New York Provincial Company of Artillery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804) in the Uniform of the New York Artillery" by Alonzo Chappel (1828–1887)
New York Provincial Company of Artillery
Active 1776
Allegiance  New York
Type militia
Role coastal artillery, field artillery
Part of New York Militia
Engagements Battle of Long Island, Battle of Harlem Heights, Battle of White Plains, Battle of Trenton
Alexander Hamilton

During the American Revolutionary War, the New York Provincial Company of Artillery was created by the New York Provincial Congress in 1776 to defend New York City from British attack.


The revolutionary government of the province commissioned Alexander Hamilton, then a student at King College (now, Columbia University) and an officer in a militia unit of artillery called the Hearts of Oak, to create the new Provincial Company of Artillery.[1] The new Company saw action in the Battle of White Plains and the Battle of Trenton, among others.[2] It was while commanding this unit with distinction that Hamilton came to the attention of many high-ranking officers in the Continental Army, a number of them offering him positions on their staffs. Hamilton refused them all to become de facto Chief of Staff to General George Washington, the commander-in-chief, for much of the remainder of the war.

The New York Provincial Company of Artillery is considered the ancestor of the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, which therefore holds the distinction of being the oldest active unit in the U.S. Army.[3]


  1. ^ Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. Penguin Press, (2004) (ISBN 1-59420-009-2).
  2. ^ McCullough, David. 1776. Simon & Schuster (May 24, 2005). ISBN 0-7432-2671-2
  3. ^ Organizational History. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. 1999. p. 29. : "9. What is the oldest unit in the Army? The oldest unit in the active Army is the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, which perpetuates the Alexander Hamilton Battery of the Revolutionary War." originally accessed 22 September 2008

External links[edit]