Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Call Out The Militia!

The Roxbury militia was on parade in - or rather, on - 1805 Jamaica Plain. The confidence voiced her in the American troops would soon be tested during the War of 1812. There were some successes, but the burning of the White House is hard to get past. Ouch!

The Independent Chronicle October 10, 1805

Roxbury, Oct. 8th, 1805 -- Yesterday the four companies of militia belonging to this town, commanded by Capts Barnes, Gore, Richards and Severns, and the company belonging to the town of Brookline, commanded by Capt Jones, the whole under the immediate command of Major Bosson, sen(?) Major of the first Regiment, in the first Brigade and first Division of the militia of the Commonwealth, paraded on Jamaica plain, for inspection, review and exercise -- The troops made a handsome appearance, four fifths of them being in cloth uniform.-- On Inspection, the arms and equipments were found to be in good order -- after the inspection, the battalion was reviewed by Lieutenant colonel Gardner; the martial exercise, a variety of firings and manoeuvers, were in succession performed -- the troops were then dismissed for a short time. In the afternoon they were again paraded, and an attempt made to represent real action, in which the firings were brisk, and heavy, the day was fine, and no accident happened to allay the pleasures of it.

It may be worthy of notice that the first company of minute-men, raised in the now United States, at the commencement of the revolutionary war, were formed from the militia of this town, then consisting of but two companies. The militia of the town, now consists of one troop of cavalry, one company of artillery, (each of these having a few members from Dorchester and Brookline) and four companies of infantry. It is certain, that the militia of the several towns in the Commonwealth, if not in an equal degree, are vastly increased, and that their spirit, enterprise and address in arms, if correctly guided, would in a very short time, if called into actual service, make them an equal to any duty to which they can be called. If all the States in the Union, are equal to Massachusetts, in the organization, arms, and discipline of their numerous militia -- The citizens of our extensive, and prosperous country, may almost assure themselves, that under a wise and prudent administration of government, unanimity among themselves, and the continuous smiles of Heaven they may for a long time yet to come, remain at peace and safety, sitting under their own vines and fruitful trees, without any attempting to molest, nor could any make them afraid.


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