Lt Ephraim Middlebrook 1736-1777Leave a Comment
Biography of Lt. Ephraim Middlebrook Feb-23-2012 by Matthew Stiles Bowdish
Birth: 1736, Long Hill (Trumbull), CT [A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut by Samuel Orcutt, hereinafter “Orcutt” (Cambridge, Tuttle Morehouse & Taylor, 1886) pg. 1246].
Death: 27 Apr. 1777, Ridgefield, CT, “fought, bled and died, in defense of his Country at the Battle of Ridgefield.” [gravestone inscription in Orcutt, p. 1073].
Marriage: Elizabeth Munson b. 12 Aug. 1739; bp. 12 Aug. 1739; m. 30 Mar. 1757. Daughter of Israel Munson and Elizabeth Bishop [The Munson Record, by Myron A. Munson (New Haven, Munson Association, 1895) pg. 675] d. 16 Feb. 1812 [gravestone inscription in Orcutt p. 1073].
Children: Mary, b. 27 Oct. 1758; Huldah, bp. 15 Oct. 1763; John, b. Oct 1765; David, b. Apr. 1768; Ephraim; Abraham, b. Mar. or Apr. 1774; Robert, b. 16 Dec. 1776. [Orcutt, p. 1247].
Education: Details of his education are unknown.
Military: “Lieutenant Connecticut Militia, killed at Ridgefield, 27th April, 1777.” [Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution by Francis B. Heitman (Washington DC, Rare Book Pub, 1914) pg. 391]; “Lieut., killed while in command of his Co. during Danbury raid, Apr. 27, ’77. Also served in NY Campaign, ’76.” [CT Adjutants General, Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution (Hartford CT, 1889) p. 630]; “This Assembly do establish Ephraim Middlebrooks to be Ensign of the 10th company or trainband in the fourth regiment in this Colony.” [The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut from May 1775 to June 1776, by Charles Hoadly (Hartford, Case Lockwood and Brainard, 1890) Oct. 1775, hereinafter “CT Public Records” p. 513]; “This Assembly do establish Ephraim Middlebrooks to be Lieutenant of the 10th company or trainband in the fourth regiment in this Colony.” [CT Public Records, pg. 206]; “and at the battle of Ridgefield, on the return of the British from the burning of Danbury, a Lieut. Middlebrooks was killed” [A historical collection from official records, files, of the part sustained by Connecticut, during the war of the revolution, compiled by Royal Ralph Gleason (Oxford, E. Gleason, 1842) pg. 117].
Cincinnati: Died in Service prior to the formation of the Society of the Cincinnati; first represented by Curtis Munson Middlebrook, Jr. 1996-1999; now represented by a member who joined the Society in 2012.
Occupation: Details of his occupation are unknown.
Discussion: Ephraim Middlebrook was born in 1736 at Fairfield, Connecticut. He was the son of John Middlebrook and Eunice Bostwick. In October 1775, he enlisted as an Ensign in 10th Trainband (Company) of the Fourth Regiment of Connecticut Militia. In December 1775, he was promoted to Lieutenant in the same company. In 1776, Ephraim served under General George Washington during the siege of New York. He would later serve under the command of General Benedict Arnold who reported to Major General David Wooster. On April 25, 1777, British forces led by Major General William Tyron landed at what is now Westport, Connecticut, and marched to Danbury. There, Tyron’s forces destroyed a large American cache of supplies. Wooster, Arnold and Brigadier General Gold Silliman sounded the Danbury Alarm and raised 700 Continentals and Militia to attack Tyron’s forces. Since they missed the opportunity to defend Danbury, the American forces goal was to harass the British on their way back to the coast with hit-and-run skirmishes. In one of these fights General Wooster was mortally wounded. In this campaign, only one major battle occurred at the town of Ridgefield on April 27, 1777, where General Arnold led Connecticut Militia forces against Tyrone. During this battle, Lt. Ephraim Middlebrook was killed. He was later buried with full military honors at Long Hill Cemetery in North Stratford, Connecticut. His tombstone reads, “In Memory of Lieut. Ephraim Middlebrook Who fought, bled and died in defense of his Country, at the Battle of Ridgefield, on the 27th day of April, 1777, in the 41st year of his age; and on the 3d day of May was interred here with Honours of War. In memory of which these lines” ‘Here on this Tomb cast an eye, and view the Eagle great: He represents our Liberty; in the Union of the States; View in his claws the arrows sharpe, in the branch of oak likewise; A lively emblem of our smart, for victory o’er our enemies; For which cause this Hero bled On Ridgefield’s bloody plain; And there was numbered with the dead his country’s freedom to obtain; In memory of which these lines were wrote and to perpetuate his name; That his descendants ne’er forgot that for their freedom he was slain.’”