in the Haverhill (Thir 
teenth) regiment in 1784, with Moses Dow as colonel. 

This was an interesting and progressive period for the militia. 
John Sullivan was major-general from 1784 to 1786, and subsequently 
commander-in-chief for three years by virtue of his office as president 
of the state. 1 The prestige of General Sullivan s name and his active 
influence promoted a healthful esprit de corps in the militia of the new 
state. With a general revision of the laws and reorganization of the 
militia in December, 1792, the towns of the Twenty-Fifth regiment, 
with little change and with the adoption of a new feature, the battalion 
arrangement, became the Twenty-Fourth. Concord (Lisbon), Ly- 
man, Littleton, Franconia, Lincoln, and Dalton were the first battalion, 
and Lancaster, Northumberland, Dartmouth, Percy, Coleburne (Cole- 
brook), Cockburne (Columbia), Stewartstown, and Stratford con 
stituting the second. In 1793 Concord (Lisbon) and Lyman were 
severed from the Twenty-Fourth and joined with the Thirteenth 
regiment. At the same time the battalion division was altered and 
Lancaster, Littleton, Dalton, Franconia, State Hill (Bethlehem), and 
Jefferson constituted the first battalion, and the towns above them the 
second. (Compiled Laws of 1805, p. 246.) This was the status of 
the regiment until December, 1804. Coos county had been estab 
lished in the previous year. The towns of Cobs county were con 
tinued in the Twenty-Fourth regiment, while Bath, Lyman, and Lan- 
daff were made a first battalion and Littleton, Bethlehem, Lincoln, 
and Franconia constituted the second of the newly formed Thirty- 
Second regiment. (Compiled Laws of 1805, p. 251.) This regi 
ment was now an established feature of the general arrangement con 
tinuing practically unchanged for half a century. 

The commanders of the Twenty-Fourth regiment in their order 
from 1793 to 1804 were Edwards Bucknam of Lancaster, 1793, Jabez 
Parsons of Colebrook, 1799, Joel Barlow of Stratford, 1801, and 
Richard C. Everett 2 of Lancaster, 1804. 

Benjamin Kimball of Bath, in 1805, when the organization of the 
Thirty-Second regiment for northern Grafton was effected, became the 
first commandant. 3 

1 Amory s Life of John Sullivan, p. 437. 

s Biography of Richard C. Everett by Chester B. Jordan, G. & C. Bar Ass n, vol 


From 1792 to 1816 regimental commanders were, by law, accorded the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel commandant, and the incumbent held rank equivalent to that be 
fore and after that period accorded to a colonel. An aid to the governor in the 
same period was also designated and ranked as a lieutenant-colonel commandant. 


In estimating the number of enrolled militia in any town in the 
period succeeding the Revolution, it must be remembered that the 
militia act of March 18, 1780, continued the existing provision for two 
classes, the train band, composed of youth and men from sixteen to 
forty years of age, and an alarm list composed of men from forty to 
sixty years of age. By the act of December 28, 1792, the alarm list 
was abolished and the military age was from eighteen to forty. It 
was made sixteen to forty in 1795 (June 10). This was the age for a 
long period afterwards. By the act of June 24, 1786, towns which 
could furnish thirty-two privates and the proper number of commis 
sioned and non-commissioned officers (13) were required to establish 
one company; but when a town had less than thirty-two privates 
and a sufficient number of officers they were joined to such other 
corps as the field officer might think proper. 

By act of December 24, 1792, which was really a new military code, 
the number of privates for a company was fixed at sixty-four, with no 
provision for a less number for the first company or a greater for 
the second. 

At the time of the second war with England three regiments occu 
pied the original territory of the Twelfth. Later there was another in 
the western side of Coos. The hereditary martial spirit of the people 
thoroughly permeated the military system of the state for many years 
after the Revolution. So complete, practical, and effective was it in 
1814 that a regiment was mobilized for the defense of Portsmouth in 
three days, and within the brief space of time required to send express 
messengers with the summons, and for the men to accomplish the 
march from their rendezvous to Portsmouth, five regiments of infan 
try, with cavalry and artillery, were in the field for offensive or defen 
sive operations against the enemy. 

Judge Potter says of our military status at this period : 

" The declaration of war found the militia of New Hampshire in a 
flourishing condition, as much so as at any period of its existence. 
The governor [William Plumer] who from his position is com 
mander- in-chief of the militia, though not a military man, was one of 
energy, patriotism, method, and great executive ability. His heart 
and hand were in the cause. His predecessors in that important office, 
without an exception under the present constitution, had been men 
engaged in the Revolutionary struggle, and had learned by experience 
the worth of a well regulated militia, carried out the maxim of in 
time of peace prepare for war, 1 and did not believe in the more modern 
idea that the militia system was a nuisance, and tended to demoral- 


ize the people. The adjutant-general was a soldier of the Revolu 
tion, and had been in that position since the adoption of the constitu 
tion, and many of the officers of the militia had been his comrades in 
arms in that great struggle. Such men, taught in the school of expe 
rience, brought military skill and pride, without which skill is of little 
avail, to the organization and completion of our military system. 
Such being the situation of our militia, compliance with the requisi 
tions of the general government was met with the greatest prompt 

In later years a spirit of pusillanimous commercialism and non-resist 
ance seemed to cause a deterioration in the quality of our militarism. 
It is none the less the duty and the opportunity of all who possess a 
healthful and progressive patriotism to see that the hereditary spirit, 
the ancient heroic temper of the people is not lost or abated. I ven 
ture to quote to this point the words of a New Hampshire statesman 
of our own time, as they declare on the basis of philosophical truth the 
present necessity and the present duty in reference to the public de 
fense, in view, not only of existing circumstances, but also of the possi 
bilities of the future. 

The quotation is as follows : 

As the situation now is, nothing could be more foolish and crimi 
nal than to leave our coasts defenseless, cease to build warships and 
dismantle the few we have, beat our swords into ploughshares, and 
our spears into pruning-hooks, and teach our young men that they 
must not learn war any more. The history of the world furnishes a 
multitude of examples illustrating the disastrous fate that overtakes 
nations when they discard the means necessary to protect them from 
the assaults of warlike enemies. The great, rich, and populous empire 
of China furnishes a very recent example that demonstrates how foolish 
a thing it is at this day for a nation to fail to be prepared to defend 
itself against the modes and implements of modern warfare. A rich 
country without defenses and inhabited by a timid, unwarlike people, is 
a standing invitation to all outside adventurers to invade it, to conquer 
and possess it, stripping the miserable inhabitants of everything, and 
either enslaving them or driving them into exile. As humanity is, at 
the present time, the millennial period not having arrived and there 
being no signs of it, the surest guaranty of peace which a nation can 
have is the world s estimate that it is a just nation, that it will ask 
nothing but what is right, that it is prepared for war, and will submit 
to nothing wrong. The proposition that war is wrong per se, and can 
never be justified, is a proposition which cannot be maintained except 


upon the broad ground of the non-resistants. Nations have the right 
of self-defense, and are under legal and moral obligation to engage in 
war whenever it is necessary in order to protect the lives and property 
of their citizens. War is right or wrong according to the circumstan 
ces that occasion it. Through all the ages since the world began wars 
have succeeded wars in constant succession, apparently in obedience to 
the fixed laws that regulate the lot of humanity." 1 

I will add a brief extract from a letter of Gen. John Sullivan which 
was addressed to the people of this state more than a century ago. He 

"In Republican governments, people often turn their thoughts to 
that part of the constitution which bequeaths them their liberties ; but 
too frequently forget that they ought to pursue measures for securing 
them. We have already bravely purchased liberty and independence, 
and now make part of an empire where freedom reigns without control ; 
but what will our late struggle avail, if we suffer the military skill which 
we have acquired to be lost, and ourselves to sleep in seeming safety 
till the avarice, the jealousy, or the ambition of some foreign prince 
rouses us from our slumbers, and convinces us of our mistake? 

" We often please ourselves by observing that this country is calcu 
lated for freedom and commerce, not for war. I sincerely join in the 
opinion, and most ardently wish it may ever remain such ; but I have 
long since been convinced that the only way to keep peace is to be 
prepared for whatever events may come. If we mean to keep our 
neighbors 1 sword in the scabbard we shall whet our own." 2 

In another connection General Sullivan urges the importance and 
utility of the military education of the youth. 

On this point, addressing himself to the instructors of schools 
and academies, he writes as follows : 

"As the profession of arms is in every country esteemed honorable, 
even when the science of war is learned with a view of extending con 
quests over unoffending nations, it must be infinitely more so when 
taught for the purpose of national defense, and for the security of 
dear-bought freedom. 

Permit me, therefore, gentlemen, to entreat you, if you will not 
interfere with the plans which you may have laid for diffusing literary 
knowledge, to set apart some hours in the week for the youth under 
your care to amuse themselves in learning the manual exercise and 
military manoeuvres. If this proposal should meet your approbation, 

1 The Safety of the Republic the Supreme Law, by Hon. Harry Bingham, LL. D., 
3 Proceed. G. & C. Bar Ass n, 203. 

2 Amory, Life of Major-General John Sullivan, p. 307. 


your own wisdom will dictate the best method for carrying it into 
execution. If relaxation from studies is necessary, perhaps none can 
be so useful ; and I am convinced, that, in a short time, none could 
be more pleasing to your pupils. You will then have the pleasing 
satisfaction to see the youth, whom you have taught to converse with 
the sages of Greece and Rome, to admire the heroes of ancient and 
modern times, and to value that freedom for which they have fought 
and bled, made, by your care, proper champions to defend those 
natural and national rights which you have taught them to hold in the 
highest estimation " J 

With one more abstract from contemporary authority, this from an 
author of national repute, a theologian who is a leader of thought in 
our universities, a New Hampshire soldier, without fear and without 
reproach, I submit this outline of the self-sacrificing, well-directed, 
and unflinching efforts of the fathers who were, a hundred and twenty 
years ago, striving to subdue the wilderness of northern New Eng 
land, and at the same time making that grand struggle to establish an 
enduring nationality, and the soldier-citizen s plea for the maintenance 
of the priceless heritage by that intelligent, eternal vigilance which is 
the price of liberty. In a recent contribution to the military history 
of New Hampshire Rev. Dr. Luther Tracy Townsend says : 

" The way for our nation to prevent war is to be prepared for it, 
and the way for her to check the wrongs and tyrannies of the whole 
world is to be courageous and speak out. 

"If, therefore, in view of what has been said, it is clear that the 
heroic and military spirit is of service and that it should not be 
allowed to slumber as it did in our northern states during the years 
preceding the late war ; if it is clear that our nation, among the nations 
of the earth, has a larger mission than as yet has been claimed for 
her ; and if it is true that the day of universal peace has not yet 
dawned, then we may offer a single additional plea, namely, that mil 
itary weapons must not be left exclusively in the hands of what are 
called government and mercenary troops, but also and largely should 
be in the hands of an organized and disciplined state militia. 

" It is certain, said Madison, that liberty cannot be safe with 
powerful standing armies, and that, without an effective militia, the 
danger of such armies cannot be precluded. The history and fate 
of the republics of Greece and Rome, of Genoa and Venice, are a 
standing warning against the transfer of the sword from the militia to 
a mercenary soldiery. 

1 Amory, Life of General John Sullivan, p. 318. 


" We do not say that what is termed the regular army, in a nation 
of considerable magnitude like ours, is useless. Often it is service 
able in the exercise of the balance of power in sudden emergencies. 
It is available, as a sort of movable police force, in presenting a 
speedy check to slight, local uprisings, and it everywhere inspires 
respect, being the representative of the national government. 

" But what we insist on is that in the midst of great perils the state 
militia is the surest bulwark of a nation s rights. It is the wall, 
behind which a free people may pursue their honest toil unharmed. 1 
It was the state militia of New England under the old provincial flag 
of Massachusetts Bay which made the Indian tremble as he saw them 
pass along in martial order. It was the state militia of New England 
which stood the first shock of the Revolutionary war in 1775. It was 
the state militia of New Hampshire that protected its legislature dur 
ing the disturbances and disaffections in 1782. It was the state mili 
tia of Massachusetts that quelled the Shays insurrection in 1786. 
It was the state militia of Pennsylvania which enforced the law and 
maintained order during the insurrections of I794~ 98. 

" During the war of 1812, when the enemy was hovering along our 
coast and the national forces were withdrawn, they were the organized 
and officered New England militia companies which, with twenty-four 
hours notice, garrisoned and protected all our posts and seaboard 
cities. It was the state militia that in several different commonwealths 
quelled the riots of 1877. 

" And in 1861, when our country s capital was besieged, when our 
national archives were threatened, when our way to Washington was 
blocked in the streets of Baltimore, the first troops that fought their 
way to the protection and rescue of the city of Washington were the 
state militia of Massachusetts. 

" These instances are convincing illustrations of the efficiency and 
necessity of the sword in the hands of a state militia under state 

" Our conviction is, therefore, that every boy of twelve or fifteen 
years of age in the state of New Hampshire should learn to go through 
the manual of arms. And it should be a health-giving and heroic dis 
cipline if all our boys were taught to draw and poise the sword on 
horseback and to ram the cartridge in a field piece of any calibre. 

" Every large public school in our state, like the schools of Ger 
many, should have its military battalion and its drill-master in science. 
Our public schools should be called together and dismissed, not with 
the bell, but with the drum and fife. 


" And no argument is needed to show that if the youth of our land 
had been thus properly schooled and drilled prior to 1861 the Con 
federacy never would have reached the magnitude it assumed, and we 
should not have been called upon to write this history of the Six 
teenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. 1 1 

Among the many hostile influences that are always moving openly or 
secretly against a well-regulated and efficient system of militia are two 
that are antipodal. The elements of anarchism are from their very 
nature antagonistic to all the instrumentalities and agencies of law and 
order. The elements of arbitrary and tyrannical autocracy are consist 
ent only with the existence of a standing army to which is committed, 
to the exclusion of local police and local militia, all those functions 
which pertain not only to the maintenance of the general peace and the 
suppression of serious disorder in the state, but also to the crushing 
out of justifiable uprisings of the people against the exercise of oppres 
sive and intolerable power. Within these extremes of opposition to 
the militia system, as an essential factor in local state government, are 
many other fruitful sources of hostility, besides the inertia of indif- 
erence which is, on occasions, no less pernicious than active antago 
nism. In a free republic it is still an essential to the correct balancing 
of the powers of the state and the rights and responsibilities of the 
people that the principal reliance on the military side of the govern 
ment should be a citizen soldiery, educated and exercised for excep 
tional duty and unexpected emergencies, and not a permanent and 
burdensome segregation, in a standing army, of vast numbers of the 
best manhood of the body politic from all of the productive and indis 
pensable vocations of life upon which the progress and prosperity of 
the nation are absolutely dependent. 

The lesson of the past is instructive and inspiring to the thinkers 
and actors of this generation who are both conservative and progres 
sive. It calls upon us to hold fast to the doctrines of the fathers as 
illustrated by their example in the conservation of means, at all times, 
to insure the public defense without at any time placing free institu 
tions in jeopardy ; wisely to organize, diligently to improve, and liber 
ally to sustain our systems of local militia on the most approved 
methods of discipline and equipment ; and to make the principles de 
clared in the constitution basic, vital, and productive truths governing 
the civic action of the people and their servants in all the departments 
and in all the functions of the state. 

"Standing armies are dangerous to liberty." 

1 History of the Sixteenth N. H. Vols. p. 326. 


" In all cases and at all times the military ought to be under strict 
subordination to, and governed by, the civil power." 

" A well regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defense of 
the state." 1 

1 Constitution of New Hampshire. 

See " Schedule Containing an Account of the Services of the Militia from 1775 to 
1 783 "in the legislative document signed "Jeremiah Smith, one of the Comm rs," 
House Journal, Feb. 12, 1791 ; Coll. N. H. Hist. Society, vol. 9, pp. 415-421. 

This report mentions several companies of rangers serving at Coos that have not 
been identified by the rolls. 


Adams, Lieut. John 10 

Allen, 28 

Arnold, Gen. Benedict 19 

Atkinson, Capt Samuel 6 

Bagley, Timothy 2 15 

Barlow, Joel 32 

Bayley, Aaron 25 

Gen. Jacob 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 19, 20, 21, 30 

James 6 

Bedel, Lieut. Daniel . 25 

Col. Timothy 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 29 

Bellows, Benjamin 17 

Blake, James 10 

Bliss, Lieut. Peletiah 25 

Brant, Joseph 12 

Brewster, Colonel 28, 30 

Bucknam, Capt. Edwards 26, 31, 32 

Burgoyne, General 4, 7, 12, 18 

Bush, Capt. Timothy 9 

Butterfield, Major 23 

Caswell, Capt. Nathan 9, 26 

Chandler, Capt. Jonathan 19, 20, 25 

Chapman, Capt. Jonah 9 

Chase, Col. Jonathan 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 31 

Childs, Maj. Jonathan 5, 16, 20, 25, 30 

Chittenden, Governor 28 

Derby, Lieut. Jonathan 20, 25 

Dow, Col. Moses 32 

Eames, Capt. Jeremiah 6 

Ellis, Colonel 17 

English, James 20, 25 

Everett, Richard C 32 

Fay, 28 

Fenton, Col. John 14, 15, 16 

Folsom, General 29 

4 2 

Gates, General 7, 19, 20, 21, 23 

Gilbert, Colonel 15 

Goodwin, Simeon 19, 20, 23 

Grant, Lieut. Benjamin, Jr 25 

Green, Capt. Ebenezer 31 

Haldimand, Governor 28, 29, 30 

Hale, Maj. Jonathan 6, 16, 25, 30 

Hancock, Lieut. Henry 25 

Hayward (Howard), Capt. Joshua 20, 23, 25, 30, 31 

Hazen, Col. Moses 8, 28 

Hobart, Lieut.-Col. David 14, 15, 16, 18, 20 

Howe, Joseph 20 

Hurd, Jacob 19 

Col. John 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 27 

Hutchins, Capt. Joseph 9, 10, 20, 23 

Johnson, Lieut.-Col. Thomas 5, 1 1, 12 

Johnston, Lieut.-Col. Charles. ..4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31 

Kent, Jacob 5 

Kimball, Benjamin 32 

Capt. Peter 9 

Ladd, Ezekiel 20 

Lieut. James 9, 10 

John 25 

Lieut. Samuel 25 

Lafayette, General 7 

Langdon, John 13 

Lincoln, General 19, 20 

Livermore, Samuel 28 

Lovewell, Captain 9 

Martin, Lieut. William 25 

McConnell, Thomas 25 

Metcalf, Burgess 25 

Morey, Col. Israel, 5, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29 

30. 3 1 
Moulton, Job 25 

Nichols, Col. Moses 8 

Capt. Thomas 9 

Noble, Obediah 20 

Obrey, Frederick 20 

Olcott, Col. Peter 5, 8, 31 

Paine, Capt. Samuel 9 

Parsons, Jabez 3 2 

Payne, Elisha 28, 29 


Peters, Absalom 17 

Phelps, Davenport 18 

Plumer, William 33 

Poor, Enoch 13 

Porter, Lieut.-Col. Asa 1 4, 1 5 

Post, Lieut. Eldad 25 

Pritchard, 12 

Rice, Lieut. Ebenezer 25 

Richardson, Capt. Luther 25 

Rogers, Robert 12 

Runels, Capt. Samuel 10 

Russell, Capt. Josiah 6 

Sanborn, Capt. Ebenezer 25 

Sanders, Lieut. Joshua 25 

Sewall, Maj. Jonathan 14, 1 5, 16 

Shays, Daniel 37 

Shuff, Lieut. Jacob 25 

Simpson, Capt. Thomas 6 

Maj. William 14, 15, 16 

Sloan, Capt. John 20, 25 

Smith, Capt. Jacob 10 

Capt. Jonathan 1 1 

Stark, Caleb 7. 29 

Stark, Gen. John 4, 7, 12, 28, 29, 30, 32, 35 

Stearns, Lieut. Peter 10 

Stone, Capt. Ephraim 10 

Sullivan, Gen. John 6, 1 2, 28, 29, 30, 32, 35 

Tillotson, Capt. Daniel 25 

Titus, Capt. Samuel 25 

Vaughan, Lieut. Jabez 25 

Wait, Lieutenant-Colonel 23 

Washington, General 8, 28 

Weare, Meshech 13, 28 

Webb, Lieut. Azariah 25 

Webster, Lieut.-Col. David 4, 10, 17, 20, 21 

Capt. Ebenezer 10 

Weed, Lieut. John 25 

Wentworth, Gov. John 15, 16 

Wheelock, Eleazer 11,12 

Lieut.-Col. John 7, 22, 28 

Whipple, Gen. Joseph 10, 12, 19, 31 

Whitcomb, Maj. Benjamin 8, 10, 1 1, 17 

Willoughby, Capt. John 15, 16 

Woodward, Col. David 7, 9, 29 


Albany, N. Y 22 

Ammonoosuc 3 

Androscoggin 1 1 

Antrim 9 

Apthorp, see Littleton. 

Baltimore 37 

Bath , 3, 23, 24, 25, 28, 32 

Bennington, Vt 3, 4, 8, 10, 18, 21, 30 

Bethlehem 32 

Boscawen 6, 9 

Boston 4, 1 6 

Bunker Hill 10, 1 2 

Campton 9 

Canada 4, 5, 7, 8, n, 21, 23 

Castleton, Vt 19 

" Cedars " 7, 23 

Champlain, Lake 4, 17 

Cheshire 14 

Cockburne (Columbia) 23, 24, 31, 32 

Colebrook 3, 23, 24, 31, 32 

Columbia 23, 31, 32 

Concord, see Lisbon. 

Connecticut 26 

River 3, n, 12, 16, 17, 27, 28, 30 

Conway 1 1 

Coos 7, 9, 12, 26, 33 

County 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 32 

Lower 3, 6, 8, 10, 12 

Upper 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, n 

Cornish 8, 15 

Dalton 23, 31, 32 

Dartmouth, see Jefferson. 

Dartmouth College 7, 1 1 

Dresden 8 

Durham 10 

Exeter 7, 8, 27, 30 

4 6 

Fairlee, Vt 30 

Fort Weare 6 

Franconia, see Morristown 23, 31, 32 

George, Lake 19 

Georgia 13 

Grafton County 8, 14, 15, 16, 26, 27, 28, 32 

Gunthwaite, see Lisbon. 

Hanover see Dresden 5, 7, 8, 9, 1 1, 15, 28, 29 

Haverhill, Mass 18 

Haverhill 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, IT, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32 

Jefferson 10, 31, 32 

Lancaster 3, 6, 9, 23, 24, 26, 31, 32 

Landaff 23, 24, 31 

Lebanon 8, 9, 15, 27, 29 

Lincoln 31, 32 

Lisbon 3, 11,23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32 

Littleton 9, 23, 24, 31, 32 

Lyman 23, 24, 28, 32 

Lyme 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 31 

Massachusetts , 37 

Morristown (Franconia) 23, 24, 28 

Moultonborough 10 

Newbury, Vt 4, 5, 11, 12, 17 

New Connecticut 27 

New England 4, 37 

New Hampshire, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, n, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 

34, 35> 36, 37. 38, 39 

New York 7, 27 

Northumberland 3, 6, 9, 23, 24, 26, 31, 32 

Norwich, Vt 5, 9 

Orange 20 

Orford 3, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 25 

Peacham, Vt n 

Pennsylvania 37 

Percy (Stark) 31 

Piermont 20, 23, 24, 25 

Plainfield 6, 15 

Plymouth 4, 10, 14, 17, 18, 20 

Portsmouth 33 

Rhode Island 17 

Royalton, Vt 7, u, 12, 17 


St. John s, N B 4 

Salisbury 10 

Sandwich 10 

Saratoga 4, 7, 12, 21 

Stark, see Percy 31 

State Hill, see Bethlehem. 

Stewartstown 32 

Stratford 3,6,9, 23, 24, 31, 32 

Ticonderoga 19, 23 

Vermont 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, u, 12, 17, 18, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 

Walpole 17 

Washington 37 

Westmoreland 10 

West Point 8, 1 7 

Yorktown . 12 




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JUL2 5 1960 

.- : . 


LD 21A-50m-4, 60 

General Library 

University of California