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
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.
Birth: 24 Sep. 1737, Lyme, CT
Death: 03 Oct. 1800, Pachog (now Westbrook), CT
Marriage: 15 Jul. 1759, Pachog, CT. SARAH WORTHINGTON daughter of WILLIAM WORTHINGTON and TEMPERANCE GALLUP. She was born 15 May 1735 in Pachog, CT and died 15 Jan 1808 in Sand Lake, NY (now Averill Park, NY).
Children: Children of JOHN ELY and SARAH WORTHINGTON are:
i. WORTHINGTON ELY, b. 1759, Saybrook, CT; d. 1803, Coeymans, NY.
ii. EMMA ELY, b. 1760; d. 1837.
iii. ETHLINDA ELY, b. Abt. 1764; d. 15 Aug 1829, Goshen, NY.
iv. ELIZABETH ELY, b. 22 Feb 1764, Saybrook, CT; d. 03 Mar 1837, Berlin, CT.
v. ANNA ARNOLD ELY, b. 13 Jul 1766. Anna Arnold Ely only appears in “The Ely Ancestry” and no other evidence has been found for her. Some DAR lineages claim it was she who married Matthew Cole others show Amy/Amah/Emma married to Cole.
vi. TEMPERANCE ELY, b. 1768.
vii. LUCRETIA ELY, b. 04 Mar 1770, Saybrook, CT; d. 26 Feb 1839, Sand Lake, NY (now Averill Park, NY).
viii. TEMPERANCE ELY, b. 10 Oct 1772.
ix. DR. JOHN ELY, b. 1774, Saybrook, CT; d. 20 Aug 1849, Coxsackie, NY.
x. EDWARD ELY, b. 06 Jan 1777, Saybrook, CT; d. 22 Nov 1825, Goshen, NY1; m. DOLLY UNKNOWN. Edward was a lawyer in Goshen, NY. Some sources give his name as Edwin. His will mentions wife Dolly and his six brothers and sisters: Worthington(deceased), John, Ethelinda Elliott, Elizabeth Goodrich, Emma Cole, Lucretia Gregory. No children named.
Note: There are no Ely surnamed descendants after the 5th generation from John.
Education: There is no record of Ely attending College, but his career as a successful Doctor would indicate that he had some education.
Military: Captain 6th Connecticut,1st May to 18th December, 1775; Colonel Connecticut Militia Regiment in 1777; taken prisoner on the Long Island Expedition, 10th December, 1777; exchanged 5th December, 1780. (Heitman, p216). Col. of the 4th Battalion of CT Militia under Gen. Joseph Spencer starting 4 Oct. 1777. Since he was in a militia unit in Continental Service under Gen. Spencer of the Continental Army, his 3 years in captivity are qualifying Continental service.
Cincinnati: Not an original member. First represented by LEONARD BRONK LAMPMAN (1872-1939) a great-great-grandson who joined in 1895, a lifelong bachelor. From 1970 to 1994, Ely was represented by THEODORE FROTHINGHAM III, a great-great-great-great-grandson. Ely is currently represented by GREGORY BELL SMITH, a great-great-great-great-grandson who joined in 2013 and his son AMOS KENDALL SMITH III is his designated Successor. JAMES PARKER (1854-1934), a great-great-great-grandson was made an honorary member of the Rhode Island Society in 1929. PRIESTLEY TOULMIN III, a great-great-great-great-grandson is a member of the Connecticut Society through collateral descent from Col. John Ely’s brother, Capt. Christopher Ely. Another current CT member is a great-great-great-great-grandson who joined the Connecticut Society in 1995 through descent from 2nd Lt. Elias Mather and his son is his designated Successor. The obituary of HOMER HOWLAND STUART, Jr. (1918-2011) a great-great-great-great-grandson, indicated he was a member without specifying his Propositus or Society but no record of his membership has been found in Cincinnati records.Occupation: Medical Doctor.
Cincinnati: Not an original member. First represented by LEONARD BRONK LAMPMAN (1872-1939) a great-great-grandson who joined in 1895, a lifelong bachelor. From 1970 to 1994, Ely was represented by THEODORE FROTHINGHAM III, a great-great-great-great-grandson. Ely is currently represented by GREGORY BELL SMITH, a great-great-great-great-grandson who joined in 2013 and his son AMOS KENDALL SMITH III is his designated Successor. JAMES PARKER (1854-1934), a great-great-great-grandson was made an honorary member of the Rhode Island Society in 1929. PRIESTLEY TOULMIN III, a great-great-great-great-grandson is a member of the Connecticut Society through collateral descent from Col. John Ely’s brother, Capt. Christopher Ely. Another current CT member is a great-great-great-great-grandson who joined the Connecticut Society in 1995 through descent from 2nd Lt. Elias Mather and his son is his designated Successor. The obituary of HOMER HOWLAND STUART, Jr. (1918-2011) a great-great-great-great-grandson, indicated he was a member without specifying his Propositus or Society but no record of his membership has been found in Cincinnati records.
Discussion: John Ely became a physician and surgeon with a reputation that reached far beyond the Westbrook village in which he lived. He specialized in the treatment of smallpox. He bought Duck Island off the Saybrook shore and then built a hospital for his smallpox patients. When this dread disease broke out in the Army of General George Washington in July 1776, Dr. Ely was sent for and did much to arrest the plague.
But Colonel Ely is remembered better as a soldier of the Revolutionary War and as a patriot who gave not only his skill as physician and military commander to the cause, but his fortune and his health.
In 1775 Ely, after the news of the battle of Lexington came to Westport, mustered a company of militia as Captain and marched with it to Roxbury, now part of Boston. The next year as Major he performed a tour of duty as commandant at Fort Trumbull, New London, also serving there as physician and one day he sent a “pithy” letter to the Captain of a vessel at the mouth of the harbor suspected of being English. She promptly sailed away.
Major Ely was a man of wealth, mostly invested in farms. One of these in 1777 he sold and used most of the proceeds in raising a regiment of which he was commissioned Colonel. To many of his men he furnished arms, uniforms and other supplies at his own expense. What little remained of the money he poured, one day, into the lap of his wife saying: “Here Sarah is all that is left of the Griswold farm.”
“It is the price of liberty,” she replied with an approving smile.
He marched his regiment to New London and was again appointed commandant of the Fort.
After the war, broken in health and fortune, Col. Ely applied to Congress for recompense for his services and for the money he had devoted to the great cause. As a result, long after his death, we have the following official report of his services from the Committee on Rev. Claims of the House of Representatives, January 23, 1833:
“Col. Ely, at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, was a physician of celebrity, residing at the town of Saybrook, Conn. In the early stages of the conflict he abandoned his profession and raised a regiment of regular troops and was commissioned as a colonel; and at the head of his regiment he entered into the service of his country. “On the 9th of Dec. 1777 he was captured by the enemy and became a prisoner of war, and was paroled at Flatbush, on Long Island, where were also prisoners several hundred American officers. Among these officers a distressing illness prevailed, and Col. Ely, from the humanity that belonged to his character, from the day of his captivity to the day of his exchange, faithfully and exclusively devoted his time to them as physician. In discharging this duty he encountered much hardship and expense as the residences of the sick officers were scattered over a considerable space of country, many of them being as much as twenty miles apart. Col. Ely, when unable because of bodily infirmity or the state of the weather, to perform his long tours on foot, hired a horse at an extravagant price and paid the cost out of his own private means. He was also compelled frequently to purchase medicine for the ill at his own cost.
“Soon after he became a prisoner his son Capt. Worthington Ely, in conjunction with other friends, fitted out at their own expense a vessel and manned her for the purpose of surprising and capturing a British force with which to effect the exchange of Col. Ely. The object of the expedition succeeded so far as regarded the surprise and capture of the enemy, and the prisoners were delivered to the proper authorities to be exchanged for Col. Ely. This, however, was not done by reason of the earnest entreaties of the ailing officers, who considered their lives as greatly depending on the continuance, and skill of Col. Ely. He was induced to forego his right to an exchange and consented to remain for the comfort and safety of his sick brother officers. It appears from a certificate of Samuel Huntington, president of Congress that still subsequent to the time when his exchange might have been effected, through the valor of his son and friends, and when he became entitled to an exchange by the regular rule, that a deputation of exchanged officers, who had been his fellow prisoners, was appointed to wait on Congress, by the sick officers who remain in captivity, and to urge the continuance of Col. Ely as their physician and surgeon. At the head of the deputation were Col. Matthews (since a member of Congress and Governor of Georgia) and Col. Ramsay of the Maryland line. Col. Ely was in consequence of this representation not exchanged, although entitled to an exchange. He remained and acted as physician and surgeon till the 25th of Dec. 1780, when he was released – a period of more than three years.”
When he was captured by the British, Col. Ely and his regiment were in a ship crossing the sound from Conn. to Long Island for an attack there with other Continental forces. As to his application for recompense, General Henry Knox, Secretary of War, made a highly favorable report. President Washington wrote the Colonel promising a successful outcome for his petition. The House adopted a bill to grant him $20,000.00. Ely was at Philadelphia at the time. Much pleased he wrote his daughter, Mrs. Samuel Goodrich, that in a few days he would be able to give her the marriage outfit which his poverty had hither to prevented him from doing. But the Colonel did not have in mind what U.S. Senator Oliver Ellsworth could do to his bill. Ellsworth much opposed to special money grants and decidedly a watch dog of the Treasury, successfully fought the Ely measure in the Senate. Col. Ely returned home full of grief and despondency. About forty years later his heirs presented a claim to Congress, which was at once recognized, but as most of the papers in the case had been lost only $5,000.00 was allowed.
After his release from Long Island he returned broken in health to Westbrook to find himself in debt, his house dilapidated, his wife prematurely aged from care and anxiety, and weeping over the desolation of herself and children. But courageously Dr. Ely resumed his practice. He arose early each morning, saved and chopped his wood, built fires, fed and milked the cows then went forth on his Professional rounds, among patients who like himself were impoverished. So poor had the once prosperous Ely’s become they had little other food than hasty pudding, or mush and milk, He cheered his wife by saying that the children of the poor were always the healthiest because of the simplicity of their diet. “The bones of our children,” he added, “shall be made of Indian meal, and they shall be as strong as Spartans.” He partly recovered from his difficulties, but his health again gave way because of over work.
Those who knew Col. Ely described him as tall, erect, and having a manner marked by dignity, ease, and winning grace. His features were regular and his somewhat prominent brown eyes were tender and friendly. His conversation abounded in wit and illustrative anecdote. He was the idol of his soldiers, family and friends because of the magnetism of his presence, his intelligence and courage. Prof. William Chauncey Fowler of Durham, Conn. who when a child sat on the Colonel’s knee added this to the foregoing characterization, “The witty sayings with which he sparkled, the abounding stories he told, the songs he sang are ‘whelmed in times neglect’.”
Among his friends he numbered Washington, Lafayette and Rochambeau. Mrs. Ely was able to speak in their native tongue to the French officers she entertained. Washington wrote the Colonel affectionate letters acknowledging his “incomparable services.” There was preserved this bid to dinner from General Benedict Arnold, before the latter betrayed his country: “General Arnold’s compliments wait on Col. Ely. He asks the favor of his company to dine with him at his house today at 2 o’clock.”
His name is seen sometimes in DAR/SAR Applications as John Pierce Ely. No other evidence for this seems to exist.
1. The Refugees of 1776 From Long Island to Conn. by Frederic Gregory Mather, 1913, reprint 1972
2. The Ely Ancestry, by Beach and Ely, 1902.
3. A paper by Mrs. M.E.D. Stuart about Col. Ely read at the 1878 Ely reunion contained in The History of the Ely Re-union held at Lyme, Conn., July 10th, 1878, 1879.
4. Colonial Days and Ways by Miss Helen Evertson Smith, 1901.
5. Mayflower Ancestry of Elizabeth Ely Goodrich, compiled by Inglis Stuart, 1932
6. Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory, by Grant Gregory, 1938
7. The Descendants and Antecedents of Dr. Wayne Smith & Elizabeth Bell and Richard Alfred Bury & Elida Maud Morden, by Gregory Bell Smith, 2011.
8. John Ely’s gravestone in the Old Burying Ground, Westbrook, CT.
9. Historical Register of the Officers of the Continental Army, Heitman, 1914
10. Unpublished research by Gregory Bell Smith on the descendants on Col. John Ely.
Biographical information compiled by Gregory Bell Smith.
Adjutant of Wolcott’s Connecticut State Regiment, January, 1776; Brigade-Major to General Wadsworth, 7th August, 1776; taken prisoner 15th September, 1776, on the retreat from New York; exchanged 20th December, 1776; Captain of Webb’s Additional Continental Regiment, 1st January, 1777; Major, 10th October, 1778; transferred to 3d Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; transferred to 1st Connecticut, 1st January, 1783; retained in Swift’s Connecticut Regiment, June, 1783, and served to 25th December, 1783; Major United States Infantry Regiment, 9th June, 1785; Major 1st Infantry United States Army, 29th September, 1789; killed 22d October, 1790, in action with Indians on the Miami, Ohio.
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. p.351
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. 608.
Military service posted by V. Allen Gray.
Stephen Betts was born on 15 July 1756 at Norwalk. He was the son of Isaac and Elizabeth Betts. Stephen Betts had a sister, Ann Betts.
Stephen Betts died on 28 November 1832. He is buried in Church Hill Cemetery, New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut. Also buried in the Church Hill Cemetery is his wife, Ruth, who died 24 March 1835.
He was married to Ruth Church 04 January 1784.
Charles (b. 1784), Harriet (1786-1795), Esther (b. 1790), Lewis (b. 1796), Harriet (1798).
1st Lieutenant 7th Connecticut, 6th July to 23d December 1775; 1st Lieutenant 19th Continental Infantry, 1st January to 31st December, 1776; Captain 2d Connecticut, 1st January, 1777; transferred to 3d Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; wounded at Yorktown, 14th October 1781; served to close of war; Brevet Major, 30th September, 1783.
Stephen Betts enlisted in July 1775, served as Sergeant, Ensign, Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant in Captain Joseph Hait’s company, Colonel Charles Webb’s Connecticut regiment. On Jnuary 1, 1777, he was commissioned Captain and served to the end of the Revolutionary War in Colonels Charles’s Webb’s and Samuel B. Webb’s Connecticut regiments. On October 10, 1783, he was commissioned Brevet Major in the United States Army. During his service in the Revolution he was in the battles of Trenton, Monmouth and at the siege of Yorktown and surrender of Cornwallis.
Stephen Betts was issued bounty land warrant #139 for 300 acres on 18 May 1789.
Stephen Betts was allowed pension on his application executed April 28, 1818, while a resident of New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut where he had resided since the close of the war and was still living in 1828.
Capt. Stephen Betts was a member of one of two traveling Masonic Lodges at West Point, American Union No. 1. Among the other members were Col. Samuel Wyllys, Major Jonathan Heart, Lt. Robert Allyn, Dr. John Simpson, Dr. Jedediah Ensworth, Col. Rufus Putnam, Lt. Isaac Tiffany and others of the Connecticut Line.
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. 79, 104, 306, 334, 354, 367, 374 & 633.
“Deaths”, Connecticut Courant, Hartford, Connecticut, 18 December 1832, p. 3, col. 4.
Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928. Norwalk, pp. 14-17.
Edwin Hall, The Ancient Historical Records of Norwalk, Conn.; with a Plan of the Ancient Settlement and of the Town in 1847. New York: Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., 1865. p. 259.
Gary L. Heinmiller, Membership in American Union Lodge No. 1 during the Revolutionary War. (http://www.omdhs.syracusemasons.com/sites/default/files/history/American%20Union%20Lodge%20No.%201%20-%20Membership.pdf)
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. 102.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 15. Fold3.com(http://www.fold3.com/image/13928087/). Connecticut. Stephen Betts, Pension S37749.
Rev. Charles M. Selleck, Address by Rev. Charles M. Selleck at the Centenary of St. Paul’s Church, Norwalk, Conn., July 15, 1886. Norwalk: The Hour Printing Office, 1886. pp. 26-27.
Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray
Biography of Ensign William Fowler 4-July-2015 by Paul J. Lader
Birth: 27 Sept. 1761, East Haddam (Middlesex), CT, son of Rev. Joseph Fowler and Sarah Metcalf [Barbour, Vital Records, East Haddam, CT, p. 229; D.W. Fowler, Genealogical Memoir of Descendants of Captain William Fowler (Milwaukee: Starr & Son, 1870), p. 20].
Death: 27 Feb. 1782, of smallpox at the “Connecticut Village” winter camp near Peekskill (Westchester),
NY [Henry P. Johnston, Yale and Her Honor Roll in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1888), p. 345; Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, Volume IV (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1907), p. 145].
Marriage: Never married.
Children: Never sired any children.
Education: Graduate of Yale College, Class of 1780.
Military: Ensign, 5th Regiment, Connecticut Line, 27 Feb. 1781 [Henry P. Johnston, ed., The Record of
Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution 1775 – 1783
(Hartford: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1889), pp. 343, 345 (hereinafter “CMWR”)].
Cincinnati: Died in Service prior to the formation of the Society of the Cincinnati; first represented by a current
Hereditary Member who joined in 2015.
Occupation: Not known; he had graduated from college approximately seven months prior to his appointment
Discussion: William Fowler received an appointment to the rank of Ensign on 27 February 1781, and was
attached to the 5th Regiment, Connecticut Line, under the command of Lt. Col. Isaac Sherman.
From there, he was assigned to the company of Capt. Nehemiah Rice and Lieut. Joshua Whitney
[Johnston, CMWR, p. 345]. The 5th Connecticut participated in General Washington’s feint upon
New York during the summer of 1781, and continued service along the Hudson River under
Gen. Heath while events developed at Yorktown [Johnston, Yale and Her Honor Roll, p. 345].
During winter camp at the “Connecticut Village” near Peekskill, New York, Ensign Fowler
became ill with smallpox, and he passed away on or about 28 February 1782, almost exactly
one year after his commission [Johnston, CMWR, p. 345; Johnston, Yale and Her Honor Roll,
the smallpox, at camp, last week, Ensign William Fowler, of East Haddam. He was a gentleman
of a liberal education, and much esteemed by all his acquaintance” [Johnston, Yale and Her
Honor Roll, p. 345]. The Connecticut Journal, of New Haven, reported on his death as well,
reiterating that Ensign Fowler was “much esteemed by all his acquaintance” [Dexter, Biographical
Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, p. 145].
Due to the fact that he never married or had any children, Ensign Fowler remained unrepresented in the Society of the Cincinnati for 233 years after his death, until 2015. He is currently represented by Larry A. Scheurenbrand of Stratford, New Jersey.
Aeneas Munson was born 11 September 1763. He was the son of Dr. Aeneas Munson (____-1826) of New Haven, Yale class of 1753, and Susanna Howell (d. 1803). His father was a founder of the Connecticut Medical Society.
Aeneas Munson’s death occurred on 22 August 1852. (Heitman lists his death date as 16 June 1826, which is that of his father.)
Aeneas Munson married Mary Shepherd (1772-1848) on 03 May 1794.
Aeneas and Mary Munson were the parents of the following children: Alfred Shepherd Munson (1795-1870) who married Mary Ann Tarten in 1822. Frederick Munson (1797-1803). Charles Munson (1799-1890) who never married. Eneas Munson (1800-1805). Mary Ann Pomeroy Munson (1803-1844) who married George Younglove Cutler in 1821. John Munson (1808-1810). William Munson (1811-1812).
Aeneas Munson graduated from Yale in 1780..
After the war, Aeneas Munson practiced medicine at New Haven, Connecticut as had his father before him.
Surgeon’s Mate of Webb’s Continental Regiment, March, 1779; transferred to 4th Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; transferred to 3d Connecticut, 1st January, 1783; retained in Swift’s Connecticut Regiment, June, 1783, and served to November, 1783.
Yale and her honor-roll in the American revolution, 1775-1783 provides the following account of Aenea Munson’s service:
Very soon after graduation or September 1, 1780, Munson was commissioned Surgeon’s Mate in Col. Swift’s Seventh Connecticut Continental Line. During the winter of 1780-81 his regiment was hutted with the Connecticut Division on the Hudson, opposite West Point. In June following he was detached to assist Surgeon Thacher, of the Massachusetts Line, in Col. Scammell’s Light Infantry corps, which, after engaging in one or two sharp skirmishes in Westchester County, marched in August with the army to Yorktown, Virginia. There it took a leading part in the siege, and in after life, Dr. Munson had many incidents to tell of the operations and surrender. Returning north he rejoined his regiment, which in 1781-82 was the Fourth Connecticut, under Col. Butler, with Dr. Timothy Hosmer as Chief Surgeon. Remaining in the Highlands, he served until the disbandment in June, 1783.
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. 337, 354 && 374
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. 407.
Donald Lines Jacobus, comp., v. 6. Salem, Mass: Higginson Book Co., 1994. p. 1307.
Henry Phelps Johnston, Yale and her honor-roll in the American revolution, 1775-1783. New York : Privately printed [by G.P. Putnam’s Sons], 1888. pp. 345-346.
Howard A. Kelly, A Cyclopedia of American Medical Biography: Comprising the Lives of Eminent Deceased Physicians And Surgeons From 1610 to 1910. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1912. pp. 835-836.
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, v. 1. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Co., 2008, p. 430.
Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray.
Birth: 17 May 1754, Salisbury (Litchfield) CT [D. Williams Patterson, John Stoddard of Wethersfield, CT (1873), p. 33; Find-a-grave (died in his 37th year)].
Death: 12 July 1790, Salisbury (Litchfield) CT [Stoddard, p. 33; Gravestone photo; Malcolm Day Rudd, Men of Worth of Salisbury Birth, The Salisbury Quadrimillenium Edition, (The Salisbury Assoc., 1991), p. 161].
Marriage: Mary Holley, daughter of John and Sarah (Lord) Holley. Marriage date unknown, and several years after Darius Stoddard’s death, Mary is believed to have wed Elias Hall, of Castleton VT, an officer of the Revolutionary War. [Men of Worth, p. 161]
Children: There is no record of children.
Education: He was trained in medicine and surgery, but it is not known by whom. By the start of the war, Dr. Stoddard was fully qualified to practice medicine and quickly signed on to serve as a Surgeon’s Mate and Surgeon in the Continental Army. [Men of Worth, p. 160]
Military: The first record of Dr. Stoddard’s service began 1 Jan 1777, as Surgeon’s Mate and Surgeon in the Hospital Department of the Continental Army, at the age of 22. He continued service to the Continental Army, Hospital Dept. for a period of 5 years, serving for some of that time as Surgeon, Col. Henry Jackson’s Regiment. [Secretary of the Commonwealth, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Vol. 15 (Boston, MA, 1907), p. 62. hereinafter “MSSRW”; CT Adjutants General, Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution (Hartford CT, 1889) p. 629, hereinafter “CMWR”; Francis Heitman, Historical Register, Officers of the Continental Army (WashingtonDC. Rare Book Co. 1914) p. 522].
Cincinnati: Darius Stoddard never joined the Society of the Cincinnati prior to his untimely death at the age of 37 and there is no record he left any children; he was first represented by Hereditary Member (Rule of 1854) who joined in 2013, just 8 days prior to the 223rd anniversary of Dr. Stoddard’s death.
Occupation: Physician, surgeon [Men of Worth, p. 160; records of the Continental Army, Hospital Dept. service].
Discussion: Darius Stoddard was the fifth of nine children born to Josiah and Sarah (Robbarts) Stoddard, and the fourth of five boys. Four of the Stoddard boys served with distinction during the War; elder brothers Luther (2nd LT, Hinman’s 4th CT; Capt., Burrall’s CT Reg.) and Josiah (Capt., 2nd Continental Light Dragoons), and younger brother Samuel (Sergt., Warner’s Regt. and 2nd CT Line). His father died in 1764, leaving the 10 year old Darius’ guardianship to the executor of his father’s will. However, upon reaching legal age Darius was able to select his own guardian and chose Nathaniel Buell. Darius and his two older brothers were widely known and respected for their bravery and patriotic service throughout the war, but the trio was also well known for their quick tempers and unseemly behavior. Although often finding themselves in trouble, Darius generally put his abundant energy to good use throughout his war time service as a Surgeon’s Mate and Surgeon, serving in the Hospital Department throughout much of the war. However, frequent disagreements with fellow patriots were not uncommon and perhaps the most famous incident in his military service occurred in the fall of 1780, when he raised serious charges against his late-brother’s commander, Col. Elisha Sheldon, 2nd Light Dragoons. The conclusion of Sheldon’s general court-martial ended with the Colonel acquitted of all charges, “with honor and approbation” and Stoddard fined for the expenses of the trial for bringing charges deemed without merit. After the war, Dr. Stoddard continued to practice medicine in his hometown of Salisbury and in eastern New York until the time of his death. Stoddard and his brother, Luther, joined the Montgomery Lodge of Masons in 1783, the year of the lodge’s founding. The lodge is still active to this day, known as Montgomery Lodge No. 13. As the war ended, he petitioned Congress and the Connecticut State Assembly, finally receiving his back pay earned during the War. However, he became consumed with land speculation deals in Virginia and found himself accumulating great debts, which landed him in jail from time to time. After a brief stay in jail in 1790, he became ill and soon thereafter died of consumption. He is buried next to his father in Town Hill Cemetery, which can be found on the campus of the Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT. His headstone is inscribed with the following words: “In Memory of Doctor Darius Stoddard, who Died July 12th 1790 in the 37th year of his age. Nor shill, nor art the shafts of death can shun, But all alike his Icy arms must try; How short our time, how soon our race is run, Then let’s with care to Christ for shelter fly.”
[Men of Worth, p. 157-161; Find-a-grave and gravestone photo; “CMWR”, pp. 61, 93, 110, 257, 272, 327; “Heitman’s Historical Register”, p. 522; Dr. Darius Stoddard, Letter to the CT General Assembly, dated 15 October 1782 (Connecticut State Archives: Revolutionary War, 1763-1789), series 1, roll 23, p. 263; Montgomery Lodge No. 13, Lakeville, CT (www.montgomerylodge13.org)].
Birth: 30 Aug. 1756, Norwich (New London) CT [Barbour VR Norwich CT]
Death: 16 Aug. 1831, Norwich (New London) CT [NEHGR Vol. 2 (Oct. 1848) pp. 404-407, Inscriptions From the Burying-ground in Norwich, CT].
Marriage: Ebenezer Perkins stated in letter dated 12 June 1820 (in support of his pension) that “my family residing with me consists of my wife who is about 70 years of age, very infirm, and not able to contribute anything to her support” [Revolutionary War Pension File S36219, Ebenezer Perkins, Connecticut]. His wife’s name was Eunice (maiden name unknown), and she died 6 March 1829 at age 83 at Norwich, CT [NEHGR II-404-407].
Children: It is unknown if Capt. Perkins ever sired any children; there is no reference to any children in his pension file, nor in any of the records located about him.
Education: He appears to have been was well read but details of his education are unknown.
Military: He responded to the Lexington Alarm in April 1775 as a Sgt. of the volunteers from the town of Norwich, CT [CT Adjutants General, Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution (Hartford CT, 1889) p. 19, hereinafter “CMWR”]; Sgt. 8th Continental Regiment, 10 July 1775 [Francis Heitman, Historical Register, Officers of the Continental Army (Washington DC. Rare Book Co. 1914) p. 436; CMWR p. 85]; Ensign, 8th Continental Regiment, 18 Sept. 1775- 10 Dec. 1775 [Heitman. p. 436; CMWR p. 85]; 2nd Lt., 17th Continental Regiment, 1 Jan. 1776 [Heitman. p. 436; CMWR p. 102]; 1st Lt., 1st Continental Regiment, 1 Jan. 1777 [Heitman p. 436; CMWR p. 146]; Captain, 1st Continental Regiment, 1 Jan. 1778 [Heitman p. 436; CMWR p. 146]; he spent the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, where he signed the Oath of Allegiance to the United States [The Army and Navy of the United States, 1776-1891, George Barrie Publisher, Philadelphia 1890]; resigned 1 July 1780 [Heitman p. 436; CMWR p. 146].
Cincinnati: Original Member [CMWR p. 376]; first represented in 1982 by George Breed [d. 2000]. Now represented by Hereditary Member who joined in 2011.
Occupation: Stated in letter dated 12 June 1820 (in support of his pension) that he was “a trader” [Pension File].
Discussion: Ebenezer Perkins was one of the many officers of the Continental Army who became active in the Masonic Order during and after the Revolutionary War. On 16 October 1794, he was among several men who were involved in the effort to reorganize the Union Lodge, which initially was chartered 12 January 1753 [200 Years of Union Lodge No. 31, New London Connecticut, hereinafter “200 Years”, www.unionlodge31.org]. The new charter for Union Lodge No. 31 was issued 20 May 1795 [Ibid]. On 25 June 1799, Capt. Ebenezer Perkins, as Worshipful Master of Union Lodge No. 31, laid the foundation for Freemason’s Hall in Norwich, CT [Ibid]. On 27 December 1800 at the Festival of St. John the Baptist, he delivered an address to those assembled at Freemason’s Hall [An Address Delivered to Union Lodge at Freemason’s Hall, in the City of New of New London, on the Festival of St. John the Evangelist 1800 by Ebenezer Perkins (Samuel Green, New London 1801)]. He served as Worshipful Master of Union Lodge No. 31 from 1799 to 1804 [200 Years]. In October 1805 he represented Union Lodge No. 31 at the Convocation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Connecticut [Records of Capitular Masonry in the State of Connecticut, hereinafter “Capitular Masonry” (Press Wiley, Waterman & Eaton, Hartford 1875) p. 32]. He also represented Union Lodge No. 31 at the convocations of May 1812, May 1813, and October 1813 [Capitular Masonry pp. 52, 56, 58]. However, later in life, he apparently fell on financial hard times. In the records of the October 1813 meeting of the Grand Lodge there is the following entry: “The Grand Lodge was opened in the Third Degree of Masonry when a petition from sundry brethren of Union Lodge No. 31, New London, praying some relief for our Bro. Ebenezer Perkins, a member of said Lodge, in consequence of his many and great misfortunes, was introduced and read. After sundry remarks on the subject, it was ordered that the Grand Treasurer pay to Bro. Perkins from the funds of the Grand Lodge, seventy-five dollars, as a charitable donation in his afflicted circumstances.” [The Records of Freemasonry in the State of Connecticut (E.G. Storer, New Haven 1859) p. 254]. His indigent circumstances persisted, as shown by his 12 June 1820 declaration in support of his pension application, in which he stated “by reason of my infirmity have not the ability to pursue” his occupation as a trader and that due to “my reduced and indigent circumstances in life, [I am] unable to support myself without the assistance of my country” [Pension File]. Capt. Ebenezer Perkins died in Norwich, CT 31 August 1831 at age 74 and was buried in Norwich City Cemetery [www.Find-A-Grave.com].