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Chapter XIII

1775 CONTINUED.--HOLLIS COMPANY AT BUNKER HILL.--ROLL,
AND DESCRIPTIVE LIST.--CAPT. DOW'S COMMISSION.--BATTLE
OF BUNKER HILL.--HOLLIS MEN KILLED AND WOUNDED.--LOSS
OF EQUIPMENTS.--THE NEW HAMPSHIRE REINFORCEMENTS.--CAPT.
WORCESTER'S COMPANY.--NUMBER OF HOLLIS SOLDIERS
IN 1775 AND THEIR WAGES.--MILITARY COATS.--STORY OF A
PATRIOTIC HOLLIS WOMAN.

The new company of Capt. Dow, enlisted at Cambridge, for eight months, including its officers, consisted of fifty-nine men, that number making a full company under the law of Massachusetts for organizing the troops of that province. It is shown by an original return roll of this company, dated October 6, 1775, presenting the names of the dead and wounded as well as of those then living, now in the office of the Secretary of State, at Boston, that all the men were from Hollis. This roll is preserved with the other company rolls of the regiment of Col. Prescott, and it may be seen on inspection of them that Capt. Dow's was the only company of the regiment, in which all the officers and privates were from one and the same town.

The names of the officers and privates of the company, as first organized, are here presented, copied from an original roll preserved in the family of Capt. Dow. Captain, Reuben Dow; 1st Lieutenant, John Goss; 2d Lieutenant, John Cumings. Sergeants, 1st, Nathan Blood; 2d, Joshua Boynton; 3d, William Nevins; 4th, Minot Farmer. Corporals, 1st, Samson Powers; 2d, James McIntosh; 3d, James McConnor; 4th, Ephraim Pierce. Drummer, David Farnsworth. Fifer, Noah Worcester, Jun.

PRIVATES.

William Adams,  

Jacob Boynton,  

Benjamin Cumings,

David Ames,  

Abel Brown,  

Philip Cumings,

Ebenezer Ball,  

John Campbell,  

Peter Cumings,

Francis Blood,  

Wilder Chamberlain,  

Evan Dow,

Elias Boynton,  

Abel Conant,  

Caleb Eastman,

William Elliot,  

Nehemiah Pierce,  

Jacob Spalding,

James Fisk,  

John Platts,  

Isaac Stearns,

Josiah Fisk,  

Peter Poor,  

Amos Taylor,

Samuel Hill,  

Nahum Powers,  

Daniel Taylor,

Isaac Hobart,  

Francis Powers,  

Moses Thurston,

Samuel Hosley,  

Jonathan Powers,  

Ebenezer Townsend

Samuel Jewett,  

Thomas Pratt,  

Thomas Wheat,

Thomas Kemp,  

Ezekiel Proctor,  

Lebbeus Wheeler,

Israel Kinney,  

Jacob Read,  

William Wood,

Phineas Nevins,  

Jeremiah Shattuck,  

Uriah Wright.

Nathaniel Patten,

Five members of the company, viz., the 2d. Lieut., John Cumings; Ebenezer Ball, Ephraim Blood, Jonathan Powers and Isaac Stearns, were soldiers in the last French and Indian war, begun in the year 1754, and which resulted in the final conquest of Canada.

An original descriptive roll of fifty of the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers of the company still exists, showing their height, age and complexion. From this roll it appears that Jonathan Powers, who was of the age of sixty years, was the oldest, and that Peter Cumings, a son of the 2d Lieutenant, and but thirteen, was the youngest. The next youngest, was Noah Worcester, Jun., the fifer, who was sixteen the November previous. The four tallest of the men were each six feet in height--the shortest was the boy, Peter Cumings, who was but five feet. Fourteen of the men were of "dark" complexion, the remaining thirty-six, "light."

COPY OF THE DESCRIPTIVE ROLL.

  

Age.  

Complexion.  

Height.

William Adams  

20  

Light,  

5 ft. 5 in.

Ebenezer Ball  

45  

Dark,  

5 ft. 6 in.

Nathan Blood  

28  

Light,  

6 ft.

Francis Blood  

27  

"  

6 ft.

Ephraim Blood  

37  

"  

5 ft. 11 in.

Jacob Boynton  

19  

Dark,  

5 ft. 9 in.

Elias Boynton  

20  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Joshua Boynton  

30  

Light,  

5 ft. 6 in.

John Campbell  

20  

"  

5 ft. 9 in.

Abel Conant  

19  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Philip Cumings  

27  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Benjamin Cumings  

19  

"  

5 ft. 11 in.

Peter Cumings  

13  

"  

5 ft.

Evan Dow  

21  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Caleb Eastman  

22  

Dark,  

5 ft. 8 in.

William Elliot  

20  

Light,  

5 ft. 7 in.

Minot Farmer  

25  

"  

5 ft. 8 in.

David Farnsworth  

21  

"  

6 ft.

James Fisk  

37  

Dark,  

5 ft. 9 in.

Josiah Fisk  

20  

Light,  

5 ft. 5 in.

Samuel Hill  

21  

"  

6 ft.

Isaac Hobart  

19  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Samuel Hosley  

23  

"  

5 ft. 7 in.

Samuel Jewett  

19  

Dark,  

5 ft. 6 in.

Thomas Kemp  

27  

"  

5 ft. 7 in.

James McConner  

31  

Light,  

5 ft. 7 in.

James McIntosh  

30  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Phineas Nevins  

17  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Nathaniel Patten  

41  

Dark,  

5 ft. 6 in.

Nehemiah Pierce  

20  

Light,  

5 ft. 7 in.

John Platts  

27  

"  

5 ft. 9 in.

Peter Poor  

21  

"  

5 ft. 5 in.

Nahum Powers  

35  

Dark,  

5 ft. 9 in.

Francis Powers  

33  

Light,  

5 ft. 6 in.

Jonathan Powers  

60  

"  

5 ft. 9 in.

Samson Powers  

26  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Thomas Pratt  

35  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Ezekiel Proctor  

40  

Dark,  

5 ft. 6 in.

Jacob Read  

48  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Jeremiah Shattuck  

20  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Jacob Spalding  

20  

Light,  

5 ft. 4 in.

Isaac Stearns  

38  

"  

5 ft. 5 in.

Amos Taylor  

27  

"  

5 ft. 8 in.

Moses Thurston  

48  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Ebenezer Townsend  

22  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Thomas Wheat  

24  

Dark,  

5 ft. 8 in.

Lebbeus Wheeler  

23  

Light,  

5 ft. 6 in.

William Wood  

23  

"  

5 ft. 6 in.

Noah Worcester, Jr.  

16  

"  

5 ft. 10 in.

Uriah Wright  

21  

Dark,  

5 ft. 6 in.

CASUALTIES.

James Fisk and Jeremiah Shattuck, two of Capt. Dow's company, died of sickness, at Cambridge, on the 29th of May. Caleb Eastman was killed at Cambridge, two days after the battle, by the accidental bursting of his gun. Nathan Blood, the 1st Sergeant, Jacob Boynton, Isaac Hobart, Phineas Nevins, Peter Poor and Thomas Wheat, of Capt. Dow's company, and also Thomas Colburn and Ebenezer Youngman, two of the Hollis soldiers in Capt. Moor's company, were killed in the battle, making eight in all lost on the field, and a total loss of eleven. There were also six of the Hollis company wounded in the battle, viz., Reuben Dow, the Captain, Ephraim Blood, Francis Blood, Francis Powers, Thomas Pratt and William Wood; Dow and Wood, so severely that they were afterwards pensioners for life. The number of killed in Col. Prescott's regiment, (according to Frothingham, page 193,) was forty-two; wounded, twenty-eight. Of the killed in that regiment, the loss of Hollis was nearly one-fifth, and more than that proportion of the
wounded.

From a letter written by Col. Stark, to Matthew Thornton, two days after the battle, it appears that the loss of his own regiment in killed and missing was fifteen, that of the regiment of Col. Reed, but four, making nineteen in all.(*) From the above statements, it appears that the loss of Hollis, in killed, was fully equal to two-fifths of the killed and missing in the two New Hampshire regiments, and greater, as is believed, than that of any other town in New Hampshire or Massachusetts. It is shown by the return rolls at Boston, that the town of Pepperell lost six in killed, which is believed to be the next largest loss of a single town. Of the Hollis men, above named, who had died of disease or been killed, Fisk, Shattuck, Blood and Wheat were married and heads of families. Boynton, Eastman, Hobart, Youngman, Nevins and Poor, were young, unmarried men, the oldest supposed to be 22, and the youngest but 17.

LOSS OF EQUIPMENTS, ETC., IN THE BATTLE.

It is shown by the rolls of Capt. Dow's company, that his men furnished all their own equipments, and also their clothes, as did the soldiers generally, the first year of the war. The following statement, to which are appended the names of twenty-eight members of the company, present at the battle, not including the commissioned officers, or the killed, exhibits the articles lost by each of them, with their estimated value.

"CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 22, 1775."

"This may certify that we the subscribers in Capt. Reuben Dow's company, in Col. William Prescott's regiment, in the Continental army, that we lost the following articles, in the late engagement on Bunker Hill on the 17th of June last."

William Adams 1 knapsack, 1s.,  

value  

œ0  

1s.  

d.

David Ames, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d. 1 tumpline 1s. 2d.,  

"  

2  

6

Ephraim Blood, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d. 1 tumpline 1s. 4d. 1  

"  

2  

17

gun œ2, 14s.,

Francis Blood, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d. 1 tumpline 1s. 2d.,  

"  

2  

6

Elias Boynton, 1 gun œ2, 2s.,  

"  

2  

2

Abel Brown, 1 tumpline 1s. 2., 1 gun 18s., 1 cartridge box   

"  

2  

3  

2

4s.,

Wilder Chamberlain, 1 knapsack 1s 4d.,  

"  

1  

4

Abel Conant, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 4d.,  

"  

3

Benjamin Cumings, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 4d.,  

"  

3

Minot Farmer, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d., 1 tumpline 1s 4d., 1  

"  

12  

8

sword 10s.,

David Farnsworth, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d.,  

"  

2  

10

Josiah Fisk, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d., 1  

"  

7  

8

cartridge box 4s. 8d.

Samuel Hill, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d., 1 tumpline 1s. 8d.,  

"  

3

Samuel Jewett, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2 d.,  

"  

2  

10

Israel Kinney, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d.,  

"  

2  

6

James McConnor, 1 knapsack, 1s. 4d., 1 tumpline, 1s. 2d.  

"  

2  

16  

6

1 gun œ2, 2s. 1 hat 12s

James McIntosh, 1 knapsack 1 s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 4d.,  

"  

13

1 jacket 8s,

William Nevins, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 4d., 1  

"  

1  

7

jacket œ1, 4s.,

Nathaniel Patten, 1 knapsack 1s 4d., 1 tumpline 1s 2d., 1  

"  

18  

6

jacket 16s.,

Nehemiah Pierce, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 4d.,  

"  

1  

1

1 hat 18s.,

Francis Powers, 1 gun œ2, 14s., 1 bayonet 6s.,  

"  

3

Nahum Powers, 1 knaps'k 1s. 4d., 1 tump'e 1s, 2d., hat  

"  

19  

6

3s., jacket 8s., bayonet 6s

Thomas Pratt, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d., 1  

"  

1  

18  

6

gun œ1, 16s.,

Isaac Stearns, 1 knapsack 1s. 4d., 1 gun œ2, 14s.,  

"  

2  

15  

4

Lebbeus Wheeler, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d.,  

"  

8  

10

1 hat 6s.,

Noah Worcester, Jun., 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s.  

"  

2  

10

2d.,

William Wood, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 2d., 1  

"  

2  

10  

10

gun œ2, 8s.,

Uriah Wright, 1 knapsack 1s. 8d., 1 tumpline 1s. 3d.,  

"  

2  

11

It appears from the above certificate, that twenty-five of these men lost their knapsacks, twenty-three their tumplines,(*) eight their guns, three their cartridge boxes, two their bayonets, and one his sword; five of them their short coats or "Jackets," and three their hats.

How many of Capt. Dow's company, besides the killed and commissioned officers, were present in the battle and lost no part of their equipments, cannot now be known--doubtless some, and it may be most of them.

The following copy of an original certificate in the hand writing of Capt. Dow, and preserved by him, with other papers relating to his company, shows the loss of equipments of the six men belonging to it, killed in the battle. 

(*)A Tump-line was a strap to be placed across the forehead, to assist a man in carrying a pack on his back,--WORCESTER'S QUARTO DICTIONARY.

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 22, 1775."

"Nathan Blood,  

Isaac Hobart,  

Jacob Boynton,

Thomas Wheat,  

Peter Poor,  

Phineas Nevins."

"The men whose names are above written belonged to Capt. Dow's company, and Col. William Prescott's regiment and were all killed in the battle of Bunker Hill, on the 17th of June last, and were furnished each of them with a good gun, judged to be worth Eight Dollars apiece--also were furnished with other materials, viz. Cartridge Boxes, Knapsacks and Tump-lines--and were well clothed for soldiers--Also had each of them a good blanket. Nathan Blood had a good Hanger."

It appears that the eight Hollis men in Capt. Spalding's company, in the New Hampshire regiment of Col. Reed, were all present in the battle, and that each of them lost portions of his clothing or equipments, as is shown from the returns of losses made after the battle, now to be found in the "New Hampshire Provincial Papers," Volume 6, page 592." These losses with their appraised value were as follows:

Andrew Bailey, 1 coat, 1 shirt, trousers, stockings,  

value,  

œ2,  

6s.  

8d.

Job Bailey, 1 cartridge box, knapsack, and shirt,  

"  

15

Phineas Hardy, 1 blanket, coat, shirt, breeches,  

"  

1  

12

Thomas Hardy, 1 blanket, coat, jacket, stockings,  

"  

2  

6  

8

Ephraim How, 1 gun, breeches and shirt,  

"  

1  

5  

1

Samuel Leeman, 2 coats and 1 blanket,  

"  

2  

13  

4

Ephraim Rolfe, 1 gun, blanket, shirt, stockings,  

"  

3  

9  

4

Ephraim Smith, 1 knapsack, shirt, stockings,  

"  

11  

4

At this late day it is difficult to ascertain all the reasons that may have induced the company of Capt. Dow to join the Massachusetts regiment of Col. Prescott. But the following well established facts undoubtedly had much influence. Col. Prescott at the time lived upon his farm on the north side of Pepperell, adjoining Hollis, (still the country seat of his descendants) a large part of the farm then being in Hollis. Capt. Dow and Lieut. Goss lived in the south part of Hollis, and were the neighbors and friends of Col. Prescott. A very large part of the early settlers of Hollis were from Billerica, Chelmsford, Groton and Pepperell and other towns in Middlesex county in which most of the companies in Col. Prescott's regiment were enlisted. It may be added to these reasons, that Col. John Hale, one of the leading friends of the Revolution, in Hollis, was a brother-in-law of Col. Prescott, he having married Abigail Hale, a sister of Col. Hale.

THE MILITARY COAT VOTED AS A BOUNTY TO EIGHT MONTHS' MEN.

From the following copy of an original certificate and receipt now in the office of the Secretary of State, at Boston, it is shown that the soldiers in Capt. Dow's company received a military coat, voted by the Massachusetts Congress in the spring of 1775, as a bounty to men enlisted for eight months.

"CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 20, 1775.

"To the Honorable Committee of Supplies:

"This may certify that we who have hereunto subscribed our names do declare that we being under officers and soldiers enlisted under Captain Reuben Dow of Holles, in Col. William Prescott's regiment, have received each of us a coat according to a vote of the late Congress held at Watertown, and provided by the committee of supplies, we say received of Lieutenant John Goss of said company."

The above certificate was signed by forty-seven members of the company, being all the non-commissioned officers and privates, except the nine of them who had been previously killed or died of sickness. There was endorsed upon this certificate the receipt of Lieut. Goss, as follows:

"Rec'd of the committee on cloathing forty-seven coats for the within mentioned soldiers as per Receipt on back, of this date. 

    "Nov. 20, 1775"                     "JOHN GOSS, Lieut."

It also appears from the three following certificates and vouchers to be found in the same depository at Boston, that the heirs or widows of the nine deceased men received pay for these military bounty coats.

1st Voucher. "To the Honorable the Committee of Supplies of Massachusetts Bay. Be pleased to pay or deliver to Capt. Reuben Dow the money due to the following men for their military coats, viz., Sergt. Nathan Blood, Thomas Wheat, Isaac Hobart, Jacob Boynton, Phineas Nevins, James Fisk and Caleb Eastman, in Capt. Reuben Dow's company, in Col. William Prescott's regiment, deceased, and this shall be your Receipt for the same, per us"

"WILLIAM NEVINS   ENOCH NOYES
JOHN BOYNTON   ABIGAIL WHEAT
AMOS EASTMAN   her
SHUBAEL HOBART   SARAH X FISK."
   mark

William Nevins, John Boynton, Amos Eastman and Shubael Hobart were respectively the fathers of Phineas Nevins, Jacob Boynton, Caleb Eastman and Isaac Hobart; Abigail Wheat and Sarah Fisk, the widows of Thomas Wheat and James Fisk, and Enoch Noyes was the father-in-law of Sergt. Nathan Blood.

2d Voucher. "We hereby certify that the widow Experience Shattuck is the proper person to receive the clothing belonging to Jeremiah Shattuck who belonged to Capt. Reuben Dow's Company in Col. Wm. Prescott's regiment and is dead.

"NOAH WORCESTER,   } Selectmen."
JACOB JEWETT,  
OLIVER LAWRENCE,  

"Holles, ye 16th of March, 1776.

"To the Honorable Commitee of Supplies of Massachusetts Bay. Gentlemen, Be pleased to pay to Capt. Reuben Dow, the money due to Jeremiah Shattuck, deceased, who belonged to Capt. Reuben Dow's Company in Col. Wm. Prescott's regiment, and this order shall be your discharge for the same, per me.

                                                                her
                                                                EXPERIENCE X SHATTUCK."
                                                                mark.

Holles, March 14, 1776.

3d Voucher. "We hereby certify that Capt. Reuben Dow is the only proper person to receive the clothing that is due to Peter Poor, a transient person who enlisted in his Company, and last resided in this Town and went away in debt. Said Poor was killed in Bunker Hill fight.

"NOAH WORCESTER,   OLIVER LAWRENCE,   } Selectmen of
Holles."
STEPHEN AMES,   JACOB JEWETT,  
DANIEL KENDRICK.  

"Holles, Feb. 10, 1776.

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE REINFORCEMENTS IN DECEMBER, 1775.

The time of service of the men enlisted for eight months expired in December. On the 30th of November an express was sent by Gen. Sullivan, then in command of the Continental troops at Winter Hill, near Boston, to the New Hampshire Committee of Safety, informing them that the Connecticut regiments had refused to remain longer in the service, and urging for reinforcements from New Hampshire to supply their places.

LETTER OF GEN. SULLIVAN TO THE NEW HAMPSHIRE COMMITTEE OF SAFETY.

"WINTER HILL, Nov. 30, 1775.

"Sirs: Gen. Washington has sent to New Hampshire for thirty-one companies to take possession of and defend our lines in room of the Connecticut forces who most scandalously refuse to tarry till the 1st of January. I must therefore intreat your utmost exertions to forward the raising those companies, lest the enemy should take advantage of their absence and force our lines. As the Connecticut forces will at all events leave us at or before the 10th of next month, pray call upon every true friend of his country to assist with heart and hand in sending forward these companies as soon as possible. Sirs, I am in extreme haste your Obt. Serv't,

"JOHN SULLIVAN."

"To the Committee of Safety at Exeter."(*)

In answer to this call, New Hampshire, with patriotic and characteristic promptness, sent to Cambridge 31 companies of 63 each, of the New Hampshire "Minute Men," numbering in all 2000, or more. These troops continued in the service, till the middle of March, 1776, when the British army evacuated Boston.

Two-thirds or more of the 26th company of this force volunteered from Hollis. Of this company Noah Worcester was Captain, and Robert Seaver, 2d Lieutenant, both of Hollis, and Obadiah Parker of Mason, 1st Lieutenant.

No roll of this company containing the names of all the men in it is known now to exist. But there are now among the Hollis Revolutionary papers two documents presenting the names of most of the Hollis men who were in the service in the several years of the war, with the amount of the wages and bounties paid to each of

(*)N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. 7, p. 677.

them by the town. One of these documents entitled the "Great Return" was made out by the selectmen of the town about eight years after the war was ended, in obedience to a resolution of the New Hampshire General Court. The other was prepared by Capt. John Goss, who was chosen by the town in the year 1777, as a member of a committee appointed for that purpose, and who was Captain of the Hollis company at the battle of Bennington. These documents together contain the names of forty-four Hollis soldiers. The name of the 2nd Lieutenant, Robert Seaver, is not found on either of them, though he was one of the company that marched from Hollis to Lexington and Cambridge on the 19th of April, and also his name at the time and for many years after was on the Hollis tax lists as a resident tax payer.

It appears from the "Great Return" that thirty-seven men of this company were paid by the town œ3 each, and two others œ2, 5s. each. The names of five others of the company, with the wages supposed to have been paid them, are found in the "Return" of Capt. Goss, but not in the other document. The names of these soldiers, forty-five in all, are here presented:

Noah Worcester, Capt.   Stephen Farley,   Ephraim Lund,
Robert Seaver, 2d Lieut.   Isaac French,   Elijah Noyes,
Samuel Ambrose,   Ebenezer Gilson,   Daniel Patch,
Eleazer Ball,   Nehemiah Hardy,   Nathan Phelps,
Daniel Bailey,   Jonathan Hobart,   Solomon Pierce,
Joshua Blanchard,   Joshua Hobart,   Wm. W. Pool,
Daniel Blood,   Parmeter Honey,   John Read,
Joel Boynton,   Joseph How,   Jonathan Russ,
Eliphalet Brown,   Ebenezer Jaquith,   William Shattuck,
James Colburn,   Thomas Jaquith,   Zachariah Shattuck,
Robert Colburn,   Jacob Jewett, Jun.,   Jacob Taylor,
Josiah Conant,   Stephen Jewett,   Jonathan Taylor,
John Conroy,   Oliver Lawrence,   William Tenney,
Benjamin Farley,   Asa Lovejoy,   Nathaniel Wheat,
Joseph Farley,   Jonathan Lovejoy,   James Wheeler.

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