Looking ahead to Saturday’s celebration of Col. James Barrett’s 300th birthday in Concord, here’s a new online resource about the Battle of Lexington and Concord: a Soldier Search database of New England militiamen who participated in the fighting on 19 Apr 1775.
As the website explains, the names in this database represent only a minority of the Americans who mustered immediately after hearing news of the shots at Lexington and Concord:
The 4000 minute and militiamen who were engaged in battle that day were just the first of many more to come. By April 21st, nearly 20,000 militiamen were mobilized and marching towards Boston to besiege the British Army, now trapped in the town.The online database, built on the work of Frank W. Coburn a century ago, lists all the men from the 27 towns whose companies saw combat on 19 Apr 1775, and whose company commanders got around to submitting their names. Here, for example, is Col. Barrett’s entry.
In the following months, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress wrestling with the logistics of such a large and rapid military mobilization, requested that all company commanders who led a company during the Lexington Alarm, to submit a muster roll, a list of names, of the men who served with their respective companies during this event. This was so the men could be paid for their service, mileage, days in camp, etc.
These muster rolls are now kept in the Massachusetts State Archives.
This database was funded by a grant to Minute Man National Historical Park, and is hosted by the Friends of Minute Man National Park.