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Regimental Histories for the Revolutionary War

(Massachusetts, Military Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

Can you advise me on where to find Revolutionary War Regimental histories for Massachusetts?  I would like to know where my ancestor may have fought during the Revolution, he did not have a pension file unfortunately.

 

Answer:

Unlike the Civil War the concept of the Regimental history in America is a 19th century creation.  There are various published accounts of the military events relating to the occasional officer and his company, however for the most part they are not very complete.  What I have suggested to researchers in the past is to follow the following steps: 1) "Adopt the company of your ancestor", which involves researching the military and pension files of his fellow soldiers.  Their pension may indicate particular battles that they were in, or locations that their regiment were stationed.  2) Search for diaries and letters of the officers, and the soldiers of the same regiment.  I have often found papers associated with the officers of the regiment, and on occasion even correspondence.  3) When searching for military documents search on the Colonel of the Regiment, and the Captains of the Companies.  The Massachusetts State Archives Collection will be very valuable using this method.  The archives can be reached at: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/


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