REFLECTIONS ON THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: THE ROLE OF THE MILITIA
by Dan McLaughlin http://www.redstate.com/2013/02/01/refecltions-on-the-american-revolution-the-militia.
"How did thirteen colonies, with a barely functioning central government
and a thrown-together, underfunded and poorly supplied army of constantly
fluctuating size and composition, win the Revolutionary War? One reason
was the colonies' ability to rely on their common citizens to supplement
the Continental Army with the local militia.
While it was the Continental Army that had to do the bulk of the work to win
the war for Independence, the story of the American victory cannot be told
without the militia;
- - - -a bulwark against tyranny, and a line of national defense- - - - called up
during the Revolution, as needed, to suppress insurrections and repel invasions."
THE PENOBSCOT EXPEDITION 1779
This is Dan McLaughlin's account:
A force comprised mainly of Massachusetts and Maine Militia supported by a small detachment of Marines was to make an amphibious landing in Maine and assault a British Fort, was, he contends, ( a complex operation, unsuited to militia,) despite superior numbers compared to the enemy and some initial momentum, the unwieldy joint command co-ordinated poorly with its Continental Navy support, the Maine Militia turned out in smaller numbers than expected (1500 called, 875 engaged), and the Miliitia maintained an ineffective siege and cut and ran when counter-attacked. The commanders of the expedition, including Paul Revere, ended up being hauled before a court-martial, and Maine remained in British hands for the rest of the war.
There is an excellent article in Wikipedia for those of you who are interested in knowing more. The Penobscot Expedition is deemed the largest American Naval expedition of the American Revolution and the United States worst Naval defeat prior to Pearl Harbor. It was one of the greatest British victories of the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Expedition.
Into this scene, we find young John Sawyer, his brother Thomas, who was a private in the Continental line,a separate unit, and a number of other young men from Old Falmouth. Later, I will include some of these men who gave testimony to John's service when he was applying for a military pension.
My understanding is that an Act of of Congress issued sometime around 1830, allowed Revolutionary War veterans to apply for benefits. According to Rodney Sawyer, John Sawyer's statement was taken on July 25, 1832 when he was then, 71 years old. I'm including some, but certainly not all, of the documents that did result in the pension being issued to Abigail Graves Sawyer, John's widow. I chose these because they appealed to my curiosity to know something of the people who were neighbors and friends of the Sawyers and because they have visible signatures.
|Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War|
The following are documents pertaining to the pension application process. It appears that there needed to be at least three persons to give testimony to John Sawyer's service and that each of the statements had to be witnessed and verified by the Court.
|I was particularly interested in this because the witness is Joseph Pride; same name as one of the Captains, John served under in two of his enlistments during the Revolution, and again, in the War of 1812. Could this be a son of Capt. Pride?|
|Note the amount to be paid.|