GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2006-05 > 1146958653
Subject: Hist. of Harvard, MA by Henry S. Nourse, 1894 - p. 333
Date: Sat, 6 May 2006 19:37:33 EDT
The History of Harvard, Massachusetts, 1643-1732, by Henry S. Nourse,
1894. - W. J. Coulter, Printer.
In all the Colonies there existed a deeply rooted distrust of a standing
French and Indian War had been conducted in a series of summer or autumn
and short terms of enlistment were familiar to the people. The unmilitary
was continued therefore until the grave dangers incident to the perpetual
in the rank and file were too obvious and vital to be longer neglected.
Success was seen to be altogether hopeless without a permanent force held
rigid discipline; and in the autumn of 1777 Congress set about the
of a Continental Army enlisted for three years or during the war.
was required to furnish fifteen of the eighty-eight battalions of infantry
established. The quota of each town was determined by dividing the number of
males of military age by seven, and a census was ordered to be rendered under
oath by the Selectmen.
For the encouragement of enlistments the Continental Congress offered to each
volunteer a bounty of twenty dollars, one suit of clothes annually, and one
hundred acres of the public lands, beside subsistence and the monthly pay of
six dollars and sixty-seven cents. The Province added a bounty of twenty
dollars, and when the danger of a draft became imminent the towns sometimes
offered special bounties. Harvard, as has been before noted, voted thirty
pounds to each enlisted man.
Harvard's Selectmen reported the number of males in the town above sixteen
to be three hundred and forty-one, and they were therefore required to furn-
ish forty-nine three years' men under the first call.
Before giving a roster of the soldiers in the Continental Army for three
during the war, the records of short-service enlistments found will be
In December, 1776, the occupation of Rhode Island by Sir Henry Clinton with
a corps of six thousand British troops was a serious menace to Massachusetts
and General Joseph Spencer was detailed to hold in check and if possible
capture this force, with an army collected from the New England states. A
special brigade of three thousand men, enrolled for three months, was
raised from Massachusetts in May, 1777. In this, under Colonel Abijah
Stevens of Lunenburg and in the company of Captain Joseph Sergeant of
Princeton, there were from Harvard:
Quartermaster Serg. Jacob Whitney
[Massachusetts Archives, Revolutionary Rolls, III. 162.]
In October, half of the militia of the state were drafted to aid in a
carefully planned attack upon the enemy, but the campaign came to
naught through delays and unpropitious weather.
The following year a more determined attempt was made to wrest Rhode
Island from the enemy, an attack by the combined forces of the French
and Americans, on land and water, being agreed upon. Again a tempest
disarranged well-laid plans by driving the French fleet to sea and the
battle of Quaker's Hill closed with honor an unsuccessful campaign.
The Second Worcester regiment of militia, with its commander, Colonel
Josiah Whitney, took part in the operations in Rhode Island and in-
cluded these men from Harvard, serving with Captain Manasseh Sawyer,
in July, August and September 1778:
Lieut. John Daby
Serg. David Sampson
[Massachusetts Archives, Revolutionary Rolls XXII, 207.]
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
To be continued - p. 334 - Col. Nathaniel Wade & Company of Nathan Fisher.
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