June 16, 2024

Stories Of Rehoboth Soldiers in The American Revolution


As we prepare to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the date we declared our independence, there is no better time to share some of our Soldier’s stories. Over 200 local Soldiers answered the Lexington Alarm and were commanded by Colonel Timothy Walker. They marched up the Old Boston Post Road and got as far as Dedham where they were met by dispatch riders from the battles at Lexington and Concord. They were told to go home, reorganize the men and supplies and wait for orders. Those orders soon came for these Soldiers to serve at the Siege of Boston.

Colonel Timothy Walker commanded about 500 of these men. They represented the towns of Rehoboth, Attleborough, Dighton, Norton, Raynham, Taunton, Berkley, and Easton. From April to July 1775, they were called the 3rd Providential Regiment and from July until December of 1775 they were known as 22nd Regiment of the United Colonies.

In January 1776 the Army was reorganized by General George Washington. Some men of Colonel Walker’s 22nd Regiment of the United Colonies joined the 13th Continental Army. Many of these men also returned home and served in different regiments throughout the war. Town records show approximately 1,400 men from Rehoboth served at different times during the war. Many residents served under Colonel Thomas Carpenter in the 3rd Bristol County Regiment as did Colonel Timothy Walker.

During the coming year, we hope to provide you with details and stories of Soldiers who served in the war from Rehoboth and surrounding towns. The Rehoboth Minutemen will publish a story every two months to share our history with you. Our first stories will be about Rehoboth sons who served at the siege of Boston, to the end of the war. The first two local sons we will discuss are Captain Samuel Bliss and Private Simeon Hix.

Captain Samuel Bliss
Samuel was born in Rehoboth on July 25,1730. He was the son of Captain Nathaniel Bliss and Mehitable Whittaker Bliss. At the time of his birth, the Bliss family had been in Rehoboth for over 100 years. Samuel joined his father in the town militia at the age of 16. In Captain Bliss’s personal life he married Hannah Carpenter in 1755. She died on February 20, 1757 after the birth of their first child. Captain Bliss remarried Keziah Wilmarth Carpenter, widow of Abiah Carpenter, in June 1757. Together they had five children. In 1792 his wife of 36 years died and later that year he married Lydia Perry. The following year his last child was born in 1794, Captain Bliss was 63 years old.

Samuel Bliss was originally a Sergeant in the Rehoboth Militia and he was probably voted in as a Captain by his men as they prepared to march on the Lexington Alarm on April 19th. He was 43 years of age when he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He commanded a company of 43 Soldiers who marched on the Lexington alarm and received his formal commission May 24, 1775. In July he became part of Colonel Timothy Walker’s 22nd Massachusetts Regiment. In fall of 1775 he received a Bounty coat. His unit served at the Siege of Boston until January 1776, when the 22nd Regiment was disbanded. He returned home and on September 16, 1777 he joined the 16th Continental Regiment under the commanded of Colonel Henry Jackson. Bliss joined as a Sergeant for a term of three years. This unit saw service in many of the major battles of the war. He was chosen to serve as a steward to General George Washington from 1777- 1778 at the Morristown winter camp. It was an honor to be chosen for this position, as it speaks of his excellent character and reputation. After the war he returned home to live on his farm on Rocky Hill Road. He is listed as Esquire so he must have been very successful after his service in the war. When George Washington became President in 1789 Samuel must have gathered his children and grandchildren around the fireplace where he could tell stories about the winter he spent with General Washington at the Morristown Camp. Captain Bliss died on April 27, 1816 at the age of 85. He is buried in the Village Cemetery.

Private Simeon Hix (Hicks)
Simeon was born in Rehoboth on August 22, 1755. Son of Ephraim and Mary Hix (Hicks). His family roots are also deep in Rehoboth, descended from the families of Peck, Kingsley, Saben and others who were early settlers of this area. At this time, all able-bodied men between 16-60 were required to serve in the town militias. Simeon was already a member at age 18. When minutemen units were drawn from militia units Simeon was one of the first to volunteer. He marched out with the town's unit to the Lexington Alarm. He served nine months at Roxbury under Captain Abdiel Bliss and worked at Dorchester Heights building redoubts. On December 31, 1775 his enlistment expired. Army life must have agreed with him as on February 1, 1776 he enlisted for two more months at Winter Hill and Dorchester. He was present to watch Colonel Knox’s artillery be mounted on Dorchester Heights. There was great joy to watch the British Army leave Boston (Evacuation Day 3/17/1776). In the fall 1776 he served under Captain Abdiel Bliss in the Rhode Island alarm when the British unit had attacked Bristol and Warren.

In October 1776 Simeon and his entire family moved to Richmond in the New Hampshire grant. Many local families left to settle in this area. The towns of Richmond and Swanzey New Hampshire were settled by families from this area. In May 1777 Simeon joined the New Hampshire militia as a substitute for his brother Asa. The army he joined was a state Militia not the Continental Army. It was authorized by New Hampshire under the command of General John Stark. On August 16,1777 the Battle of Bennington took place. The soldiers under General Stark and Colonel Warner’s were victorious at Bennington.

In 1781 he married Mary (Molly) Barney, born August 2, 1756 in Rehoboth, Ma. He settled down for the rest of this life. He raised a family of 10 children and built a house in Sunderland Vermont. In 1854 at the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington, Simeon was the last survivor.

They address Simeon as Captain as a title of honor. James Irving, a daguerreotypist, traveled to Simeon’s home and took the picture of the old Soldier in his 99th year.

Simeon died on January 24,1855. 99 years, 5 months, and 2 days

Simon's picture can be seen online.

Our unit can be contacted at 508-252-3682 with any questions Check out of web site: www.13thcontinentalregiment.org 

Submitted by Cathy Potter


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