He was born to Oliver and Naomi (Smith) Angell in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a descendant of one of the original settlers in Rhode Island. He had a good education and developed an early interest in scientific matters. He married three times and had seventeen children.
Angell served nearly throughout the entire war in Rhode Island and was successively promoted. He was a major of Rhode Island troops in the 11th Continental Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment, then to colonel. He served at Valley Forge, and at these areas of conflict:
He was particularly distinguished in the Battle of Springfield where he withheld a key bridge from British troop advances. He received recognition correspondence for this act of heroism from George Washington and Nathanael Greene. He also served at various places in Rhode Island and New Jersey and along highlands of the Hudson River, most notably at Peekskill and West Point. He retired from the army on January 1, 1781, after the two Rhode Island regiments were consolidated under one colonel.
- Johnson, Allen, ed. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936.
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