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John Stark, Soldier

"John Stark, soldier, was born in Londonderry, NH, August 28, 1728; son of Archibald Stark, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who was an original proprietor of Dunbarton, NH John became an excellent hunter and trapper.

In 1752, he was taken prisoner by the Indians, and held captive until ransomed by the Massachusetts Colony. He was appointed a lieutenant in Robert Rogers Corps of Rangers, and served throughout

the campaign around Lakes George and Champlain, rising to the rank of captain. On the close of the war he resigned his commission and engaged in farming in Manchester, NH He was married, August 20, 1759, to Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Caleb Page, one of the original grantees of Starkstown, now Dunbarton, NH.

When news was brought of the Battle of Lexington, he organized a body of one hundred farmers, and at their head he joined the army at Cambridge. He was promoted colonel, organized a regiment of 800 backwoodsmen, and took part in the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775, where he gave his famous order: "Boys, aim at their waistbands."

He assisted in fortifying New York, and later commanded a brigade of General Gates’ army in Canada, but rejoined Washington in New Jersey and commanded the van of the right wing at Trenton and Princeton. He resigned his commission, owing to some ill feeling as to promotions, and retired to his farm, but on receiving news of the capture of Ticonderoga, he led an independent force of New Hampshire troops, and attacked Colonel Frederick Baum’s army of 500 men

at Bennington, August 16, 1777, completely routing them as he did the reinforcements of 500 men under Colonel Breymann.

He was promoted Brigadier-General, October 4, 1777, and received the thanks of Congress; commanded the northern department in 1778 and 1781, and in 1783 retired to his farm. In 1817, Congress passed an act, giving him a pension of sixty dollars a month. He, and General Thomas Sumpter, were the last surviving generals of the Revolutionary army. In August, 1887, a monument was erected in Bennington to his memory, and in 1899 one was erected at Peru, Vermont, both being made of lime stone in the form of an obelisk. [The east gate at the Bunker Hill Monument grounds are also named in honor of John Stark and his NH regiment.] He died in Manchester, NH, May 8, 1822.

 

— Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, 1900 (edited)

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