Benjamin Gilbert letter book  1780-1783
full text File Size: 10 K bytes


Revolutionary War soldier Benjamin Gilbert was born in 1755 to Lucy Barns and Daniel Gilbert in Brookfield, Massachusetts. In 1775, Gilbert enlisted as a fifer in the Brookfield company of minutemen, led by his uncle Joseph Gilbert. He joined Captain Daniel Shays' company of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment as a sergeant in 1777. He served in upper New Jersey in the fall of 1780 and spent the winter at West Point. Joining Lafayette's troops in February 1781, he saw action at Trenton, Wilmington, Christiana, Elkton, Annapolis, and eventually Virginia, in pursuit of the armies of William Phillips and Benedict Arnold. He also fought with Lafayette at Yorktown. On April 17, 1782, Gilbert was commissioned lieutenant in the Massachusetts Line in the Army of the United States, a post he held until the army was disbanded in 1783.

Gilbert married Mary Starr Cornwall (1766-1857) in 1786, in her home town of Danbury, Connecticut. They moved to Middlefield, New York, and had 10 children. Benjamin Gilbert died in 1828.