We have recently completed the biography of the last remaining Second Company soldier, and are excited to say that yet another company is done! We’re one step closer to having biographies of all of the Maryland 400’s soldiers.
The Second Company of the First Maryland Regiment was commanded by Captain Patrick Sim, who came from a wealthy family with roots in Prince George’s and Frederick counties. He recruited most of his men from Prince George’s, along with Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties. At least eleven men all came from the Piscataway area, in the southern part of Prince George’s County: Privates James Adams, John Edelen, Paul Hagarty, Henry Lanham, John D. Lanham, John Lindsay, Richard Lowe, Middleton Marlow, Thomas Perkins, Joseph Steward, and Benjamin Vermillion.
The company’s typical age was twenty-four years old, which is consistent with the regiment’s overall average. Among the men who joined the Second were two sets of brothers: Milburn and Richard Coe, and Henry and John D. Lanham. In addition, Private Middleton Marlow had two brothers in a Flying Camp company that fought alongside the First Maryland during the fall and winter of 1776.
At the Battle of Brooklyn, the Second Company was largely unscathed. They were able to escape the battlefield by wading through the Gowanus Swamp, and were not part of the Marylanders’ stand at the Old Stone House in the latter phase of the battle. The company had 65 officers and men after the battle, just short of full strength of 74. It is not certain how many men were in the company before the battle. One soldier deserted during the march from Philadelphia to New York, and the company may have been short anyway.
We know the names of 73 of the Second Company’s soldiers, and can confirm that at least 57 (78 percent) were alive after the battle; if any were captured we are unaware of it. Of those men, 41 (72 percent) reenlisted when their term expired in December 1776; at least ten men in the company chose not to reenlist and instead left the army. Fourteen served past 1779, and five of them stayed in the army until the end of the war. One soldier on our list, William Brooks, is not included in these totals, since his service in 1776 is very murky; read his biography to learn more.
Although no one in the company is known to have died at Brooklyn, one private, Joseph Steward, was likely killed a few weeks later at the Battle of Harlem Heights. Another, James Mitchell, was listed as missing after the Battle of Camden in 1780. Three soldiers were captured later in their army careers, and three died during their service. One man, John Radery, was executed for mutiny in 1781, as we wrote about earlier this summer.
Although Sim resigned his position in the summer of 1777, several other officers went on to distinguished military careers. Lieutenant Henry Chew Gaither stayed in the army until 1802, rose to lieutenant colonel, and served as an emissary to the Indians in Georgia and Mississippi, while Lieutenant Alexander Murray garnered fame in the Navy during the Revolution, the fight against the Barbary Pirates (1801-1803), and the War of 1812. Gassaway Watkins, a corporal in 1776, had reached the rank of captain when he left the army in 1782.
We have now completed work on the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Independent companies. We’re hard at work on the Seventh Company right now, and soon will have that done, too. Thank you all for reading and supporting our work!