Roger Enos

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Roger Enos
Roger Enos.jpg
Roger Enos. 1903 illustration based on portrait owned by great-grandson Franklin Hatch.
Born 1729
Simsbury, Connecticut
Died October 6, 1808(1808-10-06) (Age 78 or 79)
Colchester, Vermont
Place of burial Greenmount Cemetery, Burlington, Vermont
Allegiance Colony of Connecticut
Vermont Republic
United States of America
Service/branch Connecticut Militia
Continental Army
Vermont Militia
Years of service 1759-1792
Rank Major General
Commands held Vermont Militia
1st Division, Vermont Militia
4th Division, Vermont Militia
Battles/wars French and Indian War
American Revolution
Other work Farmer
Land speculator
Signature Roger Enos Signature.jpg

Roger Enos (1729-October 6, 1808) was a colonial Vermont political and military leader who commanded the Vermont Militia as a Major General.

Early life[edit]

Roger Enos, Sr. was born in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1729.[1] He was raised in Simsbury and Windsor, and became a farmer. In 1759 Enos joined the militia for the French and Indian War.[2] He rose to Sergeant Major, was commissioned as an Ensign, and soon advanced to regimental Adjutant.[3]

In 1762 he took part in the British expedition against Cuba during the Seven Years’ War. In 1764 Enos was promoted to Captain in the regiment commanded by Israel Putnam.[4][5]

In 1773 he served on a commission that included Israel Putnam, Rufus Putnam and Phineas Lyman. The commission surveyed lands along the Mississippi River to identify sites for the grants promised to French and Indian War veterans, and their work led to Lyman’s founding of the city that is now Natchez, Mississippi.[6]

American Revolution[edit]

At the start of the American Revolution, Enos was a Major in the 2nd Regiment of Connecticut Militia.[7] He joined the Continental Army and was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of Connecticut’s 22nd Regiment.[8] In the summer of 1775 he took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill and other activities around Boston,[9] and then joined Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec as commander of the rear guard. In October of 1775 Enos and the soldiers under his command left the struggling expedition because of a shortage of food and supplies.[10]

After marching his troops through the Maine wilderness and home to Connecticut, Enos was called a traitor and a coward, and court-martialed for "quitting without leave." He defended his decision to leave Arnold’s expedition because of poor early winter weather, the lack of boats for transporting soldiers and supplies by river to Quebec, and the shortage of food that had reduced men to near starvation. He was acquitted and returned to service as Lieutenant Colonel of the 16th Connecticut Regiment.[11][12][13]

John Sullivan, the President of the court-martial, later made public a written statement in support of Enos' conduct, and a number of other officers also issued a public circular supportive of his actions, including William Heath, John Stark, Joseph Reed, and James Reed.[14]

In an oration commemorating Richard Montgomery, which was later published, the Reverend William Smith made comments about Enos' actions in Maine which Enos found objectionable, and he subsequently argued against Smith's speech in letters to the editor.[15][16]

Move to Vermont[edit]

Enos resigned from the Connecticut Militia in 1776 and moved to Windsor County, Vermont, settling on a farm in Hertford, the town that later became Hartland. He was almost immediately appointed Colonel in command of a regiment of the Vermont Militia.[17]

In 1781 he was appointed Brigadier General and commander of the Vermont Militia.[18] In 1782 he commanded the militia as it took up defensive positions at Mount Independence and other locations along Lake Champlain to ensure that British troops commanded by Barry St. Leger at Fort Ticonderoga did not attempt an invasion of Vermont.[19][20]

St. Leger's movements were tied to the Haldimand negotiations, which Enos was aware of and may have participated in. With Vermont unable to attain admission to the union and vulnerable to invasion by the British in Canada, Thomas Chittenden, Ira Allen, Ethan Allen and others conducted talks with the British Governor of Canada that if successful would have had Vermont become a British colony or dominion. Some informants told Haldimand that Enos was willing to raise a regiment for British service if he received a commission in the British Army and if his regiment was treated as a regular Army organization, not as militia.[21]

In historical terms, it is debatable whether Chittenden and his allies were serious about joining the British, or whether they were pretending to negotiate in good faith as a way to prevent British troops from entering and occupying Vermont while also pressuring the Continental Congress to consider Vermont’s requests to join the United States. In fact, the negotiations ended with no action taken once the British had left New York City and the Revolution was officially ended.[22]

Later life[edit]

In the 1780s Enos was a proprietor of the towns of Waitsfield and Enosburg.[23]

When Vermont reorganized its militia in the late 1780s, Enos was appointed commander of the 1st Division and later the 4th Division as a Major General.[24][25]

In 1791 he relocated to Colchester and resigned his commission. He was a Member of the Vermont Board of War from 1781 to 1792, served in the Vermont House of Representatives, and was a Trustee of the University of Vermont.[26]

Death and burial[edit]

After resigning from the militia and his other offices, Enos lived in retirement in Colchester, where he died on October 6, 1808.[27][28] He is buried in Ethan Allen’s plot at Greenmount Cemetery in Burlington.[29] (Some references incorrectly state that he died in Colchester, Connecticut.)[30]

The inscription on Enos' gravestone reads:

Major General Roger Enos, whose remains are deposited here, was a Patriot of the Revolution and assisted in the founding of this State. He died at Colchester, on the 6th day of October, 1808, aged 73 years. This testimony of respect is paid by his surviving children.[31]

(Note: The age given on the gravestone does not compute with the usually accepted year of birth. If Roger Enos was born in 1729, he would have been 78 or 79 when he died.)

Family[edit]

In 1763 Enos married Jerusha Hayden.[32] Their children included:

Sibil Enos (1761-1796). She lived in Windsor County, Vermont and was the wife of Noadiah Bissell (1761-1837), a merchant, innkeeper and militia officer. Her name is variously spelled as Sibil, Sybil, Sibbell, etc.[33]

Jerusha Enos (1764-1838), the wife of Ira Allen.[34]

Roger Enos, Jr. (1768-1841) was a proprietor of Irasburg, Vermont. He served as a Justice of the Peace, a Deputy Collector of Customs during the Madison administration, and a member of the Vermont House of Representatives.[35][36]

Pascal Paoli Enos (1770-1832) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1794, practiced law in Vermont and St. Louis, and was one of the founders of Springfield, Illinois as Receiver of the United States Land Office in Illinois during the Monroe administration.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edwin W. Strickland, editor, Some Descendants of Capt. John Bissell, Volume 1, 2007, page 100
  2. ^ John Moses, Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of the Representative Men of the United States: Illinois Volume, Volume 1, 1896, page 344
  3. ^ Stephen Darley, Voices from a Wilderness Expedition, 2011, pages 203-204
  4. ^ Washington Irving, Life of George Washington, Volume 19, 1982 edition, page 633
  5. ^ William Farrand Livingston, Israel Putnam: Pioneer, Ranger, and Major-General,1718-1790, 1901, page 166
  6. ^ The Magazine of American History, General Roger Enos: A Lost Chapter of Arnold’s Expedition to Canada, 1775, May 1885, page 464
  7. ^ Francis Bernard Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, 1914, page 17
  8. ^ Hartland Historical Society, In Sight of ye Great River: History & Houses of Hartland, Vermont, 1991, page 127
  9. ^ Bud Hannings, American Revolutionary War Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary, 2009, page 108
  10. ^ Lance Q. Zedric, Elite Warriors: 300 Years of America's Best Fighting Troops, 1996, page 54
  11. ^ Maine Federation of Women's Clubs, The Trail of the Maine Pioneer, 1916, page 297
  12. ^ Bruce Lancaster, The American Revolution, 2001, page 111
  13. ^ Robert P. Broadwater, American Generals of the Revolutionary War: A Biographical Dictionary, 2007, page 37
  14. ^ J. Almon, Remembrancer, or Impartial Repository of Public Events, Part III, 1777, pages 76 to 79
  15. ^ Sarah J. Purcell, Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America, 2010, page 31
  16. ^ Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, Volume 2, 1864, page 317
  17. ^ Nancy Darling, The Vermonter magazine, History and Anniversary of Hartland, November 1913, page 228
  18. ^ Hartland Historical Society, In Sight of ye Great River, page 127
  19. ^ Rutland County Historical Society, Proceedings of the Rutland County Historical Society, Volume 1, 1882, page 184
  20. ^ Vermont Historical Society, Collections of the Vermont Historical Society, Volume 2, 1871, page 168
  21. ^ Gavin K. Watt, I Am Heartily Ashamed: The Revolutionary War's Final Campaign as Waged from Canada in 1782, 2010, Volume 2, page 346
  22. ^ John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand, Ralph H. Orth, The Vermont Encyclopedia, 2003], pages 148-149
  23. ^ Lee S. Tillotson, Ancient Craft Masonry in Vermont, 1920, page 17
  24. ^ Horace Edwin Hayden, General Roger Enos, The Magazine of History with Notes and Queries, 1916, page 149
  25. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Records of the Governor and Council, E. P. Walton, editor, Volume IV, 1876, page 15
  26. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Journals and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, edited by E. P. Walton, Volume 3, 1925, pages 9, 11
  27. ^ Abby Maria Hemenway, editor, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Volume 1, 1871, page 475
  28. ^ Helen M. Lu, editor, Revolutionary War Period: Bible, family & marriage records gleaned from pension applications, Volumes 9-13, 2006, page 81
  29. ^ Marilyn Hatch Schmidt, Ozias Mather Hatch and Julia Riley Enos: Some of Their Ancestors and Their Descendants, 1620-2003, 2003, page 57
  30. ^ Illinois Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Year Book, 1897, page 24
  31. ^ John Warner Barber, Our Whole Country: Of the Past and Present of the United States, Historical and Descriptive, Volume I, 1861, page 214
  32. ^ Orrin Peer Allen, The Allen Memorial: Descendants of Samuel Allen of Windsor, Conn., 1640-1907, 1907, page 54
  33. ^ Douglas C. Richardson, The Eno and Enos Family in America: descendants of James Eno of Windsor, Conn., 1973, page 108
  34. ^ Caryn Hannan, Connecticut Biographical Dictionary, 2008, page 16
  35. ^ Abby Maria Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Volume 3, 1877, pages 241, 254
  36. ^ Marjorie A. Orcutt, Edward S. Alexander, A History of Irasburg, Vermont, 1989, page 27
  37. ^ Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, Charles Linnaeus Hostetter, editors, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, Volume 1, 1913, page 158

External resources[edit]