Search billions of records on

By J. Warren
From the Abbey Memorial
It is doubted by some that the news of the battle of Lexington could have reached Enfield on Thursday afternoon, April 20, 1775. On Wednesday, April 19, 1775, the first blood of the American Revolution was shed at Lexington, Mass.
The news reached Enfield on the afternoon of April 20, 1775. Isaac Kibbe kept the tavern near the church, and as soon as the messenger arrived, Kibbe procured a drum and Thomas Abbe beat the long roll about the church. It was then the custom, which was kept up until within the memory of the speaker, that all the churches held mid-week meetings at the church on Thursday afternoon of each week, in which a lecture was given by the pastor. The meeting being held on Thursday afternoon, April 20, 1775, was broken up by Thomas Abbe's drumming, and without the usual decorum the congregation rushed out to learn the cause of the uproar. They dispersed to their homes and that night every person in Enfield knew about the fight at Lexington. The next morning seventy-five of the Minute Men of Enfield marched for Boston, each with his flint-lock musket and powder horn. Not all of the seventy-five reached Boston, but Thomas Abbe did.
We have all their names, and I will call "The Long Roll" of the Minute Men of Enfield on April 20, 1775:
Colonel Nathaniel Terry, Major Richard Abbe, Lieutenant John Simons,
Captain Joseph Booth,
Ensign Sergeants: Corporals:
Samuel Jones
Jonathan Bush
Daniel Kingsbury
Barzilia Markham
David Chandler
Eliphalet Killam
Elihu Geer
John Simons, 2nd
Nathaniel Chandler
Samuel Pease
Thomas Hale
Jacob Terry, Jr.
John Pease, 2nd
Samuel Hale
James Green
Seth Hall
Peter Pero
Thomas Abbe
Jabez Parsons
Daniel Prior
John Abbe
Joseph Gleason
Isaac Pease
Oliver Bush
Moses Bush
Moses Warner
Edmund Bement
John McLester
Nathan Markham
Daniel Burbank
Hezekiah Parsons
Samuel Hemingway
John Chandler
Benjamin Herrington
Thomas Pease
Solomon Gaines
Richard Fairman
John Crosby
Levi French
John Parsons
Eliphalet Collins
Josiah Blakesley
Asahel Parsons
Aaron Pease, Jr.
Ebenezer M. Gregory
David Phelps, Jr.
Asa Meacham
Isaac Markham
Shadrach Terry
Christopher Marshall
Samuel Kingsbury
Henry Booth
Benajah Griswold
Nathaniel Lamb
Aaron Waters
Zebulun Pease
Titus Fairman
Ambrose Markham
Jacob Fairman
Jonathan Allen
John Hall
John Morrison
Jacob Shepard
Ebenezer Parsons
Peter Parsons
Gideon Pease
Abram Whipple
James Pease
Peter Reynolds
Daniel Terry
Hezekiah Parsons
Some of the above named never reached Boston. The Red Coats having retreated, many of them returned home. Hezekiah Parsons, Captain and Thomas Abbe and Barzilia Markham, Lieutenants, and thirty-two others marched on and remained in the vicinity of Boston until winter.

We have also the names of fourteen Enfield men who lost their lives in the Revolutionary War:
Freegrace Billings
Lieutenant Noah Phelps
Edward Collins
John Allen
Jedediah Meachamam
Benjamin Gains
Isaac French
Oliver Parsons
Levi Terry
Oliver Pease
Joseph Hall
Nathaniel Pease
George Pease
Both of these lists were compiled by my father, Aholiab Johnson, for the Centennial Exercises, held in Enfield on July 4, 1876. Both he and I were speakers on that occasion and the lists were printed in an Historical Sketch of the Town of Enfield prepared by him. Mr. Freeman says that my father's enthusiasm inspired Benjamin Taylor to write "The Captain's Drum," and that except for Aholiab Johnson's efforts to keep the tradition alive, Mr. Taylor's inspiring poem would never have been written, nor would this noble statue have been erected.