Friday, July 20, 2007


So far, I’ve had no success in discovering the identity of Andrew
Bowman or the location of his house where John Ames and other
colonial soldiers were quartered in Cambridge during the siege of
Boston. But as to the claim of frequently seeing Generals Lee,
Putnam and Washington during the period, it’s more than likely
John did. Both Israel Putnam and George Washington frequently
rode about the different positions of the colonial forces to inspect
the troops and defenses, Putnam especially being know for his
speaking to and exhorting the troops. And the fact that Obadiah
Wetherell who testified in John’s behalf was an Orderly Sergeant
in Captain Lawrence’s company leads to the intriguing idea that
they knew each other because John Ames was an orderly,
although again there is no proof so far and in all likelihood John
was just a private and regular soldier.

Lawrence’s company was involved in two notable engagements
during the siege of Boston. One was the “Battle of Bunker
(Breed’s)Hill" in which some of Lawrence’s men fought, and the
other the raid on Noddle’s Island. If John had been present at
Bunker Hill I’m convinced he or his heirs would have made
mention of it the pension request. Bunker Hill was even more
famous than Concord or Lexington.

Noddle’s Island, however, was one of two islands(Hogg Island
was the other) raided to drive off livestock and deny the British
hay for their horses. The raid turned into a small battle. So it’s
possible John might have participated in the fight ….if he’d been
in Asa Lawrence’s Company.

But he wasn’t. He was in Oliver Parker’s and John missed being
part of those actions.

By this time John had briefly returned home and then enlisted in
the new Continental Army. Apparently the militia companies
enlisted together as units and Col. Parker’s nine companies
comprised the 10th Massachusetts Regiment.

The petition about the issue of wishing to serve under Capt
Lawrence instead (as the militamen claimed had been promised)
of under Oliver Parker might have been more of a testimony of
Lawrence’s popularity with his men than a rejection of Parker. It
seems there were other incidents similar to this, even ones where
groups of soldiers and officers sent statements to the new colonial
government expressing their satisfaction with their present
commanders or requests to be returned to serving a previous one.
I suspect Washington’s comment about letting the men choose
their own captains reflects his disenchantment with the
minutemen that David McCullough detailed in his book 1776.

It wasn’t until August of 1775 that John rejoined Asa Lawrence’s
Company. He served out his enlistment time until the “six weeks
men" arrived. Tim Abbott’s earlier comment about what the term
“six weeks men” meant is on the mark. While I haven’t found
anything specific about them in regards to Groton, other sources
do speak of how towns would call up their militias as needed
before the Revolution to serve for designated periods including
six weeks and were compensated by the Town Councils for their

In January,1776, John Ames left the Continental Army and went
home as many other minutemen had or would do, much to
General Washington’s chagrin.

And so ended John Ames’ brief career in the American Revolution!

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