The History of Caroline County, Maryland, From Its Beginning, 1920, pp. 54-69


The Militia

I.  Introduction.

        The story of the Militia of the Eastern Shore is the story of the spirit of the times, and this cannot be more clearly set forth than by quoting from a letter written May 1774, by a Mr. Eddie, officer of the English Government.
         “All America is in a flame: I hear strange language every day.   The colonists are ripe for any measure that will tend to the preservation of what they call their national liberty.   I enclose you the resolves of our citizens; they have caught the general contagion. Expresses are flying from province to province.  It is the universal opinion here, that the mother country cannot support a contention with these settlements, if they abide steady to the letter and spirit of their association."
        All Maryland was aroused and Caroline County seemed imbued with even more than her quota of enthusiasm, and she was among the first to respond to the call of the nation. Her militia, her minute men, her Flying Camp were the material outgrowth of her spirit of   Democracy.

II.  Origin of Militia

        The Militia was a provincial organization of a very early date, an Act of General Assembly for such an organization having been passed at their session in 1638.
        This Act provided that, under the direction of the Lieutenant General, “The captain of the military band shall use all power necessary, or conducing, in his direction, to the safety and defense of the province.”
        However at the opening of the Revolutionary period the Militia was only a tentative organization and Caroline as a county had no such military body of which we know.

III.  Caroline's Awakening.

        In all the colonies the English yoke was becoming heavy and as the spirit of Liberty spread abroad Maryland joined the opposition to England’s tyranny with “A stern determination to have it efficient.”
        Then Caroline came to the fore-front in her state activities when the citizens in 1774 held a large meeting at Melvill’s  warehouse, oil the 18th day of June, by adjournment from the 8th of the same month, and passed the following resolutions, Charles Dickinson, Esq., chairman:

“1.  Resolved, That the inhabitants of this country are by duty and Inclination firmly attached to his most sacred majesty, King George the Third, to whom we owe all due obedience and allegiance.

"2.  That it is the unanimous opinion of this meeting that the Boston port act is principally grounded on the opposition made by the inhabitants of that town to the tea duty, that the said town of Boston is now suffering in the common cause of British America, and that it is the duty of every colony thereof to unite in the most effectual means of obtaining a repeal of the late act of parliament for shutting up the port of Boston.

"3.  That in the unanimous opinion of this meeting that if the colonies came into a joint resolution to forbear all importations whatsoever from Great Britain, (except such articles as are absolutely necessary) until the acts of parliament for shutting up the port of Boston, and for levying a duty in America for the express purpose of raising a revenue, shall be repealed, it will be the means of preserving the liberties of North America.

"Resolved, therefore, That the inhabitants of this county are disposed firmly to unite with the inhabitants of this province and the other colonies of North America, in an association and agreement to forbear the importation of goods and merchandise from Great Britain, during the continuance of the said acts of parliament (except such articles as may be judged proper to be excepted by a general association,) and that all orders for importation, (except the articles before excepted,) ought to cease.

"4.  That it is against the opinion of this meeting. that the colonies go into a general non-importation from, or non-exportation, to Great Britain, but should both, or either of these measures be adopted, they will acquiesce therein.

“5. That it is the unanimous opinion of this meeting that the courts of justice be kept open. But should a non-exportation agreement be generally come into, In that case it is the opinion of this meeting that the courts of justice be shut up.

"6.  That It is the opinion of the inhabitants of this county, that this province ought to break off all trade and dealings with that colony, province, or town, which shall refuse or decline to come into similar resolutions with a majority of the colonies.

"7.  That it is the unanimous opinion of this meeting that delegates be appointed from this province to attend a general congress of delegates from the other colonies, at such time and place as shall be agreed on, in order to settle and establish a general plan of conduct for the important purposes aforementioned.

"8.  That Thomas White, William Richardson, Isaac Bradley, Nathaniel Potter, Benson Stainton, and Thomas Goldsborough, be a committee to attend a general meeting at Annapolis.  And that the same gentlemen, together with Charles Dickinson, Richard Mason, Joshua Clark, Henry Dickinson, Dr. Wm. Molleson, Charles Blair, Wm. Haskins, Philip Fiddleman, Wm. Hooper, the Rev. Samuel Keene, the Rev. Philip Walker, Henry Casson and Benedict Brice, be a committee of correspondence to receive and answer all letters, and on any emergency, to call a general meeting and that any seven of the number have the power to act.

9. That this paper be considered as an instruction to the deputies nominated from this County to meet at the city of Annapolis for the purpose of forming a general association, in which they are not to come into any engagement whatever, but upon condition that the colonies in general shall come into a similar measure.

“10. That a copy of the proceedings be published in the MARYLAND GAZETTE, to envince to the world the sense they entertain of the invasion of  their constitutional rights and liberties.  Signed, per order,
Henry Downes, Jr., Clerk

        These resolutions show that the intent of the colonists was readjustment of differences, not war.  They wanted tread relations changed, not the government.  When, however, April 28, 1774, at 9 A.M. the blood-tidings from Lexington reached Annapolis, war became a certainty in the minds of the Assembly.
        A letter sent to the State deputies of each county stating the savage massacre of a number of the inhabitants of Lexington, and the movement of the King’s troops, numbering 1200, caused great alarm through the colonies; therefore, it became necessary to form some kind of a resistance.
When the convention met at Annapolis in December a resolution was adopted, in substance as follows:
        On the eighth day of December, 1774, the deputies from each county met and resolved to form a militia of their respective counties.  This militia was to be composed of the gentlemen, freeholders and other freemen.  It was further recommended that all persons from sixteen to fifty years of age enroll and form themselves into companies of 68 men; to choose a captain, two lieutenants, an ensign, four sergeants, four corporals and one drummer for each company.  These men were to use every means possible to make themselves masters of the military exercise.  Each man was to be provided a good fire-lock and bayonet fixed thereon, one half pound of powder, two pounds of lead, and a cartouch box, or powder-horn, and a bag of ball, and be in readiness to act in any emergency.
        At the same time it was recommended that the it was recommended that the "Committee" of each County raise a solicited subscription or voluntary gift of monies amounting in full to 10,000 pounds of which Caroline's allotment was 358 pounds.
        Under the direction of the Committees from the respective counties this money was to be used to purchase arms and ammunition for the use of such county.
        The resolves of the convention were immediately carried out; old and young enrolled with the greatest enthusiasm, and money, arms, and ammunition, were everywhere collected to meet the approaching crisis.  Maryland was girding herself for the struggle.  It broke out in open conflict, just before the meeting of the convention.
        To repress toryism, it was enacted that if any inhabitants of the province should, after the 5th of August following, levy war against the United States or should adhere "to any person or persons bearing arms or employed in the service of Great Britain against the United Colonies,------ or shall afford such persons,-------any aid or comfort, or shall give them,------ or any subject of Great Britain any intelligence of the warlike preparations or designs of the United Colonies,------such person on conviction thereof by a petit jury, after a presentment by a grand jury, in a court to be erected in this colony by the next convention, for the trial of such offenders, shall suffer death with benefit of clergy, and forfeit all estate which he had at the time of the commission of the crime, to be applied to the use of this colony, unless such convicted person shall be pardoned by the person or persons invested with the power of granting pardon for such offences."
        While in all probability the enrollment was not complete on the given date the records state that on September 15, 1775, all persons within the province from sixteen to fifty, subscribed, enrolled and pledged their willingness to bear arms and march to such places within the province, when the convention, or the council of safety commanded.
        The militia companies consisted of not more than 74 privates, nor less than 50; each captain of his militia was to submit a muster roll to the committee of Observation.  This roll including captains, lieutenants, ensign, number of non-commissioned officers and privates, was forward to the Council of Safety, in order that all commissions might be issued in the name of the convention to these officers.
        The militia was to meet for exercise weekly; the commanding officer naming the place.  Conditions frequently made it necessary that the commanding officer had to have his company divided and exercised once each month.
        Every non-commissioned officer and private of the minute-men and militia was to appear at this place of muster with his firelock and other equipment in good order, and to diligently and obediently attend to all instructions, and perform his exercise in arms as commanded.  In case he should not appear, or his firearms were not in good order, and having no legitimate excuse, he was subjected to a fine not exceeding the sum of five shillings in common money for every such neglect.  Such misbehavior was to be determined by the captain, lieutenants, and ensigns or any two of them.
        Every commissioned officer having no reasonable excuse and failing to perform his duty according to his office and station, and for the refusal of duty, shall be fined a sum not to exceed 15 shillings of common money; such misbehavior to be adjudged by other field and commissioned officers, or a major part of them.
        The militia continued under the organization until the end of 1775 at which time material changes were made in the military arrangements.

IV. Government

        That the various enactments and organizations pertaining to the government may be understood it might be well to speak of the governing bodies at the close of the provincial organization.
        There was a short period between the awakening of the people and the deposing of Robert Eden, last Colonial Governor, when Maryland was really under two governments.  The General Assembly was not dissolved, yet the colony resenting their rule sent representatives to Annapolis and formed a “Convention” which first met Nov. 21, 1774.  This date was the time of the actual deposing of the Colonial Governor, although his power was gone even before this.  It might be well to mention that Governor Eden still remained in the province after the supremacy had been taken out of his hands by the convention.  His easy and affable manner had caused no alarm; for sometime before the change in the governing power he had been apparently neutral.  But certain letters were found addressed to him from Lord Dunmore, who was commanding a fleet in the Chesapeake Bay, and was also prominent in stirring up the Tories in the lower part of the province, asking Robert Eden to hold himself in readiness to assist the Crown when occasion presented itself.  General Charles Lee, into whose hands the letters were placed, immediately forwarded same to the Council of Safety at Baltimore.  As the convention was not in session, he advised that the person and papers of Mr. Eden be at once secured.
        Captain Smith, company commander under Major Gist, was sent with a detachment of the Maryland regulars for that purpose.  The convention afterwards resented this proceeding and reprimanded Captain Smith and ordered him to return to Baltimore.  At the same time however, considering the presence of Governor Eden no longer consistent with the safety of the colony, resolved—“That it be signified to the Governor, that he leave his province because the public safety and quiet, in the judgment of this convention is required, and that he is at full power of liberty to depart peaceably with his effects, and that a committee of five persons be appointed to wait on the on the Governor and deliver him copies of the resolutions together with an address.”  The house voted on the above resolution; Caroline’s vote was as follows: Mr. Richardson, affirmative;
Mr. Dickinson, negative; Mr. Mason, negative.
        Governor Eden sailed on his majesty’s ship Fowey, June 24, 1776.  Detachments of militia were placed at convenient posts to prevent any communication with the  Fowey man of war together with the ship Defence, which tendered her down the bay to prevent as far as possible any plunder or attack.
        After taking the governing power out of the hands of the Governor it became necessary to give this power to some governing body; for this purpose a “Maryland Council of Safety” was chosen by ballot.  It was composed of 16 persons, eight of whom resided on the western shore and eight on the eastern shore.  This body was to direct and regulate the operations of the minutemen and militia, providing equipment, food, regulating their movements from place to place, and appointing and commissioning field officers, together with the regulation of the rank of all military officers.  The Council moreover attended to all matters of state when the Convention was not in session and had the power to call a special meeting of said Convention when they deemed it necessary.
A Local Committee was formed called the “Committee of Observation” whose duty it was to inspect (locally) and report to the Council of Safety on the conduct of any who were suspected of being disloyal, also to investigate direct charges of disloyalty.  The term of office members of this committee was one year, beginning on day of election.
        The committee of Observation in each county was held responsible for every able bodied man enrolling, and in case they found those who failed to enroll, their names were forwarded to the State convention which would adopt measures against such persons.
        It was further ordered that each committee of Observation, as soon as convenient after their election should choose by ballot five members to act as a “Committee of Correspondence” for their county between the State Council and other counties.  One person was named on each committee to act as a treasurer; receiving all sums of money which was given voluntarily; this to be used in encouraging the building of manufactories of any kind for immediate relieve in the counties and arming and defending the country.
        Their number of elections is shown in the following:

        “In September 1775, an election was held at the court houses of the counties for the purpose of electing new members to the committee of Observation.  All freeholders in the province, and other freeman having a visible estate of 40 pounds sterling were qualified to vote.”
        Thus we see that the “Convention” the “Council of Safety,” the “Committee of Observation” together with sub-committees formed Maryland’s governing body during the Revolutionary period.
Though Caroline County’s people were in the main loyal, and did all in their power to carry out the orders of the province, yet Tories and other paid agents of the British Government wrought considerable dissatisfaction in the minds of many well-disposed persons as will be understood from the following extracts from the Maryland Archives.
Caroline County Sept. 17, 1776.
        Agreeably to the requisition of the Convention made to the field officers of this county, to endeavor to get a company made up to march to New York, I thought it necessary to convene the 28th Battalion of Militia on Saturday last for that purpose, and after meeting in the usual field of parade, the several Companies were drawn up, except the Company under the command of Capt. John Fauntleroy.  I then requested he would draw up his company, who made me for answer, that he had but a few officers in the field and that he should not draw up under me as a commander in the field.
        Capt. Fauntleroy’s reasons for not joining the Battalion I do not certainly know, but after the Battalion were dismissed, I am credibly informed he endeavored to see who would join against me, for what purpose I do not know unless to treat me ill.
        As it appears to me, Sir, that he is a disobedient officer and possibly was I to overlook this injury to the common cause, it might prove to be bad consequence, besides under these circumstances my person as well as character may not be altogether safe, and in order sir, that peace and harmony may again take place, I pray that a court marshal may be appointed by your board for the trial of Capt. Fauntleroy in order to find out what I am to be accused with and that he or myself may meet with the instant demerits we deserve.
I am Sir most obedt Hble Servt.
Benson Stainton

(Proceedings of Court Martial)
Melvill’s Warehouse Nov. 16, 1776.

        In pursuance to an order from the Council of Safety bearing the date of 18th day of September last, for the trial of Capt. John Fauntleroy of the twenty eight Battalion of Militia for this State, I appointed the sixteenth day of November 1776, for holding a Court Martial for the purpose and gave notice of the time and place for holding said Court, to all persons concerned.  And there was present at the time and place,
Vincent Price
Nathaniel Potter
Captains  John Mitchell
                Peter Richardson
                Henry Casson, Sr.
And after fully hearing the allegations of Col. Benson Stainton and the evidence of both sides and considering the same, the Court gives judgment that Capt. John Fauntleroy pay five pounds current money for his offense and breach of duty.
Mat. Driver, President.

V. Reorganization of Militia

        At the meeting of the Convention at Annapolis, Jan. 4, 1776, a reorganization of the militia was effected.  A committee had been previously appointed to “Consider what alterations and amendments necessary, in the regulations on the militia of this Province.”
        The report was in brief as follows: No minute men were to be hereafter enrolled; no companies of minute men were to be continued after the first day of the following March; all arms now in the possession of the “minute men” to be delivered to the Committee of Observation; every able bodied man between the ages of 16 and 50 (with a few exceptions) not yet enrolled in the militia must do so on or before March 1, 1776.
        Following was a list of fines, punishments, etc., for delay or disobedience and a plan for officering the new organization.  After this Convention the “minute men” and “Flying Camp” were disbanded and the entire soldiery became militia.
The convention having been in session on Jan. 1, 1776, resolved that eight companies of troops, to consist of 68 privates under proper officers, to be formed into a battalion, and the remainder of the troops to be divided into companies of 100 men each.
        The following Caroline County officers were elected by ballot:
        East Battalion-Mr. William Richardson, colonel; Mr. Henry Dickinson, lieutenant-colonel; Mr. William Whitely, 1st major; Mr. Matthew Driver, 2nd major; Mr. John White, quartermaster.
        West Battalion-Mr. Philip Fiddeman, colonel; Mr. Benson Stainton, lieutenant-colonel;
Mr. Richard Mason, 1st major; Mr. Henry Downes, 2nd major; Mr. Thos. Hardcastle, quartermaster.
        Pay of officers as follows: colonel $50; colonels expenses $30; lieutenant colonel $40; lieutenant colonels expenses $20; major $33.33; captain $26; drummer and fifer $6; lieutenant $18; ensign $16; surgeon’s mate $20; sergeant $6.66; corporal $6; surgeon $40; chaplain $20; private $5.33; clerk to colonel $20; pay to other officers was regulated by the Council of Safety.
        That a ration consisting of one pound of beef, or three-quarters of a pound of port, one pound of flour or bread per man per day, three pints of peas at six shillings per bushel, or other vegetables equivalent, one quart of Indian meal per week, a gill of vinegar and gill of molasses per man per day, a quart of cider, small beer or rum, per man per day, three pounds of candles for one hundred men per week, for guards; twenty-four pounds of soft soap, or eight pounds of hard soap for one hundred men per week.
        Each captain was to enlist his own company and had the following instructions for enlisting men into the service:

        1. You are to enlist no man who is not able bodied, healthy, and a good marcher, nor such whose attachment to the liberties of America you have any cause to suspect. Young hearty robust men, who are tied by birth, or family connection or property to this country; and are well practiced in the use of firearms, are by much to be preferred.
        2. You are to have a great regard to moral character, sobriety in particular.
        3. You are not to enlist any servant imported, nor, without the leave of the master, any apprentice.
        4. Those who engage in the service shall be enlisted according to the form prescribed by this convention.
        A further order indicating low finance was the following:
        “To avoid a needless and insupportable expense, no person after the tenth day of May next, may wear any uniform at exercise, either in single companies or battalions, but hunting shirts, the officers distinguishing themselves from the privates by different feathers, cockades, or the like as fancy may direct.”

VI. Meeting the Needs of the War

        The general idea of conservation along all lines seemed to be immediately taken up by the Convention.  Early as the meeting of Dec. 8, 1774, we find the following recommendations:
First, that the citizens increase their flocks of sheep for the promotion of woolen manufacturing and to further this they recommended that thereafter no sheep under four years of age be killed.
The second recommendation was that the citizens increase the production of linen and cotton by  “planting all they conveniently can” and recommend further that speculators purchase no seed for exportation.
        Again in July, 1775, the Council of Safety found it necessary to discourage the killing of lambs, so that more wool might be realized; also to enforce the production of flax.
        This year as well as the next two following, meant a period of great conservation on the part of the province.  As state before they were unprepared for war, not having meat, meal, clothing, tents, firearms, or shoes for the soldiers; there was apparently leather in the colonies but it was not made up into shoes, since much of this must be done by hand it was a very slow process.
        In 1777 the American Army was so greatly in need of clothing and blankets that collectors were appointed in each county to collect these necessities wherever possible.  In Choptank Hundred Joseph Richardson was appointed Superintendent of Collections.  The Governor and Council limited the prices to be paid as follows: Blankets 13s; a hat 30d; a pair of stockings 30d; a hat 30d; coarse woolens, fit for soldiers’ coats, jackets or breeches ¾ yd. Wide 50d; linen, fit for soldiers’ shirts, per yard, 16d.
        The food question was one of importance.  How procure rations for the soldiers?
Nathaniel Potter, whom we remember as one of the first Court justices of Caroline County, and who had bought and packed pork and beef for Caroline County companies under Col. Richardson was (1776) called upon to procure, for the Province, all pork possible at 5 pounds sterling per hundred.
        The following letter written by Isaac McHard, Quartermaster to the Council of Safety, brings to us not only food conservation but the necessity of salt.

Caroline County Dec. 30th, 1776.
I have contracted with Mr. Potter to buy me all the Pork that is to be had in the county.  He had engaged to salt and barrel all that he could get and he thinks it necessary to have salt, therefore hope you will order him fifty bushels, which quantity he thinks he will want.  I have likewise engaged with Mr. James Seth, to get for me all the Pork in Talbot and Queen Anne’s County if he should want a little salt I hope you will order him a little.  I don’t know that he will want it for he has contracted to deliver it at Annapolis if possibly he can get it there.  If he can not get it there from the badness of the weather it must be salted over here and barreled and brought to Annapolis in the spring.  Your granting these orders for the salt will be much oblige. [sic]
Gentlemen, Your hble. Servt.
Isaac McHard
        N.B. Mr. Crystale will see the salt measured and will take a receipt from the Skipper for the Quantity.
        The scarcity of salt threatened the conservation of meat and must be secured for that purpose.  Many freeholders were reported as having large supplies of it stored and this led to great dissatisfaction of the people in need of it.  Searching parties were organized who went out to search for these stores.
        In one case Mr. Colston of Caroline having butchered was in great need of salt; hearing that Mr. Chamberlain of Plain Dealing Talbot, had 100 bushels stored he sent several times to buy it but each time they refused to sell.  At last Mr. Colston had his neighbors, seventeen in number, go with him carrying the money and their muskets.  They asked again that the salt be sold them, if not to open the door of the house in which the salt was stored. Mr. Chamberlain’s wife being the only one at home opened the door of the house; there they found a considerable quantity.  They ordered one of Mr. Chamberlain’s negroes to measure out 17 ½ bu. For which they paid $35.00.  On their return home they wrote a letter to Mr. Chamberlain explaining the transaction and saying they would pay the price he asked.  This matter was brought to the attention of the Council, which took immediate steps to secure 30 bus. from Talbot and Dorchester counties.
        War conditions let to other depredations, one of which with its attending civic troubles we give below:

        “In great desperation for want of salt, then so scarce, Capt. Richard Andrew and a number of men in November, 1776, entered and searched the dwelling house and outhouses of James Sullivane, looking for salt.  As they found only five bushels they did not take any.  Then they went to Col. James Murry’s [sic] on Hunting Creek (now known as the Billup’s farm) got the keys from Mrs. Murray and took fourteen and one half bushels of salt.  They offered to pay for it, but Mrs. Murray refused payment; however they left $14.50 in the house.”
        To punish these disorderly people the Committee of Observation summoned witnesses and those active in the affair, but they did not appear and a hearing was set for the following Wednesday, and wholly unexpectedly they came headed by Captain Andrew with more than a hundred armed men.  They were so disorderly that nothing could be done in the matter.  They declared they would risk their lives in defense of their acts.  An appeal was made to the Council of Safety to have Gen. Henry Hooper’s brigade of militia sent to arrest them, but considering the need of troops elsewhere and the urgent appeals made by the people on the Eastern Shore for salt, then so scarce that some families had not a pint in months, it seemed that the sending of a militia into a county to suppress local disturbances not regarded as disloyal acts, might lead to serious revolts at this critical period of the Revolutionary conflict.
        Scarcity of saltpeter too was giving the government much concern.  It was a necessity.  Powder must be produced for the man behind the gun.  As early as July, 1775, the Council of Safety found it necessary to encourage the manufacture of saltpeter.  To do this a sum not exceeding 1000 pounds common money was advanced on proper security for the erection of one or more saltpeter works.  This money was to be repaid in good merchantable saltpeter on or before October 1776.  The manufacturers were to be paid one half dollar per pound, this rate being fixed by the Council of Safety.
        At the same time a similar sum was offered for the erection and working of a powder-mill.  Again on Dec. 27, 1775, the Convention appropriated 1700 pounds of common money, each county 100 pounds to be placed in the hands of a discreet and active person in each county, called a supervisor, to be used in procuring and setting up proper kettles, tubs and necessary utensils for the manufacture of rough nitre.  That the supervisor show and explain to those who attend to the work the method and process of making crude nitre.  To encourage people throughout the county to make nitre they offered the rate of two shillings common money per pound.  The following process was recommended by the supervisors: place in open houses, or sheds admitting air, but excluding the rain and sun, the stalks and trashy leaves of tobacco, trodden straw, the sweepings of stables mixed with rich mold collected from floors of barns, and from time to time sprinkled with brine or water; this collection of various substances so as to occasion the fermentation and speedy putrefaction thereof; that the whole mass when properly decayed, may be dug, stirred up and thoroughly blended and thus left without further damping so loose and light as to attract readily and be more plentifully impregnated with nitre for future use.  Mr. Joshua Clark was supervisor for Caroline County.
Another necessity for the army was lead.  This was conserved to the utmost.  From the Archives of Maryland, 1777, the following is quoted showing its scarcity.
        “I have been obliged to call upon the inhabitants here for their Clock Weights, and Window Weights; we wanted lead; and as we have here every conveniency for making cartridges and men that understand it I intend to make up all our powder and get all the Lead that I can; We have tradesmen here that understand the making of every military article and they are all at work.”
        Following in Council of Safety records are letters relating to outfitting of soldiers.
        “Resolved that Chas. Beatley of Frederick be empowered to contract for the making and delivering of 650 good, substantial, proved musquets 3 ½ feet in the barrel and of ¾ of an inch in the bore: With good double bridle locks, black walnut or maple stocks, and plain strong brass mounting, bayonets with steel blades, 17 inches long, steel ramrods, double screws, priming wires and brushes fitted thereto, with a pair of brass molds for every 80 musquets, to cast 12 bullets on one side and on the other to cast shot of such size as the musquet will chamber three of them; for a sum not exceeding $10.66 in bills of credit issued by the Resolution of the last Convention.”

VII. Later Organization of the Militia.

        In 1777 the militia of Caroline County was continued in two battalions, one east of and the other west of the Choptank River.  In each battalion were eight companies, and each company was made up of about 75 men.
        William Whitely was commander-in-chief of the militia of the county—both battalions—and had the rank of Colonel.  Matthew Driver was next in command as Lieutenant-Colonel and Nathaniel Potter served as Major.
        Upon these men, evidently, devolved the important duty of preparing plans for the enrollment of all able bodied men of military age, as well as being directly responsible to the state Council of Safety for the execution of all orders handed down from the Continental Congress and the State Council.
        After the close inspection of the names of eligibles, about 1200 men were found to compose the militia of this period.  The location of the Captains and men of the various companies was about as follows:
        East Battalion: 1st Company including the Harmony and American Corner’s section, Captain Joseph Richards; 2nd Company, Concord and Smithville neighborhood, Captain John Mitchell; 3rd Company, Chestnut Grove and Federalsburg territory, Captain Nehemiah Andrew; 4th Company, Preston section, Captain Joseph Douglass; 5th Company, Friendship and Linchester communities, Captain Richard Andrew; 6th Company, Burrsville section, Captain John Stafford; 7th Company, Chilton, Garey’s and Denton neighborhoods, Captain Andrew Fountain; 8th Company, Williston and Andersontown communities, Captain Shadrach Lyden.
        West Battalion: 1st Company, Boonsboro and Oakland regions, Captain William Hooper; 2nd Company, Lower Tuckahoe Neck section, Captain Vincent Price; 3rd Company, Hillsboro and Upper Tuckahoe Neck, Capt. Henry Downes; 4th Company, region around Greensboro, east side of river perhaps, Capt. William Haslett; 5th Company, territory around Greensboro, toward Goldsboro and Bridgetown, Capt. Thomas Hughlett; 6th Company, along Tuckahoe Creek and Bridgetown, Capt. William Chipley; 7th Company, from Jackson’s residence near old Town Branch to the Culbreth section, north east of Goldsboro, Captain Samuel Jackson; 8th Company from Castle Hall toward Bee Tree and Keene’s Cross Roads, Capt. John Fauntleroy.
        As reported the East Side Battalion consisted of 615 men while in the West Battlion were 585 men.
        Somewhat later during the war Henry Dickinson enrolled for the county a company of Light Horsemen, about 15 in number.  However, there is no record of this Company having gone into service.

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