A key part of this project is to compile a roster of all the men of the First Maryland Regiment who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn. The document linked below lists the names of all known members of the First Maryland and the seven Independent companies, whether they were present at the Battle of Brooklyn, if known, as well as everything known about their fate at the battle. The information in this database comes from the initial muster rolls from early 1776, as well as scattered pay records, soldiers’ pensions, correspondence, and other sources.
We do not know the names of all the soldiers, nor do we know what happened to many of them. Although the Council of Safety ordered that a full muster roll be compiled when the army left for New York, and Col. William Smallwood later transmitted a list of all men who were killed or captured, neither of these lists has survived. There are three companies for which we have identified fewer than half the soldiers: the Fifth, Fifth Independent, and Seventh Independent.
In total, all nine companies commanded by Col. Smallwood fought at the battle, along with the Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Independent Companies (the other four Independents did not arrive in New York until sometime after the battle). If the Maryland troops had been at full strength, there would have been eight companies of 74 men; one company of 78 men; and three companies of 104 men, for a total of 982. However, we know that not every company was at full strength. Some were short of men before the army left for New York, and illness and desertion further reduced the ranks. The Company Strength section of the roster shows what we know about how many men were present at given times. A few notes about using the roster:
- To search, either use the Find feature (ctrl + F), or download the full document.
- The column At Battle indicates whether we each soldier is to have been present with his unit at the Battle of Brooklyn; soldiers marked “probably” are known to have been in a unit that fought, but we have no specific information about an individual’s presence.
- The column Status After Battle includes what is known to each soldier–whether they were wounded (WIA) killed (KIA) or captured (POW). For many soldiers, we know only that they were alive (usually because they are included in later records). Some of those listed as “alive” may have been captured.
If you have questions about anything you see here, please leave a comment below or send an email to email@example.com. This roster is a work in progress, and we will continue to improve it.
Click here to view the roster! You may also download to roster as a spreadsheet by clicking here.
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List of Hessian soldiers who fought in Maryland and stayed in America. Where do I find this information
Thanks for your comment. Hessian troops never actually fought in Maryland. However, there was a German regiment in the Continental Army that was raised in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In addition, about a quarter of the Hessians settled in America after the war–either deserters or prisoners who decided not to return home, and many likely settled in heavily German areas, such as Western Maryland.
Some sources that may be helpful for you:
On the German Regiment:
Henry J. Retzer, The German Regiment of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the Continental Army/.
Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18: http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000018/html/
David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing contains a discussion of sources re: Hessian troops in the Revolution on pages 483-484. See also p. 379 re: Hessians staying in American, and captured Hessians being sent to Winchester, VA after the battles of Trenton and Princeton.
I hope this helps you, but let me know if you have any other
questions. Thanks for checking out our blog!
A great project for Maryland and I thank you for taking the time and effort to do this.
Question – I read that an ancestor, Otho Holland Williams, was at the Battle of Brooklyn, taken captive and held prisoner on a British ship . He was later released in a prisoner exchange. I did not find this name on this listing. It would be most helpful if the listing were a total alphabetical one instead of by regiment.
Otho Holland Williams was captured at the Battle of Fort Washington in November 1776. His post during the Battle of Long Island (August 1776) would have been at Fort Lee, or Ft Washington where he served as a Major, second in command of the Rifle Regiment.
Hello- great site. It is nice to see some fresh research being done into this subject. Interest in the Battle of Long Island seems to come and go. I am an artist currently living working in Brooklyn near the battlefield, but I am originally from Maryland. I have been creating some original art work based on this battle. Please check out my art on my blog. http://robertgouldhistoricalartist.blogspot.com/
I have created a painting using the names of the soldiers from the Maryland Regiments. You can see it here
What a great tribute! Thanks for sharing it. Are any of the soldiers whose names you used on our list of biographies here: https://msamaryland400.wordpress.com/biographies/
Yes! I printed out your list & will go through the names. To create my picture I got a list of names off the inter-webby thing a few years ago and worked from that. At that time I was aware that there was some issues with that list. I will have to reconcile my picture with this new list before I show it again.
Ensign Henry Chew Gaither witnessed the last will written by Lt. Daniel Bowie on August 26, 1776, the day before Bowie was kittled on the battle field during the Battle of Brooklyn Heights or Long Island. You have the letter on the Finding the 400 site. Wouldn’t that give more than a “probably” that Gaither was part of the 400 fighting at the stone house.
You’re absolutely correct! That certainly is an indication that Gaither was there, and we’ve updated the roster. Thank you for letting us know about the oversight.
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Hello i love your site! My name is Sarah Stone I’m 14 and I’m related to John Hoskins Stone. 🙂
Thanks, I’m glad you like it. It’s always amazing how much Maryland’s Revolutionary War history is still all around us!
We’re going to have lots of new posts coming soon, so stay tuned!
Hello: I descend from Thomas Wiseman, the Pvt. who lost his two middle fingers on his left hand. His wife was named Agnes. Thomas died Oct 9th, 1825 and Agnes died in Oct of 1825 also in Edgefield County, SC. Their son was Named Daniel Wiseman, his wife is unknown that had all the children: Thomas Wiseman, Judge William Crawford Wiseman, John S. Wiseman, Elijah Abner Wiseman, Simeon Wiseman and James M. Wiseman and they had 2 girls. I have over 3800 descendants of Thomas Wiseman who was born 1750 in Smallburgh, Norfork, England. He was supposedly caught stealing a loaf of bread and sentenced to serve his time on a Southern Plantation which just happened to be Maryland. My Wiseman Book is in the Thompkins Library in Edgefield, SC.
A Son of the Republic of Texas
Thank you so much for your comment! Wiseman’s story is one of my favorites, especially his insistence on calling Camden “Gate’s defeat” so many years later. The account of his life in his pension seems very human.
I would love to learn more about his family background, if you have information/sources that you can share. I recall that I had trouble running down reliable information on him before he enlisted (there are several men with the same name who kept getting mixed up). If you can, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi Owen: I tried to e-mail you but could not successfully sign in—too old I guess.
Thomas Wiseman was most likely born in Smallburg, Norfolk, England in 1750 according to Peter Colson Wison’s records of Bonded Servants.
Actually, Thomas was a white slave as he was caught stealing a loaf of Bread and sentenced to serve on a Southern Plantation in 1767. There were 5 ships that left London during the winter on 1767-68 but I have not found Thomas on the manifest of any of the ships. Could have been under his owner’s name. You have his service record and it is mixed up with Thomas Wiseman of New York who had a large family and married Abigail McIntyre in Mass and moved to New York and had a large family which can be found on the New York 1800-1820 census.
Thomas’s son was Daniel Wiseman (his 2nd wife’s name was Ann Wisdom Mays who was the widow of Gardner Mays of Edgefield; all of Daniel’s children were born before Daniel married Ann Wisdom Mays) who had 6 sons and 2 daughters and in 1823 was guardian to 3 Coatney children. All of the sons went to Texas except James M. Wiseman who died in an Illinois Union Prison during the Civil War. I found that Thomas and Daniel and a John Smith were signers of a single document together there in Edgefield. This is the only document that links Thomas and Daniel together other than they are the only Wisemans in Edgefield County during their life. There is a Carter Family Ledger in the Thompkins Library that shows Thomas and Agnes Wiseman death dates and mentions 3 of Daniel’s sons in Mr. Carter’s School there in Edgefield County in 1822-1823. This is a link of Daniel and Thomas Wiseman.
I found that Thomas Wiseman in 1776 was in the 4th Company of the Maryland 1st Regiment and Capt. Thomas Ewing was the commander. I can find Nathaniel Ewing commanding the 6th Company but have not been able to actually find Thomas Wiseman in that 6th Company. Any help or direction would be appreciated. I have published several articles on my Wiseman family in various sources. I am a Texan by birth but live in Georgia now.
If possible comment to my e-mail: email@example.com
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Is (Rev.) Hatch Dent, Jr., on your roster? Sections of it are in alphabetical order, though not the whole, but I wasn’t able to find his name when I looked through the list. He is listed in the Maryland Achives as being a Second “Lieutenant in the Ninth Company (Light Infantry) of the First Maryland Regiment.”
He is! The roster (and list of published biographies) are both organized by company, with the officers first, than privates in alphabetical order. Try searching the page by typing “ctrl + f” and searching for Dent.
Thanks. Putting in ‘Dent’ first brought up someone else, with the ‘dent’ part of the word ‘resident’ found. – I then looked up ‘hatch’ and he came up first.
It told me nothing I didn’t already know from his MD Archives Bio, but I wanted to make sure he was on the roster.
Great, I’m glad you could find him. The roster is admittedly a bit overwhelming. A lot of what’s there is meant for project staff to save information and track our progress. One day, when we finish writing biographies of all the soldiers, we’ll be able to replace the roster page with something that’s easier to use.
I found a piece of paper that has Lt H.M. Dent jr. 8004 glen rd. Norfolk,5,Va. It was hidden inside a brown folder that said Quincy Adam Portfolio also a flower was inside with it looked like a dandelion I got picture. firstname.lastname@example.org
Great to see the roster online. Thanks for doing all of this work. I am a reenactor in the UK in a small group portraying the 1st Maryland, so this information will be invaluable.
Very exciting to learn that there are First Maryland reenactors in the UK! If you have any questions, send us an email at email@example.com. We’re happy to help you as much as we can!
I was wondering if there is any evidence of free black soldiers having fought in the Maryland regiment in 1776? A recent book suggested as much but provided no details.
That’s a good question! As far as we know, there were not any African American troops in the First Maryland Regiment in 1776.
Every other Maryland regiment was integrated, but the men Smallwood commanded in 1776 were all white. This is likely because the state didn’t want any blacks in the army, and didn’t need them in early 1776. Later the need for men was great enough that there was more willingness to take black soldiers.
One thing to keep in mind is that we can usually only determine race when it was recorded somewhere. Race is sometimes listed in muster rolls (like Abraham Brissington shown here, for example), or in deserter notices.
You can read more about this topic here: Maryland’s African American Troops.
Thanks for your question!
Fascinating work! Thank you for all your efforts.
I am a descendant of Jacob Hockenschimdt, (sometimes spelled Hockersmith). He was a member to the Flying Camp unit from Tom’s Creek Hundred, MD (now Emmitsberg, MD). He was an ensign under Captain William Blair. Is there information on what the Flying Camp units did during this battle? You can find the Tom’s Creek rosters at the Emmitsberg historic society. Here’s a link:
Any information on the Tom’s Creek Hundred is greatly appreciated.
I would like to mention, when looking at William Parr’s Muster Roll, it appeared a person named Hugh Pugh (located directly above Parr) was listed as a deserter, and William Parr wasn’t. I was wondering if it could be confirmed he is not the William Parr Captain that was still active in the war? Perhaps any reference to the age or birth dates of the people, or better background information? I’m asking because I see no record of my ancestry prior to the early 1800’s and have been wondering if someone that deserted the military would have tried to forget his past (as being labeled a deserter might carry consequences?)
The Muster Roll I’m referring to is here (and does not list William as a deserter; I suspect the master list was hastily composited, and falsely attributed William Parr as having deserted.) This is the same William Parr that was a surviving small few of the total number that started fighting at the very beginning of the war, and carried out fighting for several more battles. I suspect this would have merited him a strong possibility of being acknowledge for his efforts, though I could be mistaken.
I forgot to post this https://archive.org/stream/musterrollsother00mary/musterrollsother00mary_djvu.txt
Great. Site didn’t know about the md 400
On Otho Holland Williams, he was one of the founding members of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Williamsport, Maryland is named after his family and he is buried there in the cemetery. A portrait of him hangs in the Maryland Historical Society. He joined the army in 1775 as a first lieutenant in Price’s Maryland Rifle Company and rose to brigadier general under Gen. Washington. To my earlier posting, he may have been captured by the British at Fort Washington and not actually at the Battle of Brooklyn.
Thanks for your comments. Williams was indeed taken prisoner at Fort Washington. During the New York campaign in 1776, he was serving in Rawlings’ Rifle Regiment, which was built on the foundation of the rifle companies that Maryland and Virginia had raised in 1775, including Price’s Company. Rawlings’s Regiment was formed in the summer of 1776, and wasn’t in New York at the time of the Battle of Brooklyn.
As it happens, Thomas Price, who was Williams’ commander in 1775, was one of the majors in the First Maryland Regiment in 1776. He wasn’t at the Battle of Brooklyn either; he was still in Maryland, dealing with some administrative matters.
I appreciate your comments about using the roster, and understand your frustrations. The ideal solution would be to have a roster that could be sorted by users, but we don’t have that capability at that time.
Thank you for visiting!
On the interactive map that is the legend and notes “McMillans Journey”. Being a McMillan. I would love to know what that means.
That refers to the route taken by William and Samuel McMillan, two brothers in the First Maryland Regiment. They were captured at the Battle of Brooklyn, and taken to a British prison in Nova Scotia. They escaped in the spring of 1777 and made their way to Boston by foot, where the arrived that summer. Both men reenlisted and served in the army for several more years.
Read more about them here:
Their biographies are here:
Sgt. Samuel McMillan
Cpl. William McMillan
One roster that I’ve seen has Valentin Schotter. Another has a John Shutter. Our genealogy has a Valentin Shutters (Schoetter) died 1747 in germany about 80 years before. We have a father of our Christian Jacob Shutters that was Johannes Heinrich Shutters that died in 1761. However, I can find no record of Christian Jacob Shutters who died sometime between 1777 and when his widow remarried Wilhelm Andes 1781/1782, (later a Beck). Should I assume a revolution cause of death? Now he had his oldest son John that would have been about 16 at the time of the revolution (later found in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Ages would be helpful as well. Also trying to figure if Ludwig Visinger/Weissinger, one as enlisting, the other on disabled list, are one and the same, and if it is my wayback greatgrandfather american immigrant 1754 york pennsylvania b 1740, Ludwig Friedrich Freisinger (Freysinger, Frisinger).
Any help greatly appreciated
Thank you for your question! Unfortunately, I don’t have any information that I can pass on about those men, as neither of them was part of the First Maryland Regiment, or the “Maryland 400,” who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.
However, they may have served in other units from Maryland during the Revolutionary War. Some good sources to look at are
Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18.
Clements, S. Eugene and F. Edward Wright. The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War. Silver Spring, MD: Family Line Publications, 1987.
Retzer, Henry J. The German Regiment of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the Continental Army 1776-1781. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1991.
The books by Clements and Wright and Retzer are available at many places, including the Maryland State Archives.
Sorry we don’t have more information for you, but I hope this helps!
I also would like to know this as I am a direct male descendant of Valentin and cannot find any more information on him besides his birth place and date.
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Hello. Love your site!! My name is Dennis McClurg
Have found lots of helpful and new information. I am a descendant of Sergeant James Thompson of the 1st Company. Your biography is great, but you have no information on his life after his enlistment ended in 1779 or 1781. I have done a lot of research and have a lot of information on his earllier and later life. He came to America from Scotland in 1767.
His ship laned in Philadelphia and he did not have the fee for his passage so he was inmprisoned and then sold into a three-year indenture to pay for that passage. Luckily, he was indentured to an “archietect” or builder and became a master carpenter. James married Nancy Ann Perry in 1768. They lived in Prince Georges Co., MD where most of their children were born, then Charles Co., MD and then Fairfax Co., VA. In 1799 he is found living in Bracken Co., KY with all of his children and grandchildren. I believe he came as one of many Revolutionary War veterans who received bounty land warrants for their service. He was a Presbyterian but had converted to the Baptist denomination right before he entered the Continental Army in 1776. He was a member of the Minerva Baptist Church on the Mason-Backen Co., line in 1805 when the church split over the issue of slavery. James became the pastor of the anti-slavery or “Friends of Humanity” members and a Reverend William Holton guided the “stand-patters” or pro-slavery faction; they shared the church building on alternating Sundays from 1805 until the Anti-slavery faction dissolved in 1818. The dissolution in 1818 probably was due to the fact that James died by drowning when his horse slipped at the edge of a river he was waiting to cross by ferry and was thrown into the water. James and his son, Willilam Thompson, also a Baptist minister were returning from a church meeting at the time. Nancy Thompson preceded James in death by a few months in 1818. James and Nancy are buried on his farm one and one-half miles west of the small town of Germantown in Bracken Co., KY. A SAR gravestone was placed in the Thompson Cemetery in the Harold Foster farm in 2012 during an SAR ceremony.
Most of my information comes from information I found in a book by Reverend Carter Tarrant which contained biographies of some forty ministers of the anti-slavery Baptists in Kentucky. The book was published in 1808. I only found a copy in the Library of Congress and the Archives at Frankfurt, Kentucky. Other information was found in The History of Baptists in Kentucky by Spenser. And several other Thompson descendants have contributed to the above information.
It is also family tradition that James and two of his sons, James Jr. and Ebenezer were employed during the period 1792-1795 as carpenters on the Presidential Mansion (White House) and U.S. Capitol Building. I know that both Virginia and Maryland put out announcements advertizing to hire carpenters and masons to work on those projects. In fact, James Jr.’s oldest son, John Phillips Thompson, who was also a prominent Baptists- Disciples of Christ minister in Kentucky and Indiana, always claimed that he was actually and literally born in the White House, as there was little or no housing for workers in the new capital city and they were allowed to live inside the structure while working on it.
(The facts that James was a soldier fighting for freedom from British rule, an indentured servant and that he likely worked side by side with hundreds of enslaved African-Americans who were “rented” to the federal government by their owners had something to do with James’ stand on slavery.)
I can provide sources and more documentation if needed. Hope you can use some of this information.
This is such wonderful information, thank you for sharing it! I am very excited to hear that you have all of this material on your family, and would love to learn more about it. Can you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org?
(I wish I could say that more of the soldiers in the Revolution developed similar feelings about slavery!).
This is a great website and project. So glad to see it! I am a descendant of Capt Edward Oldham who was in Md Flying Camp in 1776. He then was part of the Md 4th Reg beginning Dec 1776. He stayed in the military throughout the war. I have tried to trace his movements and have found him at many of the southern battles. I had thought he was at Brandywine and Monmouth. What I am seeing here seems to confirm that. Great links. I will keep returning to this page.
Thank you so much, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it! The Flying Camp arrived in New York too late to fight at Brooklyn, but fought at the rest of the battles of the 1776 campaign around New York and New Jersey. Thanks for reading!
Project Director, Finding the Maryland 400
My husbands great great grandfather was in that battle. “William Henry Bainer emigrated from Germany in 1758. He married susan staggers, moved to Frederick county and became a storekeeper and a farmer. He fought in the battle of long island in 1776.”
Thank you for your comment! It looks like the source of that quote is a Baltimore Sun article from 13 August 1911. Unfortunately, I can’t find any record of someone by that (or similar) name serving in Continental Army or militia from Maryland. My guess is that an old family story picked up an error at some point, it’s certainly not the first time.
Thanks for checking out our work!
Finding the Maryland 400 project director