The Society Of the Cincinnati in The State of Connecticut

The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776-1828. Left: Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (1740-1809) - Speaker of the Us House of Representatives. Right: Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (1710-1785) - Governor of Connecticut
The Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775. Right: William Hull (1753-1825) - Lieutenant-Colonel in the Continental Army
The Resignation of General Washington, December 23, 1783. Left: Thomas Y. Seymour (1757-1811) - Lieutenant in the 2nd Continental Regiment of the Dragoons
The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 1777

Surg Mate Commissary Benjamin Welles 1756-1813

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Biography of Dr. Benjamin Welles Apr-4-2012 by Peter Hitt
Birth: 22 Nov 1756, Stamford, Fairfield Co., CT [Stamford CT Vital Records to 1825, p. 133][Barbour VR Stamford CT, Vol. 1, p. 99]]

Death: 19 Apr 1813, Wayne, Steuben Co., NY [Revolutionary War Pension File, W6435 Benjamin Welles, Sarah, CT + MA][other sources give 1814 as the death year]

Marriage: 13 Jun 1782, Phippstown, Putnam Co., NY to Sarah Nelson, daughter of Joshua Nelson and Sarah Mandeville. [Ibid]

Children: Ten children: James Nelson (1783-1885), Silvester (1785-1871), Sarah Elizabeth (1787-1873), Benjamin Franklin (1790-1885), William Edwin (1792-1864), Henry (1794-1868), Theodosia (1796-1873), Elihu Smith (1799-1867), Mary Jane (1801-1884), Julia (1804-1813).[Ibid] [New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol.. 53, Apr 1922, pp. 333-4]

Education: Benjamin studied medicine and graduated from Yale in 1775, where his father Rev. Dr. Noah Welles graduated in 1741. [Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College Vol. III May, 1763-July, 1778 (pub 1903) , p.591]

Military On May 30, 1777, he was appointed Issuing Commissary of supplies to the Connecticut Troops and so served for fifteen months and three days. On January 1, 1781, he was commissioned Surgeon=s Mate of Colonel John Mead=s Connecticut Regiment and later transferred to Colonel Hull=s Third Massachusetts Regiment, and served to the “end of the War” in 1783 for at least another twenty-one months. [Pension W6435, op.cit.]

Cincinnati: [Benjamin Welles is a newly approved member – not sure how to document this]

Occupation: He was a physician.

Discussion: While Benjamin Welles did not personally seek a pension for his military service (he died before pensions were available to any except indigent veterans), his widow Sarah (Nelson) Welles created a ninety-three page record which survives and contains extensive biographical details. In 1836, she submitted letters he had written her that she had saved for over half a century. She had preserved his original appointment papers and warrant from 1777 as Commissary. On January 1, 1781 he was commissioned a surgeon’s mate of Col. John Mead’s Connecticut Regiment, and later transferred to Col. [William] Hull’s Third Massachusetts Regiment. She described their first meeting in the fall of 1781 when he was stationed in Phillipstown, New York serving as a surgeon’s mate when the Regiment made winter quarters there until June, 1782. When the regimental surgeon Dr. Whitwell was on furlough, Benjamin Welles served as surgeon. They were married on 13 June 1782 by Army chaplain Rev. Abraham Baldwin, and Welles immediately left with his regiment for Dobbs Ferry, as a letter he wrote from there on 17 June attests. Sarah saved Benjamin’s letters, one of which confirmed that by 21 September 1782, the Regiment had moved to Verplank’s Point, where Commander George Washington was situated at the time. [Washington sent a letter dated 1 Oct 1782 from Verplank’s Point to wife Martha -] In one letter dated 20 October 1782 from Verplank’s Point, from Benjamin Welles to wife Sarah, he described the harsh conditions: “… our situation has been during the stormy weather most seriously uncomfortable – we have no fires but a tub of coals in our tent and the kitchen fires which our boys use under a bush house. The former are pernicious to health and the latter we sometimes crowd over for a few minutes … to warm our fingers …” After his military service was concluded at the end of the war, Welles moved to Wayne in Steuben County, New York where he practiced medicine until his death in 1813. Henry Welles, son of Benjamin and Sarah, became a Judge of the Superior Court of New York, and was very well connected. In April 1837, seeking maximum support for his mother’s application for a pension, he penned a personal letter to newly-inaugurated U.S. President Martin Van Buren requesting “that if you do not deem it improper to state to the department your knowledge of my Father and his standing at the period when you were acquainted with him…”