The Connecticut Historical Society published in 1901, as the eighth of its series of Collections, a volume of “Rolls and Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution. 1775-1783.” As explained in its introduction, the material in that volume supplemented what had already been published in 1889 in the officially issued “Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution, 1775-1783.”
The material herewith issued as the twelfth volume of Collections, with the title “Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, 1775-1783,” is intended to supplement what has already been published in the two volumes mentioned above.
The major part of this volume, as its title might indicate, is composed of officially written lists and returns of soldiers who were serving in the Continental regiments of the “Connecticut Line.” There are also some rolls of companies in service which had not previously been printed, particularly in 1782 and 1783. Comparatively few new names of soldiers or additional records of service are printed in this volume. Its chief value will be found to consist in the addition in the case of a great majority of the soldiers, of the name of the town from which the soldier came. This will supply much sought for information, and in many cases will doubtless serve to identify the soldier.
Digital Manuscript: Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution
Index starts on page 371.
Introduction to Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution
Many of the statements made in the introduction to the volume of Rolls and Lists apply equally well to this volume. A part of the copy was made by Mr. Thomas, and all of the cards for the index were written by Miss Gay. All comparison of index cards and reading of proof of both text and index has been done by the editor. Much the same method has been used in indexing as in the former volume. All surnames have been indexed exactly as they appear in the text; but in the case of Christian names, where both a correct and an incorrect spelling of the same name appeared, both are indexed under the correct spelling.
The sources from which the material in this volume has been printed are, with the addition of volume 39 of the Revolutionary War series in the State Library, practically the same as those used in the previous volume of “Rolls and Lists” and enumerated in the introduction to that volume.
A word of explanation seems advisable regarding the rolls of Col. Samuel B. Webb’s regiment for 1782 and 1783. which are found in volume 39 of the Revolutionary War series, and are here printed on pages 303-344. These rolls were formerly in the Comptrollers office and have but recently been transferred to the State Library, where they have been arranged and bound. They are not original rolls of the period which they represent, but are comparatively modern copies, perhaps made about 1843. The source from which they were copied is not now known. The majority of them are written in a free running hand which leaves not a few of the letters in the names poorly formed and doubtful, while many of the names are closely written, owing to the copyist’s anxiety to crowd them into the limited space on a certain uniform size of paper. Apparently the copyist was sometimes careless in his writing and set down letters which could not by any possibility be construed as forming a name. Monthly muster rolls of the staff and of the different companies in this regiment for some or all of the months of February, March, May, June, July, September, October 1782, December 1782-January 1783, and February 1783, are preserved in these copies. In this volume only the earliest roll in each year of each of these companies has been printed. The later monthly rolls have been compared with this, and differences, except occasional unimportant variations of spelling, are noted on the printed page. Thus it appears that the name of the same person is found on one roll as Chester Upham and on another as Christopher Upham (page 307), or on one roll as Amos Gustin and on another as Amos Griffin (page 310). Whether or not these differences appeared on the original rolls is a matter for conjecture. In numerous instances a name after having appeared on several successive monthly rolls is dropped from succeeding rolls without any mention being made of the man’s discharge, desertion, or transfer to another company (such as John Gimson, page 311). Such disappearances are noted on the printed page, as well as the occasional appearance of names on later which are not found on earlier rolls (such as David Clark, page 312). By printing the earliest roll and thus noting the differences found on later rolls the wearisome repetition which would have occurred in printing practically the same roll a half dozen times has been avoided.
Much of this volume is made up of official lists which had themselves been copied and compiled from other lists, made up probably by the town’s authorities in the absence of the persons named in the lists. In making such a compilation the opportunity for error is great, and not a few of the names as they appear in the lists and are here printed are evident errors. In some instances the true name is very evident, although badly misspelled; but in others not even by the trial of a phonic pronunciation can the real name be guessed.
In printing these documents it has been impossible to avoid some duplication of names and services, but it has been thought better to allow occasional duplication than to run any risk of omission.