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Captain Ebenezer Smith Valley Forge Revolutionary War Officer and Original 1783 Society of the Cincinnati Member
CAPTAIN EBENEZER SMITH (1745-1819). Oldest and Longest Serving Revolutionary War Captain in the Massachusetts Line with over eight years service, the principal Guard officer of Major Andre, present when the hour of execution was announced to him, present in the 6th Mass. Infantry when the regiment was furloughed June 12, 1783 at West Point, NY and disbanded on Nov. 3, 1783 and original 1783 Society of the Cincinnati Member.
July 15, 1779-Dated Revolutionary War Period, State of Massachusetts Bay, "Advance Pay to Officers" 1780 Completed Form. MA-19 in Anderson. 75 Pounds. Choice Very Fine. Rarity rated as Low Rarity-6 (Very Rare) in the Anderson reference, "The Price of Liberty". An attractive Bond bearing a 6% Interest payment per Annum, having excellent vivid eye appeal to an officer Captain Ebenezer Smith, who served at Valley Forge, and served as Major Andre's principle Guard at Andre's execution!

This 1779 Revolutionary War Partly-Printed Document measures 5.75" x 9.0" and was issued with the very low serial number "65" for the amount of 75 Pounds. The "Snake Eating its Tail surrounding a Pine Tree" motif engraved by Nathaniel Hurd, is at the upper left. Embossed official Treasury Stamp at the left. The right hand outer border text reads, "Advance Pay to Officers, Second Moiety." Signatures of Stephen Minot and J. Mascarene at left, and H. Gardner, as Treasurer at lower right. Handwritten on the lower right corner is "Capt. Eben'r Smith," who served in the Continental Army from Jan. 1, 1777, to Dec. 31, 1780. He is reported as serving 27 mos. as a Lieutenant, 21 mos. as a Captain including service at Valley Forge. Ebenezer Smith became an Original Member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati in 1783. He was granted an Officer's Bounty Land Warrant on August 22, 1789 and became an original member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati under its founder General George Washington.
Ebenezer Smith was born 30 Dec 1745 in Lebanon, New London, CT. Ebenezer and his wife Sarah had eight children born between 1767 and 1788. Ebenezer died Sept. 8, 1816 in New Marlborough, Mass.

Ebenezer Smith was living in New Marlborough, Mass when the Revolutionary War broke out. Hearing of the battle of Lexington, he at once started for Boston as a non-commissioned officer in a company of Minutemen and from that time April 1775 until the declaration of peace in 1783 he was continually a soldier and an officer in the Continental Army.

May 8 1775 " Enlisted

Aug 1 1775 Roll " Private Capt. Moses Soul's company, Eighth Regiment of Foot commanded byCol.John Fellow. The 8th Massachusetts Regiment also known as 16th Continental Regiment was raised on April 23, 1775 under Colonel Sargent at Cambridge, Massachusetts. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, New York Campaign, Battle of Trenton, Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Saratoga.

Jan 1 " Nov 27 1776 " Ensign

Nov 28 1776 " Commission a lieutenant

Dec 1777 " Lieutenant Ebenezer Smith, Capt. John Burnan's Company, Learned's 8th Massachusetts Regiment, 4th Brigade.

The 8th Massachusetts Regiment also known as 16th Continental Regiment was raised on April 23, 1775 under Colonel Sargent at Cambridge, Massachusetts. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, New York Campaign, Battle of Trenton, Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Saratoga. The regiment was furloughed June 12, 1783 atWest Point, New York and disbanded on November 3, 1783.

Winter 1777-78 Ebenezer wintered with the army and suffered at that terrible encampment of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Mar 30 1779 " Commissioned Captain in Smith's 13th Regiment

The 13th Massachusetts Regiment was first raised on July 11, 1776 as the 6th Continental Regiment under Colonel Edward Wigglesworth and was manned with troops raised primarily from Essex, York, and Cumberland Counties. It was first known as Wigglesworth's State Regiment. An additional battalion was later raised from Middlesex, Suffolk, Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island.

Battle of Monmouth

Ebenezer was at the hottest of the fight at the battle of Monmouth and also present at the battles of Bunker Hill, Siege of Boston, Capture of Burgoyne, Sullivan's Rhode Island Campaign and Saratoga.

Ebenezer's brother David was also a captain at Monmouth. David captured and disarmed two English officers. He had the honor of being presented the sword taken from one of the officers by General Lafayette in person. The sword was still an heirloom in the family in 1910.

The Battle of Monmouth was fought on June 28, 1778 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The Continental Army under General George Washington attacked the rear of the British Army column commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton as they left Monmouth Court House.

British forces had captured Philadelphia in 1777. In May 1778, the British commander-in-chief in North America, Sir Henry Clinton, was ordered to evacuate Philadelphia and concentrate his troops at the main British base in New York City as France had entered the war on the side of the Americans. Clinton was ordered to dispatch units to West Florida and the West Indies which left him too few troops to continue occupying Philadelphia. Clinton was also ordered to abandon New York and withdraw to Quebec if he felt his position there was untenable. A French fleet under d'Estaing had sailed from Toulon in April 1778 and intended to make a rendezvous with rebel forces which could threaten Clinton's army before it reached the safety of New York.

It was originally intended that the withdrawing British army would travel directly to New York via the sea, escorted by theRoyal Navy. A lack of transports forced Clinton to change his plans. While the stores, heavy equipment and Loyalist American civilians fleeing revenge attacks would be shipped by sea, the main army would march overland across New Jersey.

On June 18, the British began to evacuate Philadelphia, and began their approximately 100-mile march to the northeast across New Jersey to New York City. The British force comprised 11,000 British and German regulars, a thousand Loyalists from Philadelphia, and a baggage train 12 miles long. As the British advanced, the Americans slowed their advance by burning bridges, muddying wells and building abatis across the roads.

The remnants of Lee's forces then withdrew to the main American force, where the Continental Army troops were positioned behind the West Ravine on the Monmouth Courthouse " Freehold Meeting House Road. Washington drew up his army with Greene's division on the right, Major General Stirling's division on the left, and most of Lee's former force, now under Lafayette, in reserve. In front of his lines, Wayne commanded various elements of Lee's force. Artillery was placed on both wings, with the right wing in position to enfilade the advancing British. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Massachusetts Brigades were on the Left Wing under Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling.

An eyewitness account of the last day of Major Andr can be found in the book The American Revolution: From the Commencement to the Disbanding of the American Army Given in the Form of a Daily Journal, with the Exact Dates of all the Important Events; Also, a Biographical Sketch of the Most Prominent Generals by James Thacher, M.D., a surgeon in the American Revolutionary Army:

"October 2d." Major Andre is no more among the living. I have just witnessed his exit. It was a tragical scene of the deepest interest. During his confinement and trial, he exhibited those proud and elevated sensibilities which designate greatness and dignity of mind. Not a murmur or a sigh ever escaped him, and the civilities and attentions bestowed on him were politely acknowledged.

Having left a mother and two sisters in England, he was heard to mention them in terms of the tenderest affection, and in his letter to Sir Henry Clinton, he recommended them to his particular attention. The principal guard officer [Ebenezer Smith], who was constantly in the room with the prisoner, relates that when the hour of execution was announced to him in the morning, he received it without emotion, and while all present were affected with silent gloom, he retained a firm countenance, with calmness and composure of mind. Observing his servant enter the room in tears, he exclaimed, "Leave me till you can show yourself more manly!"

His breakfast being sent to him from the table of General Washington, which had been done every day of his confinement, he partook of it as usual, and having shaved and dressed himself, he placed his hat upon the table, and cheerfully said to the guard officers, "I am ready at any moment, gentlemen, to wait on you."

The fatal hour having arrived, a large detachment of troops was paraded, and an immense concourse of people assembled; almost all our general and field officers, excepting his excellency and staff, were present on horseback; melancholy and gloom pervaded all ranks, and the scene was affectingly awful. I was so near during the solemn march to the fatal spot, as to observe every movement, and participate in every emotion which the melancholy scene was calculated to produce.

Major Andre walked from the stone house, in which he had been confined, between two of our subaltern officers, arm in arm; the eyes of the immense multitude were fixed on him, who, rising superior to the fears of death, appeared as if conscious of the dignified deportment which he displayed. He betrayed no want of fortitude, but retained a complacent smile on his countenance, and politely bowed to several gentlemen whom he knew, which was respectfully returned.

It was his earnest desire to be shot, as being the mode of death most conformable to the feelings of a military man, and he had indulged the hope that his request would be granted. At the moment, therefore, when suddenly he came in view of the gallows, he involuntarily started backward, and made a pause. "Why this emotion, sir?" said an officer by his side. Instantly recovering his composure, he said, "I am reconciled to my death, but I detest the mode."

While waiting and standing near the gallows, I observed some degree of trepidation; placing his foot on a stone, and rolling it over and choking in his throat, as if attempting to swallow. So soon, however, as he perceived that things were in readiness, he stepped quickly into the wagon, and at this moment he appeared to shrink, but instantly elevating his head with firmness he said, "It will be but a momentary pang," and taking from his pocket two white handkerchiefs, the provost-marshal, with one, loosely pinioned his arms, and with the other, the victim, after taking off his hat and stock, bandaged his own eyes with perfect firmness, which melted the hearts and moistened the cheeks, not only of his servant, but of the throng of spectators.

The rope being appended to the gallows, he slipped the noose over his head and adjusted it to his neck, without the assistance of the awkward executioner. Colonel Scammel now informed him that he had an opportunity to speak, if he desired it; he raised the handkerchief from his eyes, and said, "I pray you to bear me witness that I meet my fate like a brave man." The wagon being now removed from under him, he was suspended, and instantly expired; it proved indeed "but a momentary pang." He was dressed in his royal regimentals and boots, and his remains, in the same dress, were placed in an ordinary coffin, and interred at the foot of the gallows; and the spot was consecrated by the tears of thousands ..."

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