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Chapter VII

THE PROVINCIAL MILITIA LAW.--FIRST MILITIA COMPANY IN
HOLLIS.--HOLLIS IN THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS OF 1744
AND 1755.--PETITIONS FOR GUARDS.--NAMES OF OFFICERS
AND PRIVATE SOLDIERS.--1744 TO 1763.

THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR OF 1744.

In the month of March, 1744, the French and Indian war was begun, in which the Massachusetts and New Hampshire troops undertook the chivalrous expedition for the capture of Louisburg.(*) This war lasted till October, 1748. As in former wars, the Canada and Eastern Indians took sides with the French, who, coming in large numbers from Canada and Nova Scotia, prowled around our defenceless settlements, waylaying, murdering and scalping, or taking captive to Canada the settlers in the frontier towns, some of which no farther off than Peterborough, Lyndeborough and New Boston, were wholly deserted. The inhabitants of Hollis, Monson, Souhegan East, Souhegan West, and other places west of the Merrimack river, repeatedly petitioned the General Court for scouts and garrisons for their protection.

Among the earliest of these petitions was one from the old Parish of West Dunstable. On the 18th of June, 1744, about three months after war was declared, at a meeting of the inhabitants of West Dunstable, James Stewart was chosen their delegate to present this petition to the General Court. The Commission of Mr. Stewart for this purpose was in writing, signed by all, or very nearly all of the householders then in West Dunstable, forty-five in number, and was in substance as follows:

"DUNSTABLE, June 18, 1744.

"Wee, the Inhabitants of the West Parish in the District of Dunstable, do hereby authorise and depute Mr. James Stewart in our names and behalf, to make proper application to the Government of New Hampshire, Setting forth our being situated on the Frontier, and exposed to the Enemy, and the Necessity wee are in of a Guard, and Pray for a Sutable and Seasonable Relief there.

"Voted to Request Six Garasons and twenty-five soldiers."

Capt. PETER POWERS  

WILLIAM COLBURN  

JOSEPH MCDANIELS

Lieut. BENJAMIN FARLEY  

SAMUEL CUMINGS  

RANDALL MCDANIELS

Ensign JERAHMAEL CUMINGS  

JONATHAN DANFORD  

JONATHAN MELVIN

WILLIAM ADAMS  

Rev. DANIEL EMERSON  

DAVID NEVINS

STEPHEN AMES  

SAMUEL FARLEY  

THOMAS NEVINS

HENRY BARTON  

JOSEPH FARLEY  

BENJAMIN PARKER

BENJAMIN BLANCHARD  

NICHOLAS FRENCH  

SAMUEL PARKER

BENJAMIN BLANCHARD, Jr  

STEPHEN HARRIS  

THOMAS PATCH

WILLIAM BLANCHARD  

WILLIAM HARTWELL  

JOHN PHELPS

ELNATHAN BLOOD  

STEPHEN HAZELTINE  

AMOS PHILIPS

JOSIAH BLOOD  

JOSIAH HOBART  

MOSES PROCTOR

NATHANIEL BLOOD  

ENOCH HUNT  

JAMES WHEELER

JOHN BOYNTON, Jun  

ZERUBBABEL KEMP  

PETER WHEELER

JOHN BROWN  

JONATHAN LOVEJOY  

FRANCIS WORCESTER, Jr

JOSIAH BROWN  

JAMES MCDANIELS  

JOSHUA WRIGHT."(+)

(*)Holmes Annals, Vol. 2, p. 23.

(+)Prov. Papers, Vol. 9, p. 195.

THE WAR IN WHICH QUEBEC WAS TAKEN AND CANADA CONQUERED.

In 1754, about eight years after the peace of Aix La Chapelle, the last French and Indian War was begun, which ended in the capture of Quebec and the final conquest of Canada.(+) Hollis in this war was no longer on the extreme frontier, and was much less exposed to the attacks of the savages than in the preceding war. During the eight years of peace, the population of the town had very considerably increased, and its soldiers seem to have done their whole duty in filling up the ranks of the New Hampshire regiments called for by the Government. In the roll of a small detachment of New Hampshire troops posted on the Connecticut river in the fall of 1754, and to be found in the report of the Adjutant General for 1866, above referred to, I find the names of John Cumings, James French, Jonathan Hubbard, (Hobart) Samuel Parker and James Whiting, all names appearing on the Hollis records and believed to have been Hollis soldiers.

(*)Prov. Papers, Vol. 9, p. 399.

(+)Holmes' Annals, Vol. 2, p. 53.

In 1755, New Hampshire raised a regiment commanded by Col. Joseph Blanchard, to aid in the expedition against the French forts at Crown Point on the west shore of Lake Champlain. Of this regiment, Rev. Daniel Emerson was Chaplain, Dr. John Hale, Surgeon's Mate, and Jonathan Hubbard, (Hobart) Adjutant, all of Hollis.(*)

Nearly two-thirds of the Third Company of this regiment were also Hollis men. Of this company, Peter Powers was Captain, Benjamin Abbot, Lieutenant; William Cumings, Ensign; James Colburn, Clerk; David Hubbard, (Hobart) and Samuel Cumings, Sergeants; Jonathan Powers, Enoch Noyes, Stephen Hazeltine and James Brown, Corporals, and Samuel Brown, Drummer, all of Hollis. Among the private soldiers, or sentinels, we recognize the following Hollis names, viz.: Jacob Abbot, Ebenezer Ball, Samuel Barrett, Jabez Davis, John Flagg, Jonathan Fowler, Josiah French, John Goodhue, James Hill, George Lesley, Christopher Lovejoy, Levi Powers, Stephen Powers, Whitcomb Powers, Isaac Stearns, Nathaniel Townsend, Daniel Wheeler, James Wheeler, Peter Wheeler and John Willoughby, making in all thirty-four Hollis men in this regiment.

In August 1757, after the capture of Fort William Henry by the French and Indians, a battalion of two hundred and fifty New Hampshire troops was raised for the defence of Fort Edward, near Lake George, commanded by Major Thomas Tash. In the first company of this battalion there were eleven Hollis soldiers, viz.: Benjamin Abbot, Jacob Abbot, Stephen Ames, Ephraim Blood, Elnathan Blood, Robert Campbell, Timothy Emerson, John Hale, Samuel Hobart, (Sergt.) Jonathan Hobart and John Willoughby.

In 1758, a regiment of New Hampshire troops was raised, commanded by Col. John Hart of Portsmouth, a part of which was ordered to join a second expedition against Louisburg, and the remainder to serve on the western frontier. Of this regiment Rev. Daniel Emerson was Chaplain, and Dr. John Hale, Surgeon. Of its Sixth company, Ebenezer Jaquith was Second Lieutenant and Josiah Brown, Ensign. Besides the foregoing, there were also in the same company sixteen Hollis soldiers, making in all twenty Hollis men in this regiment, viz.: Nathaniel Blood, Joseph Easterbrook, Jonathan Fowler, James French, Samuel Hazeltine, James Hubbard, (Hobart), Thomas Nevins, Ebenezer Pierce, Whitcomb

(*)Vol. 2, Adjt. Gen. Rep. for 1866, pp. 97, 129, 131, 132.

Powers, Thomas Powers, Isaac Stearns, Samuel Stearns, James Taylor, Abel Webster, Peter Wheeler and John Willoughby.

In 1759, the year of the capture of Quebec, a New Hampshire regiment was raised and put under the command of Col. Zaccheus Lovewell, of Dunstable, with its rendezvous at that place. With the exception of two companies, the rolls of this regiment are lost, but as it was made up of drafts from the militia regiments of the whole province, and its headquarters being in an adjacent town, there can be no reasonable doubt that the Hollis soldiers were well represented in it.

In 1760, the year of the final conquest of Canada, New Hampshire furnished its last regiment of eight hundred men for this war, of which John Goffe was Colonel, having its headquarters at Litchfield. This regiment marched to its destination by the way of Monson, Keene, the Green Mountains, and thence to Crown Point. Its adjutant was Samuel Hobart, and on the roll of one of its companies I find the following names of Hollis soldiers: Joseph Taylor, Lieut., James Taylor, Sergeant, and among the privates, Jotham Cumings, Francis Powers, and Joshua Wright.(*)

In the foregoing lists there will be found sixty-one different names of men who as private soldiers or officers, in the several years of that war, went into the army from the territory now or at that time embraced in Hollis. How many other names of Hollis soldiers were on the lost rolls, cannot now be told. As no census had then been taken of which we have any knowledge, we have no means of learning the population of the town during that war with much approach to accuracy. The number of names on the Tax Lists, from 1754 to 1760, then varied from one hundred and eight to one hundred and seventeen, and the number of men furnished from the town in that war was equal to more than one half the number of tax payers, besides those that may have been on the lost rolls.

In February 1763, by the treaty concluded at Paris, peace was again proclaimed. For thirteen of the nineteen years beginning with 1744 and ending with 1763, our ancestors were engaged in this savage and bloody warfare for the defence of their lives and firesides, carried on by their enemies with the avowed purpose of driving the English from the country. We now look back upon the history of those years and the doings of our ancestors, with feelings of filial gratitude and admiration, knowing as we do that

(*)Adjt. Gen. Rep. for 1866, Vol. 2, pp. 191, 213, 214, 222, 241.

it was to their courage, constancy and sufferings that we owe the rich inheritance they have transmitted to us. We would gladly know much more than it is now possible to learn of the personal history of these early pioneers of the town and State, but knowing as we do how soon the memorials of the dead fade from the recollections of the living, we may well be grateful that even the names of so many of these brave defenders of their country have come down to our times.

The militia company in Hollis, from the year 1768, formed a part of the 5th Regiment of the New Hampshire militia till the beginning of the war of the Revolution. From 1768 to 1775, the field officers of that regiment were Edward G. Lutwyche of Merrimack, Colonel; its Lieut. Colonel was Dr. John Hale, and Samuel Hobart its Major. Col. Lutwyche was a loyalist or tory, and is said to have left the country near the beginning of the war. Major Hobart was appointed Colonel of the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment of minute men, by the New Hampshire Provincial Congress in September 1775, and in November of the same year, Lieut. Col. Hale was elected Colonel of the 5th Regiment of New Hampshire militia.

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