The several rolls and lists in the following pages have been arranged chronologically according to the description of the service in which the troops engaged. Thus, after the first alarm, the Continental soldiers are classified in the order in which they were called out, then the State troops, and finally the Militia, with special lists following.
The Lexington Alarm
The first lists in the record, grouped under the head of the “Out-break of the War,” include the names of the men who, under the provocation of the moment, marched to the relief of their Massachusetts neighbors in the Lexington Alarm. Some explanation of the nature of this service appears in the introductory text on pages 3 and 4. It will be observed that the forty-eight towns from which the companies set out represent, with three exceptions, the eastern and central counties, which were then the thickly settled sections of the State, the nearest to the point of danger, the best prepared for an emergency, and the most accessible in case of alarm. It may also be noticed that the four thousand townsmen who responded to the Lexington call were a representative body, largely descendants of original settlers, including all elements in the different communities, — judges, pastors, lawyers, physicians, farmers, mechanics, sailors, laborers, — and that as a list of a respectable number of the male inhabitants of the State in 1775, which may be utilized in historical and genealogical researches, a peculiar interest attaches to it. Following in their proper place are the names of the men engaged in the Ticonderoga enterprise.
Next in order have been arranged the rolls of the Connecticut quota of that part of the Revolutionary forces known as the “Continental” troops, which constituted the body of Washington’s army in the field throughout the war. They stand first in importance, as explained on page 34, and as appears from their military history in the text introductory to the subdivisions A, B, C, and D, under which they have been classified. After the Lexington Alarm the State raised eight regiments, which were adopted as Continental, to serve to the close of the year 1775. She furnished eight for the year 1776, and eight, with a large additional quota, for the three years’ term from 1777 to 1781. Thereafter, from 1781 to 1783, the numbers were reduced by consolidations. The rosters of these troops form a large portion of the record (pages 33 to 370), and with the exception of some of the rolls for 1775 and the greater part of those for 1776, are believed to be substantially complete. In view of the importance of the campaign of 1776, it is to be regretted that the rolls of seven of the Continental regiments for that year are missing. The names of very many of the men, however, appear on the rolls of 1775, when they served their first term, or on the rolls of 1777, when they re-enlisted for three years or the war, or again on the rolls of State troops and militia in subsequent years. In the absence of these lists the number of officers and soldiers that entered the Continental service from Connecticut during the war can only be approximately estimated; but it may be placed at about fifteen thousand.
Under this heading appear a certain number of regiments which were neither Continental nor militia, but were raised mainly in the early part of the war, to act as reinforcements for the army in the field, for limited terms. Organized by authority of the State or the Governor, with the officers’ commissions signed by the Governor, they were designated as State troops, and at different periods rendered considerable service.
The third distinctive class of troops was the standing Militia of the State, whose rolls, so far as preserved, are arranged, like the preceding, in chronological order. Here again several serious gaps occur in the list, which is a special misfortune from a historical point of view, inasmuch as the militia represented the greater part of the male population of the State. The rolls here published, however, represent a fair proportion of the regiments and men that were called into active service. From the return, as given on page 447, for the year 1782, it may be inferred that the number of effective militia varied during the years of the war from twenty-two to twenty-five thousand.
The closing pages of the work contain such portions of the Naval record of Connecticut as have been preserved among the documents, also unclassified lists of minutemen, volunteers, independent companies, and individual officers and soldiers, and copies of the Pension lists as published in Congressional and Government documents at various periods since the war.
In compiling and arranging the rolls, as grouped above, a limited amount of explanatory text has been inserted, showing where and for what terms the’ troops served. It has been possible to do this with a satisfactory degree of accuracy in the case of the regiments of the Continental “Line,” and on pages 125, 140 and 301-311 may be found an outline of their organization and service generally — battles, encampments, itinerary, and formations — which has been prepared from original letters and Order-books. An introductory note also appears before each regimental roster Tn the case of many of the militia regiments and detachments, no record of service has been found.
The publication of this work will doubtless lead to the production or discovery of missing documents, including rolls of entire regiments, companies, or the record of individuals, which may be desirable to issue in supplementary form in the future. It is especially requested that copies of these may be forwarded to the Adjutant-General of Connecticut at Hartford.
- Naval Record of Connecticut, 1775-1783
- Miscellaneous Rolls and Pension Lists
- There were additional rolls published by the Historical Society of Connecticut in vol. 8 of their Collections
- There were additional rolls published by the Historical Society of Connecticut in vol. 12 of their Collections
Connecticut Troop Battles
The Connecticut Troops were engaged and present at the following battles:
- Capture of Ticonderoga, May 10, 1775.
- Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.
- Assault upon Quebec, Dec. 31, 1775.
- Siege of Boston, May, 1775, to Mar. 17, 1776.
- Affair of the Cedars, Canada, May 19, 1776.
- Battle of Long Island, Aug. 27, 1776.
- Retreat from New York, Sept. 15, 1776.
- Battle of Harlem Heights, Sept. 16, 1776.
- Battle of White Plains, Oct. 28, 1776.
- Fall of Fort Washington, Nov. 16, 1776.
- Battle of Trenton, Dec. 25, 1776.
- Battle of Princeton, Jan. 3, 1777.
- Tryon’s Raid to Danbury, Apr. 25-28, 1777.
- Meigs’ Sag Harbor Expedition, May 23, 1777.
- Battle of Bennington, Aug. 16, 1777.
- Battles at Saratoga, Sept. 19, Oct. 7, 1777.
- Battle of Brandywine, Sept. 11, 1777.
- Battle of Germantown, Oct. 4, 1777.
- Defence of Mud Island, Pa., Nov. 12-16, 1777.
- Affair at White Marsh, Pa., Dec. 7, 1777.
- Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778.
- Wyoming Valley Massacre, July 3, 1778.
- Battle of Rhode Island, Aug. 29, 1778.
- Tryon’s Attack upon New Haven, etc., July 5-10, 1779.
- Storming of Stony Point, July 15, 1779.
- Sullivan’s Indian Raid, July-Aug., 1779.
- Battle of Springfield, N. J., June 23, 1780.
- Affair of Fort George, N. Y., Oct. 11, 1780.
- Capture of Fort George, L. I., Nov. 21, 1780.
- Battle of Green Spring, Va., July 6, 1781.
- Arnold’s Attack upon New London, Sept. 6, 1781.
- Siege and Surrender of Yorktown, Sept.-Oct., 1781.
- Various Naval Actions, 1776-1782.
- The original minutes of the proceedings of the General Assembly of Connecticut, covering the period of the war, on file in the office of the Secretary of State, Hartford.
- The original minutes of the proceedings of the Governor and Council, or Committee of War, covering the period of the war, on file in the State Library, Hartford.
- Pay-Rolls of the Connecticut Regiments in the Continental “Line” for certain years, and scattering pay-table accounts of State troops and militia, together with individual accounts, bound in twelve volumes, on file in the office of the State Comptroller, Hartford.
- Thirty-eight bound folio volumes, marked ” Revolutionary War,” covering a period of ten years or more from 1774, and containing numerous original rolls, letters, accounts, resolutions, petitions, town-lists, and similar material, unbound, on file in the State Library.
- Rolls, letters, and various documents bearing on the service of Connecticut troops, on file among the papers of General Washington in the Department of State, Washington, D. C.
- Forty-seven bound folio volumes, containing company and regimental muster and pay rolls of the regiments of the Connecticut “Line,” together with numerous militia rolls and miscellaneous papers, and the large mass of applications for pensions, on file in the Pension Bureau, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.
- The “Trumbull Papers,” consisting of twenty -two bound volumes, containing the official correspondence of Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut during the entire period of the war, inclusive also of many rolls and miscellaneous documents, in possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.
- Various Revolutionary papers, military and naval, in possession of the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.
- Forty or more Orderly Books, kept by Connecticut officers during the war, containing general, division, brigade, and regimental orders issued in camp and on the march, in the possession for the most part of individuals and Societies.
- Miscellaneous letters, rolls, maps, diaries, and other papers in the hands of descendants of Revolutionary soldiers, individuals, and collectors, or deposited in Libraries and State and Town archives.
Supplementing these documents, and included among the authorities on which this work is based, must be mentioned the mass of original letters and papers which have found their way into print in such publications as Force s American Archives, the volumes issued by Historical Societies, magazines, genealogies, monographs, and Town histories.