The Albany Militia

From People of Colonial Albany
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The colonial militia was drawn from the general male population and was organized into companies known by the name of their commanders. By law, all male inhabitants from 15 to 55 were to be enrolled in militia companies. By the 1700s, the New York militia was organized by county and officers were appointed by the royal government.

Militia units composed of "citizen soldiers" and were distinct from the externally recruited "Independent Companies" companies that garrisoned the Albany fort.

Two relatively complete sets of Albany County militia rosters survive. They cover the years 1714-15 and 1767[1]. Rosters of two Albany companies, Roll of Cap't Gerrit Rosebooms Comp. Albany - 1715 and Roll of Cap't Johannis Mingaels Comp. Albany - 1715 and of an Albany troop for 1715 are now online. These lists have been printed in annual reports of the State Historian. Additional information about militia officers and men exists but is much more widely scattered.

By the time of the War for Independence, the Albany County Militia had been reorganized into seventeen regiments reflecting the enormous population growth in the county. The first regiment was raised from the city of Albany[1]. The second regiment was drawn from Schenectady[2]. The third regiment represented Watervliet and Rensselaerswyck. The Fourth regiment also was drawn from the Manor[3]. The Eleventh Regiment represented Saratoga[4]. The Twelfth Regiment was drawn from Halfmoon and Ballston[4]. The Fourteenth Regiment represented Schaghticoke.

After the war, "bounty rights" were awarded to the members of each of those regiments - presumably for service to the cause. The First Regiment list contained 385 names - all of whom were Albany city residents.

Roster of officers from 1797.