Embattled Farmers

Campaigns and Profiles of Revolutionary Soldiers
 from Lincoln, Massachusetts, 1775-1783

In Their Own Words...

Statements recorded by or attributed to individuals you'll find in the pages of Embattled Farmers


“The army of the King marched up in fine order, and their bayonets glistened in the sunlight like a field of waving grain.  If it hadn’t been for the purpose they came for, I should say it was the handsomest sight I ever saw in my life.”
—Mary Hartwell, remembering the British Regulars marching by her home on their way to Concord on April 19, 1775


“If any of you will hold my gun, I will go down and talk to them.”
James Nichols, before the North Bridge fight, April 19, 1775

“Now the war has begun, and no one knows when it will end.”
Noah Parkhurst, at the North Bridge fight, April 19, 1775


“I verily believe that I felt better that day, take it all the day through, than if I had staid at home.”
Amos Baker, recalling his participation in the events of April 19, 1775

“I remained with General Lee and went with him to a place near Baskin[g] Ridge, when & where General Lee was taken prisoner & I was taken prisoner with him … I was carried to New York & confined with the men that were taken at Fort Washington &

 was never exchanged & continued a prisoner in the actual custody of the British or on parole during the war & never had the right to enlist again.”
—Samuel Hastings, Jr., captured on December 13, 1776 as a member of Gen. Charles Lee’s body guard


“My friends, in a few minutes we shall be in the presence of the enemy, and I hope you will behave like the men I take you to be.”
Capt. Moses Brown, before the Battle of Trenton, December 26, 1776

“I, John Whitehead, of Weston, for several reasons, forbid all Persons trusting Anna, my Wife, any Thing whatsoever, on my Account; as I declare I will not pay any Debt she may contract after the Date hereof.”
John Whitehead, notice in The Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser, Boston, April 10th, 1777

“[I] enlisted in the Naval service… in the Brigantine Wilkes of 14 guns… and continued in that service three months when she fell in with three British Frigates;
Edward Adams pension

 one of them (the Milford of 23 guns) gave chase from 4 o'clock AM to 8 o'clock PM, when the Wilkes ran on Chatham Beach at Cape Cod and was burnt by the

British; she had several men killed and some drowned, and [we] escaped by the barges and by swimming.”
Edward Adams, on his service as a privateer, late summer, 1777

“To my daughter Betty Semple, only six shillings, because she has left this state and gone as a friend to the enemies of this continent, to be paid only on condition that she return a friend to America… [and] …To my daughter Mary Semple six shillings for she has gone from this state an enemy to the country.”
—John Wheat, Last Will and Testament, 1779

“…in the encounter, I received a wound from a Broad sword on my head & several thrusts from a bayonet in my body, the effects from the wound on my head were very serious & still felt … we were taken prisoners and carried to New York, where I remained ten months & nine days …when  I was exchanged I
returned to my regiment then stationed at West Point in order to receive my wages but ...I received [only] a due bill from the paymaster to be taken up in Boston
…. The field officers were then all at home on furlough so that I did not then, nor have I since ever received a formal discharge.”
Jonathan Gage, on the Battle of Young’s House, February 3, 1780

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