Andover in the Revolutionary War


"Voted, that the enlisted soldiers be furnished with bayonets at the expense of the town.

Voted, that a committee be chosen to collect the bayonets now in the hands of individuals in this Town and provide such a number of new ones as will be sufficiency to supply the minute men.

Voted, that the committee chosen at the last meeting procure bayonets collect as many as they can of those belonging to the Province by next Wednesday, two o'clock, P.M., that they procure one hundred more  to be made as soon as possible and supply those firelocks that are effective which belong to the minute men with good bayonets as soon as may be."


"Andover, Feb 2, 1775:

Last Tuesday at 2 o'clock P.M., the town foot companies of the 4th regiment of Militia in the County of Essex, Inhabitants of the North Parish in Andover, being mustered (after attending prayers for the direction of the God of armies), Col. Samuel JOHNSON, lately chosen first officer of said regiment, addressed himself to the companie and with great zeal recommended to them the necessity of enlisting themselves in to the serve of the province and in a short time fifty able bodied efficient men, being one quarter part of said companies - more than a third part of whom are heads of families and men of substance and Probity, willingly offered themselves : they were then escorted to an Inn, where they made choice of Captain, Thomas POOR, junr., for their captain, Ensign Benjamin FARNUM first lieutenant, and Samuel JOHNSON, junr. for second lieutenant. They then subscribed a covenant obliging them to conform to the Resolves of the former or any future Congress or General Assembly of the Province that hath or may have Relation to their Duty, and by said Convent subjected themselves to martial discipline for the term of one year from the time of their enlisting. And this day at two o'clock afternoon, when after attending prayers for direction, Col. JOHNSON enlisted forty-five able-bodied men as aforesaid and companies last mentioned, who immediately proceeded to make choice of Capt. Benjamin AMES for their captain, Lieut David CHANDLER first lieutenant and Isaac ABBOT for second lieutenant, and subscribed the convenient aforesaid. All being performed with great unanimity, seriousness and decorum, and the soldiers seeming rather to be animated than disheartened by the late disagreeable news contained in the king's speech."

There were four militia companies at Andover, containing in all four hundred men. The companies commanded by Captain Poor and Captain Ames, appear in the muster rolls of the "Lexington Alarm", in the regiment of Col. James FRYE. The rolls are listed below, and were enlisted by Col. Samuel Johnson.

Muster Roll of the Minute Men under the Command of Captain Thomas Poor of Andover in Colonel James Frye's Regiment from the Nineteenth of April, 1775, to the 25th of sd Month

Thomas Poor, Capt. Benjamin Parker, do William Gordon
Benjamin Farnum, Lieut Nehemiah Abbot, Private Joshua Johnson
Samuel Johnson, 2 do. John Barker, junr Phineas Johnson
John Chickering, Sergt John Barker, 3d Isaiah Ingalls
Cyrus Marble, do Jacob Barnard Peter Johnson
Philips Farrington, do John Clark Abiel Lovejoy
Joshua Frye, drummer Zechariah Chickering Ephraim Lasey
Joshua Long, fifer Thomas Clark John Nichols
John Parker, corporal Stephen Farrington Timothy Noyes, jr
Peter Farnum, do John Farrington Asa Osgood
John Johnson, do Jonathan Gardner Abraham Poor
Michael Parker Jonathan Robertson John Tyler
Stephen Poor Jonathan Stevens Simon Wardwell
Timothy Poor, jr David Stevens James Wiley
Enoch Parker Darius Sessions John Wilson
David Poor, jr Amos Stevens Samuel Carlton
Peter Poor, jr James Stevens Timothy Carlton
John Parker, jr    

"Each of the above named persons equipt themselves with fire arms and all accoutrements. THOMAS POOR, Captain.

Source: Lexington Alarm Rolls, vol xiii, p. 42

Benjamin Ames, Capt Jonathan Commins Josiah Jones
David Chandler, Lieut Nathan Chandler Nathan Lovejoy
Isaac Abbot, Lieut William Chamberlain David Lovejoy
Benjamin More, Sergt Joseph Chandler Obadiah Lovejoy
Joshua Lovejoy, Sergt William Dane William Lovejoy
William Chandler, Sergt Joseph Dane Samuel Martain
Thomas Boynton, Sergt Amos Durant Perley McIntire
David Blunt, corporal Abiel Faulkner Phineas Osgood
Bixbe Abbot, corp. Theophilus Frye Joseph Parker
Eben'r Holbrook, corp. George Holt Carlton Parker
Moses Boynton, corp. William Haggit John Stevens
Joshua More, drummer Joshua Holt Nathaniel Toy
Caleb Abbot, rank and file Jesse Holt James Turner
Humphrey Holt Jeremiah Wardwell-Pembroke Nathaniel Abbot
John Herrick Samuel Blanchard Ephraim Johnson
Ezekiel Wardwell Jonathan Boynton Josiah Johnson
James Johnson Peter Chandler  

 Benjamin Ames, Capt.

source: Lexington Alarm Rolls, vol. xi, p. 189

For muster rolls of each regiment which marched from Andover to Cambridge on April 19, 1775 answering the alarms, see Historical Sketches of Andover, pages 302-304.

"The companies which went from Andover to Lexington marches through Tewksbury and Billerica toward the scene of action, but, learning of the fight w\and the retreat of the regulars, they turned and took the road in pursuit,. They did not, however, overtake the enemy."

Journal entries of Bimsley Stevens, Samuel Osgood, Thomas Boynton, James Stevens, are outlined and recited from on pages 304-313 of Historical Sketches of Andover

Captain Benjamin Ames's Company (presumably) at Bunker Hill

This return was made October 6, 1775, for the purpose of showing the men who had been eight months in service, and were, therefore, each to receive a coat as bounty. They enlisted February 1775. From Coat Rolls of Col. James Fry's Regiment, page 10.

Benjamin Ames, Capt Timothy Chandler Ephraim Johnson
David Chandler, Lieut Jonathan Cummings Josiah Jones, Londonderry
Isaac Abbot, Lieut Nathan Chandler Nathan Lovejoy
Benjamin More, Sergt William Chamberlain Obadiah Lovejoy
Joshua Lovejoy, Sergt Joseph Chandler, killed in battle, June 17th David Lovejoy
Thomas Boynton, Sergt William Chandler, Sergt Stephen Chandler
William Lovejoy David Blunt, corp. William Dane
Samuel Martain Bixbe Abbot, corp. Joseph Dane
Peter Martain Ebenezer Holbrook, corp. Israel Herrick, Lewiston
Perley Mackintire Amos Durant Christopher Osgood, Blue Hill, ME
Moses Boynton, corp Simeon Dresser Joseph Parker
Abiel Faulkner Joshua More, drummer Theophilus Frye
Carlton Parker James Chandler, do George Holt
Salem Poor *see below Caleb Abbot William Haggit, killed in battle, June 17th
John Stevens Nathaniel Abbot, discharged August 20th Joshua Holt
Nathaniel Toy Solomon Ames Israel Holt
James Turner Philip Abbot, killed in battle, June 17th Jesse Holt, died June 21st
Jeremiah Wardwell, Pembroke Humphrey Holt Samuel Blanchard
William Holt Ezekiel Wardwell Jonathan Boynton
John Herrick Israel Herrick, Lewiston Peter Chandler
James Johnson    


The following names are pulled from the muster roll of Company under the command of Captain Charles Furbush in Col. Bridges Regiment, to the first of August, 1775. These are the names of soldiers from Andover. 

Charles Furbush, Capt. John Baldwin, private Jeremiah Blanchard, Lieut
William Bailey Jeremiah Blanchard London Cittizen
Jeremiah Morrel, Corp Jacob Amas, Corp Charles Furbush, jr
Thomas Smith, Corp Simeon Furbush, drummer Cuff Blanchard
Cesar Porter Daniel Longren Thomas Hagget
Samuel Bealy, killed June 17th John Broughton  

Additional muster rolls, in varying format and content can be found in Historical Sketches of Andover.

** Bravery for a Negro Slave, Salem Poor **

State Records confirm that Salem Poor, a slave owned by Mr. John POOR, shot Lieutenant-colonel Abercrombie. The record in the archives states the following:

"Recommendation of Salem Poor, a negro, for bravery.

To the Honl General Court of the Massachusetts Bay, The subscribers begg leave to Report to your Honble House, which we do in justice to the Caracter of so Brave a man that came under out observation. We declare that a Negro Man called Salem Poor, of Col. Frye's Regiment, Capt. Ames' company, in the late battle at Charlestown, behaved like an experienced officer as well as an excellent soldier; to set forth Perticluars of his conduct would be tedious. Wee would only begg leave to say, in the Person of this sd. Negro centres a Brave & Gallant soldier. the Reward due to so great and Distinguished a Caracter wee submit to the Congress. 

Cambridge, Dec. 6, 1775


Jonathan Brewer, Col.

Thomas Winon, Lt-col.

Wm. Prescott, Colo

Ephraim Cary, Lieut    Joseph Baker, Lieut

Joshua Reed, Lieut.

spelling errors occur in record.


A quote from Historical Sketches of Andover, pages 325-6

"It is sometimes supposed by persons unacquainted with the facts that accurate and careful records are on file in the State Archives in regard to the soldiers who fought in the battles of the Revolution; that the names of the killed and wounded in any battle are readily to be found. But such is by no means the case, as every one knows who has had occasion to make search. The rolls were returned mainly for the purpose of obtaining the pay due the soldiers, and they are often deficient in particulars of residence and in other respects, and moreover, they do not cover the entire service, but are fragmentary and imperfect, and, to a great extent, without chronological arrangement.

The only roll found which shows the losses sustained of the men at Bunker Hill is one of the company of Captain Ames, containing a list of names, and "guns that is lost", "coats that is lost", "Blankets that is lost"," great coats that is lost", "Knapsacks that is lost". This indicates the panic and haste in which the fleeing men dropped whatever impeded their retreat."

Boynton's journal says :"We lost William Haggot, Joseph Chandler, and Philip Abbot. Wounded, Lieut. Isaac Abbot, Sergt. Joshua Lovejoy, James Turner, Jeremiah Wardwell, Stephen Chandler, and Israel Holt, of our company."

Andover and Harvard College Library

Andover was chosen as one of the places to safely store the library of Harvard College. It was originally decided to send the whole library to Andover, but was later changed to store it in several locations. 

The following are bills which were found for the expenses of removal of the books:

"Bill for Carting Books from Cambridge to Andover

July 22, 1775.

Colony of Massachusetts Bay to the following persons, viz. To Joshua Blanchard, jr.

To carting one load of Books belonging to Harvard College from Menotomy to Mr. Samuel Osgood's in Andover, 20 miles, L1.0 0 DR.

signed, Josiah Blanchard

Colony aforesaid to John Lovejoy Abbot, Dr.

To carting one load of Books from Menotomy to the house of George Abbot, Esq., in Andover, 17 miles, L0. 17. Dr. 

signed John L. Abbot


There are also bills of Benjamin Ames, jr and Philemon Dane, for carting books the same distance, and the books were brought to the house of Mr. Samuel Osgood, the receipt is from MR. Phillips, in the amount of three pounds, seventeen shillings, paid in full.

Journal entries written by James Stevens can be found in Historical Sketches of Andover from pages 335 to 338.


The following is the roll of Colonel Johnson's regiment in March 1776:

Rank of companies Towns Captains 1st Lieutenants 2nd Lieutenants
1 Andover John Peabody Samuel Johnson Cyrus Marble
Haverhill Nathaniel Marsh Israel Bartlett Ebenezer Gage
3 Bradford Nathaniel Gage Daniel Kimball Joseph Mulliken
4 Boxford Jacob Gould John Dorman Jedediah Stickney
5 Methuen John Bodwell John Huse Samuel Cross
6 Andover John Abbot, jr Moses Abbot Samuel Jenkins
7 Haverhill Samuel Merrill Stephen Webster Samuel Crowel
8 Bradford John Savory Thomas Stickney Moses Herriman
9 Andover Nathaniel Lovejoy John Adams John Frye
10 Haverhill Timothy Johnson Ephraim Eliot John Page
11 Andover  Joshua Holt William Dean Jonathan Abbot
12 Methuen James Jones Nathaniel Messer Stephen Webster
13 Boxford John Cushing Samuel Runnels Asa Merril
14 Haverhill Joseph Eaton Isaac Snow Samuel Hazeltine
15 Methuen David Whitier James Mallon John Parker, jr

Samuel Johnson, John Whittier, Samuel Bodwell, field officers, Andover, March 26, 1776.

An exact account for all the men enlisted to serve in the continental army for the term of nine months agreeable to a resolve of the General Court of the 26th of April, who belong to the Fourth Regiment of Militia in the County of Essex, of which Samuel Johnson, of Andover, is Colonel. Andover, June 2nd, 1778.

from Mass Rev. Rolls, vol xxviii, p. 165 1/2.

Name Age complexion height company captain regiment town
Frederick Ballard 16 dark 5.0 Lovejoy Johnson Andover
Daniel Young 30 do 5.10 do do do
William Wilson 40 do 5.6 do do  do
John McCoy 17 Olive 5.5 do  do do
Aaron Readington 16 sandy 5.5 do do do
Samuel Stickney 43 light 5.8 Holt do do
Timothy Chandler 40 do 5.10 do do do
John Macoy 20 do 5.8 do do do
Aaron Parker 19 dark 5.6 do do do
John Montgomery 40 do 5.8 Johnson do do
Alexander Montgomery 17 do 5.3 do do do
Aaron Wood 16 Light 5.3 do do do
Nathaniel Frye 18 dark 5.3 do do  do
James Parker 18 dark 5.3 do do do
Simeon Dresser 19  light 5.9 Holt do do
Ephraim Abbot 19 do 5.7 do do do
Elijah Knight 19 dark 5.8 do do do
Robert Gray, jr 17 dark 5.9 do do do
Carlton Parker 24 do 5.10 do do do
Dudley Pettengel 25   5.11 Bodwell do  Methuen

There are 38 other names, all men from Methuen, Bradford and Haverhill.


A return of those Men Enlisted into the Continental Service for the term of Three Years or during the War and Returned for the Second Foot Company in the Town of Andover.

from Mass. Rev. Rolls, vol. xli, p. 64

Benjamin Wild Jacob Russel Isaac Lovejoy
Silus Blunt Isaac Russel James Turner
James Turner, jr Mark Winter Benjamin Eaton
Thomas Day George Blunt John Knights
Palfrey Downing Cesar Cogswell Jonathan Hutchinson
Benjamin Webb Cato Foster Caleb Abbot
Daniel Holt, jr John Crosby, Boston James Parker
Edward Herrick John Quin, Boston  

signed John Abbot, Jr., Capt. Andover, Feb 16th, 1778.

Obituary Notice for Colonel Samuel Johnson, 1796.

"In 1777, he commanded a regiment detached from the county of Essex, and led them to victory and glory in the memorable action on the 7th of October, where his firmness and courage was particularly distinguished. His regiment was a part of that respectable yeomantry whom General Burgoyne honored as the owners of the soil, men determined to conquer or die. This was the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment which Col. Johnson commanded through the war, and with promptness and punctuality answered the requisitions of Government in a manner highly satisfactory to the several corps which composed the regiment.

From Exeter in 1776, by Charles H. Bell.

Military Officers in Service in the Revolutionary War:

Brigadier general Joseph Frye Captain Benjamin Ames Captain Joshua Holt
Colonel James Frye Captain Henry Abbot Captain Samuel Johnson
Colonel Samuel Johnson Captain John Abbot Captain John Peabody
Colonel Thomas Poor Captain John Adams Surgeon of 1st Regiment, Dr. Thomas Kittredge
Major Samuel Osgood Captain Benjamin Farnum Adjutant general Bimsley Stevens
Captain Charles Furbush    


A list of Civil Officers of the Revolutionary Period

second quarter of the Town's Second Century

Representatives to the General Court.

Year Name
1771 Samuel Phillips, Esq.
1772 Samuel Phillips, Esq.
1773 Mr. Moody Bridges
1774 Capt. Moody Bridges (2)
1775 Mr. Samuel Phillips, jr. (3)
1776  Mr. Samuel Phillips, Capt. Joshua Holt, Samuel Osgood, Esq., Mr. Nehemiah Abbot
1777 Colonel Samuel Johnson
1778 Colonel Samuel Johnson, Mr. Samuel Phillips
1779 Mr. Samuel Phillips, jr., Samuel Osgood, Esq.
1780  Colonel Samuel Johnson, Capt.. Joshua Holt
1781 Capt.. Peter Osgood, Capt. Joshua Holt
1782 Capt. Joshua Holt
1783 Joshua Holt, Esq
1784 Hon. Samuel Osgood, Esq.
1785 Joshua Holt, Esq
1786 Joshua Holt, Esq.
1787 Mr. Peter Osgood, jr
1788 Capt. Peter Osgood
1789 Capt Peter Osgood
1790 Capt. Peter Osgood
1791 Capt.. Peter Osgood
1792 Capt. Peter Osgood
1793 to 1800 Joshua Holt, Esq.

(2) Provincial Congress, October 1774 - March 1775. Samuel Osgood

(3) Provincial Congress, May 1775. General Court, July


1780 Samuel Osgood, Esq.
1781-1801 Samuel Phillips, jr. Esq.

1781, Honorable Samuel Osgood, Representative to Congress

1801, Samuel Phillips, Esq., Lieutenant Governor

1781-1798 Samuel Phillips, Justice to the Court of Common Pleas.

1770 - Thomas Bragg, Deputy Sheriff.

All records were abstracted from Historical Sketches of Andover by Sarah Loring Bailey. Please refer to the book for a great deal more information regarding Andover during this period. The muster rolls, records and other data here are only a select few.

Transcribed and copyright by JAS 2004-2008