Monday, July 4, 2011

Life and Liberty...

Happy Independence Day!

Today's post is appropriately about my ancestors who participated in the Revolutionary War. I have 3 that I  have found records for: Benjamin Dows (1716-1793), Ebenezer Newman (1756-1839) and James Masterman (1759-1842). All were living in Massachusetts at the time.

Benjamin Dows, my 6X great-grandfather,  was the father-in-law of Newman and Masterman, as his 2 daughters Sarah and Hannah were married to them. His son Joseph also had a courageous record of service for his country.

The Lexington Alarm

Benjamin  was one of 54 men that served under Capt. Jonathan Stickney in Col. Ebenezer Bridge's Regiment. This group marched from their hometown of Billerica early in the morning of April 19, 1775 when they received the alarm from Lexington. Most likely he was one of the men being trained as a Minuteman. At that time he served six days. He next served for eight months during the siege of Boston, May to December 1775. In 1776 he became a corporal serving under Capt. Solomon Kidder in Col. Brooks' Regiment, having enlisted at White Plains, New York. (Col. Kidder died in action there.)

Siege of Boston

He again enlisted September 29, 1777, one of 32 men from Billerica serving under Capt. Edward Farmer of Col. Jonathan Reed's Regiment. Their job was to reinforce the northern army which was engaged in fighting Gen. Burgoyne at Bennington and Saratoga, New York. He was discharged November 8, 1777.

Battle of Saratoga

His son-in-law, my 5X great-grandfather Ebenezer Newman, enlisted in his hometown of Woburn, Massachusetts on June 1, 1775. He served under Capt. John Wood, Col. Baldwin's Regiment during the siege of Boston for eight months. He immediately reenlisted for a year in January, 1776 before marching to New York City. During the retreat from New York, he was wounded in the leg and furloughed on September 15, 1776. His furlough was extended and he was sent home in November, which took him three months due to his physical condition. He later served three additional months during 1777 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His pension file is HERE.

Brig "Hazard"

My 5X Great grandfather, James Masterman also enlisted. He served in the infantry as a cook for 8 months starting in June, 1775 under Major Montague. this would mean he was likely present for the Battle of Bunker Hill!  In summer 1776, he was drafted for 3 more months. In spring of 1777, he entered service as a sailor on board the brig “Hazard.” After cruising the West Indies for 3 months, they returned to Boston, resupplied and he rejoined for another three month term. During his service under Capt. John Foster Williams, “Hazard” captured 2 British vessels. I have his pension application with all the details and signed by him HERE.

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