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 firstname.lastname@example.org. This roster is a work in progress, and we will continue to improve it.