Cornwall Vermont Military History

Relative to the action of the inhabitants of Cornwall in the War of 1812, Mr. Matthews wrote as follows:

“When our territory was invaded or threatened with invasion, party strifes sunk out of view, and citizens arranged themselves around their country’s standard, and stood shoulder to shoulder, the united opponents of a common foe. When in the spring of 1814 the alarm was sounded that the British forces on the lake were intending to destroy the vessels which afterward constituted McDonough’s fleet, then building at Vergennes, the citizens, as if moved by an electric spark, shouldered their muskets and flew to the rescue, desirous only of knowing how they might best repel the invader. And when, in the following autumn, the alarm again rang along our hills and through our valleys, that a British army was marching upon Plattsburgh, the call to arms met a hearty response from every bosom. Men dropped their implements of labor, seized the weapons of war and set forward to the field of strife.

“The following incidents have been kindly furnished by Major Orin Field, who personally shared the fatigues and perils of the march:

“‘In September, 1814, Plattsburgh, N. Y., was invaded by the British army, 14,000 strong. The alarm was sounded through our valleys, and our militia soon responded to the call. Men left their work and took their guns, not waiting for extra fixings, and in parties, from six to a dozen, were soon on their way to the scene of conflict.

“‘On arriving at Burlington, most of the volunteers from Cornwall embodied themselves in a company commanded by Captain E. B. Hill, while others joined him after reaching Plattsburgh. The night of the 10th of September we encamped three miles south of the fort. Early on the morning of the 11th we were aroused by the booming of cannon in the distance, when it was soon ascertained that the two fleets were engaged. The volunteers, some 1,500 in number, were commanded by General Samuel Strong, of Vergennes; Colonel Lyman, of Charlotte; Colonel Hastings Warren, of Middlebury; Major Somers Gale, of Cornwall, and were soon marching down on the west bank of Lake Champlain. In a short time we came in sight of the two fleets, and we could see the water fly as the balls sped on through the waves. As we neared the fort the column filed to the left and entered an open forest, where a lumber road was traceable.

“‘At this point we soon saw the air filled with shot and shell, some bursting over our heads, knocking down one of our men, who was soon up and in his place again–our destination being the upper crossing of the Saranac. Just before reaching the river we encountered a body of some four hundred of the enemy, who saluted us with several shots or rounds, when they showed us their backs.’

“The following list of the volunteers who were in service at Plattsburgh is gathered from those who were of the number, many of whom still survive and are residents among us. The company from Cornwall, commanded by Captain E. B. Hill, consisted of those who were enrolled and liable to do duty in his company, together with several others who joined him on the way and after arriving at Plattsburgh. The list is as follows:

“Edmund B. Hill, captain; Wm. Hamilton, Erastus Reeve, lieutenants; Ezra Mead, ensign; Daniel Sanford, orderly; Hosea Brooks, acting surgeon; Elijah Foot, Josiah Pond, Rufus Mead, sergeants; Ozias Sanford, corporal. Privates: Roger Avery, John Avery, Daniel Avery, Abiram Avery, Ethan Andrus, E. B. Baxter, Felix Benton, Elijah Benton, Noah L. Benton, Asahel Bingham, Abel Benedict, William Cook, Austin Dana, Chester Fenn, Isaac L. Fisher, Elihu Grant, Truman C. Gibbs, Henry Green, Joel Harrington, Ami Harrington, Ira Harrington, Harry Hill, Wm. Hurlbut, Enos Hamlin, Reuben Gillett, Henry Kirkum, John McNeal, Israel McNeal, Ephraim Pratt, Amos Pennoyer, Russel Richards, Samuel Richards, Daniel Wright, Zadoc B. Robbins, Ransom Robinson, Jonah Sanford, John Sanford, Moses Wooster, Marston Sherwood, Elijah Durfey, Jesse Ellsworth, Lewis W. Ellsworth, Orin Field, Russel Foot, Jesse Keeler, Gilbert Linsly, Wm. Lane, Helon Mead, Paul Moore, Ezekiel Scovel, Nathaniel Sherwood, Ira Wentworth, Warren Wheeler; William Slade, baggage master; Job Lane, Benjamin Atwood, Ezra Scovel, Luther G. Bingham, teamsters.”

When the peace of the town was again disturbed, and the call to arms for the defense of the government was heard, the people responded with the same patriotism that distinguished Vermonters in all parts of the State. The following list shows the names of those who enlisted in the last war in Vermont organizations.

Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:

D. H. Allex, W. H. Austin, A. K. Barlow, N. Baxter, J. Castle, C. Clair, E. Clair, O. Clair, L. Darling, J. Donnelly, L. S. Evarts, J. E. Fenton, E. Frost, D. Goulette, G. Greenleaf, D. Hickey, G. Hodges, F. S. Holley, T. J. Lane, J. J. Manny, E. Mayo, M. Nero, T. D. Peck, E. O. Porter, A. H. Potter, P. G. Potter, O. E. Ross, B. Rider, H. R. Sampson, O. Sanford, I. Searles, W. Shorker, M. W. Smith, C. E. Stearns, I. J. Stearns, J. Stott, E. S. Stowell, A. Youtt, C. E. Youtt.

Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:

Volunteers for three years.–P. Bear, D. C. Bent, J. Bodoin, J. A. Barrows, L. Goulette, J. C. Hawkins, L. Lavake, A. Mahan, S. Mahan, G. M’Cue, W. D. Watson, A. P. Youtt, C. Youtt.

Volunteers for one year.–B. Brooks, M. Smith.

Volunteers re-enlisted.–A. K. Barlow, H. Currier, J. Castle, P. Fox, M. Nero, C. E. Stearns, J. St. Marie, J. Stott, J. R. Rice, A. B. Wilson.

Enlisted men who furnished substitute.–O. A. Field, R. Lane.

Not credited by name.-Two men.

Volunteers for nine months.–C. Beaudoin, H. W. Bingham, J. Demar, M. S. Keeler, N. S. Lewis, A. Mahan, S. Mahan, H. Mora, L. D. Moody, H. T. Peck, R. R. Peck, A. S. Pinney, H. S. Sheldon, A. B. Simonds, H. D. Wheelock, J. M. Wooster, W. J. Wright.

Furnished under draft.–Paid commutation, H. J. Manchester, W. H. Matthews, L. C. Mead, S. E. Parkill, M. M. Peck, G. Pratt, C. H. Rust. Procured substitute, C. B. Currier, G. E. Dana, M. B. Williamson, I. G. Wooster.


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