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Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 17 Jul 2007 12:34AM GMT
Classification: Query
Looking for information on what battles Capt. William Briggs fought in. He was with Reade's Mass. Regiment from April to December 1775. Thank you.

Re: Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 17 Jul 2007 6:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
From the listing for Capt. Briggs in _Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors_ there's no indication he was in any battles. The 7th Worcester County Regiment did see active duty at the time of the Lexington Alarm, marching to Cambridge and Roxbury under Col. Silas Wheelock (who had 9 days' service in this capacity), but there's no suggestion of battle or skirmish.

Once Col. Wheelock left or was removed (the listing does not say), Lt. Col. Joseph Read(e) appears to have been made Col. of the same County Regiment.

Capt. Briggs was credited with 12 days' service on this alarm.

His listing in the reference cited above mentions a couple of rolls or returns, but muster rolls of County Militia don't necessarily indicate active duty, let alone 'battles'. The 'returns' are generally lists of officers with numbers after the Captains' names saying how many subalterns and Privates were in each one's Company. Remember that all able-bodied white men between roughly age 16 and 60 (varies by time and place) were considered to be members of the Militia. Attendance at regular musters was required for drill. Whether Militiamen ever saw active duty depended a lot on time and place.

Here is what it says:

Briggs, William, Stoughton. Captain of a company of Minute-men which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 12 days; also, Col. Joseph Read's (Worcester Co.) regt.; list of officers dated Camp at Roxbury, May 18, 1775; also, same regt.; returns for rations dated Roxbury, June 5 and June 25, 1775; also, same regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted May 1, 1775; service, 3 mos. 7 days; also, company return dated Roxbury, Sept. 26, 1775.

Good hunting,
Jade

Re: Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 17 Jul 2007 7:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for the information. I was wondering if they fought at Bunker hill. They were at Roxbury(about 7 miles from Bunker hill) on June 5th and 25th. The Bunker hill battle was on June 17. You would think they might have fought in that battle. Is there a list of who fought at Bunker hill somewhere? Thank you.

Re: Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 17 Jul 2007 8:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
As for Bunker Hill (more properly Breeds Hill), you are about the 500-thousandth person to ask that question. There is no proven list of all who were in that action. You can find people who are known or speculated to have been there. You can get a good overview from the Wikipedia article, and much more stuff by an internet search.

Essentially you have to remember that it was part of a siege, with the British in control of the very narrow neck to the peninsula on which it took place.

I'll let you engage with the historians as to why and how they got and maintained control, what units did or did not engage.

Also bear in mind that County militia were supposed to serve within the County (general rule, which changed from time to time), and that in Massachusetts, as elsewhere, there was a pretty even division between rebels and loyalists, with substantial numbers of non-commitals.

If you study Massachusetts history, too, you will come to understand a backlog of factonalism, religious sectarianism and political resentments going back 150 years before the Lexington alarm, all of which affected sentiments in some quarters much as views on the Civil War and its causes, realities and consequences do even today. Indeed, there are some areas where the Revolutionary War is not really quite 'over' either.

Good hunting,
Jade

Re: Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 14 Jun 2008 2:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi: I've been focussing on the Massachusetts sub-board and only just looked at the general board and found your query.

Joseph Read was from Uxbridge where he was a Captain in the militia. He represented the Town in the First Provincial Congress convened 7 October '74 in defiance of General Gage.
When the Second Congress convened in February '75 Uxbridge was represented by Benjamin Green and it is unclear what Read was doing although he reappears as Lieutenant Colonel of the Worcester County Regiment in the Alarm of April '75. Read subsequently assumed command of the regiment (re)numbered the 20th and had a frantic time recalling/reenlisting militiamen who had returned home after the alarm. Read's 20th Rgt was part of the Roxbury contingent that controlled access to Boston proper.

There is nothing to sugest that any part of Read's Rgt was in Charlestown during the Breed's Hill (Bunker Hill) engagement. There are a couple dozen or so early 19th century pamphlets with participant/eye-witness/other accounts of Bunker Hill bound in two volumes that are part of the Artemas Ward collection in the Shrewsbury Mass library that are worth reviewing.

Read's continued in command of the 20th Mass Militia Regt after George Washington reorganized the "Army of Observation" investing Boston. The 20th was subsequently reorganized as the 13th Mass Continental Rgt and went with Geo. Washington to New York after the British evacuated Boston in '76. Read is cited several times in G.W.'s General Orders as having been selected to preside over courts martial of various soldiers. Also while in NY, men of his Rgt were busy constructing/maintaining military fortifications and manning whale boats that patrolled the shore to keep loyalists from rowing out to British ships in the harbor.

In Oct '76 Read's by-then understrength Regiment was part of a force at Pell's point to block British troops from landing and advancing.

Read left the Army in December '76 and returned to Uxbridge where he was elected Selectman and Town Meeting Moderator in '77. He subsequently moved to Lancaster and represented that Town in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in '79. He later settled in Brookfield where he died in 1801.

Re: Battles for Reade's Mass. Regiment

Posted: 14 Jun 2008 5:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for the information.
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