11-Nov-2013 is Veterans Day in the US. Roots of the US Veterans Day lie with Armistice Day. the ending of World War I. (Humorously the PA announcer at the Iowa-Nebraska Omaha basketball game called the day 'Amethyst Day') My mother (b 1925) referred to the holiday as Armistice Day. Armistice, the end of the Great War took place in a railroad car at Compiegne, France on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in a railroad car.
Like any family several members of our family served in the armed forces. Perhaps the oldest was Capt James Newton (b. 1655). Captain Newton served with the first company of Colchester CT. His son Major Israel Newton (1694-1745) served in the French and Indian War. Israel was a member of the General Assembly of Connecticut, a Selectman of Colchester CT, and Justice of the Peace. He inherited the leadership of 1st Company of Colchester from his father.
George II declared war on France and Spain in 1744. As part of the buildup to war, Duquesnel, the French Governor of Louisberg, Cape Breton fortified the town, which was called 'The Gibralter of the America". From this fortress, the French launched privateers to prey on British shipping.
Newton was appointed Major of the forces from Connecticut to be sent to Cape Breton. (from the public records of Colchester CT)
March 14, 174 4-5, "This Assembly grants to Israel Newton, Esq., Major of the regiment to be raised for the expedition to Cape Breton, the sum of sixty pounds, old tenour bills, or equivalent in other bills to provide his tent, bedding, table and other necessaries" (P. 95, Vol. IX, Ibid). 500 men were to Voluntarily enlist themselves to proper officers and if each man would "Provide himself with a good fire lock, sword, belt, cartridge box and blanket to the acceptance of the Military officers who shall enlist them" they would receive 10 pounds old tenour bills as a premium and the articles at charge of the Colony to be returned to Colony when they returned. One month's wages were paid before embarkment and after discharge equal share in the plunder. The Colonial sloop Defence, built in Middletown three years before, was equipped as a convoy with the transports to "joyn other forces from neighboring Governments." The Connecticut forces were to be under their own officers and were to be brought back to New London. Of the forces, Connecticut raised 516 men.
Newton serving under Col Andrew Hale was killed at the engagement; he supposedly is buried at Point Rochefort.
List of Family Veterans:
2nd Lt Robert Gaffney, Corp of Engineers, Korea and Asia
1st Class Petty Officer William Phelan, aboard the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) in the Pacific Theater
Wallace, Eber and Butler Newton served with Illinois units at Vicksburg and into Tennessee. Living in Jo Davies county they were in various cavalry and infantry divisions. Butler Newton died at the Battle of Chattanooga in 1863.
Issac Chase (Marcia 3rd GGF), Vermont
Philip Gafney, New York (2GGF, GRG)
Asahel Newton (son of Israel; 6th GGF, GG) served with the 3rd Regimen, Connecticut, under Capt Ell, Col Wyllys.
Jehiel Hull (6th GGF, Marcia): Served with Connecticut
Abel Chase (5th GGF, Marcia): in Capt Harry Haskell's Minutemen; in Col James Prescotts regiment, which marched on April-19-1775.
Jonathon Elliot (6th GGF, Marcia): in Samuel Baldwin's Company of Mass Militia; under Col Nicolas Dike. A Minuteman who fought at the Battle of Concord.
Maj Augustinus Dennis Clapsaddle (GRG GUncle) died with General Herkimer at the Battle of Oriskany NY.
French and Indian War:
Lt. Samuel Beebe (6th GGF, GG), Second Regimen, Connecticut, 1760.
Joseph Moyers (Meyers, Myers, 5th GGF GG, father of Catherine Myers) lost a leg in the French and Indian War; he also served on the frontier as a member of the Militia in Herkimer County, New York. Moyer's wife was Elizabeth Clapsaddle, sister of the war hero Dennis Clapsaddle. Maj Augustinus Dennis Clapsaddle died with Gen Herkimer at the Battle of Oriskany NY.
Major Israel Newton died 24 MAY 1745 in Flat Point, Louisburg Harbor, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, during the Seige of Louisberg.