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Sgt John Austin

Sgt John Austin

Hopkinton, Washington County, Rhode Island, USA
Death 20 Apr 1841 (aged 83)
Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont, USA
Burial Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 14760038 · View Source
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John was born, February 20, 1758 in Hopkinton, Washington County, Province of Rhode Island. His parents are unknown. By the age of 18 years, he and a brother Thomas, were residing in Preston, New London County, Connecticut.

In May 1776, John enlisted at Preston as a Private for nine months in Captain Edward Mott's Company of Connecticut Militia raised for the defense and protection of the harbor of New London. Captain Mott's Company during this period of service was under the immediate command of the Company's First Lieutenant, Oliver Coit. After a few months into this enlistment, John requested and was granted permission to enlist out of this Company into Captain Richard Deshon's Third Company, Colonel Samuel Selden's Fourth Battalion, Brigadier General James Wadsworth's Brigade of Connecticut State Troops being raised at the call of General George Washington to reinforce his army in New York. Wadsworth's Brigade served in New York and on Long Island. Some of its Regiments were engaged at the Battle of Long Island, the retreat from New York, Harlem Heights, White Plains (John was in the battles of White Plains), and at the fall of Fort Washington. At the end of the 1776 Campaign, John was discharged on December 25th along with the rest of the Connecticut Brigade.

About one month later, John enlisted into another Company for two months and went to Rhode Island. He was discharged from this service about April 1, 1777.

Twenty One days later, on April 21st, John, at Preston, enlisted for 3 years as a Private in Captain William Belcher's Company, Colonel Jedidiah Huntington's First Regiment of the Connecticut Continental Line. The Regiment rendezvoused at New London and took the field in the spring of 1777 at Peekskill, New York. When Colonel Huntington was promoted to Brigadier General, May 12, 1777, command of the Regiment passed to the Regiment's Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Prentice. The Regiment remained in Camp at Peekskill until ordered to join General George Washington's Army in Pennsylvania, September 1777. The Regiment was engaged on the left flank at the battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777. It wintered at Valley Forge in Huntington's Brigade, 1777-78. Josiah Starr, upon being promoted to Colonel, assumed command of the Regiment, May 27, 1778. The Regiment was present at the Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778 (John served in Lee's Light Infantry during the Battle of Monmouth). From Monmouth, the Regiment moved into camp at White Plains, New York, in Huntington's 2nd Brigade, until ordered into winter quarters with the Connecticut Division at Redding, Connecticut, 1778-1779. In May 1779, the Regiment with the Connecticut Division was ordered into the filed on the east side of the Hudson River. Early in June, the Regiment was encamped in the Highlands opposite West Point. In July 1779, the Regiment with the Connecticut Division was ordered to march to the Connecticut coast with all possible speed to assist in repelling Tryon during his "invading" New Haven and other Connecticut Towns. Tyron sailed off before the Division arrived. The Division returned to its position on the Hudson. In late October 1779, the Connecticut Line moved down the river to the vicinity of Kings Ferry (Peekskill). In mid-November, 1779, the Connecticut Division was ordered to move and encamp with the main army for the winter in New Jersey. They were assigned to grounds below Morristown. Toward the beginning of February, 1780, the Connecticut Brigades were detached to strengthen the "lines" or outposts in the vicinity of Elizabeth and Newark. On February 3rd, the Division was at Springfield. John was honorably discharged from this service at Springfield, New Jersey, April 20, 1780.

On September 25, 1782, Sergeant John Austin joined Captain Eliezer Prentice's Company, Colonel Samuel McCallen's Regiment of Connecticut Militia and served at Fort Griswold near Groton, Connecticut until discharged on November 23, 1782. Fort Griswold was one of two forts defending the port of New London.

John was married, January 16, 1783 by a Clergyman of the First Congregational Church, Griswold, New London County, Connecticut, to Esther Herrick (1762-1852) by whom he had 9 children (3 sons and 6 daughters): Aurelia (b. 1784), Elizabeth (b. 1785), Esther (1786-1851), Phineas Herrick (b. 1790), Calvin (b. bef. 1795), John (b. 1796), Mary (d. 1812), Almira, and Amanda Mary (Polly) (b. 1815).

Shortly after their marriage John and Esther moved to Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont where their first child was born. By mid-1800, John and his family were residing in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont. In 1801, John helped establish the Congregational Church in that community. John died at Swanton, April 20, 1841.


(1) US Federal Military Pension File No. W.15674

(2) "Austins of America" The Family of John Austin and Esther Herrick of Preston, Connecticut and Swanton, Vermont, by Eunice Hampton Johnson, Summer 1992, pages 432-434

(3) "The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution 1775-1783" by Henry P. Johnston, 1889, pages 125-138, 145-146, 148, 392, 403, 587, 617, and 639

(4) The 1800 US Census of the Inhabitants of Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont, page 466 (461), Household No. 9





  • Maintained by: VTSSAR
  • Originally Created by: Barb Destromp
  • Added: 28 Jun 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14760038
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt John Austin (20 Feb 1758–20 Apr 1841), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14760038, citing Woods Hill Cemetery, Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by VTSSAR (contributor 47884768) .