James Bennett was born 14 May 1755 at New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut. His parents were Caleb Bennett (1716-1790) and Abigail Fowler (abt. 1727-1771).
He died 14 November 1819 at Homer, Cortland County, New York.
His death was noted in the New York Columbian:
Another revolutionary patriot gone – At Cortland Village, Col. James Bennet, aged 64. He held a commission in the army of the revolution, and was interred with the honors of masonry.
The following appeared in the Cortland Republican:
Died – In this town on the evening of the 13th inst. Col. James BENNET, aged 64, leaving a wife and a large family of children, to lament the loss of a tender husband, a kind and benevolent parent, and one of those early patriots that were signalized by gaining the liberty which they now enjoy.
Col. BENNET held a commission in the army of the revolution. He was early enrolled under the banner which waved with various prospects for a number of years, amidst the perils of our revolution. He was engaged in a number of the bloody contests that signalized our emancipation; and whether the American eagle retired amidst carnage and destruction from a superior force, or triumphed over our oppressors, and waved victory to its followers, and liberty to its country, his hand was always ready to support the pillar of freedom.
His neighbors and friends, in disposing of his remains, have demonstrated their respect for the man, and those who have broken the shackles of slavery. He was duly interred by his Masonic brethren, with the usual ceremonies of that order.
On 21 November 1784 at Catskill, Greene County, New York, he married Catharine Bogardus. James Bennett died intestate and his wife, Catherine, was granted administration of his estate on 31 October 1821.
James Bennett and Catharine Bogardus had seven children: Nancy Bennett, Adolphus B. Bennett, James A. Bennett, Robert Bennett, Angeline Bennett, Eugene Bennett, and Catharine Bennett.
Sergeant Major of 7th Connecticut, 25th January, 1777; Ensign, 1st September, 1777; 2d Lieutenant, 8th September, 1780; transferred to 2d Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; retained in Swift’s Connecticut Regiment, June, 1783; and served to 3d November, 1783.
James Bennett began his Connecticut service in January 1777; he had served already for a year and a half in the New York Continental Line. He detailed his New York service in 1818, when in reduced circumstances, he gave the following deposition in support of a pension application:
State of New York
James Bennet of Homer in the county of Cortland aforesaid State of New York being duly sworn saith that he this deponent is an actual reside of the Town of Homer — that this deponent served in the revolutionary war against the common enemy as follows, to wit, this deponent enlisted in the fore part of the year 1775 into Capt. Daniel Mills Company in the fourth
[Dutchess] Regiment of the New York line commanded by Col. James Holmes and served as Sergeant in the company until the last day of Decr. in the same year whose time of service expired — further that in the forepart of Jany. 1776 this deponent enlisted into the first New York Regiment commanded by Col. Goose Van Schaick where he served in the capacity of Sergeant Major until the last day of Decr. of that year inclusive when his period of service expired — that in the year 1777 he this deponent was commissioned as an Ensign in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of foot commanded by Col. Henan Swift in which Regt. and capacity this deponent served until the first day of September 1778 at which time he this deponent was commissioned as a Lieutenant in said Regiment in which office this deponent served until 1783 at the close of the war and was disbanded with the army at west point in June 1783 when the preliminary articles of peace were published and was liable to be called into actual service again until the arrival of the definitive treaty of peace when congress resolved that they had no further service for the continental army — and this deponent further saith that from his reduced circumstances he is in need of assistance from his country — that at the Battle of Monmouth he received a musket shot in his under jaw — that his is old and infirm & has a wife & three children to provide for with no resources but his daily labor —
And this deponent further saith that on the Eleventh day of Feby. 1798, his house was consumed by an accidental fire & his commissions and all his private papers were also consumed —
And the said James Bennett hereby relinquishes all claims to any and every pension heretofore granted or allowed him by any law of the United States.
Sworn this 13th Day of April 1818.
James Bennett’s father, Caleb Bennett, was a member of New Milford, Connecticut’s Committee of Inspection and Correspondence.
James’ oldest brother, Isaac Bennett (b. 1747) lived at Stockbridge, Massachusetts and was member of a militia unit in that location. Another brother, Samuel Bennett (b. 1750) is reported in one source to have been a Captain in the Revolution; however, that has not been confirmed. A younger brother, Caleb (b. 1758) was a member of a New Milford militia company from mid 1776 until late 1779 when he moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to live with his brother, Isaac.
Abstracts of Wills, Administrations and Guardianships in NY State, 1787 – 1835. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006.) Original manuscript in Eardeley Genealogy Collection: New York State Abstracts of Wills, Brooklyn Historical Society. Cortland, p. 574.
Connecticut. Adjutant-General’s Office. Record of Service of Connecticut Men In the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War. Hartford: [Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.], 1889. pp. 218, 328, 352 & 373.
Cortland Republican, 18 Nov 1819. (http://www.usgenweb.info/nycortland/vitals/d1815-21.htm : accessed 05 March 2015)
Frank Hasbrouck, The History of Dutchess County, New York, v. 1. Poughkeepsie: S. A. Matthieu, 1909. p. 122.
Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution April, 1775, to December, 1783. Washington, D.C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914. p. 99.
Frank Hasbrouck, ed.,The History of Dutchess County, New York, vol. 1. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: S. A. Matthieu, 1909, pp. 120-122.
Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, v. 1. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007. p. 73.
“Died”, New-York Columbian, 01 December 1819. p. 2, col. 5.
Samuel Orcutt, History of the Towns of New Milford and Bridgewater, Connecticut, 1703-1882. Hartford: Press of Case, Lockwood and Brainard Co., 1882. pp. 217, 651-652.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 15. Fold3.com(http://www.fold3.com/image/15190966/). Connecticut. James Bennett, Pension W. 16191.
Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray.