The 24th Connecticut Regiment of Militia was originally established in the Wyoming Valley by the Connecticut Legislature in Hartford in May, 1775. This area, now a part of Pennsylvania, was settled in 1769 and controlled by Connecticut until 1782 when it was given to Pennsylvania by the Continental Congress. Two independent Companies of the Regiment were established by the Continental Congress in August, 1776. The companies left the Wyoming Valley to join General Washington at Morristown on January 1, 1777. After Morristown they fought in the battles of Mill Stone River, Bound Brook, Germantown, Brandywine, and Fort Mifflin. They spent the winter at Valley Forge, and fought in the battle of Monmouth. They were released after Monmouth to come back to the Valley, the bulk of the soldiers arriving too late for the Battle of Wyoming. After the massacre, the independent companies were recruited for the Hartley Expedition and the Sullivan Campaign.

     In tracing the history of the 24th Connecticut Militia Regiment and its two Independent Companies, the reader must search through many sources and references.  Presented here is a condensed collection of dates that are pertinent to the unit's beginnings.
     The recorded history of militia in the Wyoming Valley of what is now Pennsylvania began very early through the efforts of a group of Connecticut settlers known as the "Susquehanna Company".

 1769

May 12, 1769 - A large body of settlers, under Major John Durkee, with the authority of the Susquehanna Company, arrive at Wyoming from Connecticut and New York, and the erection of Fort Durkee is begun on the river bank near present Ross Street, Wilkes-Barre.
June 22, 1769 - Colonel Turbutt Francis, in command of a small body of armed Pennsylvanians, comes to Wyoming from Fort Augusta (now Sunbury, PA) and orders the Connecticut settlers to leave.
September 1769 - The five "settling town" in Wyoming Valley surveyed under the direction of Major Durkee.
     The first Yankee-Pennamite War is begun.
November 14, 1769 - Fort Durkee is surrendered to the Pennamites by the Yankees and the Yankees are driven from the Valley.

1770

February 11, 1770 - Captain Lazarus Stewart and his "Paxtang Boys" come to Wilkes-Barre to cooperate with the Yankees.  They regain possession of Fort Durkee.
June 28, 1770 - Governor Penn of Pennsylvania issues a proclamation prohibiting any person from settling at Wyoming without authority from the proprietaries of the Providence.

1771

January 18, 1771 - The erection of Fort Wyoming is begun by the Pennamites on the river bank near the present day Northampton Street, Wilkes-Barre.
August 15, 1771 - Fort Wyoming is surrendered by the Pennamites after a siege of twenty-six (26) days to a force of Yankees under the command of Captain Zebulon Butler.

1774

January 1774 - The Wyoming Region is erected by the General Assembly of Connecticut into the town of Westmoreland and attached to the County of Litchfield.
January 27, 1774 - It is not until this date that thru the many petitions by the settlers that the Connecticut General Assembly passed a resolution to annex the Wyoming lands and erected Westmoreland into a town attached to the County of Litchfield.
March 1, 1774 - Excerpts from the records of the town meetings report that the "whole people of Westmoreland met and organized towns and chose public offices.  They laid out townships, founded settlements, erected fortifications, levied and collected taxes, passed laws for the direction of civil suits, and for the punishment of crimes and misdemeanors, established militia and provided for the common defense and general welfare of the colony."
April 12, 1774 - The settlers petition the Connecticut General Assembly to officially organize their militia into a regiment.
June 27, 1774 - At a town meeting in Wilkes-Barre, "it was voted by this town of Westmoreland that they will now form themselves into companies ye military way for ye defense of the country, agreeable to ye laws of ye colony."  One company was organized for each district of Westmoreland as was the practice in Connecticut.

1775

April 19, 1775 - The battles of Lexington and Concord.
May 1, 1775 - The news of the battles of Lexington and Concord reaches Westmoreland.
May 12-14, 1775 - The Connecticut General Assembly enacted "that the town of Westmoreland shall be one entire regiment distinguished and called by the name of the 24th Regiment, and have the same powers and privileges and advantages as other regiments of this colony by law have."  The Assembly appointed and established Zebulon Butler as Colonel, Nathan Denison as Lieutenant Colonel, and William Judd as Major of the new regiment and without delay they were commissioned by Governor Jonathan Trumbull.
June 17, 1775 - The battle of Bunker Hill takes place in New York.
June 22, 1775 - News of the battle of Bunker Hill reaches Wilkes-Barre.
Summer - Autumn, 1775 - There is no record of uniforms of the 24th Connecticut Regiment with the exception of a few chief officers.  Cockades and sashes were worn by the other officers and non-commissioned officers.
August 1-8, 1775 - At a town meeting of Westmoreland a vote was taken and passed to take the cause of liberty and a Committee of Correspondence was elected.  The committee consisted of Mr. John Jenkins, Joseph Shuman, Esq., Nathan Denison, Esq., Lieutenant William Rush, and Mr. Obadiah Gore.
August 8, 1775 - The inhabitants of Westmoreland assembled in the town meeting at Wilkes-Barre, resolved that they will "unanimously join" their "brethren in America in the common cause of Defending" their liberty.
October 12, 1775 - Efforts were completed for the organization of the 24th Connecticut Militia Regiment.
October 17, 1775 - The Line Officers of the 24th Connecticut Militia Regiment are commissioned by Governor Trumbull and the final organization of the 24th into nine companies and the local of each company in Wyoming is established as follows:
      First Company - located in the lower half of Wilkes-Barre District.  Stephen Fuller, Captain; John Garrett, Lieutenant; Christopher Avery, Ensign.
      Second Company - located in the Kingston District.  Nathaniel Landon, Captain; George Dorrance, Lieutenant; Asahel Buck, Ensign.
      Third Company - located in the Plymouth District.  Samuel Ransom, Captain; Peren Ross, Lieutenant; Asaph Whittlesey, Ensign.
      Fourth Company - located in Pittston District.  Solomon Strong, Captain; Jonathan Parker, Lieutenant; Timothy Keyes, Ensign.
      Fifth Company - located in the Hanover District.  William McKerachan, Captain; Lazarus Stewart, Jr., Lieutenant; Silas Gore, Ensign.
      Sixth Company - located in the lower part of the North District (chiefly in what is now Plains Township) Rezin Geer, Captain; Daniel Gore, Lieutenant; Mathais Hollenback, Ensign.
      Seventh Company - located in the lower part of the North District (chiefly in Exeter and Providence) Stephen Harding, Captain; Elisha Scovell, Lieutenant; John Jenkins, Ensign.
      Eighth Company - located in the Lackaway District.  Eliab Farnham, Captain; John Shaw, Lieutenant; Elijah Witter, Ensign.
      Ninth Company - located in the upper part of the North District (along the Susquehanna, chiefly at the near Tunkhannock, Mehoopany, and Meshopen).  James Secord, Captain; John Depui, Lieutenant; Rudolph Fox, Ensign.
      Tenth Company - located in the Huntington and Salem Districts (organized on October 10, 1776).  Frethias Wall, Lieutenant; John Franklin, Ensign.
November 4, 1775 - Congress recommends that the Providence of Pennsylvania should put a stop to the hostilities against the Connecticut settlers in the Wyoming Region.
December 25, 1775 - The Plunkett Invasion and the battle of "Rampart Rocks".  The end of the First Yankee-Pennamite War.

1776

March 6, 1776 - Sixty-six (66) men of Westmoreland organize themselves into a military company and offers their services to the Continental Congress to "engage in the common cause as soldiers in defense of liberty."
June 14, 1776 - The Connecticut Assembly instructs their delegates to declare for Congress.
Summer 1776 - The Connecticut Assembly raises the status of Westmoreland to be a county, establishing Wilkes-Barre as the county seat.
July 4, 1776 - The Continental Congress declares the colonies independence from Great Britain.
August 23, 1776 - The Continental Congress resolves and authorizes that two Independent Companies be raised for Continental service "for the defense of the inhabitants of the said town and parts adjacent."  CLICK HERE for the full text of the resolution.
August 26, 1776 - The Continental Congress elects the following officers for the two independent companies: Robert Durkee and Samuel Ransom, Captains; James Wells, Sr. and Peren Ross, Lieutenant.
August 27, 1776 - The Continental Congress appoints Colonel Zebulon Butler to be Commissary and Paymaster for the two companies.
August 28, 1776 - The Continental Congress votes to send 200 pounds of powder and a proportional quantity of lead to the two independent companies.
September 1, 1776 - Conformation in the form of letters and orders reach Wilkes-Barre and the enlistment procedure is started.
September 10, 1776 - The Continental Congress resolves to send Colonel Zebulon Butler $4,000 for the use of the independent companies, and also resolves that Major William Judd of the 24th Connecticut Regiment be authorized and directed to muster the Westmoreland Companies.
September 17, 1776 - The two "Wyoming, or Westmoreland, Independent Companies" enlisted a few weeks previously -- are mustered into the Continental service at Wilkes-Barre under Major Judd.  The positions and duties in the company were 1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 1 Ensign, 4 Sergeants, 4 Corporals, 1 Drummer, 1 Fifer, and 76 Privates.  Enlistments for each company were completed in just 16 days.
September 1776 - The officers and men of the two independent companies furnished their own arms and accoutrements; and those (if any) who supplied themselves with uniforms, procured them likewise at their own expense.
October 31, 1776 - The Continental Congress resolves to send Colonel Butler $2,000 for the use of the two independent companies.  An original report of expenses is on file at the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society.
December 12, 1776 - The Continental Congress orders the two independent companies of Westmoreland "to join General Washington with all possible expedition."
December 1776 - Captain Robert Durkee journeyed to General Washington's Headquarters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to endeavor to have himself transferred to more active scenes.
      The Connecticut Assembly prescribed the formation of "Alarm Companies".  Two are organized for the 24th Connecticut Regiment.  The 24th Connecticut Regiment, now under the command of Colonel Nathan Denison is assigned to the 6th Brigade along with the 14th, 15th, 17th, and 18th Regiments under the command of Brigadier General Oliver Wolcott.
December 19 - 21, 1776 - Captain Robert Durkee returns with orders for the two independent companies.
January 1, 1777 - The "Wyoming Independent Companies," accompanied by Colonel Butler march from Wilkes-Barre with pack horses and provisions via the lower road to the Delaware River to Wind Gap then to Easton to join General Washington at Morristown, New Jersey.

1777

January 6, 1777 - General Washington establishes his winter headquarters at Morristown, NJ.
January 9, 1777 - The two independent companies join General Washington and are posted at Millstone along with 300 New Jersey militia under General Philemon Dickinson.
January 20, 1777 - The "Wyoming Independent Companies" take part in the battle of Millstone River, near Sommerset Courthouse in New Jersey, under General Philemon Dickinson.  The action that took place is described in the following letter which was printed in a newspaper of the day: "Last Monday (Jan 20) a party or Jersey Militia and Pennsylvania rifleman marched to attack a body of the enemy, consisting of about 600, who were posted at a bridge at Millstone River, near Abraham Van Nest's Mill, which is two miles from Somerset Court house.  In order to more effectually prevent our men from crossing the enemy had placed three field pieces on a hill, about fifty yards from the bridge.  When our men found it impossible to cross there, they went down the river, broke through the ice, waded across the river up to their middles, flanked the enemy, routed them, and took 43 baggage-wagons, 104 horses, 115 head of cattle, and about 60 or 70 sheep.  We lost four or five men.  We took twelve prisoners, and from the best accounts the enemy had 24 or 25 killed or wounded.  A man who came from New Brunswick this afternoon says the enemy allow that they lost 35 or 36 men, but say the rebels lost 300.  There were not more than 400 of our men crossed the river.  The enemy report that they were attacked by 3,000 of General Washington's troops, and were absolutely certain that they were not militia.  They were sure no militia would fight in that way."
      General Washington made the following reference to the same affair in a letter to Congress: "General Dickinson, with about 400 militia, defeated a foraging party of the enemy of an equal number, and has taken forty wagons and upwards of 100 horses (most of the English Draft breed), and a number of sheep and cattle which they had collected.  The enemy retreated with so much precipitation that General Dickinson had only an opportunity of making nine prisoners.  They were observed to carry off a great number of dead and wounded in light wagons.  General Dickinson's behavior reflects the highest honor on him: For, though his troops were all raw, he led them through the river, middle deep, and gave the enemy so severe a charge, that although supported by three field pieces, they gave way and left their convoy."
March 28, 1777 - The two independent companies are now referred to as the "Westmoreland Independent Companies" and are treated as a battalion.  Captain Durkee writes a letter to Connecticut's Delegates in Congress to have them officially organized as a battalion, but this is never done.  Captain Durkee assumes the duties of the battalion commander as well as his duties as company commander.
April 11, 1777 - The "Westmoreland Independent Companies" take part in the battle of Bound Brook in New Jersey, under Major General Benjamin Lincoln.
May 27, 1777 - Major General Lincoln orders the units to march to Morristown, near Chatham, to go under the command of Major General Adam Stephen.
May 29, 1777 - Colonel Butler wrote a letter to General Washington saying "Many soldiers in the independent companies have received no clothes, arms are useless, and some of them lost.  They are also destitute of tents and every kind of camp equipage.  I hope your Excellency will give special directions how they are to be supplied with those articles."
May 1777 - The two companies are attached to Colonel Butler's command of three Connecticut Regiments -- Colonel's Huntington, Wyllys, and Douglas, and are ordered to march to Bound Brook, New Jersey, to go under the command of Major General Benjamin Lincoln.
August 15, 1777 - The independent companies join the army at Neshaminy Creek, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; twenty miles north of Philadelphia.
August 22, 1777 - The army marches through Philadelphia to Wilmington, Delaware.  "They were attached to no regiment or brigade, but were called the 'Independent Companies' and acted as a distinct corps, in most active and dangerous positions between the lines of the two armies."
September 11, 1777 - The "Westmoreland Independent Companies" take part in the battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania.
October 4, 1777 - The "Westmoreland Independent Companies" take part in the battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
October - November 1777 - The companies are posted at Woodbury, Glouster County, New Jersey, with other two Connecticut Regiments - the 4th and 8th.
October 23 - November 20, 1777 - The British lay siege to Fort Mifflin in the Delaware River.
November 12, 1777 - A detachment from the two companies is drawn as a relief to Fort Mifflin, under Lieutenant Spaulding.
December 4, 1777 - The companies are encamped at Whitemarsh, then move to Valley Forge with the 4th and 8th Connecticut Regiments.  As when they first marched, they were kept as distinct corps, in the event they were needed in Wyoming.
December 19, 1777 - The Continental Army with the members of the "Independent Companies" moves into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  They are brigaded with the 4th and 8th Connecticut Regiments and the 1st and 2nd Rhode Island Regiments under the command of Brigadier General James Varnum.

1778

March 17, 1778 - The Continental Congress orders "one full company of foot" raised in Westmoreland.
April 11, 1778 - The Continental Congress votes to send 175 rifles or muskets, 200 wt. of powder, 800 wt. of lead, and 500 flints to Westmoreland, in care of newly promoted Colonel Denison of the 24th Regiment.
April - May, 1778 - The "Westmoreland Independent Companies" or the 24th C.M.R. Independent Companies guard Hessian prisoners at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
June 1, 1778 - Colonel Butler rides to York to ask for the return of the Independent Companies to Wyoming.  At receipt of the news at Lancaster of the impending attack, the commanders of the two Independent Companies resign their commissions and leave for Wyoming Valley with 25 men of the companies to take part in the battle of Wyoming.  Many are killed, but others return to Continental service.  The remainder of the two companies are consolidated into one under the command of Captain Spaulding and receive orders (June 23) to march to the defense of the valley.
June 28, 1778 - The battle of Monmouth Courthouse, New Jersey, takes place with the consolidated company under the command of Captain Spaulding, taking part in the battle under the command of Major General Lafayette.
July 1-3, 1778 - All the companies of the 24th Regiment report for duty at Forty-Fort, except the 7th company from Exeter.
July 3, 1778 - The battle and massacre of Wyoming.  The entire force marched forth in column carrying the new national flag, to the tune of "St. Patrick's Day in the morning" played by the fifers and drummers of several companies.
July 4, 1778 - The surrender of Forty Fort.  Wilkes-Barre is almost wholly destroyed by the Indians and Loyalists.
August 4, 1778 - Continental soldiers and 34 men of the Wyoming Independent Company, under the command of Colonel Zebulon Butler, march into Wyoming Valley and establish "Camp Westmoreland" at Wilkes-Barre.
September 14, 1778 - Captain Spaulding with 58 men and Captain John Franklin with 12 men of the Regiment march to Muncy to join Colonel Hartley's punitive expedition to Tioga Point.
October 1-3, 1778 - Colonel Hartley's military expedition at Wilkes-Barre on the return of march from the upper Susquehanna after attacking the Six Nation Indians.
October 28, 1778 - The remains of the 24th C.M.R. men who lost their lives in the battle and massacre on July 3, 1778 are gathered and buried.

1779

April 11, 1779 - The first troops for the Sullivan Expedition reach Wilkes-Barre.
June 23, 1779 - General John Sullivan, with the main body of his army, arrives at Wilkes-Barre.
July 31, 1779 - The Sullivan Expedition sets out from Wilkes-Barre on its march up the Susquehanna to the Finger Lakes region of New York to punish the Six Nations for attacks against the Americans with Captain Spaulding and Captain John Franklin.
August 29, 1779 - The battle of Newtown, near Elmira, New York.  The American forces defeat the combined forces of British, Loyalists and Iroquois in the only major engagement of the Sullivan campaign.
October 7, 1779 - The Sullivan Expedition returns to Wilkes-Barre.

The Continental military garrison, the "Wyoming Post", is maintained at Wilkes-Barre under the command of Colonel Zebulon Butler.

The 24th Connecticut Militia Regiment is incorporated into the Connecticut Militia as the 1st Company of the 5th Regiment.

1782

December 30, 1782 - The "Decree of Trenton" is rendered, giving the Wyoming Region to the state of Pennsylvania.

1783

April 1783 - Pennsylvania troops garrison Fort Wyoming and change its name to Fort Dickenson.
October 1783 - The Second Yankee-Pennamite War begins.

1784

May 1784 - The Pennamites drive the majority of the Connecticut settlers from the valley by force.
June 28, 1784 - Many dwellings and houses in Wilkes-Barre are burned to the ground by the Pennamites.
August 2, 1784 - The fight at Locust Hill occurs.
September 28, 1784 - Fort Dickenson is besieged by the Yankees.
November 1784 - Fort Dickenson, having been evacuated by the Pennamites is demolished by the Yankees and the Second Yankee-Pennamite War is virtually ended.
CLICK HERE to read the 1776 Continental Congress resolution
that authorized the two Independent Companies

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