JAMES TAYLOR

Born: 3/13/1750, Coventry, CT
Died: 1/15/1836, Pittsfield, MA

THOMAS TAYLOR

Born: 4/13/1753, Coventry, CT
Died: 8/6/1806, Pittsfield, MA

Both Connecticut natives were sergeants in Massachusetts regiments during the war (see source: J. E. A. Smith’s “History of Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, from the Year 1734 to the Year 1800,” Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869).

Both men served under Captain Oliver Root in the 1776 New York campaign. There is an interesting story that when Thomas Taylor became extremely ill under the stress of the marches and battles at Long Island, that his older brother James enlisted so that Thomas would be allowed to return home long enough to recuperate.

James Taylor’s sworn statement for veteran’s pension benefits states: “That he was born at Coventry in the State of Connecticut in the County of Windham on the 13th day of March 1750—where he resided until the year of 1770 when he removed to Pittsfield, aforesaid, and has resided in said same ever since; {the mouth of Taylor} That in the forepart of August 1776 he being informed that his Brother—Thomas Taylor, who was a Corporal and belonged to Captain Oliver Root’s Company, in Colonel Jonathan Smith’s Regiment & Genl. John Fellow’s Brigade, was sick [in] said Company then lying in New York City—he immediately went to said New York, and as he now recollects arrived there about the 10th of August 1776 and there entered the Service of the United States in said Root’s Company as a substitute for said Thomas Taylor, and Served as a Corporal in said Company from said time in August until the said Company was discharged, which was about the first of December 1776—at the Camp near Croton’s Bridge, in the State of New York where the Brittish [sic] took possession of the same. [page 2] When he marched in said Root’s Company to Fort Washington & Kingsbridge, thence to White Plains where he remained till after the Battle. He afterwards marched with said Company from time to time untill [sic] he arrived at Croton’s Bridge where he was discharged. He then returned to said Pittsfield. In the forepart of the month of June 1777 he was Drafted at said Pittsfield for one month in the Company commanded by Captain John Strong of said Pittsfield in Col. John Brown’s Regiment, and marched to Fort Edward, Fort Ann–& Fort George. His Lieut. was Caleb Goodrich & his Ensign Kellogg. He had served about one month when Captain William Francis arrived from said Pittsfield with a reinforcement and took command of the Company to which he belonged. He served under the said Francis about one month longer when he was discharged and returned home to said Pittsfield. There was a battle at Fort Ann, but he was not in it as the Company in part to which he belonged was stationed at Fort Edward at the time & the engagement was over before he arrived there. He was frequently called out on alarms during The War and served as he near as he can recollect [sic] at Bennington & at Lake Champlain & other places two or three months. The said Thomas Taylor whose substitute the said James was by a voluntary act—to save the life of his Brother—had served four or five weeks before the said James was in the Battle of White Plains. He had a written discharge at Croton’s Bridge which is lost. He had no other written discharge.” This document is dated Sept. 25, 1832, Mass. Probate Court.

After the Battle of White Plains, NY, James returned to Pittsfield, but both he and brother Thomas reinlisted and/or were drafted in several other small engagements over the course of the next few years. J. E. A. Smith’s record, above, gives the following break down for eachbrother’s Revolutionary War service:

James Taylor:
Aug. 10-Dec. 5, 1776, Long Island, NY campaign under Capt. Oliver Root
Sept. 13-21, 1776, march to Williamstown under Capt. William Francis and Lieut. William Ford
Aug. 17-24, 1777, march to Bennington under Lieut. James Hubbard

Thomas Taylor:
April 22-May 1, 1775, march to Cambridge on the Lexington alarm under Capt. David Noble
Jan. 14-19, 1776, march to Albany under Capt. William Francis
Jul. 11-Aug. 10, 1776, Long Island, NY campaign under Capt. Oliver Root
Sept. 6-Oct. 1, 1777, march to Skenesborough under Capt. John Strong
Oct. 14-17, 1780, under Capt. Rufus Allen