Medford in the War of the Revolution.
[Read before The Medford
Historical Society, April 18, 1898.]
OR an old town, Medford
is singularly devoid of traditions.
Few of the old families are represented by name at the present day. Still, in unexpected places, we find stories which when compared with the records prove true.
Even they are imperfect.
men who served during the War
of Independence are not always credited to the town.
The muster rolls, from 1775 to 1778, are very few. Later, more system was adopted, and descriptive lists are common.
Men were not mustered by companies, as they were in the Civil War
, but six, nine, or a dozen were recruited, and sent to some convenient point where they and the quotas from other towns were combined to form a company, or they were sent direct to fill vacant places in companies already in the field.
Although in the Continental
army the system of numbering the regiments was in use, they were usually designated by the surname of the colonel.
When several bore the same name this custom is confusing.
Another difficulty is the repetition of family names, so common in those days.
The authorities were by no means careful to write Jr. where it belonged.
Records are more correct on this point than the State Papers
Making allowance for mistakes made in this way, I have found over two hundred men who served for Medford
—twenty-five per cent. of all the inhabitants of the town in 1776.
This does not cover the whole number; for instance, in July, 1776, thirty men went to Ticonderoga
, and we have the names of only twelve.
The other eighteen were from ‘Hampshire
Other recruits were, like these, non-residents, hired to fill up the town's quota, but one hundred eighty-nine have been identified