Worchester Early Muster Rolls

THE "GENERAL TRAININGS"

The following interesting sketch is contributed by S. B. Champion:

As we grow old, how things and fashions change! In "good old Jackson times," as aged people say, military drills and "general trainings" were looked upon as events of more interest and importance than county fairs, horse- and boat races, or baseball tournaments of the present day. Then, almost everybody went to general trainings. Nothing else, save the hanging of a murderer, called together so many people. How eagerly the boys watched for the eventful morning; how earnestly we witnessed the formation of companies of martial array; how we admired the field-officers as they appeared on their war-caparisoned steeds, with swords dangling by their sides; how amazed to see the soldiers march as one man, as we scanned their make-up,--high hats with waving plumes, glistening tinsel epaulets, swallow-tailed coats with fancy bindings and brass buttons, high boots ands gauntlet gloves; how we listened to the soul-stirring music of the fife and drum, as we hurried through the crown following the soldiers to the parade grounds! Then it was fun to hear the tin-peddlers auctioneer their wares, and see the boys and girls marching along with huge cakes of gingerbread in their hands or under their arms; how sparingly we spent the few pennies given us by our parents; and how good a one-cent glass of cider tasted! All were happy in their homespun suits, which were manufactured in our dwellings,--cloth caps, tow trowners, Leghorn bonnets, forty-yard pin-back dresses, as now.

We are unable to ascertain the exact date that the Worcester Artillery Company, 12th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, was organized. It must have been previous to 1829. The company was first mustered under Captain Joshua I. Bigelow. He was succeeded by Captain Chester Powers, Joshua K. Champion, Brazilla R. Brown, Nathan Babcock, and Ezra Champion. In 1845 the militia law was changed, abolishing all company musters, and the company went down under Lieutenant William Champion as its last commander. The company usually met at Cooperstown for regimental parade, but not every year. Sometimes it met for regimental drill at Worcester with the militia. The first colonel that we remember was named Sprague, and the last Colonel Seth H. Chase. It was generally conceded that the Worcester company had the best gunners, and were the most efficient in the various evolutions practiced on the field. It had a three-pounder brass cannon, captured from the British at Behmis heights, in 1777, in the time of the Revolution. It bears the English coat-of-arms. It was kept in a gun house near the residence of Judge Chase, and was on duty in some locality every Fourth of July for many years.

We are unable to tell when Captain Johnson - s company, 7th Infantry Regiment, was organized, or how many members of it are still living.

Aaron Champion was commissioned lieutenant of the 7th Regiment of Infantry by Governor Joseph C. Yates, dated Nov. 24, 1823, to rank as such from Sept. 4, 1823. We know not the date other officers were commissioned.

Among the papers pertaining to military records, I find the following muster-roll, which is worthy of record:

Militia Roll of Captain Bela Johnson - s Company, of the 7th Regiment of Infantry, commanded by Colonel Nathaniel Kingsley, in the town of Worcester, Otsego Co., N. Y., June 3, 1822.

Sergeants

Aaron Champion

Seneca Bigelow

William Lamoure

William Seward

- -

Corporals

Edmund B. Bigelow

Samuel Dickinson

Henry Gott

Erastus Sheldon

- -

Musicians

John Gott

James Gott

Thomas D. Storrs

Nelson Starkweather

- -

Privates

Russell Adait

Shubael Bullock

Israel Bullock

Cyrus Bullock

Ebony Bigelow

Hiram Burritt

Abijah Barrett

Asa Bates

Alfred Boughton

Othenial Barber

Benjamin Barrett

Moses Champion

Reuben Champion

John Champion

James, Clark

William Colegrove

Leonard Caryl

William Clark

Silas Clark

Harvey Cornell

Francis Dickinson

Ephraim Dunham

Benjamin Delamater

Job Devol

William C. Ellis

Moses Essex

Harry Freemen

Barent Friedendall

Oliver H. Galusha

John Ham

Sylvester Holmes

Benton Hallock

James Ingalls

Chancellor Ingalls

Jotham Jennings

Jonathan Jennings

Calvin Jennings

Zimrl Knapp

Ira Lane

James Lamoure, Jr

James Lockwood

Joseph H. Lincoln

Timothy Morse

Joseph S. Northrop

Roswell Powers

Nichols Roland

Rufus Storrs

Benjamin Starkweather

Harvey Smith

Josiah Schults

John Skinner

Allen Sheldon

David Simmons

Peter Simmons

Abel Turner

Jonathan Thayer

Dr. James Tallman

Samuel Warner

William Williamson

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Transcribed by Holice B. Young

Original website created by Debbie Axtman

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