call for enlistments, for three years or the war, was nobly responded to. A town-meeting was called March 3, 1777, in Medford
, to consider means for raising her quota.
The people were beginning to feel the stress of poverty, and many were clamoring for payment of money loaned to the town.
The Selectmen were instructed ‘to procure the men at as low bounty as may be.’
and William Bucknam
enlisted on the day of the meeting; five or six had enlisted in the artillery during the preceding month.
In July, 1777, Medford
had forty-four men in the army for three years or the war.
The summer passed peacefully at home: the coffeedrinkings, the dinner parties, the weekly lecture, which in those days took the place of the prayer-meeting, went on as usual.
Even a wedding or two occurred.
But the thoughts of the people were ever on the war. The knitting-needles were busy, the spinning-wheels were humming, and garments were being made for the soldiers.
The men were taking care that the town's stock of powder did not run low. Lieut. Stephen Hall
, 4th, and Lieut. Jonathan Porter
were keeping the ranks of their company full, and drilling the new recruits who had taken the places of those who entered the army in the spring.
July brought bad news.
At first only a rumor, the news was speedily confirmed by a letter from Dr. Osgood
's brother, who was one of the garrison.
The retreating army was overtaken at Hubbardton, Vt.
, and there Col. Ebenezer Francis
, a Medford boy, whose home was then in Beverly
, was killed.
He had organized his regiment the previous January, and marched to Bennington
; and from there to New York State
On the 25th of September news of the first day's battle at Saratoga
came to Medford
It had been fought on the 17th.
Nearly every man who was in service from the town was in Gates