Monday, March 31, 2014

Ebenezer Cone veteran of the French and Indian War

In going through my files, I came across a sheet of paper printed 17 August 2002 from Submitted by researcher Melinda McGibony under the heading Revolutionary War Rolls of 1775-1783. The listing is:

Ebenezer Cone   Serjeant   page 259     List of men detached from Capt. Olmsted's Company of
Roll Box 27 & CT Soldiers, French & Indian War, 1755-1762

More than 13 years after I printed this piece of information, I am a much better researcher who would be asking for a more detailed source citation.  Of course, I tried to access the page again but it is no longer available. However, is available. What I found today provides some additional information.

Connecticut Historical Society, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French and Indian War, 1755-1762, Volume 9, Hartford, Connecticut, 1903. Digital images,, accessed 30 March 2014.

Beginning on page 258 and ending on page 259


[The following appears to be a list of the men detached from the company of Capt. William Olmsted of East Haddam, Aug. 10, 1757]


Joshua Smith                      Uriah Clarke
Deliverance Waters            John Chamberlin Jr.
Asabel Taylor                    Aaron Griswold    impressed
Nathanel Taylor                *Ebenezer Cone         "

*Also called Ebenezer Cone, Jr.

Though this information seems to come from the same page, it does not mention Ebenezer's rank. In fact, it implies that he was impressed into service. Impressment is not like registering for the draft and being called to serve. It is more like being kidnapped from one's everyday life and being forced to be part of the troops. Wikipedia quotes Gary Nash writing in The Urban Crucible, The Northern Seaports and the Origins of the American Revolution, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986, "One of the largest impressment operations occurred in the spring of 1757 in New York City, then still under British colonial rule. Three thousand British soldiers cordoned off the city, and plucked clean the taverns and other gathering places. All kinds of tradesmen and Negroes were hauled in, nearly eight hundred in all. Four hundred of these were "retained in the service."

Given East Haddam's close proximity to New York City it is hard to know if Ebenzer was caught in New York or in Connecticut. The timing of his release from the company of Capt. William Olmsted on 10 August 1757 could indicate that he was picked up during one of the large impressment operations earlier that spring.
This painting of an impressment gang was executed by Luke Clennell
image is from 
It is not difficult to imagine why Ebenezer Cone volunteered to be the Moderator at the first meeting of the citizens of East Haddam held 26 March 1770, "to take into consideration the weighty and dangerous controversy subsisting between the Colonies and Great Britain." Reported by William Whitney Cone in Some Account of the Cone Family in America, Principally the Descendants of Daniel Cone who settled in Haddam, Connecticut in 1662, 1903, page 117 available at

Now the question remains, which Ebenezer Cone is the one who served in Capt. Olmsted's company?
There are three candidates in my family tree.

The first possibility is Ebenezer Cone, Jr. son of Ebenezer and Sarah Olmsted Cone, born about 1698 in East Haddam, Connecticut. He married Elizabeth Willey about 1720 and was the parent of Elijah (1723 - 1793, Ebenezer (1724 - 1804), Hannah (1726 - 1751) who married Shubael Fuller, Jr., Elizabeth (1730 - ?) who married Joseph Warner and Timothy (1735 -1800). In his fifties, he may have been considered too old for service in the militia. However, militia service did include all able bodied men and Ebenezer continued to be active in local affairs into his seventies.

The second is Ebenezer's son Ebenezer who married Mary Brainard 8 January 1746 in East Haddam. He would have been in his early thirties, a prime target for service in the militia.

Ebenezer and Mary Brainard Cone also had a son Ebenezer born 30 January 1748. He was probably too young to have been impressed. Ironically, he lost his life 5 October 1778 with the Continental Army at Upper German Flats, New York. 
This map from show the approximate locations
of Forts Herkimer and Dayton. September 17, 1788 Joseph Brant
attacked the American troops under Colonel Bellinger. It is uncertain
if he was wounded in that raid, the retaliatory raid in early October
or if he died from wounds suffered in the earlier fighting.
This information about his death in the Revolution is unsourced. It comes from several online family trees and the date varies from 5 October 1776 to 1778. I chose to use the 1778 date as it coincides with the operations conducted around German Flats.