THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Take Off Your Coat and Sit For A Spell To Relax Your Mind
thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.


We come now to the stirring scenes of the Revolution, scenes of as much interest perhaps in Stockbridge, as in any inland town not the seat of actual conflict.

July 6, 1774, a County Congress assembled here and sat two days, Wednesday and Thursday, passing resolutions, the principles of which were to recommend Thursday, the 14th of the month, as a day of Fasting and Prayer, in the hope that impending evils might be averted.

It passed on Wednesday, and on Thursday they "solemnly, and in good faith, covenanted and engaged with each other," that they would "not import, purchase, or consume, or suffer any person for, by, or under them, to import, purchase or consume, in any matter whatever, any goods, wares, or manufactures, which should arrive in America from Great Britain, from and after the first day of October next, or such other time as should be agreed upon by the American Congress; nor any goods which should be ordered from thence from and after that day, until our Charter, and Constitutional rights should be restored, (except such articles as Congress should choose to import,) unless it should be found that other Colonies would not unite in this policy, or that the policy was unavailing."

That they would strictly observe all constitutional law and authority, discountenance riots, mobs, &c., and endeavor to promote harmony and love throughout the community; withholding, however, all intercourse with dissenters therefrom.

And as these measures would deprive them of many comforts and even necessaries, they resolved to use every prudent measure for relief, promoting the culture of flax, the raising of sheep, and the manufacture of such materials as should be produced.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

Other similar meetings were held during the war; and, besides resolves, such was the action of the Berkshire people, and Stockbridge, it is said, "performed a good deal of revolutionary service," that a Congress of 1778 could make the following declaration : "Your memorialists have, from the time of the Stamp Act, to the present day, manifested a constant and uniform abhorrence and detestation, not only in sentiment, but overt actions, of all the unconstitutional measures taken by the British Parliament to tax, depauperate, and subjugate these now United and Independent States of America."

"They can vie with any County in this State, not only in voluntarily appearing in arms upon the least notice, when their brethren in distress needed their assistance, as at the massacre at Lexington, the fight of Bunker Hill, &c., &c., but also in filling up their quotas of men from time to time demanded, either by this State, or by the commanding officer in these parts; although our situation has been such as might have justified the General Court, had they called upon us for no such supplies; over and above which, our zeal in the common cause has carried us beyond our abilities, in the frequent excursions against the common enemy, as in the battle of Bennington, in assisting Col. Brown in the capture of so many hundreds at the carrying-place at Ticonderoga, in the quelling of the Tories at divers times in a neighboring State, and in other instances too numerous to enumerate."

In Stockbridge, no hero of the Revolution survives to tell the story, and the town records, as might perhaps be expected, are incomplete, so that a meager account only can be presented of our own part in the conflict.

It is a matter of history that the women of Berkshire engaged in the cultivation of the fields, that their husbands and fathers might shoulder the musket; and in one district, at least, from which the most full returns have been obtained, it may readily be inferred that Stockbridge women must have held the plow.

But, it may be asked, will woman defend the system of war, and commend those who have left the pruning-hook for the spear?

We answer — we reason on this subject as we reason on the system of crime and its punishment — as we reason on the midnight assault of the robber, and the bold defence of his family by the "house-band."

We had an example of non-resistance in 1755, in the case of Mr. Chamberlain — and we condemn it without qualification.

We had an example of heroic resistance at the same time in the conduct of Mr. Owen, and we commend it.

Personal wrongs should be forgiven, and endured with much long suffering; but law we must have; public rights must be defended by those set for their defence, whether the belligerent be a beggar or a King; and it was upon this principle that our struggle for Independence was carried on.

Thanks then to Him who has all hearts in his hands, that our fathers did not escape through the windows when the British war knife entered their dwelling place, and was shaken over the heads of their wives and children.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

Yes, a thousand thanks from woman's heart, that in the season of peril and death now to be recorded, the broad shield of manly strength, and manly daring, was extended over the wife, the mother, the sister and the daughter; and in commendation of those who, under Providence, won for woman the blessings of our favored land, let her grateful voice rise first, and let it die last.

How well Stockbridge was prepared for the struggle, with respect to military stores on hand, may be inferred from the small supply at that time in the colony.

In 1756 also, when war was at their doors, the supply ordered to be purchased was only 30 lbs. of powder and 90 of lead.

April 14, 1775, the whole amount of public stores was 21,549 fire arms, 17,441 pounds of powder, 22,191 pounds of ball, 144,699 flints, 10,108 bayonets, 11,979 pouches; and those in the hands of the respective towns, exclusive of those in the Counties of Dukes and Nantucket, which made no returns, were — fire arms 68, powder 357 1-2 bbls., flints 100,531, ball 66,781 lbs.; being a little more than half a pound of powder to a man.

Certainly there would have been no disposition to fight for the love of fighting.

In 1775, Stockbridge borrowed £20 to purchase fire arms.

In 1774, two regiments of minute men were raised in the county by voluntary enlistments.

The battle of Lexington was fought on Wednesday, April 19, 1775, and the news reached Berkshire on Friday about noon, men being sent to all parts of the country in the greatest possible haste.

Indeed, they passed through a village in Worcester County, with such rapidity that the inhabitants half believed them spectres.

Before sunrise on Saturday morning, the Berkshire regiment was on its way, "completely equipped in arms, and generally in uniform."

They had enlisted for eight mouths; but most of them enlisted afterwards for a longer period, and some during the war.

Among them were Deacon Samuel Brown, Thomas Williams, Esq., who resided on the Hill, a Major; William Goodrich, who resided in the house now occupied by Mr. Bill, a Captain; Captain James Stoddard, Jared and Elkanah Bishop, and probably Mr. Charles Stone, from the vicinity of the Pond, and Mr. Daniel Phelps, who was accidentally shot, May, 1775, and died in two days.

Maj. Elnathan Curtis is also believed to have been of the number.

He resided near Curtisville.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

The company, being commanded by Col. Patterson of Lenox, marched directly to Cambridge, where it was re-formed and enlarged, and divided into northern and southern divisions.

Col. Patterson received command of the first, and Col. Fellows of Sheffield of the last.

Esquire Williams, the Bishops, and Capt. Stoddard, and probably Solomon Stoddard, were placed under Col. Patterson, and Capt. Goodrich and Maj. Curtis, under Col. Fellows.

The northern division received employment soon after in Charlestown, and erected Fort No. 3, the first fort on the lines about Boston.

This post they manned and defended, by command of Gen. Ward, on the 17th of June, the day of the Bunker Hill battle.

Their object was to prevent an attack by the British upon the rear of the Americans actually engaged.

Capt. Stoddard used to say, that when he saw the enemy coming up he "found he was losing his countenance."

Unwilling that his comrades should see him falter, he stepped aside to recover his courage; but when he returned, "they all looked as pale as himself."

Some time after this, when he had learned to control his features, he was asked how it happened that he was never afraid in battle.

" Oh," he replied, "I am as much afraid as any of you, but I don't show it."

There are others, whose names have been given as soldiers of the Revolution, from Stockbridge, and who, very probably, belonged to these regiments; but no incident of their history gives them any particular locality.

Gen. Marsh, who kept a public house here, is believed, by his daughter, to have been in the Lexington engagement; but more probably he was in the battle of Bunker Hill.

He was in the army at some period, as Captain of a company of minute men raised in Stockbridge, and being sick most of the time, Moses Nash, who was Lieutenant, took the command in his absence.

Deacon Samuel Brown was Commissary.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

The regiment of Col. Fellows was employed about Roxbury until the British evacuated Boston, March, 1776, after which they were ordered to New York.

A part of Col. Patterson's command volunteered to follow Arnold up the Kennebec, and across the wilderness to Quebec.

Among them were Esquire Williams and the Bishops.

Esquire Williams belonged to a detachment which returned from the mouth of Dead River, owing to the impossibility of obtaining sustenance for all; the Bishops seem to have gone forward.

Their hardships were dreadful; at one time Jared Bishop had no regular food for 15 days except one sea-biscuit.

This company left on the 13th of September, and were engaged at Quebec, Dec. 31, when Arnold received his first wound.

The Americans were foiled in their attempt upon the city, and the winter was one of suffering.

The small pox broke out, and the soldiers being bent upon inoculating themselves, multitudes were sick at one time.

They had one station on the river, called the Cedars; but Arnold was at Montreal, forty miles distant.

We must now return to the remainder of Col. Patterson's regiment who were left at, or who returned to, Boston.

These went with the detachment of Col. Fellows to New York, and from thence they were ordered to Quebec, to assist the force about to join Arnold.

On their way, Esquire, then Lieutenant Colonel, Williams, was taken ill, and left at Skenesborough, where he died July 10th.

Before the company reached Canada, they heard of the ill success of the American arms, but probably felt that they were only the more needed, as they pressed on.

Soon after reaching Montreal, they heard of an attack upon the Cedars, to which some of them had immediately been dispatched.

Arnold marched with his force from Montreal, but learned of the surrender of the Fort before reaching it.

The fear of the Indians, rather than the power of the enemy, had gained this victory; and now Arnold was compelled to sign the cartel, which he was told had been signed by the Commander, and threatened that a refusal would be the death-warrant of every prisoner.

This act was censured by Congress; and it is known that one officer from Canaan, Ct., by the name of Stephens, refused at this time to surrender to the British, until his own commander threatened to fire upon him if he persisted in his resolution.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

The regiment of Col. Patterson retreated after this affair and spent a short time at Crown Point.

They then went to Ticonderoga, crossed the bay, and fortified Mount Independence in Orwell, where they remained until November.

During that month they were marched to Albany, and there shipped to Esopus, from whence they proceeded through the Minisink country, through Nazareth and Bethlehem, and joined the army under Washington at Newtown, Pa.

When they left New York, the regiment of Col. Patterson numbered more than 600; but when it was again united to that of Washington, it had been reduced to 220.

Some had fallen in battle, some had died of small pox, others had been left in Canada as hostages or prisoners, and others still had been left sick by the way.

Nor had the company of Col. Fellows been idle.

During the summer of '76 they were with Washington in and about New York, and at its close were sent to aid the detachment posted near Kip's Bay.

On their march, they met the vanguard retreating in terror from the fire of Clinton, who had landed 4000 men at that point.

The regiments of Parsons and Fellows caught the panic and though Washington was behind, hastening to their relief, the soldiers fled in all directions.

It now became necessary to evacuate New York, and tliis was effected by Gen. Putnam with little loss.

Major Curtis was among those who withdi'ew, and was warmly engaged in an action which took place at the time.

"This is hot work," he remarked, wiping the perspiration from his face with the sleeve of his coat, "hot work."

He was also at the battle of White Plains, Oct. 28th of that year, and from thence perhaps followed the fortunes of his comrades to Newtown, where we may now, probably, find all the remaining soldiers of the first two Berkshire regiments, though we have been able but imperfectly to trace the movements by which they have reached that point.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

The campaign had been a disastrous one.

The British were in possession of Philadelphia, and Cornwallis was in New York, nearly ready to sail for England, freighted with the intelligence that no further resistance would be made.

Some bold stroke was necessary on the part of Washington; and it must be successful or all was lost.

The enemy, expecting nothing from a handful of ragged, starving soldiers, were at ease, and a surprise might turn the scale in our favor.

The 24th of December came.

The night gathered cold and dark, the snow fell fast, and the roads were slippery.

Little did Gen. Howe look for the Christmas visit which Washington was preparing to pay him.

But starving men could brave a storm to obtain sustenance, and northern men, at least, were familiar with snow.

Washington divided his soldiers into three companies, and ordered them to cross the Delaware at different points, and attack Howe at Trenton.

Those who had returned from Canada, if not the southern Berkshire division, were with him, and his was the only portion which effected a passage.

At three o'clock in the morning, before the merry salutations of the day had commenced, the British were surprised.

History gives the particulars of the battle; suffice for us to say, that the Americans took one thousand prisoners, and one thousand stand of arms, besides six field pieces, with the loss of only two killed, and two frozen to death.

They then secured Philadelphia, and the next day recrossed the river.

This was the opening of a new day for the country.

Hope brightened; fears were thrown to the winds; and the army of Washington increased so rapidly, that early in January he was able to recross the river with five thousand men.

Cornwallis abandoned his projected voyage, and proceeded to New Jersey.

The advance party met the army of Washington at Princeton, and, under command of Mawhood, made an attack, ignorant of the strength of their foe.

Here the battle of Princeton was fought, Jan. 2, 1777.

Washington is represented as mounted on his white steed, and looking, as he rode above his army, "more like a guardian angel, than like a man."

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

Cornwallis came in sight just as his army took the road to Morristown, at which place, the Berkshire soldiers still with him, he took up his winter quarters.

And there we must leave them for the present, and look in once more upon the old home.

During the summer of 1776, a regiment from Berkshire proceeded to Ticonderoga under the command of Samuel Brewer, Colonel; and as Dr. Erastus Sergeant was one summer at Ticonderoga under Capt. Cook of Curtisville, and his son remembers to have seen the muster roll among his father's papers, the probability is that he was Orderly Sergeant in the company.

By this time the depreciation of the currency had become very considerable, and the expense of supporting the army a serious question.

In March, 1775, the town had voted that Congress should go on as usual in collecting taxes agreeably to law, and be supported therein.

In January, 1776, with but one dissenting voice, it was voted that the inhabitants of Stockbridge would support civil authority in this county; and at the same time £50 was voted to purchase ten tents for the inhabitants.

In December of the same year, Col. Brown of Pittsfield was sent to Mount Independence with a regiment of militia, but we find no evidence that Stockbridge men were among them.

In 1777, large bodies of men were dispatched to assist Generals Stark and Gates in opposing the Hessians of Burgoyne, and in these our citizens were more or less engaged.

It was during that winter that Agrippa Hull was enlisted, and of course others were engaged at the same time.

Capt. Goodrich had returned, and was engaged as recruiting officer.

But Capt. Stoddard was in the battle of Bennington, and therefore may be numbered as now enlisted for a second time, and for this service.

Maj. Curtis also had returned previously to that battle, and was one of twenty minute men who stood ready at the time.

Jahleel Woodbridge, Esq., was commander of the band.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

In August, Col. Baum, as is well known, was sent by Burgoyne to plunder the American stores at Bennington.

Alarm spread through the country, and Gen. Stark, with all the characteristic ardor of his Irish soul, and with the forgiving spirit of a true patriot, buried his real or supposed wrongs in the sod which he had tilled, exchanged the plow for the sword, and rushed to the defence of his adopted country.

Berkshire men, from towns as far south as Pittsfield, joined his army, and others stood ready to go at the sound of the signal guns.

Several parties were met, and still the enemy pressed on, halting only at the distance of four miles from the town.

New supplies were at hand, and Stark resolved to attack Baum in his camp before he should be reinforced.

The encampment was on a branch of the Hoosuck, called variously Walloon Creek, Walloomsack, &c., near Van Schaack's Mills, and within the bounds of New York.

The day was Saturday, Aug. 16, 1777.

The Hessian commander did all that could be done; but after two hours of hot conflict, the Hessians gave way, and the army was routed.

Soon Breyman came up with a reinforcement and renewed the battle.

Stark, however, was also reinforced by Warner, and maintained his position.

The engagement was kept up until dark, and then Breyman escaped with a small part of his force to the British camp, leaving his artillery and baggage to be added to the American stores which Baum had been sent to secure.

This action had been preceded by a day of solemn fasting and prayer in New Hampshire, in view of the impending danger.

In Stockbridge, the booming of the cannon alone told of the battle.

There was danger — there was death and desolation somewhere; but "where?" and "how near?" "who were suffering?" and "how soon?" and "from what quarter? " the foe might be upon them with fire and sword, was left for torturing imagination to answer.

Those whose names were on the minute roll, might be summoned at any instant to exchange home and all that they had garnered there for the tent and the battle-field, and those who had friends in the northern army justly imagined them in the conflict.

And as that night gathered its curtain of unusual darkness around their dwellings, as families turned from the untasted meal to prepare for the possible midnight attack, or for the sudden warning to the enlisted; as the yet unbroken circle gathered once more around the family altar, trustful devotion seeking to gain the mastery, over fears and murmurings, or as the prayerless household, without God and without hope, sought the pillow which contained no promise, fancy fails to tell the varied, and ever varying emotions which surged the hearts of all in this, our now safe and quiet dwelling place.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXXI.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
, continued ...

But the night passed, undisturbed except by the bark of some wakeful sentinel at the door, the frightful dreams of childhood, the rustling of the leaves, or the pattering of the rain-drops; and a Sabbath morning, almost of necessity, brought some hope of good.

The frugal board was again spread and welcomed, the prayerful breathed gratitude for deliverance, and the timid child laughed at its dreamy terrors, climbed the father's knee, looked fearlessly into the face of a parent — not a soldier — and, as it was not wont on other Sabbaths, talked gaily of the gun and knapsack now thrown aside.

Even the cold, drizzling rain was half enjoyed in the comfort of protection from its power, when suddenly a gun is heard and as they listen, breathless, another, and still another.

"To arms to arms!"

Not a child but understood their dreadful import, and not a heart in Stockbridge but beat that moment with anxiety or grief.

A few parting words, a few hasty kisses, and we must leave the cradle and the hearth-stone, for the scenes which were transpiring in the village — the exterior of war, with which, alone, history has usually anything to do.

The village, as all must know, was not what we have known it.

The public house was low, though of two stories, and entered by a door cut crosswise.

The corner now occupied by Mr. Curtis was vacant, and only two or three small houses stood between that corner and the next.

School-house Lane was not then opened.

Two houses, only, stood below the dwelling of Capt. Goodrich; and west of Major Owen's there was the former residence of Mr. Sergeant, (then the dwelling of Mr. Kirkland,) a low house occupied by Mr. James, (father of the distinguished physician of that name,) Mr. Tucker's, (now Mr. Brinton's,) Widow Betty's, the "Peck house," and perhaps the houses now owned by Mr. Carter, and Mrs. Curtis.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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