Article 1 of 4. Alexander Hamilton was Not a Hero at the Battle of White Plains. New Evidence Reveals Source of Misinformation – Fooling Historians, Internet Posts, & the US Gov.

Introduction. Background History. Brigade to which Hamilton’s Artillery was Assigned.

Perhaps, when describing the Battle of White Plains and participants, it is appropriate to use the romantic term historians and fictional writers ascribe to combat; the fog of war. In this case, as in most all conflicts, it has overshadowed the facts that have been handed down to us over the decades.  The truth lies hidden beneath the romantic rhetoric, misinformation, and misrepresentation for personal or financial means; much of it forever lost in destroyed diaries or memories long gone to the grave. The researcher’s dilemma is always at play. How long and how deep does one dig before he or she is satisfied and present in writing what is even remotely close to what occurred among men in a desperate struggle to survive?

This article will pose a series of questions to examine the existence and performance of artillery on Chatterton’s Hill, the primary scene of battle, and Hamilton’s role in that struggle. It will examine primary sources and trace secondary sources in relating the facts and possible myths that led to popular opinion. It will endeavor to answer each question and will summarize a conclusion as to Alexander Hamilton’s participation in the Battle of White Plains, NY. Author’s note:  I will refer to Alexander Hamilton as Hamilton and any citations to family relations will be inclusive of their full name.

Introduction

Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, ca. 1806. (Photo by National Gallery Of Art/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Countless historical texts by reputable scholars, spanning decades, including hundreds of internet articles, trumpet Captain Hamilton’s incredible bravery as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, particularly noting his significant and heroic performance during the Battle of White Plains. It was a claim that gained notoriety after accounts of Captain Hamilton’s fantastic feats first appeared in an early biography of Alexander Hamilton by his son, John Hamilton. However, upon examining primary sources and recorded documents, it becomes apparent that John Hamilton’s descriptions, copied and embellished by later biographers and historians, amounted to nothing more than a fantastic fable.

On October 28, 1776, at the Battle of White Plains, Captain Hamilton’s artillery did not drive back nor did he significantly assist in halting the attacking British and Hessian forces. The artillery did not make a stalwart defense of the American position on Chatterton Hill (where the main battle occurred), thereby protecting the American troop withdrawal. Captain Hamilton and his artillery company was not the last to leave the field of battle. Chatterton Hill looked down upon the Bronx River. A bridge under construction by attacking Hessian forces supposedly spanned the river. Historians have credited Captain Hamilton in shelling that bridge, inflicting grave casualties upon the Hessians. Hamilton’s gallant efforts then forced the enemy to give up the bridge and ford the river. That bridge did not exist! There was a bridge, but it was a mile and a half from Chatterton Hill and served to advance British artillery closer to the American line. American field artillery, three pounders, effective at four to five hundred yards, was stationed on Chatterton Hill, over 2,600 yards from the actual bridge – therefore impossible to shell by the Americans.

One of two field artillery pieces dragged up Chatterton Hill. Their dismal use seriously questions the myth of Captain Hamilton’s heroic stance during the battle.

In fact, according to the majority of primary sources, American artillery on Chatterton Hill was so dismally handled, firing a couple of shots before being withdrawn, that they had no impact on the battle. One cannon had to be dragged by infantrymen after a British shot burst nearby and the artillerymen abandoned it, running for their lives. The American artillery proved to be so inconsequential, that most participants in the battle do not even mention American artillery in later statements.

Chatterton Hill was located on the extreme right of the American line at White Plains.

Captain Hamilton’s Company of Artillery was assigned to a brigade that was stationed near center and on the left flank of the American line. Chatterton Hill was on the far right where the main action occured that day. Captain Hamilton had but two three pound cannon left in his train. One was sent to cover the extreme right flank and was commanded by Hamilton’s second lieutenant. Those men saw brief action along with a regiment of their assigned brigade; firing but once at twenty British dragoons who came too close to the American position. That cannon remained quiet for the rest of the battle. As to date, there is no document that places Captain Hamilton in direct charge of his other cannon in his train.  Neither does evidence indicate that cannon saw action that day. Two American cannon were present on Chatterton Hill at the start of the battle, however they were assigned to General McDougall Brigade. Hamilton’s line of artillery were attached to Brigadier General Scott’s Brigade.

Even the Government was fooled by Hamilton’s son. Two Cent Stamp commemorating the Battle of White Plains – featuring a stoic performance by Captain Alexander Hamilton’s Artillery during the battle.

How, for nearly two hundred and years, could such a deception and misrepresentation of facts be accepted and copied by so many credible historians; right up to twenty first century publications and many current internet sites that spew undocumented accounts of Hamilton’s actions at White Plains? The answer may be twofold: it took years for researchers to discover and acknowledge the validity of primary accounts that counter mainstream thought and, what was accepted as an undisputable quote by Captain Alexander Hamilton, stating that he and his cannon had a significant role in the battle, was intentionally lifted by Hamilton’s son from another document which had nothing to do with the Battle of White Plains. This article is the first to offer conclusive evidence as to which brigade Hamilton’s line of artillery was assigned to; thereby accurately placing his artillery on the field of battle, and the first to trace the misquoted deception that gave birth to fantasy accepted by countless scholars and the US Government, issuing a stamp featuring Hamilton’s artillery to commorate the battle.

Source of Deception

Alexander Hamilton (founding father and first Secretary of the Treasury) rose to prominence prior to and during his participation in the American Revolutionary War. His attention to detail, sagacious mind, and scholarly writings caught the eye of the day’s major politicians and future mentor, General George Washington. Little was recorded of his arrival in the colonies as a young man and his initial military activity. After the war, early historians failed to mention Hamilton’s role in the conflict or they gave brief references to the youth’s military achievements; focusing on his role as aide-de-camp to General Washington. John Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s son, in several volumes on his father’s life, starting in 1834, wrote what proved to be an excessive veneration of his father that changed how many future historians reported the ‘facts’ about Hamilton; most particularly his earlier youth when he immigrated from the West Indies and his early career in the military. John Hamilton’s 1840 two volume publication had numerous errors and fabrications when relating his father’s experience as captain of artillery. However, It was the six volume biography he published in 1858 that reported such fantastical accounts of Hamilton’s exploits in and around New York City during the British campaign, that it opened the floodgates for future historians to take note of Captain Hamilton’s “significant achievements” during the war’s infancy – especially in and around the battles for New York City in 1776.

John Church Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton. He wrote three biographies of his father, each one more elaborate – especially his father’s role during the war which was a display of romantic fantasy.

In his 1858 publication, John Hamilton lavishly elaborated on his father’s exploits, proclaiming the youthful captain of artillery’s as a skillful and courageous leader under fire. Other historians picked up the pen and placed Hamilton in critical roles in actions on Long Island and at Harlem Heights; battles he had no part in. As to the Battle of White Plains, John Hamilton quoted his father directly as he described his father’s courageous endeavors.  For the next hundred and fifty years, scholars and biographers, including internet articles, jumped on the historical bandwagon, citing and copying the son’s dramatic portrayal of his father’s war exploits. They accepted John Hamilton’s asseveraton that his father was a hero during the Battle of White Plains. And why not? John Hamilton backed up this claim with a statement by his father affirming how well he manned the artillery. Only problem… it didn’t happen. It was made up. The quote that proved John Hamilton’s assertions of his father’s exploits at White Plains, thereby supporting the son’s false claims, was taken out of context, word for word, from a legal document pertaining to an action that Hamilton described; a month earlier than the Battle of White Plains.

In the decades since John Hamilton’s biography, as more primary sources became available and properly researched, some skeptics emerged. Yet their dubiety, for the most part, was largely glazed over or ignored by many in the historical community. Nathan Schachner, biographer of several of our Founding Fathers, writes in his 1946 text, Alexander Hamilton: “Less, perhaps, is known of the early life and career of Alexander Hamilton than of any other American of similar stature. This is due in part to the clouded aspects of his birth and his rootless character as an alien when he first appeared on the American scene, but chiefly to the filiopietistic labors of his son and first formal biographer, John C. Hamilton, whose elisions, distortions and downright falsehoods were slavishly copied by generations of succeeding historians.”[1] Many aspects of Mr. Schachner’s observation still holds true seventy one years after his biography of Hamilton was published. In 1886, Henry Dawson wrote an excellent account of the events leading up to and the battle in his text Westchester County New York during the American Revolution. As to John C. Hamilton’s descriptions of his father’s role during the battle he wrote; “John Church Hamilton… by his suppression as well as by his falsification of the truth, in order that his father might be unduly eulogized… is untruthworty.” He also wrote; “… in whose unsupported testimony, in historical subjects, we have no confidence whatsoever…” and “Among the creations of John Hamilton’s very able but very unscrupulous pen… doubts concerning Captain’s Hamilton’s presence, with the company on Chatterton Hill on the eventful day of the battle.”[2]

This crafted deception of Captain Hamilton’s heroic efforts during the Battle of White Plains, the impact of American artillery on the field of battle, shelling a bridge that did not exist; all of it was also taken as fact by the U.S. government. To commemorate the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of White Plains, stamp number 629 was issued on October 18, 1926.  It was entitled “Hamilton’s Battery” and featured a prominent figure alongside an artillery crew manning a Revolutionary War field cannon.  Mystic Stamp Company, claiming to be the largest US stamp dealer, presently offers the stamp for sale, noting in their advertisement that “Alexander Hamilton positioned his cannon strategically and held a large Hessian contingent at bay to allow an orderly retreat.”[3]

Questions Raised & Examined

This article will ask a series of questions to examine Captain Alexander’s presence during the battle, the attack by British and Hessian forces and what American units countered their assault, the role American artillery played on Chatterton Hill, the supposedly construction of a bridge that Captain Hamilton’s company of artillery was credited with shelling, and the cause and effect of a newly discovered misquote by this author that traces the source of much of the deception surrounding Captain Hamilton’s exploits during the Battle of White Plains.

Primary sources will be researched, focusing on records and written experiences of those who fought the battle including; returns of military units, general orders, commissary requisitions, minutes of governing bodies, court martial records, payroll, regimental rosters and correspondence. A study of secondary sources by historians will explore when, how, and to what extent Captain Alexander Hamilton was considered to have taken a significant and gallant role in the Battle of White Plains. These secondary sources and their conclusions, opinions, and summaries will be used to ascertain any direct cause and effect of John Hamilton’s misquote of his father’s actions during the Battle of White Plains. The following questions will be explored in detail and will be published in four articles:

ARTICLE 1:

  1. Introduction and background information including when and how did student Alexander Hamilton become involved with artillery? Captain Hamilton’s Company of Artillery was assigned to which division and brigade of the Continental Army and what is the importance of this?

ARTICLE 2:

  1. What are the specifics of the Battle of White Plains, focusing on the assault on Chatterton Hill by the British and Hessians and which American forces were involved in countering the attack?
  2. What was Captain Hamilton’s artillery position in the American line at White Plains? Did any of his cannon see action that day?  Were any of his artillery present on Chatterton Hill? Was he in personal command of any cannon during the battle?

ARTICLE 3:

  1. How well did Captain Hamilton’s company of artillery perform in battles or skirmishes prior to the Battle of White Plains?
  2. How well did the American artillery perform during the Battle of White Plains and what impact, if any, did American artillery have in defending Chatterton hill?
  3. What are the facts concerning a bridge that was supposedly under construction by Hessian forces prior to the main assault by British and Hessian forces? Are there any primary accounts that confirm this bridge existed? Did Hamilton’s cannon heroically shell this bridge as detailed by Hamilton’s son and later copied by many historians?

ARTICLE 4:

  1. Is there a distinct timeline when historians begin to credit Captain Alexander Hamilton’s company of artillery for playing a significant role in the Battle of White Plains?
  2. What is the documentation that recorded Captain Hamilton testimony to a military action he took part in which his son John Hamilton misquoted to prove his father’s role during the Battle of White Plains?
  3. Did John Hamilton’s misquote of his father’s participation in the Battle of White Plains have a cause and effect on future historians? Conclusion.

Captain Hamilton’s Company of Artillery was assigned to which division and brigade of the Continental Army and what is the importance of this?

Battle of White Plains. Retreating Hessian troops.

No primary source places Captain Hamilton’s artillery company on Chatterton Hill during the Battle of White Plains. It was common practice that when a brigade or regiment went into combat, any call for cannon would fall upon the line of artillery assigned to that unit. Captain Hamilton’s artillery was founded as a New York Provincial Company whose purpose was for the defense of the city. It was not at first appointed to a Continental or State Brigade. If it could be ascertained that his company was attached to any of the units that defended Chatterton Hill, a strong assumption could be made that his artillery was involved. Likewise, if it can be proven that his artillery company remained independent, or was assigned to a brigade or regiment that was not involved in the battle or saw minimal combat; it is doubtful that his company saw much action if any.

Brigadier General Alexander McDougall

Since Hamilton’s artillery was from New York, it is logical to explore records to determine if his company, prior to the battle, was placed under the command of a New York brigade. Two brigades, mostly composed of regiments from New York, were commanded by influential New Yorkers, Brigadier General John Morin Scott and Brigadier General Alexander McDougall. Numerous firsthand accounts claim that McDougall’s brigade played a major role in the Battle of White Plains, suffering casualties in defending Chatterton Hill.[4] General Scott’s brigade was not involved in the day’s action, save one regiment posted on the far left of the American line, whose assigned cannon fired upon twenty dragoons; driving the horseman away. Some secondary sources state that General Scott was wounded at the Battle of White Plains, indicating his brigade played a larger role in the general action. There is no documentation to support this and researched evidence provided in this paper proves it highly doubtful.

To determine the Continental brigade or regiment Hamilton’s artillery company was assigned to by October 28 and the Battle of White Plains, consideration should be given to the company’s formation. This includes personnel responsible for its founding, Hamilton’s relationships to brigadier commanders, and the timeline for transferrable from a Provincial Company of artillery to Colonel Henry Knox’s ten regiments of Continental Artillery.

Captain John Lamb (1735-1800). Captain who rose to Brigadier General of artillery – commanding the American cannon at the siege of Yorktown, 1781.

Early in the conflict, each colony organized their own militias and provincial armed forces; there was no unified army as such. After Lexington [April 19, 1775], what we know as the Continental Army began to take shape as the colonies were required to provide men for a central, unified army.  Set quotas were established by the Continental Congress based on the colony’s population. New soldiers were recruited to fill the required regiments. To help meet this quota, most colonies convinced their established militiamen to accept the terms of a Continental Army and serve a set period of enlistment. In July of 1775, the New York Provincial Congress raised a company of artillery for Continental service; New Yorker Captain John Lamb was put in command.

Student Alexander Hamilton sets his sights on the captaincy of his own artillery company. Hamilton was an adopted New York City native and, as friend and fellow patriot Nicholas Fish recorded, “immediately after the Battle of Lexington, he attached himself to one of the uniformed militia companies,”[5] joining Captain Edward Fleming’s first New York Militia which military rolls identified as the Corsicans[6] [not Hearts of Oak as is mistakenly stated in many historical accounts]. Hamilton’s first recorded encounter with cannon while under enemy fire occurred on August 23, 1775. He and several other Kings College students volunteered to aid Captain John Lamb’s Continental Artillery company, ordered by the New York Provincial Congress, to remove two dozen cannon from Fort George at the tip of Manhattan to the Commons, further north along Broadway. The men dragged the heavy cannon still in their garrison carriages,[7] while shelled by the 64 gun warship HMS Asia.

Early the next year, 1776, with the rumored invasion of the city by British forces, the New York Provincial Congress decided to raise an artillery company to specifically defend the city. Hamilton was determined to become this new company’s commander and discovered that befriending and gaining the respect of rising stars within the rebellion had its advantage. Alexander McDougall was a successful NY City merchant and prominent ‘patriot’; one of the leaders of New York’s Sons of Liberty (along with “King” Isaac Sears). McDougall was a member of the first and second Provincial Congress and in June of 1775, he was appointed colonel of the First New York Regiment. Colonel McDougal had been impressed by Hamilton’s prose and his scholarly pamphlets that expressed a passionate zeal for the ‘American cause’. When Hamilton approached McDougall and expressed a desire to command the new artillery company, McDougall was more than happy to assist.

On February 23, 1776, the NY Provincial Congress reported that Colonel McDougall recommended Mr. Alexander Hamilton for captain of artillery.[8] Hamilton applied himself studiously in all aspects of leading a train of artillery. On March 14, 1776, a certificate by Stephan Bedlam, captain of artillery was read and filed, certifying that he had examined Hamilton and judged him qualified to command artillery.[9] Hamilton was immediately appointed Captain of the Provincial Company of Artillery for the colony of New York.[10] Capt. Hamilton set about recruiting and organizing his own company and by April 1, 1776, he had a full contingency of officers and recruits[11]. By June 29th, his company totaled ninety three men.[12]

Artilleryman

Captain Hamilton’s company of artillery was the only such unit not assigned to the newly formed Continental Army which consisted of ten companies of artillery under regimental commander Colonel Henry Knox.[13]  The New York artillery was its own entity at the expense and disposal of the colony which created some discrepancies. Hamilton wrote to the New York Provincial Congress on May 26, 1776, requesting his company receive the same recognition and pay as Continental Artillery.[14]  His request was approved. Though a Provincial company, his unit adhered to all army regulations and shared the same responsibilities as other Continental Artillery Companies. On June 10th, he commanded two twelve pounder and four 32 pounder cannon on garrison carriages at Fort George; positioned on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. At the Grand Battery, just below the fort, he, along with Captains Pierce and Burbeck, commanded twenty three guns from 32 pounders to iron mortars.[15]

Captain Alexander Hamilton

Many historians and scholars who accepted that Captain Hamilton’s artillery played a significant role in repelling the British and Hessian attack on Chatterton Hill, without documentation, placed Hamilton’s train of artillery in General McDougall’s brigade. It was a natural assumption. McDougall recommended Hamilton’s commission as captain of artillery and his New York brigade defended Chatterton Hill, suffering casualties. Therefore it was logical that Hamilton was in his brigade. But researched records prove that it was not McDougall’s brigade to which Hamilton’s artillery was assigned, but General Scott’s New York State Brigade.

Hamilton may have desired that his company be assigned to the Continental Army and inadvertently hurried his transferral from a Provincial to a Continental Artillery Company. On July 26, 1776, he wrote a letter to the New York Provincial Congress, complaining that his men were not getting the same supplies and provisions as Continental soldiers.[16] Cornelius Roosevelt, acting commissary for the New York Province, wrote back complaining that he was required by Capt. Hamilton to supply a much larger quantity of provisions than stipulated for by the providence and he demanded more money.[17]

Representative of the New York Provincial Congress

Having their own artillery company was proving to be expensive. The members of New York’s Provincial Congress saw a way out and an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; get someone else to foot the bill for the company’s expenses, and help fill their quota for Continental soldiers. They decided to relinquish not just control, but the cost of the artillery company to the Continental Congress. Hamilton’s company had been placed under the command of an infantry brigade. They officially ordered on July 31st that as Capt. Hamilton’s Company was formerly assigned to the New York brigade under General John Morin Scott, “that they [Hamilton’s company] be henceforth supplied with Provisions as part of that Brigade.”[18]. Perhaps there was a discussion between the Provincial and Continental Congress for on Aug. 3rd, minutes of the NY Congress states that considering the letters of Hamilton and Roosevelt, “further consideration will be posted.[19] The final decision was recorded on August 9th: “That the Company of Artillery formerly raised by Capt. Hamilton, under the authority of this state… [be] considered as a part of the number ordered to be raised by the Continental Congress from the Militia of the State, and therefore that the said company be, and hereby is, incorporated into General Scott’s Brigade.” New York’s Continental Army quota was closer to being filled by ninety three bodies.[20] Likewise Hamilton’s company of artillery was listed under Colonel Henry Knox’s regiment of Continental Artillery.[21]

General John Morin Scott

Like General McDougall, Scott was a very influential politician. He was a lawyer, outspoken leader of New York’s sons of liberty, member of the Provincial Congress, and brigadier general of New York State troops. He was aware of Hamilton’s well versed literary defenses of the ‘patriot cause’ and perhaps was part of the discussion surrounding the Provincial Congress’ decision to relinquish Hamilton’s artillery into the Continental folds. Yet, instead of transferring Hamilton’s outfit to New York’s Continental force under McDougall, by placing the artillery within a New York State Brigade, the Provincial Congress could hopefully retain some of their influence to assure the artillery would remain close by and protect the city. This soon bore fruit in the next major battle of the war.

Contrary to many secondary historical texts, Captain Hamilton’s company did not take part in the Battle of Long Island on August 27th, 1776. Hamilton remained in the city and was stationed at Fort Bayard[22], a redoubt sitting atop a large hill that had a commanding vista over the city and all approaches form the northeast. We know that Hamilton’s company was still in General Scott’s brigade by mid September.[23] Scott’s brigade, along with Colonel Silliman’s Brigade,[24] were in the city when the British invaded mid Manhattan Island at Kip’s Bay on September 15, 1776.[25] This move almost entrapped the two brigades and Major General Putnam’s Division; a total of over three thousand men. Hamilton joined Scott’s brigade in their forced escape up the west side of Manhattan Island and dug in at Harlem Heights. Again, contrary to secondary historical accounts, he did not take part in the next day’s battle, the Battle of Harlem Heights, on September 16th.[26]

General William Heath commanded one of Washington’s Divisions in which General Scott’s Brigade was assigned along with Hamilton’s Train of Artillery

Soon after the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Continental Army was reorganized. General Scott’s brigade was placed in General Heath’s Division[27] that included Hamilton’s train of artillery. On Oct., 18, 1776, the Battle of Pells Point was fought in Westchester County. British General Howe had transported his force north by ships and was attempting to cross Westchester County to Hudson’s River, thereby trapping Washington’s army to the south. Washington moved his forces north will all haste. During the army’s rapid move north, it can be safely assumed that Hamilton’s artillery remained with Scott’s brigade. This is confirmed by the fact that at White Plains, one of Capt. Hamilton’s two remaining cannon[28] in his train was positioned on a hill along with Colonel Malcom’s regiment of General Scott’s brigade.

To summarize: Based on records of the New York Provincial Congress, military returns, and the transferral of Hamilton Provincial Artillery Company to a Continental artillery regiment under Colonel Henry Knox, Captain Alexander Hamilton’s Artillery Company was assigned to New York General John Morin Scott’s Brigade, Major General William Heath’s Division. He was not part of New York General Alexander McDougall’s brigade, General Sullivan’s Division, which many historians have incorrectly stated. He remained with General Scott’s Brigade while the army was stationed at Harlem Heights. Captain Hamilton’s company marched north with Maj. General Heath’s Division and was present with General Scott’s brigade during deployment at White Plains. One of Hamilton’s two cannon in his train is documented to have been positioned on the American left alongside Colonel Malcom’s regiment of General Scott’s brigade.

The next article, number two of this four part series, will be concerned with the specifics of the Battle of White Plains. It will set Hamilton’s artillery position along the American line to determine what cannon of his train saw action that day. The article will explore any documentation that places Hamilton in command of his two cannon during the battle.

Shades of Liberty is the exciting new action-packed series that chronicles African Americans who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Click above for a preview and link to Amazon Books and follow the adventures of Josiah, Book 1 of the Shades of Liberty Series. Josiah is a runaway slave and patriot soldier in Washington’s army. He faces death and discrimination from both a deadly enemy and soldiers in his own army. Josiah and fellow black patriots fight for America’s freedom, believing in a new nation that claims all men are created equal. They hope, they suffer, and many die striving for their rightful share of that promise – a promise disguised in many shades of liberty.

PRIMARY SOURCES:

Beatson, Robert Esq.  Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, from 1727 – 1783 in Six Volumes, Vol 4. 1804:  Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, London, United Kingdom.

Bradford, Sydney, Editor. Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 2, June 1961. A British Officer’s Revolutionary War Journal, 1776-1778. Lt. Henry S. Stirke.

Bushnell, Charles L. Journal of Solomon Nash, a Soldier of the Revolution, 1776-1777. 1861: Private Printed, New York, NY.

Dann, John, C, Editor. The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness accounts of the War for Independence, Sergeant Thomas Craige. 1980: University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Drake, Francis S.  Life and Correspondence of Henry Knox.  1873:  John Wilson & Son., Cambridge, MA.

Egle, William Henry. Journals and Diaries of the War of Revolution… 1775-1783. Microfilm 1893: E.K. Myber State Printer, Harrisburg, PA.

Ewald, Johann von. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. 1979 Reprint: Yale Univ. Press, Hartford, CT.

Fernow, Berthold.  New York in the Revolution Prepared Under the Direction of Board of Regents Vol I.  1887:  Weed, Parsons and Company, Albany, NY.

Fitzpatrick, John C – Editor.  The Writings of George Washington.  From Original Manuscript Sources 1745 -1799 Vol 6.   1932: George Washington Bicentennial Commission, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Force, Peter.  American Archives… A Documentary History or the Origin and Progress of the North American Colonies in Six Series, Series Five Volume Three.  1843:  Prepared and published under an authority of  an act of Congress.

General Court Martial of the Line… for the Trial of Major General Arnold, June 1, 1779.  1779: Francis Bailey Publishers, Philadelphia, PA.

 Hadaway, William S., Editor. The McDonald Papers. 1926: Publications of the Westchester County Historical Society, White Plains, NY pp. 46, 53-54.

Hall, Charles S.  Life and Letters of Samuel Holden Parsons, Major General in the Continental Army. 1905:  Otseningo Publishing Company, Binghamton, NY.

Hamilton, John C. The Works of Alexander Hamilton Concerning his Correspondence…Civil and Military, vol 1.  1850:  John F. Trow Printer, New York, NY. Hamilton in his letters to the Provincial Congress in 1776 address himself as Captain New York Artillery.

Harrison, Samuel Alexander.  Memoir of Lieutenant Colonel Tench Tilghman, Secretary and Aid to Washington.  Revolutionary War Journals and Letters. 1876:  J. Munsell Publ., Albany,  NY.

Heath, Major General William, Edited by William Abbott.  Memoirs of Major General William Heath by Himself.  1798:  Thomas and Andrews, Boston, MA.  1901:  William Abbott Publ. New York, NY.

Henry, Egle William. Journals and Diaries of the War of the Revolution with Lists of Officers and Soldiers, 1775-1783. [microfilm]. 1893: E. K. Meyer State Printer, Harrisburg, PA.

 Hull, William.  Memoirs of the Campaign of the North Western Army… With an Appendix  Containing a Brief Sketch of the Revolutionary Services of the Author.  1824:  Published by True and Greene, Boston, MA.

Hutchins, Jack Randolph.  The Story of Jacob Hutchins of Athol, Massachusetts, Revolutionary Soldier and Accounts of Other Hutchins Who Served in the War.  1976:  Goetz Press,  Washington D.C.

Martin, Joseph Plumb.  A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier, Some of the Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of Joseph Plumb Martin.  1830:  Glazier, Masters & Co., Hallowell, Maine.  2010:  Introduction by Thomas Fleming, Penguin Group (USA), New York, NY.

Powell, William S.  A Connecticut Soldier Under Washington:  Elisha Bostwick’s Memoirs of the First Years of the Revolution.  The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 6, No.1 (Jan., 1949), pp 94-107.

Putnam, Rufus & edited by Rowena Buell.   The Memoirs of Rufus Putnam and Certain Official Papers and Correspondence.   1903:  National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Ohio, Houghton, Mifflin & Company, New York, NY.

Roberts, James A.  New York in the Revolution and Colony and State.  Documents and Records from the Office of Comptroller.1904:  J.B. Lyon Company Printers, Albany NY.

Official Letters to the Honorable American Congress, Written During the War Between the United Colonies and Great Britain by His Excellency George Washington Vol I.  1795: Copied by special permission from the offices of the Secretary of State, Printed for G. G. & J. Robinson, London, UK.

Ramsay, David M.D.  The History of the American Revolution in Two Volumes  Vol. I.  1789:Aitken & Son, Philadelphia, PA.

Reed, William.  Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed by His Grandson William B. Reed. 1847:  Lindsay & Blakiston, Philadelphia, PA.

Ryden, George Herbert PhD. – Edited.  Letters to and from Caesar Rodney 1756-1784.  1933: Historical Society of Delaware by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA.

Schachner, Nathan.  Alexander Hamilton Viewed by His Friends, The Narratives of Robert Troup & Hercules Mulligan.  William & Mary Quarterly, 1947: 2nd Series pp. 203-225.

Steadman, C.  The History of Origin, Progress, and Termination of the American War… Who Served under Generals Howe, Clinton, and Cornwallis, in Two Volumes, Vol I.  1794: Printed and Sold by J. Murray & J. Debrett, London, Great Britain.

Syrett, Harold C. & Jacob E. Cooke – Editors.  The Papers of Alexander Hamilton Vol I.  1961 edition:  Columbia University Press, New York, NY.

Tallmadge, Benjamin Col.  Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, Prepared by Himself at the  Request of his Children.  1858:  Thomas Holman Book and Job Printer, New York, NY.

Thatcher, James M. D., Surgeon in the Continental Army.  Military Journal of the American Revolution.  1823.  Second publication 1862:  Hurlburt, Williams & Company, Hartford,Conn.

SECONDARY SOURCES:

Allen, Paul Esq.  History of the American Revolution.  1822:  William Wooddy Jr. Printer, Baltimore, Maryland.  1969:  Edited by John R. Alden – Alfred A. Knoph, Inc. Publ., New York, NY.

Atherton, Gertrude Franklin.  The Conqueror. Being the True and Romantic Story of Alexander  Hamilton vol I.  1903:  Leipzig Bernhard Tauchnitz.  Digitized 2009.

Bancroft, George.  History of the United States, From the Discovery of the American Continent  vol 9.  First Edition 1866:  Fifth Edition 1875:  Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, MA.

Botta, Charles.  Translated from Italian by George Alexander Otis.  History of the War of the  Independence of the United States of America Vol II.  1820:  Lydia R. Bailey Printers, Philadelphia, PA.

Broadus, Mitchell.  Alexander Hamilton Youth to Maturity 1755-1788.  1957:  The Macmillan Company,  New York,  NY.

Broadwater, Robert P. American Generals of the Revolutionary War: A Biological Dictionary. 2012: McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC

Burton, Alma Holman.  The Story of Alexander Hamilton for Young Readers.  1898: Werner School Book Company, New York, NY.

Carrington, Henry B.  Battles of the American Revolution 1775 – 1781.  1877:  A. S. Barnes & Company,  New York, NY.

Champagne, Roger J. Alexander McDougall and the American Revolution in New York.  1975: Union College Press, Schenectady, NY.

Chernow, Ron.  Alexander Hamilton.  2004:  The Penguin Press, New York, NY.

Coffin, Charles Carleton.  The Boys of 76, The Battles of the Revolution.  1876:  Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, NY.

Conant, Charles.  Alexander Hamilton.  1901:  Houghton & Mifflin & Co., Boston, MA.

Dawson, Henry Barton. Battles of the United States: By Sea and Land Embrasing Those of the Revolutionary & Indian Wars…”. 1858: Johnson, Fry & Company, New York, NY.

Dawson, Henry Barton.  Westchester County New York During the American Revolution.  1886: Morrisania Publ., New York, NY.

Dunlap, William.  History of the New Netherlands, Province of Neatherlands, and State of New York… In Two Volumes.  Vol II.  1840:  Carter & Thorp, New York, NY.

Ellis, Edward S  A.M.  Alexander Hamilton A Character Sketch.  1898:  The University Association, Chicago, IL.

Ferling, John.  Almost a Miracle, The American Victory in the War of Independence.  2007: Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Ferling, John.  Independence, The Struggle to Set America Free.  2011:  Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, NY.

Field, Thomas W.  The Battle of Long Island… Authentic Documents.  1869:  Published by the Long Island Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY.

Fisher, Sydney George.  The True History of the American Revolution.  1902:  J.P. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, PA.

Flexner, James Thomas.  The Young Hamilton, A Biography.  1978:  Little, Brown and Company, Boston, MA.

Ford, Henry Jones.  Alexander Hamilton.  1920:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, NY.

Garniner, Asa Bird. The New York Continental Line of the Army of the Revolution. 1881: Harvard Univ. Press, Boston, MA.

Gordon, William D.D. The History of the Rise, Progress and Establishment of the Independence  of the United States of America: Including an Account of the Late War, and of the Thirteen Colonies. Vol. II 1801:  Printed for Samuel Campbell by John Woods, New York, NY.

Graybill, James Edward.  Alexander Hamilton, A Lecture on the Military Career of Alexander  Hamilton.  1897:  Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company, Albany, NY.

Hacker, Louis M. Alexander Hamilton in the American Tradition.  1957:  McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, NY.

Hamilton, Allan McLane.  The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton.  1910:  Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York, NY.  (Grandson of A. Hamilton).

Hamilton, John C.  Life of Alexander Hamilton by His Son in two Vols., vol I.  1834:  D. Appleton & Co., New York, NY. (Son of A. Hamilton).

Hamilton, John C.  Life of Alexander Hamilton, A History of the Republic of the United States of   America in six Vols., Vol I. 1864: Second ed.1879:  Houghton, Osgood & Co., The Riverside Press, Cambridge, MA.

Hamilton John C.  The Works of Alexander Hamilton Concerning his Correspondence… Civil and Military, Vol 1. 1850:   John F. Trow Printer, New York, NY.

Hannings, Bud. American Revolutionary War Leaders, A Biographical Dictionary. 2009: McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC.

Heitman, Frances B.  Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army… April 1775 to Dec. 1783.  1914:  New Revised and Enlarged Edition, Rare Bookshop Publishing Company, Washington D.C.

Hoffman, Renoda.  The Battle of White Plains.  1969: The Battle of Whte Plains Monument Committee., White Plains, NY.  (974.727 H pamphlet).

Henry P.  The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn.  1878:  Published by the Long Island Historical Society, S. W. Green Printers, New York, NY.

Jones, Thomas edited by Edward Floyd de Lancy.  The History of New York During the Revolutionary War Vol. I  1879:  Trows Printing & Bookbinding Company, New York, NYprinted for the New York Historical Society.

Lancaster, Bruce.  From Lexington to Liberty.  1943:  Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York.

Leckie, Robert.  George Washington’s War, The Saga of the American Revolution.  1993: Harper Collins Publisher, New York, NY.

Lodge, Henry Cabot.   Alexander Hamilton in 12 Vols.  1898:  Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge, MA.

Lossing, Benson J.  Our Country a Household History for all Readers in Three Volumes.  1876: Johnson & Miles, New York, NY.

Lossing, Benson J.  The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution Vol. I.  1852: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, NY.

Lowell, Edward J.  The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the  Revolutionary War.  1884:  Harper & Brothers, New York, NY.

McCullough, David.  1776.  2005: Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

McDonald, Forrest.  Alexander Hamilton:  A Biography.  1982:  W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY.

Melchiove, Susan McCarthy. Caesar Rodney: American Patriot.  2013: Infobase Learning Publishing, New York, NY.

Middlekauff, Robert.  The Glorious Cause, The American Revolution 1763 – 1789. 2005: Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, NY.

Miller, John C.  Alexander Hamilton Portrait in Paradox.  1959:  Harper & Brothers, Publishers,  New York, NY.

Milton, Lomask. Odd Destiny; A LIfe of Alexander Hamilton. 1969: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, NY.

Mitchell, Broadus. Alexander Hamilton Revolutionary Years. 1970: Thomas Y Crowell Company, NY, NY.

Morris, Richard B.  Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the Nation.  1957:  The Dial Press, New York, NY.

Moore, Frank – Editor.  Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution.  1855: Kennikat Press, Inc., Washington, NY.

Morse, John T. Jr. The Life of Alexander Hamilton, Vol. 1. 1876: Little Brown & Co., Boston,  MA.

O’Brian, Michael J. Hercules Mulligan, Confidential Correspondent of George Washington. 1937: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, New York, NY.

New York City During the American Revolution Being a Collection of Original Papers.  1861: Printed privately for the Mercantile Association of New York City, New York, NY.

Nicolay, Helen.  The Boy’s Life of Alexander Hamilton.  1940:  D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc., New York, NY.  Note:  She wrote a series of books on historical figures.  Each beginning with the title “The Boy’s Life of…”

O’Brian, Michael J.

Renwick, Henry B. & Renwick, James.  John Jay & Alexander Hamilton.  1899:  Harper & Brothers, New York, NY.

Roberts, James A., Comptroller.   New York in the Revolution as Colony and State. 1898: Brandow Printing Company, Albany, NY.

Rogers, Thomas J.  A New American Biographical Dictionary, or Remembrancer of the Departed Heroes, Sages, and Statesmen… In the Revolutionary War Which Obtained the Independence of Their Country. 1824:  Printed and Published by Thomas J. Rogers, Easton, Pennsylvania.

Schmucker, Samuel M.  The Life and Times of Alexander Hamilton.  1856:  John E. Potter & Co., Philadelphia, PA.

Schachner, Nathan.  Alexander Hamilton.  1946:  A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., New York, NY.

Schecter, Barnet.  The Battle for New York.  2002: Walker & Company, New York, NY.

Schumacher, Ludwig. Major General the Earl of Stirling, An Essay in Biography. 1848: New Amsterdam Book Company, New York, NY.

Schuyler, John.  Institution for the Society of Cincinnati 1783… of the New York State Society. 1886:  Printed for the Society by Douglas Taylor, New York, NY.

Shea, George.  Alexander Hamilton.  1880:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, NY.

Smith, Page.  A New Age Now Begins  A People’s History of the American Revolution. Vol I. 1976:  McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, NY.

Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, Bart.  The Revolutionary War Vol. II.  1922:  Longmans, Green & Co., London, UK & New York, NY.

Vandenberg, Arthur Hendrick.  The Greatest American, Alexander Hamilton. 1921:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, New York, NY.

Ward, Christopher.  The Delaware Continentals, 1776-1783.  1941:  Vail-Ballou Press, Inc., Binghamton, NY for The Historical Society of Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware.

Ward, Christopher.  The War of the Revolution.  1952:  MacMillan Publ., New York, NY.  2011: Skyhorse Publ., New York, NY.

ARTICLES:

Alexander Hamilton: The Fact and Fiction of His Early Years.  Harold Larson. The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Apr., 1952), pp. 139-151 Published

Captain Hamilton of the Artillery.  Major J. B. B. Trussell.  The Field Artillery Journal.  January – Feburary, 1950.  Pp 26-29.

WEB SITES:

Anglefire www.angelfire.com/realm3/roynagl/whiteplains.htm

Bronx River Alliance http://bronxriver.org/?pg=content&p=abouttheriver&m1=13&m2=78&m3=98

Harrison Patch  http://harrison.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/the-battle-of-white-plains

Mystic Stamp Company https://www.mysticstamp.com/Products/United-States/629/USA/

Ronemus, Andrew.  Article on Alexander Hamilton, www.ushistory.org.  Web site began in 1995.

Suite 101 suite101.com/…/general-washington-retreats-after-battle-of-white-plains-..www.alexanderhamilton.org

Syracuse University.  Benson John Lossing Collectionn http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/l/lossing_bj.htm

University of Missouri Kansas City:  law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/burr/hamiltonbio.htm

Wikipedia American Revolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution‎

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Schachner, pg. 120.

[2] Dawson pgs. 25 & 60.

[3] Mystic Stamp Company web site.

[4] Am. Archives Force, Series 5, Vol. 3, pg. 729. Dated Nov. 17, 1776.

[5] Chernow, pg. 63.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Also called trucks – carriages with small solid wheels to facilitate loading and the recoil of cannon during firing. Not ideal for transporting over any distance that required field carriages with much larger wheels and suspension.

[8] Mitchell pg. 79.

[9] March 14, 1776. Minutes of New York Provincial Congress. A” certificate of Stephen Badlam, Cpt. Of Artillery, was read and filed. He thereby certifies that he has examined Alexander Hamilton and judges him to be qualified to command a Company of Artillery… That the said Alexander Hamilton be, and is hereby appointed Captain of the Provincial Company of Artillery of This Colony.” American Archives Series 4, Vol. 5. Pg. 378.

[10] Fernow, pg. 84

[11] April 1, 1776. NY Provincial Congress Minutes. “… the Committee are fully informed that Cpt. Alexander Hamilton’s Company of Artillery raised for this Colony, now consists of so many men… that Cpt. Hamilton be directed to place, and keep a proper Guard of his Company at the Records until further notice…”  American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 5, pg. 1424.

[12] June 29, 1776. NY Committee of Coorespondence Return of the New York Company of Artillery in the service of the United Colonies, commanded by Cpt. Hamilton.  American Archives, Ser. 4, Vol. 6, pg. 1121.

[13] June 10, 1776. Return of ten companies of cannon and Cpt. Hamilton’s NY Provincial Company.  Am. Archives Ser. 4, Vol. 6, pg. 920 – also pp 1121 & 1122.

[14] Capt. Hamilton writes: “… our company by their articles are to be subject to the same regulations, and to receive the same pay, as the Continental Artillery… they do the same duty with other companies and think of themselves entitled to the same pay…”  Am. Archives, Ser. 4, vol. 6, pg 577.  Terms were accepted. Am. Archives Ser. 4, vol. 6, pg. 1336.

[15] Am. Archives, Ser. 4, Vol. 6, pg. 920.

[16] Am. Archives, Ser. 5, Vol 1, pg. 1461 & 1462.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid. Also Syrett, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Vol 1. Pg. 186;  Journals of the Provincial Congress of the State of New-York, Vol. 1, pg. 550

[19] Ibid, pg. 1473

[20] Ibid, pg. 1491.

[21] Am. Archives Force, Series V, Vol 2, pp 905-906.

[22] Referred to as Bunker Hill by the troops, in reference to the famous redoubt in Charlestown, outside of Boston.

[23] Colonel Humphrey, Gen. Scott’s brigade, wrote of General Putnam’s efforts on September 15th, to get his division north and avoid capture in New York City. Captain Hamilton wrote about his action in firing cannon at the encroaching Hessians prior to evacuating Fort Bayard.

[24] Early in the war the army was short on Brigadier Generals to command brigades, so competent colonels were put in command of not only their regiment, but the other regiments within the brigade.

[25] An extract from a letter from Harlem dated Sept. 16 states “… Generals Putnam and Scott were in New York, but made their way through the enemy’s line with all their men and guards of the city…”  Am. Archives Force, Ser. V, Vol. 2, pg. 352.

[26] John Hamilton mistakenly claimed that his father fought in the Battle of Long Island and Harlem Heights and it was at Harlem Heights that Washington first noticed the youthful commander of artillery and invited him to his tent. John Hamilton’s accounts were copied by many historians, however, there are no primary sources that give credence to any of these accounts by Hamilton’s son.

[27] Am. Archives Force, Series V, Vol. 3, pg. 833. Lists the brigades and regiments in divisions of Generals Lee, Spencer & Sullivan. Leaving the fourth division under Heath to include General Scott’s brigade.

[28] Hamilton inherited three field-pieces of three pounders when he took command at Fort Bayard. During the retreat from New York City, one cannon broke down and he was left with one. Citations for this are found later in this paper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *