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[189] its charter, Captain John Sparrell was ordered to enroll its members in his company. He did so; and, in that autumn, he appeared at a muster in Maiden with one hundred and ninety-six men, rank and file.

Let us now return to our history near the close of the eighteenth century.

In 1797, a “general muster” took place in Concord, Middlesex County; and it engaged the attention of the whole community. The war of the Revolution had made the management of regiments and divisions an easy thing; and the soldier-feeling of ‘75 and ‘83 had not much abated. A gathering of several regiments, therefore, was a most joyous event in this community. Medford made it a town matter, and voted to pay each soldier two dollars, and to give each a half-pound of powder. These musters became the occasions of great dissipation. They seemed to be a mustering of all the evils of a community. “Egg-pop” was the favorite drink; and “wrestling,” the “ring,” “pawpaw,” “hustling,” and “wheel of fortune,” the prevalent amusements. Intemperance, gambling, fisticuffs, ribaldry, theft, and noise were in the ascendant; and the injury to youthful spectators was inconceivably great.

Medford Light Infantry.

The members of this company petitioned the Governor and Council to be organized, as an independent corps, under the law of Nov. 29, 1785. As that law was very peculiar, and gave rights seemingly at variance to general military usage, it may be worth while to extract the two sections which contain the extraordinary provisions. They are as follows:--
Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That when any Major-General, commander of a division of militia in this Commonwealth, shall certify to the Governor, that, in his opinion, it will be expedient, and for the good of the Commonwealth, that one or more companies of cadets, or other corps, should be raised, in his division, the Governor, with advice and consent of the Council, be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered (if he judge expedient) to raise such cadet company, companies, or corps; and, when any such company or corps shall be raised, they shall elect their officers in the same manner, and in the same proportion, as is provided for the election of officers of other companies and corps of militia in

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