One of my quests while in the DAR library was to try to find information on what my 4th Great Grandfather, Randall Wells, did in the Revolutionary War. I know he was in the Hopkinton, RI Militia but little information is known about what his company of local Militia did during the war. When I asked the nice gal behind the counter at the library if she knew of any books that might give me information she said there really wasn’t anything in the library that could help me but she pointed me in the direction of the computers and helped look Randall up on a website called fold3. Fold3 has military records and I was able to find info on the Hopkinton Militia and Randall by looking at the Pension Applications of Revolutionary War soldiers. soldiers had to fill out statements of exactly what they did in the way and in the process ended up giving little histories of the movements of certain militia units.
So I found several applications that mentioned Randall. They do however take some time to read and transcribe. Below is a transcription of the pension application of a man called Daniel Knowles and below the transcription are images of the document itself. You will notice a lot of xxx in the transcription which were parts that I was unable to make out the handwriting. There was actually many, many more pages to Daniel’s application but I only transcribed the relevent parts. I can tell you from what I’ve read so far of the different applications is that the Hopkinton Militia was chiefly occupied with guarding the shores of Narragansett Bay from the English.
Here are two things that I learned from this specific application about Randall and the Hopkinton Militia
November 1776: Randall Wells is an Ensign. Militia was in Hopkinton City
March 1777: Randall Wells is a Lietenant. Militia marches from Little Rest (now called Kinston) to Narragansett Bay and are stationed at the Bonnet Farm
There’s a lot more information here and if I was able to make out what all the “xxx”s were there would be a lot more. So… if you’re up for a challenge, have a go at it and see if you’re able to make out anything I haven’t been able to. Post what you’re able to make out in a comment and I’ll post an update in an upcoming blog post. I’ll be posting on the other pension applications when I have a chance to transcribe them.
Pension Application of Daniel Knowles of Washington in the state of Rhode Island who was a Private
Resident of North Kingston in the county of Washington and State of Rhode Island, aged 80 years (Sept 1832)
He was born in South Kingston in said county of the 10th of March 1752, his age is recorded in the family bible in the Spring of the year 1776, he marched from South Kingston into the town of Hopkinton in said County. There he lived for years. In November 1776, the Company of Militia to which he belonged of which George Thurston was Captain, Matthew Randall Liut and Randall Wells Ensign, was called out to meet at Hopktinton City so called. Joseph Noyes now Colonel of the Regiment to which the Company belonged Jesse Champlin, Col, Joseph Maxson Major, Thomas Noyesxxx, xxx. The Company xxx Post Road, where they met Colonel Noyes, xx xxxx then to forces to the South for in South Kingston, they proceded xxx it was so late they could not get there, xxx right, they gathered that night at the house of Samuel Perry and next day marched to the South Fery and quartered at different houses xxxxx stationed guards along shore until Spring, he was xxx xxxx the last day of March 1777 returned home. Towards the end of May in that year, the Company on a … … …. …. Were again called out and marched to Point Judith xxx xxxx month at the xxx house so called at the end of that month they were xxxx to the xxx place where they continued another month and were discharched. In November 1777 the company xxx of the same, of which xxxx xxx xxx was again called out, George Thurston was still Captain, Randall Wells Leit and Joseph Thurston Ensign, they were marched xxx Little Rest now called Kinston xxxx to the shores of the Bay, to join the shores and stationed at the Bonnet Farm xxxx at the house of Colonel John Gardiner in Boston Neck two months and xxxx two more months at the xxxx house near the same, at the end of that time, they were discharged. In xxxx xx 1778, the company was again called out, with xxx of the xxxxx Joseph Noyes was Colonel, Jesse Maxson xxx Xols, Thomas Sheffield Major, the officers of the company, were the same as before, they marched to Little Rest where they made a xxx from hence to Providence, hence Petuxet xxxx for the night, the next day they went xxx xxx and quartered at a Meeting house all night, the next day they went to Boston, and were transported across Bristol Fery to Rhode Island and arrived to the American forces on the xxx xxx command of Genreal xxxx. Xxxx xxxx xxx had xxxx been called the French Stormon account of the French Fleet which was to xxx with General xxxx xxx xxx The storm lasted three of four hours was violent with xxx xxx xxx night they first landed on the island, the only other xxx his associated xxx from the rain was an orchard he got very wet and did not get dry for three days , xxx storm grew xxx xxx on the xxx the enemy xxx xxx xxxx xx on the lines an xxx xxx until the Americans xxx xxx the island, xxx xxx were transported xxxx the xxx in boats for the xxxx and landed at xxxx neck in north Kinston, from there they marched to Hopkinton and were discharged, we has absent from hom in xxxx xx at least one month. Whilst on the island he was one of the guards xxx the xxx of General Sullivan. In the spring of 1780 he moved from Hopkinton into South Kingston and in August or September 1780, the company of Militia in which he was then enrolled, as a xxx of the same xxxx which he was one, was called out with most of the regiment, Thomas potter was Colonel of the Regiment, the officers of the Company were Stephen Babcock Capt, Joseph xxxx Liet and Jesse Champlin was xxx. Were xxx at Little Rest and left encamped some days from thence they went to Jones Hill where they staid some days from thence marched to what is now called Wickford then called xxxx xxxx from thence were transported across the Bay xxx the north end of the island of Conanicut, and landed on Rhode Island and stationed at Boston Neck, he was gone this time one month. He xxx in the whole one year of which he is xxxx. He never served under any xxx xxx General Sullivan xxxx to none of the Contenental xxx officers in that expedition. H has no documentary evidence of his service. Solomon xxxx is xxx to most of his services he being in his xxx son Randall Family a great part of the time, and being with him xxx on the shores some xxx Sullivan’s xxxx – most xxx will likewise to his services. He is not xxxx with any xxx, in his xxx who can testify to the xxx of his services