According to historian Barbara MacLeish, who is researching a book on Mead, he joined the 4th Connecticut Regiment commanded by Col. John Durkee of Norwich, Connecticut in 1776 or 1777. It is not entirely clear if he was a former slave. He served at Valley Forge from December 1777 through June 1778, where he contracted smallpox, spending two months in a Pennsylvania hospital. It is not known why he migrated to Iowa. While his exact grave location is unknown, a marker stands at the Montrose Cemetery.
- Des Moines Register, http://www.libertyfunddc.org/a_soldiers_true_color_dreg.htm