Chapter 1

The Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

"The essential principles of our Government…form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."

President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
3rd President of the United States
First Inaugural Address, 1801

Thomas Jefferson

June 17, 1775 – The first major fight between British and American troops occurs in Boston at the Battle of Bunker Hill. American troops are dug in along the high ground of Breed's Hill (the actual location) and are attacked by a frontal assault of over 2,000 British soldiers who storm up the hill. The Americans are ordered not to fire until they can see "the whites of their eyes."

As they get within 15 paces, the Americans let loose a deadly volley of rifle fire and halt the British advance.

The British then regroup and attack 30 minutes later with the same result. A third attack, however, succeeds as the Americans run out of ammunition and are left only with bayonets and stones to defend themselves. The British succeed in taking the hill, but at a loss of half their force, over a thousand casualties, with the Americans losing about 400, including the important colonial leader, General Joseph Warren.

I am voting in honor of Benjamin King, who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War.
John K. Willard, Gardiner
Served in Korea

Maine's Role in the Revolutionary War

At the time of the American Revolution, Maine, not a State until 1820, was part of Massachusetts. Because of Maine's remoteness from the authorities in Boston and the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the inhabitants received little military support despite the proximity of the British across the border in Canada and constant pressure from the Royal Navy along the coast. Apart from Benedict Arnold's ill-fated expedition to Quebec through the wilderness of western Maine, most military action took place up and down the vulnerable coast.

June 1775 – A Machias seaman, Jeremiah O'Brien, leads the rebel raid on the British schooner HMS Margaretta and two other vessels on the Machias River, the first naval battle of the American Revolution.

The British retaliate by burning the Town of Falmouth (now the City of Portland) in the autumn of that year. Other attempts by Revolutionary forces, like the unsuccessful "Penobscot Expedition" aimed at driving the British out of their fortifications at Castine, also fail. The War for American Independence was successfully fought and won elsewhere.

There were two ways in which a man might serve the Revolutionary cause: most men, like Daniel Sullivan, joined a local militia unit to serve for a three- or nine-month stint, subject to a call-up in response to a nearby emergency; others joined what was known as the Regular Continental Army for three years or for the duration of hostilities. These men were often stationed far from their homes. Their units operated under the direct command of General George Washington.

Several Maine responses, like the following, honored ancestors and early settlers who had served in the Revolutionary War:

I am voting in memory of Daniel Sullivan, who was a Revolutionary War hero; our town is named for him. He was Captain of the 2nd Company, 6th Lincoln County Regiment of Militia.
Lynn A. Dunbar, Sullivan

Grave Registration Card for Captain Daniel Sullivan

Grave Registration Card for Captain Daniel Sullivan, who served with Colonel Benjamin Foster at Machias and at "Majorbagaduce," now the Town of Castine.  –Maine State Archives

I am voting in honor of Joshua Williams, my 5th great-grandfather by marriage. He served in the Revolutionary War and later founded the Town of Great Pond around 1810.
Joan P. Archer, Aurora

July 10, 1779 – Naval ships from Massachusetts are destroyed by the British while attempting to take the Loyalist stronghold of Castine, Maine.

Nathaniel Warren, my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, served from 1778-1781 in Colonel Henry Jackson's 16th Massachusetts Regiment…He made a forced march from Providence to Boston to relieve the militia on the Castine Expedition.
Charles H. Warren, Scarborough
Served in WWII

When we vote, we will do so in honor of Captain Nathan Daggett, our 5th great-grandfather, who was a captain in the American Revolution.
Lynda N. Quinn, Skowhegan
Vanessa L. Quinn, Skowhegan

Faneuil Hall, Boston (1789)

Faneuil Hall, Boston (1789)

Additional Tributes Submitted Online

Tribute to my Great-great-great-great-great uncle, Ezekiel Chase:

I vote in honor of my old uncle Ezekiel who at the age of 16 began his service in the Continental Army. He served in Rhode Island and at the 1780 Battle of Springfield NJ. In 1780 he was captured by the British and imprisoned in the prison ship "Jersey" in New York harbor for 2 years. After the peace was signed, he struggled to get back to Maine, traveling in a cart because he could not walk. He was the 2nd white settler in what was to become Piscataquis County. His two brothers died in the war, one at sea, and Jonathan Chase at the siege of Yorktown in 1781.

Dan Peters, Milo Maine

Tribute to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Buck:

To ensign Buck who settled Butterfield (Buckfield) Maine on a service grant, then removed to Hamblin's Gore. He is buried on the Whales Back in Woodstock. In 2002 his grave received a Patriot's tribute flag for the first time.

Carol Chaney Waters, Jay

Tribute to my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather and great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Charles & Elisha Bisbee:

Charles and Elisha Bisbee (1757-1826), father and son of Bridgewater, MA served as privates in a Mass Regiment. Father, Charles, (1726-1807) was the first settler of Sumner and is buried there in Bonney Cemetery.

Carol Chaney Waters, Jay

Tribute to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Stephen Drew:

Stephen Drew (1754-1825) of Plymouth, MA is buried in the Drew Cemetery in East Buckfield ME. 46 11127; Volume: 2 abstracts

Carol Chaney Waters, Jay

Tribute to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Irish:

John Irish,(1724-?), son of James, was a soldier in the expeditionary forces that captured Louisburg from the French in 1745 and was one of those who received a grant of land in Pearstown, for services in that campaign. He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution in Capt. Wentworth Stuart's Co.

Carol Chaney Waters, Jay

Tribute to my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, John Hodge:

John Hodge of Minot, ME served two tours of duty during the Revolutionary War, once as a private in George Rogers Co. at Fort Falmouth in 1775 (now Portland) as part of the Massachusetts militia (Province of Maine) and second as a Corporal in Nathaniel Merrill's Co. in 1779 in the campaign to the Penobscot (Bagaduce Expedition) to remove the British from Fort George (now Castine ME). He joined his neighbors in the fight for their farms and lands that future generations should prosper on it and together build an independent free nation where hard work and ingenuity would equally reward any and all free thinkers who should come after him with shared dreams of building a better life in a free society. Thus, upon the foundations of his struggles, I will carry this torch, that I shall not let this light darken upon these lands but add to its glow that future generations may also share the dream of my fore fathers.

"go out and find the place where I am lying and kneel and say an Ave there for me. And I will hear though soft your tread above me and then my grave will warm and sweeter be"

Richard Paul Hodge, formerly Mexico, ME (now Galveston, TX)

Tribute to my Friend, William Everett Roach:

With love.

Jane Doeman, Scarborough, Maine

Tribute to my great-great grandfather, Samuel Davis, Jr.:

Samuel Davis is remembered as the last living Revolutionary War veteran in Standish, as is noted on his grave.

More importantly, Samuel was born on the 4th of July in 1862, making him only a young teenager when he fought to give us freedom.

I am proud to be a descendant of this real Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Theresa Nowlin, Harrison, Maine

Tribute to my Father, Lester O. Prue Jr.:

It is people like my dad that rose up to serve his country in the military and risk his life. People like that make this country great. Thank You Dad, your service will never be forgotten.

David Prue, South Berwick, Maine

Tribute to my Uncle, Clarence Collins:

He was a great man!

Mike, Wildes

Tribute to my 4th great-grandfather, Daniel Nelson:

I am submitting a tribute in honor of my 4th great-grandfather who fought as a Marine under the command of Captain John Paul Jones on the Sloop of War "Ranger" from August 1777 to November 1, 1778. He is buried in the Old Canaan Cemetery and unfortunately his grave is unmarked at this time.

Stephanie Thompson Smith, Germantown, Ohio (formerly of Palmyra, Maine)

Tribute to my Grandfather, William E. Allard:

My Grandfather served many years in our Countries Coast Guard. He has told me many stories of his time in the service. I am proud to be his granddaughter and to be paying tribute to him and honoring him in my first ever year of voting.

Samantha Allard, Somerville Maine

Tribute to my 5th Great Grandfather, Thomas Shepard Jenkins:

York County Militia Private, Bunker Hill, from Dean C. Jenkins. President, Society of Massachusetts Sons of the Revolution.

Dean Clayton Jenkins, Peabody, Massachusetts

Tribute to my Father, James Cosenza:

Thank you for serving dad.

Donna Ireland, Lowell

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