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Ch. 01: William Lowing - Revolutionary War

William Lowing's Military Service

William Lowing enlisted in the Minute Men at Uxbridge Massachusetts, in 1774. Massachusetts records show him as marching to Concord, Lexington, on April 19, 1775, with Joseph Chapin as Captain of the company. He drew pay for fourteen days. The Minute Men, being unsuited to the character and continuance of the war, the Provisional Congress legislated for a Militia, the first being enlisted for nine months.

He enlisted in the Rhode Island Militia in 1776 and Rhode Island Records show him as serving, with occasional periods of absence, from that time until his discharge in 1783. He was Private and Orderly Sergeant.

He enlisted in the Continental Line, in Rhode Island, May 16, 1777, for three years -- Colonel Israel Angell, Major Simon Thayer, Captain David Dexter, were the officers of this Second Rhode Island Regiment.

He has made Corporal, April 30, 1779; transferred to Captain William Allen's Company, same regiment, May 1, 1779; was on company Muster Roll for November and December 1779; reported AWOL November 16, 1779. Rejoined service January 11, 1783 and was transferred about January or February to the third company, also given as the fourth company, First and Second Rhode Island Regiments, consolidated; was transferred about January 1783 to the First Company Rhode Island, Company I was commanded by Captain Willi am Allen, received Honorable Discharge, August 16, 1785. Records leave him as a Private at discharge. (From New England Hist. & General, Reg, - Bristol Records, Corp. William Lowing, born Kingston Jamaica, 1758. Served as Private and Corporal in Rhode Island Troops under Captain Allen, Col. Israel Angell, and Lt Col. Olney - died Peru, N.Y. 1802.

He had been in the service (Line) two years and six months when he was reported AWOL. When the minute men were declared inefficient, the members of his company were invited to join the Rhode Island Militia, on nine months enlistment. His company joined to a man. After six months service, the Company was invited to enlist in the Continental Line and again transferred, to a man. It was understood that the six months service in the militia, given before the transfer to the Continental Line was completed, was to count on the five year enlistment (and it is generally believed that this was one of the inducements held out to get the men to transfer). When the term on enlistment drew to a close the officers would not countenance that promise. Not a few packed their belongings at the end of the period and marched home. William was one of these and their officers reported them AWOL.

There was a dispute as to the rights of the soldiers who marched away at that time -- they had served two years and a half (counting the Militia service - 3 years), That the record might be cleared for the children Anna (His wife) prevailed upon him to return and serve out the three years and forever close all dispute. Some six months before the defeat of Cornwallis, when Washington was urging everyone with experience, who could, to join the forces with which he planned to march against General Cornwallis at Yorktown. William did return and served six months and seven days and participated in the campaign that crushed the English Army and brought the war to a close.

The first payroll on which William Lowing 's name appeared, is dated April 19, 1775, when a body of men was sent to the Connecticut River country on account of an alarm declaring the English were gathering troops for an invasion. The last was for an 18 day campaign to meet the inroads of English and Indians on the Canadian Frontier.

posted by Trevor Lowing

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