Connecticut Units in the Revolutionary War

On 21 April representatives from Massachusetts met with the Connecticut Committee of Correspondence in the home of Governor Jonathan Trumbull at Lebanon. Trumbull sent his son David to inform Massachusetts that a special session of the Connecticut assembly would meet as soon as possible. While some Connecticut militia units marched to Boston on hearing of Lexington, most followed the advice of the governor to wait until the assembly could act. The wisdom of this course was confirmed by news that although Israel Putnam had asserted a loose hegemony over the volunteers, a formal command structure was needed before they would become effective.

The special session convened at Hartford on 26 April, and the next day the Connecticut Assembly ordered that six regiments be raised, each containing ten companies. Officers were appointed on 28 April and arranged on 1 May. At the time the assembly believed that these 6,000 men represented 25 percent of the colony's militia strength; they were obligated to serve until 10 December. The companies were apportioned among the several counties according to population. Connecticut's regimental structure followed a somewhat older model than that chosen by the other colonies and was considerably larger. Connecticut placed generals in direct command of regiments, as Massachusetts did, but followed Rhode Island's example in having field officers command companies. This left generals filling three roles at the same time-that of general, colonel, and captain. Rather than assigning an extra lieutenant to each field officer's company, as Rhode Island did, Connecticut merely designated the senior lieutenant in each colonel's company as a captain-lieutenant. On the other hand, the Connecticut organization called for each company to contain four officers rather than the three the other New England jurisdictions provided. The assembly appointed Joseph Spencer and Israel Putnam brigadier generals and David Wooster major general. It assigned supply responsibilities to Joseph Trumbull, another of the governor's sons, by appointing him commissary general.

After a recess the assembly reconvened on 11 May and remained in session for the rest of the month, passing legislation that resolved a number of logistical, administrative, and disciplinary problems. It defined the regimental adjutant as a distinct officer. It also appointed Samuel Mott as the colony's engineer, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and ordered him to Fort Ticonderoga. This session created a Committee of Safety, also known as the Committee of Defense or the Committee of War, which served for the rest of the war as the governor's executive and advisory body. The assembly considered, but rejected, reorganizing the six regiments into eight to bring the size of these units more into conformity with that of the regiments from the other colonies. Another special session (1-6 July) added two more regiments, but these were smaller than the earlier ones. The assembly reduced the number of privates in these regiments by nearly a third, while retaining their same organization and superstructure, and then ordered both to Boston.

Deployment of the Connecticut regiments followed a pattern established during the colonial period. In the Imperial Wars the colony had been responsible for reinforcing its neighbors, supporting New York on the northern frontier around Albany and assuming primary responsibility for the defense of western Massachusetts. In 1775 Spencer's 2d and Putnam's 3d Connecticut Regiments, raised in the northeastern and north-central portions of the colony, naturally marched to Boston. Samuel Parsons' 6th, from the southeast, followed as soon as the vital port of New London was secure. Benjamin Hinman's 4th, from Litchfield County in the northwest, went to Fort Ticonderoga, where the county's men had served in earlier wars. The 1st under Wooster and the 5th under David Waterbury, from Fairfield and New Haven Counties, respectively, in the southwest, prepared to secure New York City. News of the battle of Bunker Hill led Governor Trumbull to place the men in Massachusetts temporarily under the command of General Ward. At the same time the 1st and 5th regiments were ordered into New York, subject to the orders of the Continental Congress and the New York Provincial Congress.

Misc Militia Units
(Averill’s) Company, 1782
(Bigelow’s) Company of Artillery
Belding’s Regiment
(Bennett’s) Company of Militia
(Bixby’s) Company of Militia
Bradley’s Regiment
(Bradley’s) Company of Matrosses and Artillery
(Bristol’s) Company of Militia
Burrell’s Regiment
Canfield’s Regiment of Militia
Chapman’s Regiment of Militia
Chester’s Regiment of Militia
Cook’s Regiment of Militia
Douglas’ Regiment of Levies
Douglas’ Regiment
Durkee’s Company of Matrosses
Elmore’s Battalion
Ely’s Brigade of Teamsters
Ely’s Regiment
Enos’ Regiment
Fitch’s Independent Company
Gallup’s Company
Gallup’s Regiment
Gay’s Regiment
Hand’s Company of Militia
Hooker’s Regiment of Militia
Johnson’s Regiment of Militia
Latimer’s Regiment of Militia
Lee’s Company of Guards
Leffingwell’s Company
Lewis’ Regiment
Lockwood’s Company of Coast Guards
Lockwood’s Company of Coast Guards
Markham’s Company of Militia
Mason’s Company of Militia
Mason’s Regiment of Militia
Mather’s Independent Company
Matross Company at Norwalk
McClellan’s Regiment
Mead’s Regiment of Militia
Miles’ Brigade of Ox Teams
Moseley’s Detachment of Militia
Mott’s Regiment
Mott’s Company of Militia
Newberry’s Regiment
Parker’s Company of Teamsters
Parson’s Regiment
Parson’s Regiment of Militia
Patrick’s Brigade of Teamsters
Porter’s Regiment
Reed’s Company of Militia
Robinson’s Company
Sage’s Regiment
Corps of Sappers and Miners
Shelden’s Company
Silliman’s Regiment
Talcott’s Regiment
Thompson’s Company
Thompson’s Regiment
Tyler’s Regiment
Vaill’s Company of Guards
Van Deursen’s Company of State Guards Artillery
Wadworth’s Company of Teamsters
Waterbury’s Regiment
Whiting’s Regiment
Wells’ Regiment of Militia
Wells’ Regiment
Wolcott’s Regiment
Wolcott’s Company of Militia

 

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