Biographies

Follow these links to see some of the biographical work we have accomplished for members of the First Maryland Regiment. Previews of more interesting biographies are listed below along with the most unique stories being highlighted for easy navigation.

Want to see the complete First Maryland Regimental Roster? Click here!

Senior Officers:

Colonel William Smallwood – Commander of the First Maryland Regiment in 1776, although he did not personally serve in the Battle of Brooklyn. Established himself as “an outstanding military leader,” rising to major general by the end of the Revolutionary War. Governor of Maryland, 1785-1788

Lt. Col. Francis Ware – The son of a wealthy landowner, Ware was elected to Maryland’s General Assembly in the 1760s and 1770. Ware fought in the French and Indian War in 1758 one of the few soldiers in Smallwood’s regiment who had seen combat.

Major Mordecai Gist – A wealthy merchant from Baltimore, Gist was an early and eager proponent of American independence. He participated in patriot events such as the 1774 burning of the Peggy Stewart. Gist served as the acting commander of the Marylanders during the Battle of Brooklyn, since their other senior officers were required to attend a court martial. Gist led the defense of the American retreat during the battle and was later promoted for his bravery. Gist rose to the rank of brigadier general and served with distinction in the South in the last years of the war. Unlike many of his fellow officers, Gist left Maryland after the war, moving to a large plantation in South Carolina.

Major Thomas Price
Quartermaster Joseph Marbury

First Company

About half of the Maryland troops were able to safely retreat during the Battle of Brooklyn, including the First Company. Those who could not escape, the “Maryland 400,” launched a daring counterattack, forcing the British back, at the cost of many lives.

Capt. John Hoskins Stone
2nd Lt. Benjamin Chambers
Ens. James Farnandis
Cadet Thomas Marsh Forman – Originally from Cecil County, this young officer joined the Army in 1776 and went on to earn a promotion the following year. Forman later served as a brigadier general during the War of 1812, helping protect Baltimore in September 1814.
Sgt. John Mitchell
Sgt. Charles Smith
Cpl. Thomas Simpson
Pvt. Mark McPherson
Pvt. Samuel Luckett
Pvt. Josias Miller
Pvt. John Neal
Pvt. John Plant

Second Company

Successfully escaped, losing fewer than ten men.

Capt. Patrick Sim – Commander of the Second Company. A wealthy man with roots in Frederick and Prince George’s counties. His men sustained few casualties at Brooklyn and continued to fight through the remainder of 1776. He resigned his commission in the summer of 1777 to be with his family.
1st Lt. Alexander Murray
2nt Lt. Henry Chew Gaither
Ens. Walter Brooke Cox
Cpl. Gassaway Watkins
Pvt. Francis Osborn – Osborn survived the campaign of 1776, witnessing the carnage of the battle first-hand. Due to long-term effects of military service, Osborn was excused from future military obligations.
Pvt. Daniel Rankins

Third Company

Their retreat blocked, this company took part in the last stand of the Marylanders. Two-thirds of the soldiers were killed or captured.

Capt. Barton Lucas
1st Lt. William Sterrett – Just eighteen years old in 1776, Sterrett led his company in battle, their commander was ill. Sterrett was captured during the battle but later escaped.
2nd Lt. William Ridgely
Ens. Peter Brown
Sgt. James Burnes
Sgt. Levin Wilcoxon
Cpl. Zachariah Gray
Cpl. Samuel Hamilton
Cpl. Benedict Woodward
Pvt. Alexander Allen
Pvt. Christopher Beall
Pvt. John Hughes

Pvt. Nathan Peak – Peak was one of the few soldiers with military experience before 1776. In 1775, he was a member of a rifle company commanded by Michael Cresap and served under him for nine months in Boston. He went on to serve through multiple battles, but was apparently too sick to fight at Brooklyn.

Pvt. William Pearce
Pvt. James Murphy
Pvt. Leonard Watkins

Fourth Company

Part of the unit who counterattacked. Only 14 of the company’s 58 soldiers escaped from the battlefield.

Capt. Daniel Bowie –  On the night before the Battle of Brooklyn, Bowie wrote out his will, giving instructions “if I die on the field of battle.” The company that he led took the heaviest casualties during their stand the next day. Along with many of his men, Captain Bowie, gave his life during the battle.

1st Lt. Joseph Butler – Active in Revolutionary groups early on, Butler was the clerk of the Harford County Committee of Correspondence in 1774. Mortally wounded at the Battle of Brooklyn, and died in British captivity.
2nd Lt. Edward Prall
Ens. William Courts
Sgt. Thomas Cunningham
Sgt. George Hamilton
Sgt. Samuel McMillan – Samuel and his brother William were immigrants from Scotland who settled in Harford County before the war. They were both captured at the Battle of Brooklyn. However, the brothers share a unique story, since the two escaped captivity and immediately returned home to enter the war again.
Sgt. John Smith
Sgt. John Toomy – Toomy was the most senior ranking soldier from his company to escape the battle with his life and freedom. Toomy later rose to the rank of lieutenant.
Cpl. Robert Harvey
Cpl. William McMillan
Cpl. John McGlaughlin
Drum Patrick Ivory – While serving as a drummer during the Battle of Brooklyn, Ivory had a complicated military career. After being court martialed for stealing, Ivory deserted and was caught and received 100 lashes in 1779.
Pvt. William Baggott
Pvt. Patrick Baxter
Pvt. Peter Burk
Pvt. Michael Cady
Pvt. Richard Carbury
Pvt. John Cavender

Pvt. William Chaplin – An English immigrant and farmer. In 1778, Chaplin defected from the Continental Army and returned to England. Chaplin claimed he was one of 200 other deserters who made the return to Great Britain with him.

Pvt. Nathaniel Cortland
Pvt. Edward Cosgrove – Served as a private in the First Maryland Regiment for seven and a half years. Cosgrove struggled to remain out of trouble and actually deserted the Continental Army twice, the second time being sentenced to death, before pardoned.
Pvt. Robert Crafford
Pvt. Thomas Crafford
Pvt. Neal Dearmond
Pvt. Thomas Donolan
Pvt. Richard Doyle
Pvt. Samuel Glasgow – This twenty-three-year-old recruit was captured during the Battle of Brooklyn but freed the following year. Although he reenlisted, he was among the soldiers who deserted the Continental Army in 1777.
Pvt. John Gorden
Pvt. Samuel Goslin
Pvt. William Grimes
Pvt. Thomas Hamilton
Pvt. John Haney
Pvt. John Herron
Pvt. Thomas Holland
Pvt. James Lamb
Pvt. Leonard Lion
Pvt. William Little
Pvt. Terrence Martin
Pvt. William Martin
Pvt. Thomas Mason
Pvt. James Matthews
Pvt. William McCaulley
Pvt. William McGinnis
Pvt. William McGlaughlin
Pvt. Thomas McGuire
Pvt. Edward McKinzie
Pvt. Joseph Mongomery
Pvt. Matthew Murry
Pvt. William Nixon
Pvt. James O’Lary
Pvt. Vachel O’Legg
Pvt. John O’Neal
Pvt. William Parr
Pvt. Edward Price
Pvt. John Price
Pvt. Charles Pritchard
Pvt. James Reed
Pvt. Patrick Reed
Pvt. Charles Riely
Pvt. John Riley
Pvt. Peter Smith
Pvt. Valentine Smith
Pvt. Samuel Thomas
Pvt. Dennis Turley
Pvt. Andrew Warrick
Pvt. Richard Watts
Pvt. Richard Whelan
Pvt. Samuel Wiltshire
Pvt. Thomas Wiseman – He continued his military service for most of the Revolution. Wounded and separated from his unit at the Battle of Camden in 1780, Wiseman remained in South Carolina, remaining there until his death in 1825.
Pvt. Edward Wright

Fifth Company

At the head of the retreating Marylanders, and able to escape safely.

Capt. Nathaniel Ramsay

1st Lt. Levin Winder – After the war, Winder had a long political career. As governor 1812-1816, he led the state’s defense when it was invaded by the British during the War of 1812.

2nd Lt. David Plunket – A radical and militant supporter of American independence. He joined the cavalry in 1777, and was captured during the defense of Philadelphia in 1777.
Ens. John Gassaway – This veteran of the Maryland 400 also served as Adjutant General 1811-1817.
Sgt. John Brady
Sgt. Francis Reveley – Reveley immigrated to Virginia when he was a child prior to joining the Revolution. Reveley was promoted many times during the war, and eventually made the rank of Captain where he took part in many battles and campaigns.
Sgt. Edward Sinclair
Cpl. John Bruce – Bruce was one of three siblings to join the First Maryland Regiment. He returned to Charles County after his enlistment expired where he eventually amassed large land holdings.
Cpl. Joseph Dixon
Cpl. Edward Ford
Cpl. Alexander McConaughey
Drum James Murphey
Fife John Harris
Pvt. William Basford
Pvt. Thomas Stocket Brewer
Pvt. John Burgess
Pvt. Isaac Buttrim
Pvt. John Callenan
Pvt. Christian Castler
Pvt. Richard Cheaney
Pvt. David Congleton
Pvt. Samuel Elliott
Pvt. James Garner
Pvt. Godfrey Gash
Pvt. William Hammond
Pvt. Philip Harley
Pvt. James Hogg
Pvt. George Horner
Pvt. Thomas Hunter
Pvt. George Lashley
Pvt. James Marle – Marle was just 13-years-old at the outbreak of the war. He enlisted as a fifer, but was made into a regular private. Marle struggled with poverty after the war.
Pvt. William Marr
Pvt. Nicholas Marr
Pvt. James Marr
Pvt. John McCoy
Pvt. David McMechen
Pvt. Alexander McMunn
Pvt. James Mutton
Pvt. Mathew Neeley
Pvt. William Nevitt
Pvt. Michael Nowland
Pvt. Ezekiel Pearce
Pvt. John Reed
Pvt. Thomas Reed
Pvt. William Rogers
Pvt. Charles Turner

Sixth Company

Part of the Maryland 400’s counterattack. Barely more than a dozen escaped death or captivity.

Capt. Peter Adams
1st Lt. Nathaniel Ewing
Ens. John Jordan
Sgt. Thomas McKeel
Sgt. Daniel Dwigens
Cpl. Samuel Dwigens
Pvt. Crisenberry Clift
Pvt. Thomas Cooper
Pvt. William Holms
Pvt. William Locke
Pvt. John Lowry
Pvt. John McClain
Pvt. John McClain (of Harford County)

Seventh Company

Safely retreated, with minimal losses.

Capt. John Day Scott – Survived the Battle of Brooklyn, but lost his life two months later during the Battle of White Plains in October 1776.
1st Lt. Thomas Harwood
2nd Lt. Thomas Goldsmith
Ens. James Peale

Sgt. William Sands –  Enlisted as a sergeant, and gave his life during the battle of Brooklyn. His letters home from 1776 have survived and are housed at the Maryland State Archives.
Cpl. Andrew Ferguson
Drum John Meek
Pvt. John Babbs
Pvt. John Booth
Pvt. John Carr

Eighth Company

Able to escape the battle by swimming through the swampy Gowanus Creek.

Capt. Samuel Smith – Son of a prominent Baltimore merchant. Served in the Continental Army until 1779, leaving as a lieutenant colonel after being seriously wounded. Served in U.S. House of Representatives 1793-1803 and 1816-1822, and U.S. Senate 1822-1833. Led the defense of Baltimore in 1814 that saved the city from the British during the War of 1812. Mayor of Baltimore, 1835-1838.

1st Lt. Alexander Roxburgh – A native of Somerset (now Wicomico) County, who fought throughout the entire American Revolution, rising to major. He was appointed to brigadier general of the state militia in 1794.
2nd Lt. Joseph Ford
Ens. Bryan Philpot
Pvt. Phillip Hawkins

Ninth Company

The regiment’s light infantry company. Took part in the final stand, and took heavy losses.

Capt. Benjamin Ford
1st Lt. John H. Beanes
2nd Lt. Hatch Dent, Jr. – Dent enlisted in early 1776 and received a promotion to Second Lieutenant about a month before the Battle of Brooklyn, where he was captured by British forces and was held for two years. After being freed, he served a short time in the Army before returning to civilian life. He later became a well-known minister and founder of Charlotte Hall School.
3rd Lt. Walker Muse
Pvt. Samuel Denny
Pvt. Jacob Greenwalt
Pvt. John Good
Pvt. Michael Hahn
Pvt. Philip Kern
Pvt. Valentine Lynn
Pvt. Frederick Myre
Pvt. Isaac Rice
Pvt. William Smith

Fourth Independent

This company saw very little combat and lost only a few men.

Capt. James Hindman – Company commander and brother of Second Lieutenant Edward Hindman. Left the army in 1777, beginning a forty-two year long career in public office.
1st Lt. Archibald Anderson – A native of Talbot County, Anderson earned a promotion to major due to his character and bravery during the Battle of Brooklyn. He was with the Maryland Line for nearly the entire war, including the Southern Campaigns. Anderson was killed while leading his troops at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781.
2nd Lt. Edward Hindman – He resigned his commission and left the army at the end of 1776. He served in several public office roles in Talbot County before his death in 1781.
3rd Lt. William Frazier
Cpl. Levin Frazier
Pvt. Daniel Richardson

Fifth Independent

Held back as reserves, these soldiers aided many retreating Americans.

Capt. John Allen Thomas
1st Lt. John Steward – The son of a prominent Anne Arundel County shipyard owner, Steward served for the entire war. While Steward lived through many harrowing experiences, including an escape from British captivity, he died in a riding accident just months before the war officially ended.
2nd Lt. John Davidson
3rd Lt. Henry Neale
Cadet Robert Chesley
Pvt. William Coe
Pvt. Thomas Rowse
Pvt. Henry Spalding
Pvt. Aaron Spalding
Pvt. Jesse Thompson
Pvt. Alexander Williamson

Seventh Independent

Took heavy casualties, losing nearly all its officers. Only 35 percent of the men escaped.

Capt. Edward Veazey
1st Lt. William Harrison
2nd Lt. Samuel Turbutt Wright –  Held several public offices after he withdrew from the Continental Army in 1779, eventually serving as Adjutant General of Maryland from 1807 – 1810.
3rd Lt. Edward De Coursey
Sgt. Hezekiah Foard
Sgt. John Hardman
Sgt. John Read
Sgt. Thomas Stern
Cpl. John Sears
Cpl. Thomas McLanhlan
Cpl. John Redman
Drum Richard Goldin
Fife Edward Marr
Pvt. James Adams
Pvt. John Allerdine
Pvt. John Alexander
Pvt. James Berry
Pvt. Joseph Biggs
Pvt. Daniel Boyles – The twenty-two-year-old Irish immigrant enlisted in 1776. He watched as almost every senior officer in his company was killed or captured during the Battle of Brooklyn, but continued to fight for American independence for several years after. Boyles was severely wounded during a battle in 1778 yet still served in garrison duty until his enlistment expired.
Pvt. William Carman
Pvt. Jeremiah Carroll
Pvt. Thomas Certain
Pvt. John Copper
Pvt. William Dawson
Pvt. John Goodwood
Pvt. Samuel Gray
Pvt. John Groves
Pvt. Patrick McCann
Pvt. James McHendricks
Pvt. Jeremiah Leehy
Pvt. Patrick McNemar
Pvt. Andrew Meloan
Pvt. Henry Mitchel
Pvt. John Marr
Pvt. John Porter
Pvt. Humphrey Pugh
Pvt. Richard Pursel
Pvt. Benjamin Quimby
Pvt. Robert Ratliff
Pvt. Solomon Slocum
Pvt. Isaac Sterling
Pvt. William Stibbings
Pvt. Thomas Thomas
Pvt. William Thompson
Pvt. Barnet Turner
Pvt. Stephen Videto
Pvt. William Wright
Pvt. John York

7 Responses to Biographies

  1. Joseph Doyle says:

    On 21 January 1776, Alexander Naylor enlisted in the Ninth Company of Light Infantry under the immediate command of Capt. George Stricker. He was one of 21 “select men” recruited in Frederick County. Serving along with Alex Naylor (Nailor) was Nicholas Naylor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Doyle says:

      On my last trip to the Maryland State Archives, I discovered that Alexander Naylor served with the Maryland Militia, Frederick Co. 29th Regiment. He was commissioned Ensign on 6 May 1797 and resigned with the rank of Lieutenant on 15 May 1800. It was compulsory for men between the ages of 18 and 45 to serve in the militia beginning in 1794. They chose their own officers with the approval of the Governor and Council.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy says:

    Thank you for all you are doing. Bryan Philpot, my forth great-grandfather looks good!

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for all the indviduals who have worked to put this wonderful web site together. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m pretty sure all of these American Patriots are proud, grateful and smiling down on all of you ! Thanks again for your hard work. Well done !

    Best Regards,

    Michael C. Mc Millin
    Elmhurst, Illinois
    mmcmillin@aol.com

    Like

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