"The New-Hampshire Patriot contains an account of a Christmas dinner given to the Revolutionary officers and the soldiers of Hillsboro, N. H. by one of their number, General Benjamin Pierce - at which 22 persons were present, the youngest of whom was 59, and the oldest 89 years of age. The following is a list: - Those to whose names an asterisk is prefixed, having been in the battle of Bunker Hill.
Names Places of Nativity Age
Ammi Andrews Ipswich, Mass. 89
John M'Colley Hillsborough, N. H. 88
*James Taggert Londonderry, N. H. 81
*William Johnson Billerica, Mass. 77
*William Gamel Boston, Mass. 74
*James Carr Litchfield, N. H. 73
William Taggert Merrimack, N. H. 73
William Parker Chelmsford, Mass. 72
*Thaddeus Munroe Billerica, Mass. 71
*Thaddeus Goodwin Leominster, Mass 70
*Nath'l Parmeter Spencer, Mass 70
*William Dickey Londonderry, N. H. 70
Daniel Russel Andover, Mass 70
*John Shed Dunstable, N. H. 70
*Isaac Andrews Ipswich, Mass 69
Daniel Killam Wilmington, Mass 69
Robert Carr Litchfield, N. H. 68
*Zachariah Robbins Westford, Mass 68
*Benjamin Pierce Chelmsford, Mass 66
David Livermore Sudbury, Mass 62
Samuel Morrill Manchester, N.H. 59
Nath'l Johnston Andover, Mass 59
About eleven o'clock, at which time the whole company had arrived, the officers of the day were chosen, after which the throne of grace was addressed by the Rev. Mr. Lawton. The interval between this and dinner, was occupied in rehearsing the adventures, the perils and dangers, of the Revolution. among others, the President for the occasion, the aged and venerable Lieut. Ammi Andrews, related the following:-
"When our troops were stationed on Abraham's Plains, Col. Arnold was anxious to have a certain British Sentinel taken. One evening, when in my quarters with Capt. Morgan, I set my sword in the corner and told him I was going to take a British regular. He said, Andrews you had better not go; the halser will be your portion; and asked me why I left my sword. I told him the Colonel did not want a dead soldier, and proceeded to accomplish my design. When I came within a rod of the sentinel, I stopped, thought he saw me, but determined to wait till I heard him cock his gun, when I should have said, I wish to go into the city; but I was fortunately mistaken. He saw me not, and as he turned his back to me, I jumped upon him, drew his bayonet from its scabbard, and told him if he uttered a word, I had his bayonet and would instantly put him to death. We went about a rod from his post, when I halted, hallooed "all is well" three times - put him on quick time, and shortly had him before Col. Arnold." "
I recognized several names on this list, including the brothers, Ammi and Isaac Andrews from Ipswich, Massachusetts. They are both sons of Solomon Andrews, my 7th great granduncle, which makes them both my 1st cousins 7 generations removed. Both sons removed to Hillsborough, New Hampshire after the war, perhaps they were given bounty land? I have another Ipswich ancestor, Abner Poland, who was given land in Enfield, not far from Hillsborough. Ammi Andrews is the one who told the escapade about capturing the British sentinel in the news clipping above.
The host of the dinner, Benjamin Pierce, was the father of President Franklin Pierce (1804 - 1869), the 14th president of the United States and the only president ever born in New Hampshire. Young Franklin would have been 21 years old at the time of the dinner, and he was probably impressed and influenced by this Christmas meeting of Revolutionary War veterans. Benjamin Pierce is my 3rd cousin, 8 generations removed, we are both descendants of Thomas Pierce and Elizabeth Cole, early settlers of Woburn, Massachusetts.
I also saw a Munroe on this list and traced Thaddeus Munroe to be my 2nd cousin 6 generations removed. He was born on 14 May 1753 and died on 28 November 1828 in Hillsborough. I never knew that these cousins, Benjamin, Thaddeus and Ammi were at the Battle of Bunker Hill, but now I have a good military story to research and prove due to this fascinating news clipping.
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