in various parts of the country with his command, made Medford
his home when permitted, as long as he lived, occupying the old house of his father before mentioned, where in the old time I had many a game of whist with him.
His fate was a singular one.
He had always a great horror of steamboats, and would never voluntarily travel on one.
But in December, 1836, he was ordered to proceed from Fort Moultrie, S. C.
, to Florida
, to take command of his regiment in the Florida
war. He embarked on the steamer Dolphin;
the boilers, as he had always anticipated, blew up, and he was killed.
In the early part of the century all male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five were compelled to do military duty, unless excused by physical disability or by the holding of certain offices.
They formed the militia of the State
, and were usually called out three times a year: in the spring for inspection of arms and equipments, the absence of which, as well as non-appearance, was punished by a fine; again, in the summer, for drill; and in the autumn by regiments or brigades, at what was called general muster, for review.
This last was a great occasion, in which all the high officials of the military, with their glittering uniforms, and frequently the governor, paraded in all their glory.
The plain in the easterly part of Medford
, now covered with streets and houses, was frequently the muster-field.
Such a company existed in Medford
as early as 1781.
Until 1804 this company belonged to the First Regiment, First Brigade, and Third Division; then a new regiment was formed, the Fifth, and the company was transferred to it, and from that time I believe that every company formed in Medford
, with possibly the exception of one of those raised during the war, has formed a part of the same Fifth Regiment.
I would also except the Independent Company organized under the same law of 1785, and