[transcribed by Janece Streig]

NEW LONDON-(Continued).
Pages 168 - 181

War of the Revolution.1
[1. This account of the war of the Revolution is taken chiefly from Miss F. M. CAULKINS' History of New London.]

Votes of the Town concerning the War-First Committees of Correspondence-Soldiers' Families-The First Naval Expedition-The Militia-Two Companies from New London at Bunker Hill-Nathan HALE-Cannonade of Stonington-Fort Trumbull-Officers on Duty-Enlistments-Marauders-Smugglers-Shaving Notes-Various Alarms-British Fleets in the Sound-Rumors and Alarms of 1779 and 1780-Sketches of Soldiers.

"So copious are the detail connected with the Revolution that may be collected from one source and another, that even after the lapse of more than seventy years the historian is embarrassed by the affluence of materials. He is in danger of losing the thread of his narrative in the labyrinth of interesting incidents presented to him. In the present case, however, there can be no doubt but that it will be proper to notice first what was done by the town in its corporate capacity. This will not require a long article. The records are meager. The Revolution, as it regards New London, was achieved by public spirit and voluntary action, rather than by organization and law. From the town records we learn but little of the contest in which the inhabitants were such great sufferers.

"A letter from the selectmen of Boston, inclosing the famous resolutions of Oct. 23, 1767, was laid before the town December 28th, and the subject referred to a committee of fifteen of the inhabitants, viz., Gurdon SALTONSTALL, Daniel COIT, William HILLHOUSE, Richard LAW, Jeremiah MILLER, Joseph COIT, James MUMFORD, Nathaniel SHAW, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., Ezekiel FOX, Samuel BELDEN, Winthrop SALTONSTALL, Guy RICHARDS, Russell HUBBARD, Titus HURLBUT.

"This committee entered fully into the spirit of the Boston resolutions, and dew up a form of subscriptions to circulate among the inhabitants by which the use of certain enumerated articles of European merchandise was condemned and relinquished. These articles appear to have been generally adopted and faithfully kept.

"In December, 1770, the town appointed four delegates to the grand convention of the colony held at New Haven: Gurdon SALTONSTALL, William HILLHOUSE, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., William MANWARING.

"We find no further record of any action of the town relative to the political discontent of the country until the memorable months of June, 1774, when the edict of Parliament shutting up the port of Boston took effect, and roused the colonies at once to activity. Votes and resolutions expressive of indignation, remonstrance, and sympathy were echoed from town to town, and pledges exchanged to stand by each other, and to adhere with constancy to the cause of liberty. The town-meeting at Groton was on the 20th of June, William WILLIAMS, moderator. The Committee of Correspondence chosen consisted of seven prominent inhabitants,--William LEDYARD, Thomas MUMFORD, Benadam GALLUP, Amos PRENTICE, Charles ELDRIDGE, Jr., Deacon John HURLBUT, Amos GEER.

"The meeting at New London was on the 27th, Richard LAW, moderator, and the committee five in number,--Richard LAW, Gurdon SALTONSTALL, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., Samuel H. PARSONS, Guy RICHARDS.

"The declarations and resolves issued by these meetings were similar to those of hundreds of towns at that juncture. In December the town added two other members to the Committee of Correspondence, viz., John DESHON and William COIT. At this time, also, a Committee of Inspection was appointed, consisting of thirty persons, who had instructions 'to take effectual care that the acts of the Continental Congress, held at Philadelphia, Sept. 5, 1774, be absolutely and bona fide adhered to.' Any seven of the members were to form a quorum, and in cases of emergency the whole were to be called together at the court-house. From this period almost all action relating to the contest with England was performed by committees, or by spontaneous combination among the citizens, or by colonial and military authority, and the results were not recorded.

"Committee of Correspondence for the year 1776; Gurdon SALTONSTALL, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., Marvin WAIT, John DESHON, John HERTELL, William HILLHOUSE.

"Jan. 15, 1776.-'Voted, that if any person within the limits of this town shall at any time between now and the 1st of January next unnecessarily expend any gunpowder by firing at game or otherwise, shall for every musket charge forfeit and pay the sum of twenty shillings lawful money into the town treasury.' "March 31, 1777.-A Committee of Supply was appointed to provide necessaries for the families of such soldiers as should enlist in the Continental battalions then raising in the State. This was in compliance with the orders of the Governor and Council of Safety, and a committee for this purpose was annually chosen till the conclusion of the war. The selectmen and informing officers were enjoined to search out and punish all violations of the law regulating the prices of the necessaries of life.

"At the same meeting the town clerk was directed to remove the books and files of the town to some place of safety, reserving only in his own custody those required for immediate use.

"In conformity with this vote the town records were removed into the western part of the township, now Waterford, and committed to the charge of Mr. George DOUGLASS, by whom they were kept at his homestead until after the termination of the war. By this wise precaution they escaped the destruction which swept away a portion of the probate records, and probably all those of the custom-house on the 6th of September, 1781.

"June 23, 1777.-"Voted almost unanimously to admit of inoculation for small pox, agreeably to a resolve of the General Assembly in May last.' "The Committee of Correspondence for the years 1777 and 1778 consisted of three persons only, the first three named on the list of 1776. The Committee of Inspection was reduced to nineteen, and in January, 1779, it was entirely dropped.

"The Articles of Confederation agreed upon by Congress in 1777, and referred to the several States for consideration, were in Connecticut ultimately presented to the inhabitants in their town-meetings for decision. The vote of New London was as follows:

"Dec. 29, 1777.-'Gurdon SALTONSTALL, moderator. Voted in a very full town meeting, nem con, that this town do approve of and acquiesce in the late proposals of the honorable Continental Congress, entitled "Articles of Confederation and perpetual union between the United States of America," as being the most effectual measurers whereby the freedom of said States may be secured and their independency established on a solid and permanent basis.' "In October, 1779, a State convention was held at Hartford; the deputies from New London were Gurdon SALTONSTALL and Jonathan LATIMER.

"From year to year, as the war continued, the population decreased, estates diminished, and the burdens of the town grew heavier. The difficulty of furnishing the proper quota of men and provisions for the army annually increased. Large taxes were laid, large bounties offered for soldiers to serve during the war, and various ways and means suggested and tried to obtain men, money, clothing, provisions, and firearms, to keep the town up to the proportion required by the Legislature. Much of the town action was absorbed by this necessary but most laborious duty.

"June 27, 1780.-A bounty of £12 per annum over and above the public bounty was offered in hard money to each soldier that would enlist to serve during the war, £9 to each that would enlist for three years, and £6 to each that would enlist to serve till the 1st day of January next.

"In December 1780, a committee was appointed to collect all the fire-arms belonging to the inhabitants and deposit them in a safe place, for the benefit of the town. Only extreme necessity could justify an act so arbitrary.

"So many of the inhabitants of New London had been trained as fishermen, coaster, and mariners that no one is surprised to find them, when the trying time cane, bold, hardy, and daring in the cause of freedom. In all the southern towns of the county-Stonington, Groton, New London, Lyme-the common mass of the people were an adventurous class, and exploits of stratagem, strength, and valor, by land and sea, performed during the war of independence by persons nurtured on this coast, might still be recovered sufficient to form a volume of picturesque adventure and exciting interest. At the same time many individuals in this part of the country, and some, too, of high respectability, took a different view of the great political question and sided with the Parliament and the king. IN various instances families were divided, members of the same fireside adopted opposite opinions and became as strangers to each other; nor was it an unknown misery for parents to have children ganged on different sides on the battle-field. At one time a gallant young officer of the army, on his return from the camp, where he had signalized himself by his bravery, was escorted to his home by a grateful populace, that surrounded the house and filled the air with their applausive huzzas, while at the same time his half-brother, the son of the mother who clasped him to her bosom, stigmatized as a Tory, convicted of trade with the enemy, and threatened with the wooden horse, lay concealed amid the hay of the barn, where he was fed by stealth for many days. This anecdote is but an example of many that might be told of a similar character.

"It would be of no service now to draw out of oblivion the names of individuals who at various times during the eight years of darkness and conflict were suspected of being inimical to the liberties of their country. Many of these changed their sentiments and came over to the side of independence, and all at last acquiesced in their own happiness and good fortune, growing out of the emancipation of their country from a foreign scepter. It is an easier as well as more pleasing task to mention names that, on account of voluntary activity, sacrifice of personal interest, and deeds of valorous enterprise, exerted for the rights of man, lie prominent upon the surface, illuminating the whole period by their brightness.

"Those who came earliest forth in the cause demand our especial admiration, since it is emphatically true that they set their lives at stake. In a civil capacity the early names of note and influence were those of DESHON, LAW, HILLHOUSE, MUMFORD, and SHAW.

"Capt. John DESHON served as an agent in erecting the fortifications at New London, and as commissary in various enlistments of troops. This was under the authority of the Governor. In July, 1777, Congress appointed him one of the naval board of the Eastern Department. 1 [1. "Council records in Hinman's 'War of the Revolution,' p. 466. John DESHON was of French Huguenot extraction. His father, Daniel DESHON, was a youth in the family of Capt. René GRIGNON at the time of the decease of the latter, at Norwich, in 1715, and is mentioned in his will. After the death of his patron he settled in New London, where he married Ruth CHRISTOPHERS, and had several sons and one daughter, who married Joseph CHEW. He died in 1781, at the age of eighty-four, which carries his birth back to 1697. Three of his sons were conspicuous in the Revolutionary war. Capt. Daniel DESHON was appointed in 1777 to the command of the armed brig 'Old Defense,' owned by the State, which was unfortunately taken by the British in January, 1778. John, mentioned in the text, was the second son, and born Dec. 25, 1727. Richard, another son, served in the army. The name is supposed to have been originally DESCHAMPS.]

"Richard LAW 2 [2. "Son of Governor Jonathan LAW, and born in Milford, March 17, 1732-3. He was, after the Revolution, judge of the district of Connecticut, and chief justice of the Superior Court. The late Capt. Richard LAW and Hon. Lyman LAW, M. C., were his sons.] and William HILLHOUSE were members of the Governor's Council, and each carried a whole heart into the Revolution. HILLHOUSE was also major of the second regiment of horse raised in the State. 3 [3. 'Maj. HILLHOUSE was subsequently for many years chief judge of the County Court. Tradition confirms the truth of the character engraved upon his monument: "A judge and statesman; hones, just, and wise.'] LAW had been nominated as a member of Congress, but in June, 1776, just at the critical period of appointment, he was confined in a hospital with the smallpox. His name was thus deprived of the honor of being affixed to the Declaration of Independence. In October, 1776, he was elected to Congress, and excused from further service in the Council.

"Thomas MUMFORD, of Groton, belonged to that company of gentlemen, eleven in number, who in April, 1775, formed the project of taking Ticonderoga. This undertaking, so eminently successful, was wholly concerted in Connecticut, without any authority from Congress. The company obtained the money requisite (£810) from the colonial treasury, but gave their individual notes and receipts for it. The Assembly, in May, 1777, canceled the notes and charged the amount to the general government. 4 [4. "State Records, Hinman, p. 31.] In 1778, MUMFORD was one of a committee appointed to receive and sign emissions of bills, and also an agent of the secret committee of Congress. 5 [5. "Ibid., p. 497.]

"Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., was an enterprising merchant; we may add that he performed important service to the country during the Revolution, particularly in naval affairs. His judgment in that department was esteemed paramount to all others in the colony. He also acted as a general agent or friend of the country in various concerns, military and fiscal, as well as naval. His mercantile letters, though brief, and devoted to matters of business, contain allusions to passing events that are valuable as cotemporaneous authority. They have been already quoted, and further extracts will occasionally be made.

"To P. VANDEVOORT, Oct. 22, 1773:

"'In regard to the tea that is expected from England, I pray heartily that the colonies may not suffer any to be landed. The people with us are determined not to purchase any that comes in that way.' "We have here a hint that apprises us of the spirit of the inhabitants of New London in regard to the duty on tea. Aged people have related that some salesmen who had no scruples on the subject, having received small consignments of custom-house tea, as to become purchasers, were either persuaded or compelled to make a bonfire of it upon the Parade; and that not only the tea-chests from the shops were emptied, but some enthusiastic housekeepers added to the blaze by throwing in their private stores. It is further related that parties were made and weddings celebrated at which all ribbons, artificial flowers, and other fabrics of British manufacture were discarded, and Labrador tea 6 introduced. [6. "This was probably the Ceonothus Americanus, a plant sometimes used during the Revolution as a substitute for tea, and usually called Jersey tea.]

"SHAW to VANDERVOORT, April 1, 1775:

"'Matters seem to draw near where the longest sword must decide the controversy. Our Gen. Assembly sets to-morrow, and I pray God Almighty to direct them to adopt such measurers as will be for the interest of America.' "To Messrs. WHARTON, Philadelphia, May 5th:

"'I wrote to you by Col. DYER and Mr. DEAN, our colony delegates to congress, desiring you to let them have what money they should have occasion for to the amount of 4 or 500 pounds. I really do not know what plan to follow or what to do with my vessels.' "To the selectmen of Boston, May 8th:

"'I have received from Peter CURTENIUS, treas'r of the com'ee in New York, 100 bbls. of flour for the poor in Boston. He writes me he shall forward £350 n cash for the same use.' "To Capt. HANDY, May 31st:

"'I never met with so much difficulty to get hard money since I was in trade as within these two months past. I have large quantities of West India goods in store in Boston, in New York, and in Phil'a, but cannot raise a shilling.' "If such difficulties as are here described were experienced by men of large resources, it may easily be imagined that all the smaller mercantile concerns must have been harassed and impoverished to the last extremity. The stagnation of business was general. Neither cash nor merchantable bills could be obtained. The most lamentable destitution prevailed; everything was wanted, yet no one had the means to buy.

"To Messrs. Thomas and Isaac WHARTON, Sept. 18, 1775:

"'I shall set out to-morrow for the camp at Roxbury, and it is more than probable that I may come to Philadelphia on my return, and hope I shall be able to procure Adams' Letters, which I have never seen.' "To an agent in Dominica, Jan. 16, 1776:

"'All our trade is now at an end, and God knows whether we shall ever be in a situation to carry it on again. No business now but preparations for war, ravaging villages, burning towns,' etc.

"At a very early period of the contest Mr. SHAW took the precaution to secure supplies of powder form the French islands. In December, 1774, he had represented to the government of the colony the great destitution of New London, and other exposed places in this respect, and urged them to send without delay to the West Indies for a considerable stock, offering a fast sailing-vessel of his own to be used for this end. The Assembly acted on this advice, sending him an order to obtain six hundred half-barrels with all possible speed. In July, 1775, to the commander of a sloop fitted out with flour and pipe-staves for Hispaniola he gave the brief direction: 'Purchase gunpowder and return soon.' Again, in January, 1776, he writes to William CONSTANT, his agent in Guadaloupe, requesting him to purchase powder 'to the amount of all the interest you have of mine in your hands;' and adds, 'make all the dispatch you can; we shall want it very soon.' We learn from his accounts that in 1775 he furnished the regiment of Col. PARSONS with powder, ball, and flints, and that in June, 1776, at the order of the Governor, he forwarded an opportune supply of powder to Gen. Washington. July 22d he wrote himself to the commander0in-chief, stating that he had recently forwarded to him three cases of arms and a quantity of flints, adding, 'and now, by the bearer, John KENNEY, I have sent two cases of arms, and one chest and bar of Continental arms and cutlasses, as per invoice.' July 31st he advises Robert MORRIS, chairman of the secret committee of Congress, that he has received another supply of powder: '13,400 cwt. Arrived from Port-au-Prince and safe landed.' "The first naval expedition under the authority of Congress was fitted out at New London in January, 1776. The command was given to Commodore Hopkins, sometimes styled 'admiral.' The fleet consisted of four vessels, the 'Alfred,' 'Columbus,' 'Andrea Doria,' and 'Cabot,' varying in armament from fourteen to thirty-six guns. 1 [1. "Cooper's Naval History.] The preparations were made with great expedition and secrecy, no notice being given respecting it in any of the newspapers. It was destined to cruise at the South and annoy the British fleet n that quarter. Dudley SALTONSTALL, previously in command of the fort, or battery, on the Parade, was appointed senior captain; Elisha HINMAN, a lieutenant; Peters RICHARDS and Charles BULKLEY, enterprising young seamen of the place, were among the midshipman; eighty of the crew were from the town and neighborhood. The fleet sailed about the 1st of February to its rendezvous in Delaware Bay, less than a month from the time in which the first preparations were commenced. The only results of this expedition, from which apparently some great but indefinite advantage was expected, were the plunder of the British post of New Providence and a fruitless combat with the British ship 'Glasgow' on their homeward voyage, near the eastern end of Long Island.

"The commodore re-entered New London Harbor on the 8th of April; 2; [2. "New London Gazette.] he had taken seventy prisoners, eighty-eight pieces of cannon, and a large quantity of military and naval stores. Many of the heavy pieces of ordnance had arrived previously in a sloop commanded by Capt. HINMAN.

"Just at the period of the return of this fleet the American army was on its way from Boston to New York. 3 [3. "Sparks' Life of Washington.] Gen. WASHINGTON met Commodore HOPKINS at New London, April 9th. The brigade under Gen. GREENE was then here, ready to embark in transports. WASHINGTON slept that night at the house of Nathaniel SHAW.

"Commodore HOPKINS, immediately after his return, formed a plan for the capture of the "rose' man-of-war, commanded by Sir James WALLACE, then cruising upon the coast. Gen. WASHINGTON consented to furnish two hundred men to assist the enterprise, and the Governor and Council ordered the "Defence' and the 'Spy' to join the squadron for the cruise. 4 [4. HINMAN, p. 356.] Thus reinforced, the commodore sailed to the eastward; but his plans were not accomplished. Neither the details of the project nor the cause of its failure are now understood. The disappointed fleet went into port at Providence. 'A large number of seamen belonging to the fleet were left behind in New London, sick, and in the charge of Mr. SHAW. To him also was confided the care of the stores that had been disembarked. 'Mr. SHAW to Governor TRUMBULL, April 25th:

"'Inclosed is an invoice of the weight and size of thirty-four cannon received from Admiral HOPKINS, then of which are landed at Groton, viz.: three twenty-four-pounders, two eighteen, and five twelve. The remainder are at New London. He has landed a great quantity of cannon-ball. The mortars and shells Gen. WASHINGTON desired might be sent to New York, and the admiral has sent them. The remainder of the cannon are part sent to Newport, and part are on board the fleet, which he wants to carry to Newport. The nine-pounders are but ordinary guns, the others are all very good.' "To Francis LEWIS, Esq., at Philadelphia, June 19th:

"'I have received a letter from Commodore HOPKINS, wherein he says that I was appointed by Congress as their agent for this port. I should be glad to have directions how to proceed. I am in advance at least a thousand pounds for supplied to the fleet and hospital in this town; one hundred and twenty men were landed sick and wounded, twenty of which are since dead; the remainder have all since joined the fleet at Providence.' "To Hon. John HANCOCK, President of Congress, July 31st:

"The cannon and stores delivered me by Commodore HOPKINS amount to £4765 4s. 10d. L. M.

"'Last Sunday a ship sent in as a prize by Capt. BIDDLE, in the "Andrew Doria," ran on the rocks near Fisher's Island, being chased by a British ship of-war, and immediately a number of armed men from Stonington went on board, and, as they say, prevented the man-of-war from destroying her. The next day Capt. HINMAN, in the "Cabot," went to their assistance, and has saved and brought into port ninety hogsheads of rum and seven of sugar; remainder of the cargo is lost. The "Cabot" has been lying here ever since Commodore HOPKINS set out for Philadelphia, with a flue brave crew, waiting for orders.' "July 10, 1776, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., was appointed by the Governor and Council of Safety 'agent of the colony for naval supplies and taking care of sick seamen.' From this period during the remainder of the struggle, as an accredited agent of Congress and the colony, he furnished stores, negotiated the exchange of prisoners, provided for sick seamen, and exercised a general care of the public service in his native town. He was also engaged on his own account, as were also other prominent citizens of the place, in sending out private armed vessels to cruise against the enemy. These for a time met with a success which stimulated the owners to larger adventures, but in the end three-fourths, and perhaps a larger proportion, of all the private cruisers owned in New London were captured and lost.

"At the May session of the Legislature in 1776 the Governor was placed at the head of the naval and custom-house business of the colony, with power to appoint subordinate naval officers for the ports of New Haven, New London, Middletown, and Norwalk. Duncan STEWART, the English collector, was still in New London, where he dwelt without other restraint than being forbidden to leave town except by permission from the Governor. That permission appears to have been granted whenever solicited. In 1776 he spent three months in New York upon parole, and in June, 1777, obtained leave to remove thither with his family and effects, preparatory to taking passage for England, to which country the Governor granted him a passport. Permission was also given him at first to take with him the goods of Dr. MOFFATT, last his majesty's controller of customs; but this was countermanded, representations having been made to the Governor that Dr. MOFFATT had withdrawn from America in a hostile spirit, and had since been in arms against her. His goods, which consisted only of some household stuff of trifling value, were therefore confiscated.

"The populace took umbrage at the courtesies extended to the English collector. At one time, when some English goods were brought from New York for the use of his family, the mob at first would not permit them to be landed, and afterwards seized and made a bonfire of them. The ringleaders in this outrage were arrested and lodged in jail; the jail-doors were broken down and they were released; nor were the authorities in sufficient force to attempt a recommitment. It was indeed a stirring season, and the restraints of law and order were weak as flax. It is, however, gratifying to know that Mr. STEWART was allowed to leave the place with his family without any demonstration of personal disrespect. He departed in July, 1777.

"[Note on the SHAW Family. The elder Nathaniel SHAW was not a native of New London, but born in Fairfield, Conn., in 1703, to which place, it is said, his father had removed from Boston. He came to New London before 1730, and was for many years a sea-captain in the Irish trade, which was then pursued to advantage. He had a brother, who sailed with him in his early voyages, but died on a return passage from Ireland in 1732. Capt. SHAW married in 1730, Temperance HARRIS, a granddaughter of the first Gabriel HARRIS of New London, and had a family of six sons and two daughters. Three of the sons perished at sea at different periods, aged twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two,--a degree of calamity beyond the common share of disaster, even in this community, where so many families have been bereaved by the sea. The other sons lived to middle age. Sarah, the oldest child, married David ALLEN, and died at the age of twenty-five. Mary, the youngest, has already been mentioned as the wife of the Rev. Ephraim WOODBRIDGE; though dying at the age of twenty-four, she was the only one of Capt. SHAW's family who left descendants. The parents lived to old age. Capt. SHAW died in 1778, his relict in 1796.

"Nathaniel SHAW (2d) was the oldest son, and born Dec. 5, 1735. He lived through the dark days of the Revolution, always active and enterprising, but was suddenly cut off by the accidental discharge of his own fowling-piece, before the nation had received the seal of peace, April 15, 1782. His wife preceded him to the grave; she died Dec. 11, 1781, of a malignant fever taken from some released prisoners, to whose necessities she ministered.]

"Early in the year 1775 an independent military company was formed in New London, under Capt. William COIT. It was well trained and equipped, and held itself ready for any emergency. Immediately after the news of the skirmish at Lexington was received this gallant band started for the scene of conflict. The encamped the first night on Norwich Green, the second on Sterling Hill, and the third in Providence. Another militia company went from those parts of the town which are now Waterford and Montville, under Maj. Jonathan LATIMER; Capt. Abel SPICER with another from Groton. Fifty towns in Connecticut sent troops to Boston on this occasion. In May the General Assembly ordered remuneration to be made from the colonial treasury for the expenses incurred in the Lexington alarm, and the quota of New London was £251 18s. 6d. This amount is the fifth highest on the list. Windham stands first; Woodstock, from whence Capt. Samuel MCLELLAN turned out with forty-five mounted men, is next; then Lebanon, Suffield, New London. 1 [1. "State Records (HINMAN), p. 23.]

"Under the old organization the militia of New London belonged to the Third Connecticut Regiment, and in 1774 the field-officers of this regiment were Gurdon SALTONSTALL, of New London, colonel; Jabez HUNTINGTON, of Norwich, lieutenant-colonel; and Samuel H. PARSONS, major. Maj. PARSONS was of Lyme, but at that time residing in New London in the practice of the law, being king's attorney for New London County. In April, 1775, six new regiments were formed, and the promotions after this period were so rapid that it is difficult to keep pace with the grade of the officers. Every new requisition for volunteers was followed by changes among the commissioned officers, generally by an advance in rank.

"In June one of the six newly-raised regiments, under the command of Col. PARSONS, was reviewed in New London. This is believed to have been the first regimental training in this State east of Connecticut River. Two companies of this regiment, the fourth and fifty, were raised in New London, and of these were William COIT and James CHAPMAN, names which by their townsmen were considered synonymous with the patriotism and hardy gallantry, were captains. 2 [2. "Ibid., p. 169]

"These two companies marched immediately to Boston, and took part in the battle of Bunker Hill. 3 [3. The following minutes of the day before the battle were copied from the originals preserved in the sergeant's family by the late Thomas Shaw PERKINS. They are inserted here as memorials of one of the New London companies that fought at Bunker's Hill.:

"'Sergeant FARGO's report to the sergeant major of Capt. COIT's company-4th company, in 6th regiment, under Col. PARSONS of the Connecticut line.

"'June 16, 1775. Morning Report. "'Main guard, 18. Barrack Guard, 7, Sick 9. Servants, 4. Present, 68. Total, 106. Signed, Moses FARGO. Orderly Sergeant. "'General Orders, June 16, 1775. "'Parole, Lebanon; countersign, Coventry. "'Field officer of the day, Col. NIXON. "'Field officer of the picquet, Major BROOKS. "'Field officer of the main guard, Lieut.-Col. HUTCHINSON. "'Adjutant to-morrow, HOLDEN. "'Draft Capt. COIT's company-one subaltern, nine privates for the picquet guard; one sergeant and seven privates for the advance guard to-night. Sergeant Edward HALLAM is detailed to this service.' Of Capt. COIT's company, Jedediah HIDE was first lieutenant; James Day, second Lieutenant; William ADAMS, ensign. Of Capt. CHAPMAN's company, the corresponding officers were Christopher DARROW, John RAYMOND, and George LATIMER. Capt. COIT, soon after battle, entered into the navy, and was appointed by Congress to the command of the schooner 'Harrison,' fitted out in Boston Bay to cruise against the enemy. 1 [1. "Frothingham's Siege of Boston, p. 260. Capt. COIT claimed to be 'the first man in the States who turned his majesty's bunting upside down.' This was a current belief at the time, and has been preserved by tradition, but its correctness at this distance of time cannot be determined. The 'Harrison' was certainly one of the first vessels commissioned by Congress, and may have been the first to take a prize.]

"In July two more regiments were raised in Connecticut, under Col. Charles WEBB and Col. Jedediah HUNTINGTON. Of WEBB's regiment, Jonathan LATIMER, Jr., was major and captain of the third company, having for his first lieutenant Nathan HALE, 2 [2. "State Records (HINMAN), p. 186.] who at the time of receiving his commission sustained the office of preceptor of the Union Grammar-school in New London.

"It has been frequently asserted that when the news of the battle at Lexington arrived in town, Nathan HALE immediately dismissed his scholars, harangued the citizens, and, marching for Boston with the company of Capt. COIT, took part in the battle of Bunker Hill. This statement is not entirely accurate; his proceedings were marked with more calmness and maturity of judgment. He had taken an active part in all the patriotic measurers of the inhabitants, but not till he had been tendered a commission in the army, which was subsequent to the battle of Bunker Hill, did he decide to relinquish his office of preceptor before the expiration of the time for which he was engaged. His letter to the proprietors of the school announcing his purpose was dated Friday, July 17, 1775. In this communication he observes that the year for which he had engaged would expire in a fortnight, but as he had received information that a place was allotted to him in the army, he asked as a favor to be excused immediately. Before the close of July the regiments of WEBB and HUNTINGTON were ordered to Boston, where they were placed under the commander-in-chief. Lieut. HALE shortly afterwards received a captain's commission.

"Those who knew Capt. HALE in New London have described him as a man of many agreeable qualities, frank and independent in his bearing, social, animated, ardent, a lover of the society of ladies, and a favorite among them. Many a fair cheek was wet with bitter tears and gentle voices uttered deep execrations on his barbarous foes when tidings of his untimely fate were received.

"As a teacher, Capt. HALE is said to have been a firm disciplinarian, but happy in his mode of conveying instruction and highly respected by his pupils. The parting scene made a strong impression on their minds. He addressed them in a style almost parental; gave them earnest counsel, prayed with them, and shaking each by the hand, bade them individually farewell.

"The summer of 1776 was noted for the large number of arrests of persons charged with Toryism. Many of these were brought to New London, and from thence sent into the interior of the State, to keep them from intercourse with the enemy. In August three vessels arrived in one week with persons arrested on Long Island and in New York City. After a short confinement in the jail they were forwarded to Norwich and Windham for safe-keeping. Green's newspaper sometimes announced them as 'gangs of miscreants,' and again as 'gentlemen Tories.' In the interior towns they were allowed to go at large within certain limits, and most of them after a few months were permitted to return to their homes.

"On the 25th of July three British ships-of-war came athwart New London Harbor and anchored. These were the "Rose,' commanded by Capt. WALLACE, the 'Swan,' and the 'Kingfisher.' This was a virtual blockade, and created much alarm. The town had no defense except the spirit of her inhabitants. The sole strength of the fort was its garrison, which consisted mostly of captains and mates of vessels that lay unemployed at the wharves. No other commander on this coast acquired a renown so odious as Capt. WALLACE. He was the terror of the small ports and small vessels, capturing and plundering without discrimination, and threatening various points with attack. On the 30th of August he verified his threats by a cannonade of the thriving village of Stonington, Long Point. On this exposed peninsula, about a half a mile in length, formerly a moiety of the CHESEBROUGH farm, a hardy company of mariners and artisans had clustered together and acquired a creditable share of the trade of the Sound. The tender of the 'Rose,' whose business was to destroy everything in the shape of keel or sail that came in its way, pursued one of its victims to the wharf of the village. The citizens eagerly collected for its defense. Capt. Benjamin PENDLETON and other brave and true men were there, and the tender was soon driven from its prey. But the 'Rose' came up, and without summons or communication of any kind, opened her broadside upon the village. She continued firing at intervals for several houses, until the pursued vessel was cut out and conveyed away. Only round-shot were used, and therefore no houses took fire, though several were much shattered by the balls. One man was wounded but none killed. 1 [1, "At the October session of the Legislature, 1775, the sum of £12 4s. 4d. was allowed to Jonathan WEAVER, Jr., a music-man in the company of Capt. Oliver SMITH, who was dangerously wounded at Stonington, Long Point.-HINMAN, p. 192. "It is singular that when Stonington was again cannonaded by the British, Aug. 9, 1814, the result should have been so nearly the same,--buildings damages, one man severely wounded, no one killed.]

"On the 5th and 6th of August, 1775, a fleet of nine ships and several smaller vessels gathered around New London Harbor, and appeared as if about to enter. Expresses were set forth to alarm the country, but it was soon ascertained that the object of the fleet was to secure the stock that was owned upon the fertile islands of the Sound. From Fisher's Island alone they took 1100 sheep, beside cattle and other provisions, for which they made a reasonable compensation to Mr. BROWN, the lessee of the island; but from Gardiner's and Plum Islands they took what they wanted without payment.

"This incident probably operated as a spur upon the higher powers of the colony in regard to a subject much discussed n their councils, viz., the fortification of New London.

"Among the heads of inquiry 2 [2. "Heads of Inquiry, printed by order of the Governor and Company. T. GREEN, 1775.] proposed by His Majesty's Secretary of State to the colony of Connecticut in 1773 was this:

"'What forts and places of defense are there within your government and in what condition?' "To which Governor TRUMBULL replied, October, 1774:

"'A small battery at New London, consisting of nine guns, built and supported at the colony's expense.' "This was then the only fortification in Connecticut when the war commenced; but, the defense of the coast was a subject of which the attention of the Legislature was soon called.

"April, 1775, a committee was appointed to examine the points of defense, and report on the best means of securing the country from invasion. Of this committee, Messrs. G. SALTONSTALL, D. DESHON, and T. MUMFORD reported in regard to New London that the battery was in a ruinous condition, and that the only effective cannon in the place consisted of six new pieces (four eighteens and two twelves). They proposed that three positions-Mamacock, Winthrop's Neck, and Groton Heights-should be fortified, and that fourteen new cannon (twenty-fours) should be procured. 3 [3. "Council Records (HINMAN, App.), p. 545.] This judicious advice was not adopted, probably on account of a void in the treasury. All that was obtained at this time was an order to repair and complete the old fort. This was done during the summer, under the direction of Col. SALTONSTALL, who in effect rebuilt the works and mounted upon them all the cannon in the town. It will be recollected that this fortification stood near the water's edge, where is now the ferry wharf. Here was the battlement, the platform, the cannon, and the flag-staff; the magazine stood a little to the west. The garrison, from twelve to twenty men, had their meals at POTTER's, near Bradley Street. Nathaniel SALTONSTALL, captain; Stephen HEMPSTEAD, lieutenant.

"On the Groton side of the river, with a spirit of enthusiasm that did not wait for legislative aid, the inhabitants voluntarily threw up intrenchments, excavated ditches, and erected breastworks at sundry exposed places, which, though they had no ordnance except a few pieces at the principal battery on the heights, obtained from the supply brought in by Commodore HOPKINS, they resolved to defend to the last extremity.

"On the river below Norwich (At Waterman's Point) a battery was erected under the superintendence of Benjamin HUNTINGTON and Ephraim BILL, and furnished with four six-pounders. Such were the preparations made to receive the enemy in 1775. 4 [4. "Council Records in HINMAN, pp. 328, 331.]

"Two enlisted companies were stationed at New London during the summer under Maj. LATIMER and Capt. Edward SHIPMAN, of Saybrook. 5 [5. "Ibid., p. 328.] These were ordered to Boston the last of September, on the requisition of Gen. WASHINGTON. Their place was supplied by a new enlistment of seventy men, of whom Col. SALTONSTALL took the command. 6 {6. "At the same time thirty were ordered for New Haven, forty for Stonington, and fifteen for Lyme. The pay was the same as to Continental soldiers, which in 1775 was £2 per month for a private, and £6 for a captain; five shillings and threepence per week for billeting. Ibid., P. 191.]

"The Governor and Council of Safety, acceding to the oft-repeating request of the inhabitants that something further might be done for them in the way of fortification, sent Col. Jedediah L. DURKIN to New London in November, to view the premises and report what fortification was necessary. After a general survey and consultation with the principal men on both sides of the river, he confirmed the judgment heretofore given by the committee, and recommended the immediate fortification of the three points designated by them.

"The neck of land bounding New London Harbor on the south, now called Fort Neck, but then generally known by its Indian name of Mamakuk (or Mamacock), presented near the point a broad, irregular platform of rocks, rising twenty feet above the water, and connected with the mainland on the east by meadows and marshes. This rocky point seems to have been projected into its position purposely to protect the harbor. A more advantageous site for a fortification is scarcely to be desired. Could we allow the benevolence of nature would concur in any of the plans of war, we might suppose that this use of it had entered into her design; for it is not only well adapted to this end, but seems nearly useless for any other purpose. On this point Col. ELDERKIN proposed the erection of a rampart fronting east eighty feet; south, eight feet; north, eighty feet; but not at right angles; with five embrasures in each bank, to be defended by five cannon, eighteen or twenty-four-pounders.

"The point selected on the Groton side was nearly opposite the center of the harbor. The ascent, within fifty rods of the water's edge, was one hundred and twenty feet. The summit was tolerably level. Here it was supposed that a breastwork of turf and gravel, with some ten pieces of cannon, would be all that was necessary.

"Winthrop's Neck lies northeast of the town, and projects more than half-way across the harbor; the southern extremity, facing the mouth of the river, presents a level, bold bluff twenty feet above the water. Here also it was recommended that a breastwork should be raised and planted with ten cannon. These various positions would expose an invading fleet to be raked at so many angles that it was thought the inhabitants might thus be rendered secure from all annoyance by sea.

"The report of Col. ELDERKIN was made to the Governor and Council November 15th, 1 [1. ELDERKIN's report in Hinman's App., p. 551. The land at Mamacock was purchased of Nathaniel SHAW; an acre and a quarter for the works at Groton of Jonathan CHESTER and Elisha PRIOR. Groton fort was commenced Dec. 5, 1775.] and on the 22d orders were issued for the works to be commenced, under the direction of a committee of six persons,--Col. SALTONSTALL, Ebenezer LEDYARD, John DESHON, Nathaniel SHAW, Jr., Peter AVERY, and Josiah WATROUS (or WATERS). 2 [2. "Hinman, p. 337.] Yet notwithstanding this early and earnest action of the government, more than a year elapsed before either of the posts could take rank as a fortification and merit a name. Even in December, 1776, when the two principal works were honored with the names of the Governor and Deputy Governor, TRUMBULL and GRISWOLD, they were imperfect and unfinished.

"Nor is this a matter of surprise when it is considered that the labor was performed by relays of fresh recruits, changed every few weeks, who wrought under the direction of the civil authority and field-officers. These enlistments consisted in part of mere boys, with the spirit, indeed, but not the experience of men, and in part of aged persons, who had perhaps the judgment, but not the physical energy of maturity.

"It is interesting to note the difficulties which in those Revolutionary times stood in the way of public works. In the case of these small fortifications the Legislature must first discuss the matter and pass the resolves, the Governor and Council of Safety must take it up, Col. SALTONSTALL must be consulted, Mr. SHAW must be summoned to Hartford to give advice, Col. MOTT must be sent to New London to survey, Col. DYER and Mr. WALES must examine and report. The works begin, stop, go on. The Government and Council are at the trouble of directing just the number of sledges, hammers, shovels, spades, crow-bars, pickaxes, chains, etc., that are to be provided for the work. Timber, teams, tools, and other necessary materials are to be procured by Col. SALTONSTALL for Winthrop's Neck; by Ebenezer LEDYARD for Groton; and Nathaniel SHAW for Mamacock. The timber was in the forests, and must be selected growing.

"The Assembly must now apply to Congress for cannon to furnish their works, asking for some of the brass pieces taken at St. John's. Again they apply to Admiral HOPKINS for some of the New Providence ordnance. 3 [3. "Council Records, p. 355, Hinman, where will be found authority for most of the particulars in this sketch.] They cannot obtain 6the necessary complement, and it is decided that the heavy cannon must be cast in SMITH's furnace at Salisbury. In order to accomplish this the furnace must be enlarged, new workmen obtained, higher wages given, woodland must be brought to obtain fuel for the furnace, and all these details must be performed by the executive officers of the State,--Col. ELDERKIN and others must make journeys to and forth from Salisbury to Hartford to manage the business.

"In the summer of 1777 the works were regarded as finished, though probably then very far from what military men at the present day would call complete.

"The engineer of Fort Trumbull was Col. Josiah WATERS; of Fort Griswold, Col. Samuel MOTT. 4 [4. "Their appointment as engineers was in February, 1777, but Col. WATERS had been previously on duty. His services commenced Nov. 23, 1775, and he was still at his post in April, 1777, as was also his assistant Josiah WATERS, Jr.-Hinman, p. 430.] The first commanders of these forts were appointed in February, 1776, and were captains of companies stationed at each place,--John ELY, of Lyme, at Mamacock, and Edward MOTT at Groton, 5 [5. "Hinman, pp. 346, 364.] -But in July, before the forts were half completed, they were both promoted to the rank of Major. Their successors were Martin KIRTLAND, of Saybrook, for Mamacock, and Oliver COIT for Groton. Two artillery companies, one for each fortress, were afterwards raised, and of these Nathaniel SALTONSTALL and William LEDYARD were the first captains. These must be regarded as the first actual commanders of Forts Trumbull and Griswold. They were appointed July 3, 1776. 6 [6. "Ibid, pp. 365, 366.] At the same date Adam SHAPLEY was ordered to take command of the old fort at New London, in the place of Dudley SALTONSTALL, resigned.

"Aug. 2, 1777, orders were issued by the Governor and Council to remove the platform from the old fort at Fort Trumbull. The barrack also was soon transferred to the lower part of the town, and being subsequently used for a brewery, gave the name of Brewery (now Brewer) to the street in which it was placed. The old battery was left to decay, and its site afterwards appropriated to the market and the ferry wharf.

"A redoubt on Winthrop's Neck was erected by Col. SALTONSTALL. The importance of the site was overrated, and in the course of a year or two the post was abandoned.

"For the garrisoning of the various posts at New London and Groton a regiment of foot was employed during a part of the year 1776, of which Col Erastus WOLCOTT had the command. He was the superior military commander of the district, which included Stonington for that year. Dr. John ELY, of Lyme, performed a tour of duty here as captain and major, and also as physician and surgeon. In July he was sent to visit the Northern Army and employ his skill in arresting the smallpox, which was then raging in the camp with great virulence.

"In the various battalions raised for Continental service, New London was expected to furnish her full quota, though, as we look back upon her exposed situation, we might deem that the services of her sons were of pressing necessity at home. Mr. SHAW, in writing to Governor TRUMBULL, Aug. 7, 1776, when new enlistments were demanded, observes,--

"'This town has been drained of men already, so that there is scarcely a sufficiency of hands left to get in the harvest.' "In addition to the regular militia then in service, in June a large volunteer company was recruited in the town, under Capt. Richard DESHON, and another in November, under Capt. Jonathan CAULKINS. Groton was in a similar condition: nearly all its able-bodied men were in the army. In October, 1775, she had memorialized the Assembly, praying that her soldiers might be allowed to return and defend their own homes, for the British fleet was hovering near them, and the coast had been stripped of its men to recruit the army and navy. This was the sad truth, which might have been repeated every year of the war.

"How shall be describe the shifting scenes of plunder, stratagem, and atrocity exhibited on the bosom of Long Island Sound during the years 1776 and 1777? What fury possessed the minds of men that the inhabitants of the two shores, old neighbors and friendly associates, should thus become assassins and wolves, prowling for each other's destruction!

"Long Island having passed in a great measure into the occupation of the British, those inhabitants who had embraced the cause of liberty were obliged to seek safety by flight. The troops stationed at New London, with all the armament that the Governor could command, were ordered to cross the Sound and assist in removing them and their effects to the Connecticut coast. Many of these unfortunate patriots left all behind them, and homeless and destitute, were thrown upon the mercy of the charitable. Long Island was abandoned by the Genius of Liberty, and the British rule was spread over it far and wide. From that moment the two coasts were hostile, and an inveterate system of smuggling, marauding, plundering, and kidnapping took place on both sides, in comparison with which a common state of honorable warfare might be taken for peace and good neighborhood. Sheep, cattle, effects, and people were seized and carried off by either party. On the Connecticut side this was done under the covert of secrecy. Goods stolen from the island were carefully secreted, and if discovered by honest persons were advertised, and the owners desired to come and take possession. This condition of affairs was fraught with mischief, misrule, and villany. There was no end to the strays and the thieves. Akin to this marauding system was the contraband trade, an illicit dealing with the enemy, and furnishing them with supplies for the sake of their gold and their goods. This was not often carried on by the Tories, the professed friends of the British, for they were too narrowly watched to allow of the risk, but by men who were patriots in pretension, but yet lovers of money rather than lovers of their country. This trade was entered into by many people who were otherwise considered fair and honorable in all their dealings, but if discovered by their countrymen they were marked fro opprobrium and insult. A more odious occupation could not be mentioned, nor could anything be said of a man better calculated to hold him up to public indignation than to call him a Long Island trader. The republican authorities were rigorous in their watch upon this trade. 1 [1. "SHAW to Governor TRUMBULL, February, 1777: 'I suppose Gen. PARSONS has given you a history of the discovery we made of the correspondence carried on from our Neck on board the man-of-war,'-SHAW's Letter-Book (MS.)] Many houses were searched and men imprisoned, yet the contraband trade flourished. Goods that were bought for country produce might be sold cheap, and the temptation to buy was great. Fine Holland shirts, ready made, could be procured for half a Spanish dollar. Sloops and boats laden with provisions for the New York market were occasionally intercepted by the State cruisers, and the sad history of the day was often enlivened by the ludicrous anecdotes that would gain currency respecting these night-traders. Thus a story was told of two men from the Great Neck shore of New London who put off one night in a whale-boat with a large fat ox on board. The animal got loose from its fastenings and became so unmanageable that the men, in danger of sinking, were glad to make towards a country sloop near by and meekly surrender their ox to confiscation and themselves to imprisonment.

"On the Long Island side the harbors were infested with bands of the lowest and vilest refugees, from whence many a plundering descent was made on the Connecticut coast and robbery and extortion of every kind committed. The small sloops and boats in which these piratical excursions were made had the familiar name of 'shaving mills.' They were the terror of the coast, often committing atrocious robberies.

"The present generation, living in peace and quiet, and looking round upon the goodly heritage that has fallen to their lot, think but little of those years of suffering through which these blessings were attained. They have no adequate conception of the scenes of alarm, panic, flight, destitution, poverty, bereavement, loneliness, and even famine through which their forefathers passed in the fierce struggle of liberty. During the whole war the inhabitants of New London could never lie down with any feeling of security that they might not be roused from their beds by the alarm-bell and the signal-fire, proclaiming the invader at hand. There was, indeed, in the early part of the war no spoil to allure the enemy; but the harbor, capacious, accessible, and secure, would furnish a fine winter refuge for their ships, and it would be a vast benefit to their cause to seal up the State and have the whole Sound to themselves.

"During the winter of 1776-77 the frigates 'Amazon' and 'Niger' were stationed most of the time near the west end of Fisher's Island, so as effectually to blockade the mouth of the river. Several British vessels also wintered in Gardiner's Bay, and the Sound was the common haunt of the enemy. On the 3d of December, 1776, eleven ships passed Montauk Point and anchored within sight of the town. The next morning they were joined by a fleet of transports and warlike vessels approaching eastward from New York, which gradually increased to one hundred in number. This fleet, which was under the command of Sir Peter PARKER, while manœuvring in the Sound made a truly formidable appearance. They remained nearly three weeks, recruiting where they could on the shores and islands, often secretly supplied by faithless men fro the coast, and stretching their wings from Gardiner's Bay to Fairfield. New London was in daily apprehension of a bombardment. The women and children and all valuable goods were removed. On Friday, December 20th, the admiral having collected together his transports and made his preparations, began to weigh anchor. At that moment the public consternation was greater, perhaps, than has ever been experienced before or since on this coast. When this magnificent fleet came abreast the mouth of the river it seemed sufficient to sweep the foundation of the town from its moorings. Astonishment and dismay filled the minds of the inhabitants as from hilltops and housetops they gazed on the distant spectacle. After a short period of intense anxiety, a sudden relief was experienced as the leading ships passed off to the south and east of Fisher's Island, and it became apparent that Newport was to be the point of attack. The Governor had ordered out all the militia east of the river and three regiments from the west side, but the orders were countermanded when the destination of the fleet was ascertained. 2 [2 "Col. John DOUGLASS was encamped here with his regiment. In January, 1777, Col. John ELY's regiment, on duty at New London, was ordered to Providence. He was remanded with four companies in March.]

"The 14th of March, 1777, brought another breeze of alarm along the coast. A fleet of ten sail-the 'Amazon,' 'Greyhound,' 'Lark,' and seven transports-came round the western point of Fisher's Island and anchored near the Groton shore. An immediate descent was expected, and tumult and terror reigned for a time in the town. The object of the squadron, however, was to obtain, as they had the year before, the stock of Fisher's Island, and this business they executed to thoroughly as almost to sweep the island clean of produce. They took not only sheep, cattle, swine, poultry, corn, potatoes, wood, and hay, but blankets, woolen cloth, sheeting, and other necessaries, for all which they had made a reasonable compensation to Mr. BROWN in British gold.

"While the enemy thus kept possession of the Sound the sloops and boats belonging to the coast melted away like summer snow. The 'Amazon' frigate kept a continual watch at the mouth of the river, capturing and destroying coasters and fishing-vessels without mercy. Through the whole year 1777 New London was blockaded almost with the strictness of a siege.

"April 12th, about thirty sail of armed vessels and transports passed along the mouth of the river; in fact, during the whole of this momentous summer the threatening aspect of a man-of-war was scarcely absent from the vision of the inhabitants, and from the high grounds twenty were frequently in view at one time, either at anchor or flying east and west, where, at the two extremities of the Sound, the strong forces of the enemy held undisputed possession of Newport and New York. May and June were months of almost continual alarm.

"On the 20th of July a squadron appeared on the coast, bending its course as if about to enter the mouth of the river. The alarm-guns were fired and the militia set in motion, but it proved to be a fleet of transports and provision-vessels bound to England under convoy of the 'Niger' frigate. They passed by without any hostile demonstration but that of firing several shot at the armed schooner 'Spy,' which they chased into the harbor. The next day the 'Spy' slipped out of the river and cut off from the fleet two vessels that had lingered to take in wood.

"In August the 'Cerberus' frigate lay for some time at anchor off Niantic Bay, west of New London. A line was one day seen from the ship floating upon the water at a little distance, which the tender of the ship was ordered to examine. It was drawn up with great caution, and found to be one hundred and fifty fathoms in length, and to have a machine attached to the end of it weighing about four hundred pounds. This, upon being hauled into the schooner, exploded on the deck, and, was currently reported at the time, killed several men. 1 [1. This incident is more minutely related in Thatcher's Military Journal, p. 123.] The machine was undoubtedly one of the marine torpedoes invented Mr. BUSHNELL to blow up ships. This ingenious gentleman and patriotic soldier made other attempts to destroy a British vessel with his machine, but failed.

"In September thirty or forty sail of English vessels were at one time in the Sound, many of them taking in wood from the Long Island shore.

"In November, about the 14th, a fleet of vessels of all descriptions, passing from Newport to Gardiner's Bay, encountered a gale of wind, by which the 'Syren' frigate of twenty-eight guns was driven ashore at Point Judith and fell into the hands of the Americans, with her crew (two hundred men) and equipments. She was striped of her guns, stores, and everything movable and burnt, Sunday, Nov. 15th.

"The military organization for the coast defense was arranged anew for the year 1777. The three posts of New London, Groton, and Stonington were placed under the command of Maj. Jonathan WELLS, of Hartford. Two companies were raised and stationed at New London, one of artillery, consisting of fifty men, of which Nathaniel SALTONSTALL was captain; the other of musketry (seventy men), of which Adam SHAPLEY was captain. Two corresponding companies stationed at Groton were commanded by Wm. LEDYARD and Oliver COIT, and a company of musket-men was stationed at Stonington under Capt. Nathan PALMER. This was the stationary force of the year, but being totally inadequate to the necessity, a regiment was raised expressly to defend the coast of New London County. Before this could be enlisted, Cols. LATIMER, ELY, and THROOP and Majs. BUEL and GALLOP performed tours of duty at New London and Groton with parts of their respective regiments.

"In March, 1778, Capt. William LEDYARD was appointed to the command of the posts of New London, Groton, and Stonington, with the rank and pay of major. Under his direction the works were repaired and strengthened and additional batteries erected. William LATHAM was captain of artillery at Groton, and Adam SHAPLEY at New London. These appointments, it must be remembered, were not made by Congress or the commander-in-chief, but emanated from the Governor and Council of Safety.

"Early in this year a French ship called the 'Lyon,' Capt. MICHEL, came into port with a valuable assortment of West India goods. This cargo was very opportune, being mostly purchased by the naval agent fro the State and Continental service. She had salt on board, which was then of pressing importance to the army, and linen and other articles useful for the clothing of soldiers. The 'Lyon' lay about three months in the harbor. 2 [2. "The 'Lyon' took in a cargo for Virginia and sailed June 14th. A little south of Long Island he had an engagement of four hours' duration with a British frigate, and then escaped. On her voyage from Virginia to France, laden with tobacco, she was captured by an English vessel of forty guns.] Several privateers were in at the same time recruiting, and the collisions that took place among the seamen, soldiery, and populace kept the town in a state of riot and disorder. The jail was forced, prisoners released and recaptured, and mobs occasionally triumphant over the law. When a maritime war is raging in what can be expected in a seaport but misrule and demoralization?

"Flags of truce engaged in the exchange of prisoners were often arriving and departing from New London. The return home of American prisoners excited very naturally a deep interest. Their appearance alone, without a word spoken, was sufficient evidence that they had borne a rigorous confinement under merciless keepers. In July, 1777, a flag that had been sent to Newport with a band of well-fed, healthy English prisoners to be exchanged returned with a company of Americans who were actually dying from starvation and close confinement. 'They had but just life enough remaining,' said the Gazette, 'to answer the purpose of an exchange.' Some were wasted to skeletons, others covered with vermin, or disfigured with eruptions, or dying of fever. Early in August two other exchanges were negotiated, and some fifty more arrived in the same condition. Unwholesome and scanty fare, crowded quarters, the want of fresh air, and uncleanliness had brought them to the verge of the grave. Some indeed died in the cartel before they reached the harbor, and some soon after their arrival. The few that remained, meager, pale, and tottering, crept slowly along the highways begging their way to their homes.

"In the month of December, 1778, by flags and cartels from New York, about five hundred prisoners arrived, released, said the Gazette, 'from the horrible prison-ships.' They were sick with various diseases, they had frozen limbs, and many were infected with the smallpox. They died all along the way through the Sound, and every day after their arrival for three weeks,--sixteen the first week, seventeen the next, and so on. About two hundred were Frenchmen, and of these fifteen died on the passage from New York. These poor foreigners were destitute of money and suitable clothing, and the high price of the necessaries of life, the gloom of the winter season, and the loathsome diseases among them made it no light task to render them comfortable. The smallpox and the malignant fevers brought in by the prisoners were communicated to those whose benevolent ministrations afforded them relief, and in this way were spread through the town. The prejudices against inoculation were so strong that, notwithstanding it had a resolve of the General Assembly and a previous vote of the town in its favor, it had never been allowed. Infected persons were carried apart and shut up by themselves, with the white cloth floating over them to betoken pestilence.

"With respect to American prisoners, historic justice calls upon us to state that those who were exchanged in later periods of the war gave evidence of a beneficial change in the mode of treatment. The British had learned a lesson of humanity. In August, 1770, when the crew of the 'Oliver Cromwell' were released, they came home in good health, and frankly acknowledged that though they had been confined in those odious prison-ships, the 'Jersey' and 'Good Hope.' They had been kindly treated, provided with good food, the sick attended by physicians, and nothing plundered from them.

"In the year 1778 a prison-ship was fitted up at New London by order of Congress for the reception of British prisoners, with a guard attached to it consisting of a lieutenant, sergeant, corporal, and twenty privates. 1 [1. "Council Records (Hinman), p. 531.] It was used only a short time. 'The events of the year 1779 seem like those of previous years rehearsed over, as in a scenic exhibition, with only slight changes of names and drapery. In February a detachment of Continental troops, under the command of Col. DEARBORN, was sent to aid the militia in the defense of New London. Brig.-Gen. PARSONS had the superior military command of the district.

"N. SHAW to the Marine Committee of the Eastern Department, March 14th, 1779:

"'We are in such a wretched state in this town by reason of the smallpox, fever, and famine that I cannot carry on my business, and am laying up my vessels as fast as they come in, for every necessary of life is at such an extravagant price that whenever I employ persons to do anything they insist upon provisions, which it is not in my power to give them.' "On the 23d of March several scouting-vessels came in with the startling intelligence that a fleet of twenty sail had passed Hellgate and were coming east, with flat-bottomed boats, row-galleys, and sloops of war in train; that a sixty-four and fifty-gun ship had left Sandy Hook to come south of Long Island around Montauk into the Sound; that twenty-six sail of vessels had previously congregated at Sag Harbor, and that Gen. CLINTON had left New York, and was mustering a large body of troops at Southampton. The same day a considerable force was seen to go into Gardiner's Bay, and about sunset the frigate 'Renown' appeared off the mouth of the river and anchored. To what could all these preparations tend but an attack upon New London?

"And now, as on similar occasions, the alarm-bells were rung and the bale-fires lighted. Families were broken up, effects removed, and the neighboring militia came straggling in to the defense. But no attack was made. It was expected the next day, and the next, and a whole week passed of agitation and uncertainty. It was then ascertained that the transports from New York had gone to Newport; that the fleet under convoy, which had halted in Gardiner's Bay, was bound to New York; that a part of the other fleet had gone on a plundering expedition to the Vineyard Sound and Falmouth (now Portland, in Maine), and that on the opposite coast of Long Island, from whence the invading army was expected to embark, all was quiet and peaceful. No flat-bottomed boats were there, nor had been. The only force collected on that side of the island consisted of five hundred foot and fifty horse at Southold, and one hundred men with two field-pieces at Sag Harbor, which was a stationary arrangement to guard and assist the English vessels in taking off wool and hay. It is a little singular that the troops at Southampton had been assembled in consequence of unfounded reports of a similar nature that had been flying through the British lines. It was confidently affirmed in New York that Gen. PARSONS was at New London with a body of four thousand men, making hasty but secret preparations for a descent upon Long Island. In consequence of this report, Gen. CLINTON had hastened from New York with a flying force, to prepare a reception for the expected invader. In this manner rumor flew from side to side imagining evil, asserting its existence, and actually causing it to exist. False report, though but a breath of air, has a mighty agency in aggravating the calamities of war.

"The militia on duty at this time in New London were employed in erecting a fortification of timber, sods, etc., on Town Hill, which it was supposed would be of use in checking the advance of an enemy that might land below the harbor and march to attack the town in the rear. Near this spot the gallows had stood on which Kat GARRETT, the Pequot woman, had perished; it had likewise been noted for a large windmill. A breastwork was here thrown up and several -fieldpieces mounted. The inhabitants showed their appreciation of the work by the name which they bestowed on it, Fort Nonsense, the only name it ever received.

"The next alarm was on the 25th of June, when warning guns from Stonington gave notice of an approaching fleet. Forts Trumbull and Griswold took up the notes and echoed them into the country. In the afternoon a squadron of about fifty sail, of which seven were ships and the others of various size and armament down to row-galleys, came within sight of the town. They anchored near Plum Island for the night, and the next morning, instead of turning towards the town, as had been feared, they made sail to the westward. The militia had come in, as was observed, 'with even greater cheerfulness and alacrity' than on former occasions. The brigade of Gen. TYLER was on the ground, and being paraded, was dismissed with addressed and thanks.

"Only ten days later (July 5th) a similar alarm agitated the coast. Expresses from the westward to Maj. LEDYARD brought information that a fleet had left New York with preparations for a descent on the coast, and was on its way through the Sound. The point of attack at this time proved to be New Haven, but New London was closely watched. The frigates "renown' and 'Thames' and the sloop-of-war 'Otter' were plying in the neighborhood, and it was thought an attack would soon be made. A large body of militia remained three weeks encamped near the town or in Groton. Gen. TYLER's brigade, from Preston and Norwich, was again noted for its promptness and martial spirit. The counties of Berkshire and Hampshire, in Massachusetts, sent their militia to aid in the defense of the coast. No attempt was, however, made by the enemy to land, except upon Plum and Fisher's Islands, which the crews of the British ships plundered of everything valuable to them, and then wantonly set fire to the hay and buildings which they could not remove.

"The year 1780 shows but little variation of picture from the three preceding years. The cold months were seasons of pinching poverty and distress; sudden outbreaks of alarm and confusion where thickly scattered over the summer. Frigates and other vessels were continually passing up and down the Sound, and ships of the line were now hovering near Block Island, now anchoring at Point Judith, now running into Gardiner's Bay. On The 29th of July, the governor having received information that twenty sail of shipping, with eight thousand troops on board, were in Huntington Harbor, Long Island, immediately ordered out a body of militia to the defense of New London, but on the 31st of the much-dreaded fleet made sail for New York. On the 5th of August a fleet of fifteen vessels under the command of Admiral GRAVES anchored off the harbor, and there lay about twenty-four hours before running into Gardiner's Bay. This fleet had been on watch over the French at Newport, and came into the Sound to collect stock and recruit. In September another British fleet, said to be Admiral ARBUTHNOT's, came into Gardiner's Bay, and there remained through the months of October and November.

"It would be a laborious but pleasing task to go around among families with a talisman to gain their confidence, read private letters, inspect documents, converse with the aged, take notes of tradition, and thus gather up and revive the fading names of patriots and heroes who assisted in the achievement of American independence. It was an era of brave and self-denying men, and even confining our attention to the limited sphere embraced in this history, the number is not small of those who performed deeds worthy of remembrance. If only a few here introduced, let it not be deemed that injustice is thereby shown to others who may be equally worthy but less generally known.

"Gen. Gurdon SALTONSTALL and three of his sons were employed in various grades of service during the whole war. The elder SALTONSTALL, before the close of 1776, was raised to the rank of brigadier-general, and sent with nine regiments of Connecticut militia to take post in Westchester County, N. Y. He was then sixty-eight years of age. Winthrop SALTONSTALL, the oldest of the brothers, held the office of register of the Court of Admiralty. Dudley was a captain and then commodore in the navy. Gilbert, the youngest, was a captain of marines on board the ship 'Trumbull' in her desperate combat with the 'Watt.' "Nathaniel SALTONSTALL, of another family, served in the war both as seaman and soldier. He was captain of the old fort on the Parade, and commander of the ship 'Putnam."

"Maj. James CHAPMAN, of SELDEN's regiment, WADSWORTH's brigade, was a man of strength and stature beyond the common standard, and as a soldier steady and brave. But what avail these qualifications against the main of the marksman or the force of a cannon-ball! He was slain in what was called the orchard fight, near Harlem, when the army was retreating from New York, Sept. 15, 1776. His son James, a youth of only fifteen years of age, was with him when he fell. His brother, Lieut. Richard CHAPMAN, was slain in Groton fort. John CHAPMAN, a third brother, was first lieutenant of the ship 'Oliver Cromwell,' and after that was taken of the 'Putnam.' Joseph CHAPMAN, a still younger brother, was an officer of the army.

"Col. Jonathan LATIMER (of Chesterfield society) had served in several campaigns against the French upon the northern frontier, and during the war for independence was much of the time in the field. 1 [1. "Col. LATIMER was the father of ten sons; himself and six of them measured forty-two feet. An ancient MUMFORD family of Groton approached the same mark, having six members of the average height of six feet,--according to familiar report, 'thirty-six feet of MUMFORD in one family.'] Two of his sons, George and Jonathan, were also in the service. Maj. Christopher DARROW (of the North Parish) fought bravely at Monmouth and on other battle-fields during the war. The GALLOPS of Groton, Ben-Adam and Nathan, were engaged in some of the earliest struggles, and both field-officers in 1777.

"William and Alexander P. ADAMS, grandsons of the former Minister ADAMS, Richard DOUGLAS, Thomas U. FOSDICK, Edward and George HALLAM, Stephen HEMPSTEAD, George HURLBUT, John and William RAYMOND, William RICHARDS,--these were all young men, starting forth impulsively at the commencement of the struggle, with high heroic purpose to serve their county, and if the sacrifice should be demanded, to suffer and die in the cause of liberty. William ADAMS served in the army during the siege of Boston, but afterwards enlisting in a private armed vessel, he died at Martinique, April 4, 1778. His brother, purser of the ship 'Trumbull,' was cut off at sea before the close of the war. DOUGLAS, FOSDICK, HEMPSTEAD, and RICHARDS were in the service from 1776 to the disbanding of the army. The last named, Capt. William RICHARDS, was stationed in 1780 at Fairfield, and while there was engaged in the expedition against Fort Slongo, on the opposite shore of Long Island. They crossed by night with muffled oars, took the works by surprise, and demolished them. Maj. TALLMAGE was the commander of the party. Capt. RICHARDS led the attach upon the battery. Edward HALLAM, after a tour of duty at Boston, and another at New York, was appointed commissary of troops at New London. William RAYMOND, taken prisoner in an early part of the contest, was carried to Halifax, and died while immured in Mill Island prison.

"George HURLBUT and Robert HALLAM, with a multitude of others, shouldered musket and knapsack and started for Boston immediately after intelligence was received of the skirmish at Lexington. They subsequently joined Capt. COIT's company, and fought at Bunker Hill, one nineteen years of age, and the other twenty-one. HALLAM's commission from Congress, giving him the rank of captain in Col. DURKEE's regiment, was dated July 3, 1777, the very month that he was twenty years of age. He fought at Trenton, Princeton, Germantown, and Monmouth, but withdrew from the army at the close of the campaign of 1779.

"Capt. HURLBUT remained in the service till disabled by a mortal wound at Tarrytown, in the summer of 1781. For the exploit that cost him in the end his life he received the thanks of WASHINGTON in the public orders of the army. It merits a particular relation.

"A vessel in the river containing a considerable quantity of stores of the American army had been set on fire by the guns of the enemy. Capt. HURLBUT being an excellent swimmer, volunteered his service, swam to the vessel, and amidst a severe fire from the British ships extinguished the flames, but the cable that the wind might drift her to the side where the Americans were encamped, and then took to the water again. Before reaching the shore, being much fatigued, he threw himself on his back, as swimmers often do for repose, and just then was struck in the groin by a grape-shot. The ball was successfully extracted, and after a long confinement he so far recovered as to appear abroad. He belonged to the Second Regiment of Light Dragoons, and the first time that he was able to resume his post the troops honored him with a salute. Unfortunately his horse became restive, reared, and threw him. The old wound was broken up, he languished many months in severe pain, and at last was brought home to die. The commander-in-chief himself gave orders that every requisite care and attention should be used in his removal. His friend, Mr. COLFAX, and the surgeon, Dr. EUSTIS (afterwards Governor of Massachusetts), accompanied him to New London, where he expired 8th of May, 1783. 1 [1. "'Many of these particulars are taken from a certificate given in December, 1783, by Gen. WASHINGTON to Mrs. WELSH, a widowed sister of Capt. HURLBUT.] In this connection another army incident may be mentioned, which, though in result a failure, illustrated the daring spirit of adventure for which the New London men of that day, whether sailors or soldiers, were remarkable.

"On the 16th of August, 1776, Commodore TUPPER, lying at New York, sent two fire-vessels, a sloop and a schooner, up the river to make an attempt to burn the British frigate 'Phoenix' in the night. Of the eighteen men detached on this expedition a large portion were from New London. Stephen HEMPSTEAD and Thomas Updike FOSDICK were two of the number. FOSDICK, who was then an ensign in the company of Capt. Nathan HALE, had command of the sloop. Owing to accidental circumstances the enterprise failed, but it was well conceived, and, as far as it went, executed with boldness and skill."

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