John Brady: Sergeant Turned Fifer

On this day in 1776, the First Maryland Regiment began its trip to New York. Among the men leaving from Baltimore was John Brady, the subject of our most recent biography.

Like many noncommissioned officers, there is little known about John Brady other than what is found in his military service records. Brady served through the entire Revolutionary War. Brady began his service as a sergeant in Nathaniel Ramsey’s Fifth Company where he saw action at the Battle of Brooklyn.[1] During his time of service, Brady moved back and forth between the ranks, spending much of his time as a fifer.[2] By the conclusion of the war, he had resumed the position of sergeant.

Following the war, Brady was awarded fifty acres of bounty land in Western Maryland near the border of modern day West Virginia, which he never claimed.[3] While there were several John Bradys in the Baltimore and surrounding areas, there is not enough evidence to provide a clear indication as to which man was the John Brady who earned a place among the heroic Maryland 400 at the Battle of Brooklyn.[4]

To read more about the military service of John Brady, check out his biography here.



[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 369 (hereafter cited as AOMOL vol. 18)

[2] John Brady, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0399, fold3.

[3] LAND OFFICE (Military Lot Plats) 1787-1935, Map of Military Lots, Tracts, and Escheats, MdHR 50,823 [MSA S451-1, OR/04/18/000]; COMMISSIONERS FOR RESERVE LAND WESTWARD OF FORT CUMBERLAND (Bounty Land Soldiers) 1789,MdHR 17,301-1 [MSA S162-1, 01/27/01/031]; LAND OFFICE (Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland) 1793-1903, p. 140, MdHR 17,302 [MSA SE1-1].

[4] There was a John Brady of Baltimore serving in the artillery during the Revolutionary War who died in 1784. This is not the same John Brady whose biography is written above. BALTIMORE COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills) Will of John Brady,1784, Box 19, Folder 10, MdHR 8892-19-10 [MSA C437-23, 2/33/8/17]; AOMOL vol. 18, p. 564, 567, 569, 574, 579, 582, and 583; John Brady Matross Second/Third Maryland Artillery, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0408, fold3; John Mullin, Cornelius William Stafford, and William Fry, The Baltimore City Directory for 1799 (Baltimore: Warner & Hanna, 1799), 9.

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