The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History View this object in context
Catalog #: 70364M Accession #: 275433
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History Maker
London Armoury Company (Manufacturer)
Dimensions / Weight
Dimensions: 8" H x 61.75" W x 3.5" D
British Tower musket, .80 caliber. Marked on the lock plate behind the trigger hammer with "Tower." Specific History
Private Rowel Colby saw service at the Battle of Bennington, and took this Tower Flint-lock musket from a dead British soldier, during the Battle on August 16, 1777. Colby of Salisbury, NH was on the muster rolls of Captain Ebenezer Webster's Company in Colonel Thomas Stickney's Regiment in General Stark's Brigade raised out of the Regiment of the New Hampshire Militia, July 1777 which joined the Northern Continental Army at Bennington. Keywords
Country: United States
Era: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits
HISTORY OF SALISBURY
The following biography is from "The History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire". Edited by D. Hamilton Hurd and Published in 1885.
BY JOHN J. DEARBORN, M.D., TOWN HISTORIAN.
THE REVOLUTION.---The people of Salisbury caught the first echo of the shot at Lexington, and, although not in season to participate, they were at Bunker Hill. They went, too, uninvited to that banquet of death and fame which was celebrated on the 17th of June, 1775.
The following is the list of soldiers from Salisbury who were in Captain Ebenezer Webster's company, which fought in the battle of Bennington, on the 16th of August, 1777:
Edward Evans, one of the staff officers of Colonel Stickney's regiment; Captain, Ebenezer Webster; Lieutenants, Robert Smith, Andrew Bohonon ; Fourth Sergeant, Abraham Fifield; Third Corporal, Samuel Lovering; Fourth Corporal, Joshua Morse ; Drummer, John Sanborn; Fifer, Jonathan Foster; Privates, Elder Benjamin Huntoon, William Searle, Richard Piermont, Iddo Scribner, Benjamin Scribner, Peter Severance, Rowell Colby, John Fifield, Joseph Fifield, Edward Flfield, Jonathan Fifield, Jacob Bohonon, William Calef, Edmund Sawyer, John C. Gale, Jacob True, John Jemson, Robert Barber, Joseph Tucker, Moses Elkins, John Smith, William Newton, Israel Webster, David Pettengill, Abel Elkins, James Johnson, Jacob Garland, George Bayley, Moses Welch, Daniel Brottlebank, Matthew Pettengill, Edward Eastman,%u2014rank and file from Salisbury, forty-one men.
To this number add Enaign Andrew Pettengill, who served in the Concord and Boscawen company. We also had three other men in Colonel George Reed's regiment, viz.: Samuel Saunders, Jacob Morrill and Joseph Maloon, making, of the Continental and militiamen in actual service in the summer of 1777, forty-five militiamen and seventeen regular troops, a total of sixty-two men.
Though the Salisbury men were largely exposed, and though Saunders was reported among the missing at Hubbardton, Pettengill wounded at Stillwater, yet no death resulted except that of Andrew Pettengill. Early in 1778 disease began to thin the ranks of our veterans, and in March and April we lost four of our men in camp at Valley Forge, viz.: Ephraim Heath, Reuben Greeley, Philip Lufkin and William Bayley.
COLBY, ROWELL (Lydia, Widow)
Cont., Mass., & New Hampshire Service
Aug. 25, 1838, Lydia Colby, of Enfield, N.H., aged 76 years deposed:
that she is the widow of Rowell Colby, a private in the Revolution, who enlisted in the summer of 1777 with others, under Capt. Ebenezer Webster; marched to Vermont; was in the battle of Bennington, and was absent two months. She has heard him tell of taking an Indian prisoner while on this tour, and now has a powder horn which he said he took from said Indian. She also has a copper teakettle, which he said he took from a Hessian on this same tour; that she has also heard her husband tell of serving in New York for a year in 1776, and that he was living in Salisbury, N.H., when he enlisted; that she was married to him Nov. 9, 1780; and that her husband died Jan. 27, 1832.
Sept. 5, 1838, JOHN ELLIOTT, of Concord, N.H., "now a little rising eighty-two years of age", testified that he served eight months in 1775; was in the battle of Bunker Hill; also the entire year of 1776, and three months in 1777, under Capt. Sherman; and that during 1776 and 7 Rowell Colby served in the same regiment with him - Col. Loammi Baldwin - frequently saw and conversed with him, as they came from the same section of the state.
Jan. 1, 1839, JONATHAN FOSTER, of Tunbridge, Vt., testified that he and Rowell Colby lived in Salisbury, N.H., during the Revolution; enlisted together in June, 1777, under Capt. Ebenezer Webster; went from Salisbury to Manchester, Vt.; staid there two weeks, then went to Bennington and staid until after the battle occurred; went in the battle, and afterwards marched to Stillwater, N.Y., and from there to Bemis Heights; were discharged together, having served our term out - two months; that Colby married Lydia Pettengill, old Capt. David Pettengill's daughter, of Salisbury, N.H. in presence of Gustavus Rolfe and Charles M. Lamb.
Thomas Merrill, clerk of the town of Enfield, N.H., certified to the marriage of Rowell Colby, of Enfield, and Lydia Pettengill, of Salisbury, as stated, being recorded on the books of the town.
July 29, 1839, Peter Whittier, of Enfield, N.H., testified that he had known the Colbys since 1812, and often heard him speak of the injustice of according pensions to men who had served a much shorter time than he, simply because, through misfortune or shiftlessness, they had not accumulated any property; that he told him he served in 1777, the year declarant was born, and also under Capt. Webster, and was always considered to have been a Revolutionary soldier, who was barred from receiving a pension simply on account of the property clause.
July 29, 1839, Jonathan C. Pettengill, of Enfield, N.H., aged 72 years, testified that Rowell Colby came to live with his father while young, and lived with him until he was twenty-one years of age, excepting the time he was in the army; that he moved from Salisbury to Enfield and lived within half a mile of declarant for thirty years before his death, &c.
July 29, 1839, Joseph Merrill, of Enfield, aged 65 years, testified that he had lived in Enfield about forty-five years, within two and a half miles of Colby, and that it was always considered that the only reason Colby did not apply for a pension was on account of property.
Claim allowed Aug. 27, 1839, as were also her claims under later Acts made March 27, 1843, and Aug. 5, 1848, the last being when she was 86 years of age, and her signature was witnessed by Malinda A. Colby. Certificate 3157, Concord, N.H. Agency, was issued Jan. 19, 1849, Act of Feb. 2, 1848.
ROWELL COLBY NOTES
"Rowell, Lydia, W22824, Continental & NH Line, sol lived at Salisbury NH at enl, sol m Lydia daughter of David Pettingill of Salisbury NH on 9 Nov 1780, sol d 27 Jan 1832 at Enfield in Grafton Cty NH & wid appl there 25 Aug 1838 aged 76, they had son Rowell, Jr aged 42 in 1839 & Thomas aged 33 in 1839."
From: Abstracts of Rev. War Pension Files."
According to "Abstracts of Revolutionary Was Patriots, Vol. I" -- "Buried in the "George Hill Cemetery, Enfield, NH." _______________________________________________________________
"Rowell Colby, one of the pioneer settlers, came to Enfield, New Hampshire, from Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1779, and settled on George Hill, where his granson, Lewis T. Colby, later lived. "He came to the town in March, with a pair of cattle and a sled, camping one night in the woods, when he was entertained with a free concert by a pack of wolves. The roads were indicated by marked trees. he frequently made journeys back to Salisbury, and on one occasion he brought sixty young apple trees on his back, which he planted, and lived to eat the fruit thereof." One of these trees is still living and measures nine feet in circumference. He lived on the place where he first settled until his death. he held several town offices. he commenced with very small means, but added to his possessions until he owned a thousand acres of land. He served in the revolution and took part in the Battle of Bennington.
On 25 August 1838, Lydia Colby, of Enfield, New Hampshire, aged 76 years, deposed: that she was the widow of Rowell Colby, a private in the Revolutionar War who enlisted in the summer of 1777, under Captain Ebenezer Webster, marched to Manchester, Vermont, and was in the battle of Bennington, after which he marched to Stillwater and Bemis Heights. He took a prisoner on the way, and now she has the powder horn he took from the Indian. She also has a copper teakettle, which he said he took from a Hessian soldier on this same tour. She said her husband served in New York for a year in 1776, and the he was serving in 1776, when he enlisted in 1777. His service was in the continental Army, of Massachusetts, and new Hampshire. Lydia, his wife, was granted a pension."
"THE COLBY FAMILY IN EARLY AMERICA"
By: Frederick Lewis Weis, Pub. Concord, MA, 1970, p. 143-145.
Pension: Rowell Colby, (Lydia, widow) 1838, Rev War, Enfield, Grafton, NH
Descendants of Zaccheus Colby
1 Zaccheus Colby 1711/12 - 1769 b: 01 Jan 1711/12 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts d: Aft. 1769 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts
.. Mary Eastman 1716/17 - b: 25 Feb 1716/17 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts m: 02 Oct 1735 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts m: 02 Oct 1735 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts Father: Roger Eastman Mother: Hannah Kimball m: 02 Oct 1735 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts
............. 2 Roger Colby 1736 - b: 19 Apr 1736 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts Military service: 1775 Revolutionary War Soldier
................. Eleanor Challis m: 17 May 1760 in South Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire m: 17 May 1760 in South Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire m: 17 May 1760 in South Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
............. 2 Jacob Colby 1739 - b: 01 Jun 1739 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts d: in Newton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
................. Sarah Merrill m: 24 Mar 1764 m: 24 Mar 1764 m: 24 Mar 1764
............. 2 Ephraim Colby 1740 - b: 22 Dec 1740 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachussetts
............. 2 Sarah Colby 1741/42 - 1808 b: 19 Feb 1741/42 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts d: 12 Sep 1808 in Andover, New Hampshire
................. Thomas Scribner 1736/37 - 1821 b: 01 Jan 1736/37 m: 10 Sep 1760 in Kingston, New Hampshire d: 24 Nov 1821 in Andover, New Hampshire m: 10 Sep 1760 in Kingston, New Hampshire m: 10 Sep 1760 in Kingston, New Hampshire
............. 2 Mary Colby 1743/44 - b: 03 Jan 1743/44
............. 2 Ephraim Colby 1747 - 1823 b: 06 May 1747 in Newton, Rockingham County, New York d: 07 May 1823 in Ogden, Monroe County, New York
................. Mary Merrill 1745 - 1806 b: 1745 in New Hampshire m: 1770 in New Hampshire d: 07 Aug 1806 in Ogden, Monroe County, New York m: 1770 in New Hampshire m: 1770 in New Hampshire
............. 2 Zaccheus Colby 1749 - 1822 b: 10 May 1749 in Newton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire d: 10 Aug 1822 in Chester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Burial: Aug 1822 Auburn Long Meadow Cemetery, Auburn, NH Occupation: Bet. 1780 - 1803 Pastor of Congregational Church, Pembroke, New Hampshire Military service: Rev War Soldier, NH Burial: Aug 1822 Auburn Long Meadow Cemetery, Auburn, NH Occupation: Bet. 1780 - 1803 Pastor of Congregational Church, Pembroke, New Hampshire
................. Mary Calfe 1759 - 1837 b: Abt. 1759 in New Hampshire m: 11 Dec 1780 in New Hampshire d: 20 May 1837 in Chester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire m: 11 Dec 1780 in New Hampshire Father: John Calfe m: 11 Dec 1780 in New Hampshire
............. 2 Hannah Colby 1751 - b: 16 Apr 1751
............. 2 Timothy Colby 1753 - b: 01 Apr 1753
............. 2 Rowell Colby 1758 - 1832 b: 22 Nov 1758 in Newton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire d: 27 Jan 1832 in Enfield, New Hampshire Military service: 1777 Rev. War Soldier, at The Battle of Bennington, VT. NH Sol. at Battle of Bennington, pg. 15. Census: 1790 U.S. Census of NH
................. Lydia Pettengill 1762 - 1838 b: 13 Mar 1762 in Sandown, New Hampshire m: 09 Nov 1780 d: Aft. 1838 in Enfield, Grafton County, New Hampshire m: 09 Nov 1780 Father: David Pettengill m: 09 Nov 1780
............. 2 Philip Colby 1764 - 1842 b: 05 Oct 1764 d: 10 Jul 1842
................. Abra Greeley 1768 - b: 1768 in Newtown, Rockingham County, New Hampshire m: 08 Jan 1786 in New Hampshire m: 08 Jan 1786 in New Hampshire m: 08 Jan 1786 in New Hampshire
View British musket taken off of dead British soldier by Rowell Colby Revolutionary War soldier .
Go to: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM - Americans at war