Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Fourth New York Regiment 1778-1780
The Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783
by Samuel Tallmadge and Others
with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782 and John Barr, 1779-1782
Prepared for publication by Almon W. Lauber PH.D. of The division of Archives and History
Albany, The University of the State of New York, 1932.

The Life of Samuel Tallmadge, page 7

Samuel Tallmadge, the third son of the Rev. Benjamin and Susannah (Smith) Tallmadge, was born November 23, 1755, at Brookhaven, Suffolk county, Long Island. Although given a good education by his cultured father, he did not, like his elder brother Benjamin, go to college. (10) No doubt in keeping with his own inclination, he was prepared for a mercantile career.

On May 16, 1775, when not yet 20 years of age, he joined his neighbors "of the fo [u] rth Company of Brookhaven" in signing a petition to send a representative to the Provincial Convention to be held in New York City. For this position Selah Strong Esqr was selected.(11) This first notice of young Tallmadge in the state records shows that at the outbreak of the Revolution he was still in Brookhaven and already enrolled as a soldier. On June 8th of that year with other "Freeholders and inhabitants within the Bounds of the 4th Militia Company of Brookhaven" he signed an "association" which protested against the course of the mother country and by which the associators pledged themselves to carry out the recommendations of the Continental Congress until there might be effected "on constitutional Principals" a reconciliation which would remove "the several arbitrary and oppressive ads of the British Parliament."(12)

The Tallmadges were listed among the "Refugees of 1776" from Long Island to Connecticut.(13) In this experience young Samuel Tallmadge driven out of his home by the British in a ruthless manner, came to feel personally the harsh results of war, and prohably in consequence was more willing to offer his services for his country.

Having served in the Brookhaven militia in 1775, young Tallmadge was eager for more active service. In May 1776 he enlisted in Suffolk county in Captain Daniel Roe's company in Colonel Henry B. Livingston's regiment of the New York Line. On November 21, 1776, when four Continental regiments were organized in New York, he volunteered for the duration of the war as a member of the 4th New York Regiment. His name does not appear in the list of ofhcers(14) but it seems certain that from the outset he acted as

(10) Yale University reported December 18, 1928, that there is no evidence of his having matriculated there.
(11) Calendar of New York Historical Manuscripts, v. I, p. 46.
(12) Ibid., v. I. p. 47-48.
(13) Mather, The Refugees of 1776, p. 1202.
(14) Journals of the Provincial Congress. . . of the State of New-York, v. I, p. 713.

"clerk or orderly sergeant" of Captain Sackett's First Company.(15) A rank roll of field and commissioned officers of the 4th New York Regiment states that Samuel Tallmadge was appointed ensign November 9, 1777.(16) His commissian as ensign bore the date af June 28, 1779.(17)

Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, head of the 4th New York Regiment, in a letter to Governor George Clinton dated at Fishkill Navember 14, 1777, reported that he had appainted Samuel Tallmadge "to do the duty of Ensign 1st October. 1777."(18) On November 25th he again recammended Tallmadge far promotian.(19) Since Lieutenant Colonel Regnier of the 4th New York Regiment on August 31, 1778 sent to Governor Clinton a list of afficers recommended for promotian in the previaus February at Valley F arge, which list included the name of "Samuel Talmadge also Sergt. and Brother of Major Talmadge," wh was favored as a candidate for an ensigncy, it would appear that although Samuel Tallmadge had been appointed ensign by Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston in the fall of 1777, official approval had not yet been given at the end of August 1778.(20) Major Benjamin Tallmadge, at this point, took up with Governor Clinton the case of the promation af his brother Samuel and urged both his merit and his family connections as warranting it. The Governor on September 8, 1778 assured Majar Tallmadge that while he was personally favorable to Samuel's appointment as ensign, neither the Constitution nor the laws af New York made it possible for him to appaint an officer in the Continental Battalions,(21) as no method had yet been provided by the Legislature far the appaintment of such officers.

On July 9, 1778, accarding to Heitman, he was designated as regimental adjutant of the 4th New York Regiment and served in that capacity until January 1, 1781,(22) when this regiment with the 2d and 5th New York together with Col. Livingsoan's Regiment,&c. were reorganized as the 2d New York.(23)

(15) Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783, p. 532-hereafter designated as Heitman, Historical Register; Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, v. XV, p. 210, (State Archives, v. I)-hereafter designated as Archives; Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, note I, p. 113, which mentions Captain Sackett's Company; Manuscript affidavit June. 13, 1820, in Pension Bureau.
(16) Clinton Papers, v. V, p. 704; v. VI, p. 3. Cf. Powell, Army Officers of Army of United States, p. 14.
(17) Manuscript affidavit in Pension Bureau dated June 13, 1820.
(18) Clinton Papers, v. II, p. 519; v. VI, p. 3.
(19) Ibid., p. 549. Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, note 1, p. 114, gives March I, 1779, as the date of his promotion to ensign.
(20) Clinton Papers, v. IV, p. 4.
(21) Ibid., p. 11. See Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, note I, p. 114.
(22) Heitman, Historical Register, p. 532.
(23) Journals of the Provincial Congress, v. XVIII, p. 894.

There seems to be some uncertainty about Tallmadge's services as adjutant. On February 1, 1780, when he and other officers signed an appeal to Washington for relief from the depreciated paper currency and made a denunciation of profiteers, he signed as ensign of the 4th New York Regiment. (24) The "alarming Depreciation of the Currency" which made it so difficult for the officers to live, particularly those with families, and the neglect of the State of New York to alleviate their "wants and sufferings" caused the officers of the New York Continental Regiments to tender their resignations to General Washington on February 1, 1780. Among those who signed the document was Ensign Samuel Tallmadge. (25) A similar petition to the New York Legislature in the same year was again signed by him with the same title. (26) The first suggestion of his appointment as adjutant came in a letter from Colonels Courtlandt and Weissenfels to Governor Clinton dated July 22, 1780, from West Point, saying that "Ensign Tallmadge" had been appointed "Adjutant to the Regiment."(27) In a letter of instructions dated September 7, 1780, Camp Steenrapie, to a committee appointed by the officers of the 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th Regiments for the purpose of obtaining a redress of grievances from the New York Legislature, Tallmadge signed as "Ensign & Adjutant" of the 4th New York Regiment.(28) The regimental Orderly Book for September 15, 1780, at Headquarters "Steenrapie," states that Samuel Tallmadge, Ensign, was appointed Adjutant to the 4th New York Regiment in place of Lieutenant Peter Ellsworth promoted from July 9th last. (29) These records make it clear that Tallmadge was appointed adjutant on July 9, 1780, and that official confirmation came September 16th. On the other hand, it is more than likely that because of his education he had been called upon repeatedly to do adjutant duty before that date although he did not bear the title of adjutant. (30)

On January 1, 1781 , when the five New York Regiments were reduced to two of Infantry and one of artillery, he was transferred to the 2d New York Regiment commanded by Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt and served, apparently, as ensign and adjutant. (31) On October 27, of that year his title

(24) Clinton Papers, v. V, p. 479-80.
(25) Ibid., v. V, p. 480.
(26) Calendar of New York Historical Manuscripts, v. II, p. 350-51.
(27) Clinton Papers, v. VI, p. 47-48.
(28) Ibid., p. 220.
(29) Orderly Book.
(30) Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, note I, p. 114, gives April 11, 1780 as the date of his appointment as adjutant. This is clearly an error. Archives, p. 210.
(31) Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, note 1. p. 114, makes the transfer in 1782. This is evidently an error. Heitman, Historical Register, p. 532.

was changed to second lieutenant,(32) and on April 10, 1782, he was promoted to first lieutenant of the 5th company of the 2d New York Regiment in place of Lieutenant Glenny who died October 27, 1781.(33) He was mustered out at Newburgh in June 1783.(34) There seems to be no evidence that he was given the rank of captain in the Continental army.

From 1776 to the end of 1780-a period of about four years,--Samuel Tallmadge was attached to the 4th New York Regiment. During that time he was intimately associated with Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston.(34)

As an officer of the 4th New York Regiment from 1776 to 1780, Samuel Tallmadge apparently participated in the Battle of Long Island and the Battle of White Plains in 1776. In 1777 he was with the detachment of his regiment which participated in the Battle of Saratoga and was at Burgoyne's surrender.(35) He was probably with his regiment at Valley Forge during the winter of that year.

The Orderly Books indicate pretty clearly where he was located in the years 1779--80. When the New York Society of the Cincinnati was organized in June 1783 for the purpose of promoting a cordial friendship among the officers, Samuel Tallmadge as lieutenant of the 2d New York Regiment became a member.(36)

He was transferred to the 2d New York Regiment under Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt on January 1, 1781 and participated in the siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis.(37) During the remainder of .the war he was with his regiment in New Jersey, on the Hudson and up the Mohawk. On October 27, 1781, he was designated as second lieutenant

(32) Heitman, Historical Register, p. 532.
(33) Ibid.; Archives, p. 191.
(34) Heitman, Historical Register, p. 532. His commission as lieutenant is dated June 3, 1783.
(34) Henry Beekman Livingston was born in Clermont, N. Y., November 9, 1750, son of Judge Robert R. and Margaret Beekman Livingston of Dutchess county. On June 28, 1775, Captain Henry B. Livingston was commissioned to raise a company in Dutchess county to accompany his brother in law, General Richard Montgomery, on his spectacular expedition to Canada. For his services in the capture of Chambly, he was voted a sword of honor by Congress in December of that year. Journals of the Continental Congress, v. III, p. 341, 425; Letters of Members of Continental Congress, v. I, p. 281. In December 1776 General Philip Schuyler appointed him aide de camp. When the New York Provincial Congress on November 21, 1776, authorized the formation of four Continental battalion, Henry B. Livingston was appointed colonel of the 4th New York Regiment and served as the commanding officer until his resignation on January 13, 1779. At the close of the war he was honored with the title of brigadier general. He inherited the Beekman estate at Rhinebeck and married Ann Horne Shippen. Appleton, Cyclopedia of American Biography, v. III, p. 745.
(35) "Saratoga Troops Units" by Borden H. Mills in Quarterly Journal of New York State Historical Association, April 1928, p. 138. Manuscript affidavit of Samuel Tallmadge dated April 6, 1818, in the Pension Bureau.
(36) Saffell. Records of the Revolutionary War, p. 481.
(37) Manuscript affidavit dated April 6, 1818.

and on April 10, 1 782 was promoted to first lieutenant. Among his friends and relatives he was known after the Revolution as "Captain Tallmadge" a title derived not from service in the War of Independence. but from his appointment as captain of the Dutchess County Militia in 1786.(38)

There can be no doubt that Samuel Tallmadge participated in the Sullivan Campaign in 1779 as ensign in the 4th New York Regiment. His name appears in the roster of officers.(39) After the resignation of Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, the command of the 4th New York Regiment devolved upon Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Weissenfels. Peter Ellsworth was regimental adjutant.(40) A vivid picture of the activities of the 4th New York Regiment in the Sullivan Expedition has been preserved in the Journal of Lieutenant Rudolph Van Hoevenbergh.(41)

The 4th New York Regiment was located at "Stone Rapie" on June 16, 1779 when it received orders to march the next day. The regiment crossed the Mohawk river and started for Lake Otsego. Considerable time was consumed in transporting provisions and boats from Canajoharie to Lake Otsego. The Journal states that "nothing remarkable" occurred for several weeks except that one of the regiment was shot for desertion and several spies were executed. Not until July 3d did the regiment with its baggage take boats for the southern end of the lake. The Fourth of July was celebrated with fireworks, a parade and "divine service." The day was concluded with a visit to the headquarters of General Clinton and "a drink of Grogg."

Then ensued a long delay as the army "Lay waiting to join Genl. Sulvin."(42) An express brought the disturbing news that Colonel Goose Van Schaick of the 1st New York Regiment had lost 36 men on the Upper Mohawk. Colonel "Ganseworth" [Gansevoort] with 300 men on July 27th hurried up to Fort Herkimer. But the report proved false and Gansevoort returned to Lake Otsego several days later.

At last after repairing the batteaux and loading them in the outlet of the lake, the dam was cut on August 9th, and General Clinton's army with 250 loaded boats, each manned by three men, started down the Susquehanna river to join General Sullivan.

For the next two weeks the anny traversed the wilderness. Rain storms were numerous; "Ratel Snakes plenty"; Indian villages scattered along the

(38) Minutes of Council of Appointment, v. I. p. 70. It was reported in 1793 that he had "moved
away" and another captain was appointed to take his place. Ibid., p. 255.
(39) Journal of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan, p. 329.
(40) Ibid., p. 328.
(41) Ibid., p. 275.
(42) Major General John Sullivan.

river; beautiful scenery on every hand; good -apples found at "Unedelly" [Unadilla]; a sermon delivered on Sunday, August 15th at Acquagau, a "pretty place"; met General Poor August 19th sent up as an escort; and General Sullivan was joined at Tioga Point on August 22d with a welcoming salute of cannon.

Without delay the combined army set out for the Indian country on August 26th, with the 4th New York Regiment serving as a rear guard. Three days later occurred the battle of Newtown. The 4th New York Regiment accompanied General Clinton in attempting by a flank movement to gain the enemy's rear. A few Indians were captured. The rest, badly frightened, accompanied the Loyalist Rangers in hasty flight. On the ground the next day 19 dead Indians were found of whom "some were skinned by our soldiers for boots." Villages were burned, orchards, cornfields and gardens destroyed, as the army hurried forward.

Two weeks after the battle of Newtown the army had marched from the battlefield north and westward as far as the Genesee river. There occurred the ambuscade of Croveland, in which a number of American soldiers were killed, and Boyd and Parker taken prisoners only to be "most cruelly Butchered. "

After destroying the Indian village and crops, the army began its retreat on September 15th. Ten days later the news of the alliance with Spain was celebrated with a military parade, the firing of cannon and muskets, "a present of a fat ox to each Brigade and five gallons of whiskey," and toasts to Congress, the United States and the King of Spain. By September 30th the army was back at Tioga Point, where all the officers of the army were "dined at Fort Sullivan." By October 20th the 4th New York Regiment with General Clinton's brigade reached Easton, Pa. Colonel Weissenfels set out to present a "memorale" to the Governor and Legislature of New York. His regiment then marched up through Oxford, Warwick, to Camp Pompton, where the soldiers of the Sullivan Expedition were reviewed by Ceneral George Washington on November 8th.


When the treaty of peace was concluded in 1783 the young patriot who had entered military service at an early age, was 28 years old. He had become a man inured to responsibilities, broadened by his experiences and contacts, and sobered by his devotion to a great cause. As ensign he held the lowest office and bore the brunt of the more disagreeable military tasks. He probably also had charge of the colors. As regimental adjutant he was a staff officer whose duty it was to assist the commanding officer in the discharge of the details of his military duties. He also kept the Orderly Book up to date and gave out the orders to the brigades and companies.

Though the treaty of Paris was not signed until September 3, 1783, it was not difficult to obtain release from military service. The record shows that he was mustered out of the army in June 1783.(43) He married, at Kinderhook, N. Y., Mary Hilton of Albany, N. Y., on July 3, 1783, and located at Rhinebeck, N. Y., as a merchant. It seems very likely that he invested his earnings in this project. Details are lacking as to how the business was started. Other Tallmadges lived in Dutchess county and may have assisted him in opening his store. Nor should it be forgotten that his friend, Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, had his estate near Rhinebeck.

The only original source preserved of this period of his life is a mutilated account book with his name written on the first inside page: "Saml Tallmadge's Book-Ledjer-Jany 1st 1785." It contains accounts of Willhelmus Smith, James McClauen, ___ ___ Smith Van Cortd__, ___Tillman, Fredrick Jades, George Risedolph, Benjamin Steenbarg, Jonas Rice, Benjamin Pitcher, Cornelius Miller, James Tallmadge, Asa Edmunds, John Rigert jr, John Becker, Adam Lammert, David Lown, David Shaver, Lodowick Elsever, Isaac Tallmadge, Fradrick Moule, John Traver jr, Henry Freleigh, Willhelmns Becker, John Wilson, Henry Whiteman, Dr Isaac Ripp, Hanna Schriner, Valentine Bentes, George Sharp, Christeon Frankling, Jacob Bentes, Abraham Traver, John Lown, Abraham White, John Schriner, James Stoutenborgh, William Beam jr, Peter Parson, Coonrad Lasher, Thomas Jackson, Jacob Tremper, Herman Knickabocker, Francis Neahs, Charles Neahs, William Brown, Peter Kipp, Lawrence Teal, Fradrick Sipperly and Benjamin Vrodenborgh. All of these persons, and possibly 20 others, whose names are torn out of the book, ran accounts varying from a few shillings to five pounds or more. It is quite clear that for ordinary groceries the storekeeper received in addition to cash, payment in veal, molasses, butter, grain, mutton, a saddle and bridle, geese, potatoes, vinegar, apples, cider, hay, eggs, clothing and manual labor. This ledger served later as a source of supply for paper, but in tearing out parts of leaves some care was taken not to mutilate accounts.

Samuel Tallmadge seems to have resided in Rhinebeck from 1783 until about 1789. In 1786, he was appointed "Captain No.2" of the Dutchess County Militia.(44) In 1793 he was reported as "moved away" and another

(43) Heitman. Historical Register, p. 532.
(44) Minutes of Council of Appointment, v. I, p. 70.

man was named in his place.(45) For some reason not quite clear his business did not prosper and failure resulted.

Meanwhile he sought to realize something from his holdings in western lands. On April 30, 1785, he made a claim for 1200 acres as lieutenant of the 2d New York Regiment and also for an additional 1200 acres by virtue of rights transferred to him by Cornelius Van Ness(46) and Thomas Marshall(47) at an earlier date.(48) On July 9, 1790 he was granted 600 acres in the towns of Homer and Brutus respectively in Onondaga county. (49) It would seem that he disposed of his grant of bounty lands for on April 28, 1790 Stephen Lush set forth a claim to lands granted to Tallmadge and five other persons.(50) On July 1st of the same year Gabriel Furman claimed two bounty land rights which he had purchased from Samuel Tallmadge who had obtained them from Cornelius Van Ness and Christian Shriver. (51)

He speculated in land on the Mohawk river and owned Lot No. 66 in the second allotment of the Royal Grant to Sir William Johnson. This tract of 200 acres was mortgaged on May 3, 1793 to Jacob Wright of Albany(52) for the sum of "fifty pounds lawful money" of New York. His patent for bounty land, it seems. was delivered to Dudley Walsh. (53)

These dealings in land were not sufficiently remunerative to save his business, however, and he was forced to appeal for assistance to his more fortunate brothers. Benj amino of Litchfield, and John. of Warren, Conn. With their help he bought a farm of several hundred acres in the town of Charleston, Montgomery county. N. Y., to which he removed in 1789. At Rhinebeck three of his children were born-Mary in 1784. Benjamin in 1786 and Samuel S. in 1787. Four younger children were born at CharlestonWilliam H., in 1791. Susannah in 1793, John in 1796, and Isaac S. in 1799.(54)

That he removed to Charleston in 1789 is indicated by the federal census of 1790. which included him as a head of a family in Montgomery county with a family of three children-two boys and one girl. (55)

(45) Minutes of Council of Appointment, p. 255.
(46) A private in the 2d New York Regiment, Archives. p. 187.
(47) A private in the 1st New York Regiment, New York in the Revolution as Colony and State. v. 1, p. 24.
(48) Calendar of Land Papers, p. 662.
(49) New York Balloting Book, p. 65, 118, 133, 179.
(50) Calendar of Land Papers, p. 809-10.
(51) Ibid., p. 825.
(52) Manuscript mortgages in county court house, Fonda, Montgomery county, N. Y., v. II, p.. 48.
(53) New York Balloting Book, p. 179.
(54) Mary Tallmadge Root, History of the Tallmadge Family. (Unpublished manuscript in State Historian's office, Albany, N. Y.)
(55) United States Census, 1790. v. VII, p. 103

The third child, Samuel Smith Tallmadge, in 1797 went to live in the family of his uncle, John Tallmadge, at Warren, Conn., where he attended school, clerked in the store and took up the life of a merchant.

Samuel Tallmadge located on a farm two miles northwest of the hamlet of Riders Corners. He cleared the land and erected a log cabin of pioneer type. With the coming of more prosperous times, about 1800 he built a comfortable frame house of one and a half stories and a barn and outbuildl ings. The house is still standing. (56)

From 1789 until his death, after a long illness, on April 1, 1825,(57) at the age of 69, Samuel Tallmadge lived on his farm at Charleston. But little is known of his activities during that period of 35 years. In narrowed circumstances, with a growing family of five sons and two daughters, no doubt he lived the life of an industrious farmer, taking little interest in either local or national. politics. One of the few letters from his pen preserved is the following written to his daughter(58)

Charleston 5th June 1816

Much time has elapsed since I have heard from you, I wish to Improve this opportunity to address a few lines to you on the principle of Duty as well as regard, your temporal, as well as spiritual prosperity. I most sincerely and devoutly wish for, as time is swiftly on the wing, how important it is to improve every Moment to the best advantage, as a few more revolveing Suns must close our probationary State, it is of infinate importance for you and I to be in a constant and habitual State of readiness for that sollom change that awaits all liveing the corruption that every human Heart is filled with, has a direct tendancy to leade us into forbidden paths in pursuit of perishing Objects which are unsattisfying in their nature, which if persisted in will miserably disappoint at last

I have lately received a Letter from your uncle Benjamin who informs me that Samuel was lately at his House in good Health and intends moveing from Roxberry but had not determined where to move to-the last Letter from Benjamin informed me that he was in Dutches County and intended shortly to return home, Susan and William is now with us, should you know any respectable place where a Cleark to a Store is wanted, wish you to give me information of it things look promising in this place, Health prevails

(56) Letter of Local Historian Cornelius F. Van Horne, December 14, 1925. Amsterdam Recorder, January 26, 1926.
(57) His wife died on April 28th of the same year. Both are buried in the Charleston cemetery.
(58) Original in possession of Cornelius F. Van Horne, Glen, N. Y.

You will please to present our united respects to Aunt Wells, and accept of our affectionate regard as well as our sincere wishes for your future happiness- .
I remain your affectionate Father

Addressed: Miss Mary Tallmadge
liveing with the Widow Wells
Albany __

He was a devoted attendant of the "True Reformed" or "Wyckafite" Church and probably satisfied his simple yearnings for social intercourse within its membership. (59) In a letter to his son dated March 10, 1823, he wrote: "I have received this day a letter from my brother Benjamin informing me of the death of our brother John, on the 24th of Feb. During his illness, he was calm and perfectly resigned to the will of God; no doubt remains respect_ ing his happy exchange of worlds. 0 my dear son, may we, and all ours, be enabled through the riches of Divine Grace to imitate his Christian character, and, at the close of our probationary state, meet together in the realms of unceasing happiness. "(60)

Apparently it was not until old age came on that he endeavored to obtain from the national government a pension which might ease his declining days. On April 6, 1818, he appeared before the First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County to make the following affidavit of his services as a Revolutionary soldier in order to obtain a pension from the national government:
Pension of Samuel Tallmadge, page 16

(59) Mary Tallmadge Root, History of the Tallmadge Family. (Unpublished manuscript in State Historian's office, Albany, N. Y.) This was the first church of any denomination to be built in Charleston (1797) and from 1799 was served by the Rev. Henry Wyckoff himself. Captain Tallmadge remained a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. Letter of Robert M. Hartley, October 23, 1925. Traces of the church may still be seen.
(60) John died at the age of 66.

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