William Munroe (American soldier)

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William Munroe at advanced age. Lithograph by John Henry Bufford date unknown.[1]

Colonel William Munroe (October 28, 1742 – October 30, 1827) [1] was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. He was the orderly sergeant of the Lexington militia at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and as a lieutenant at the Battle of Saratoga. He was also a militia colonel and a prominent man politically in the town of Lexington.[1]


William Munroe was the great grandson of William Munroe, who was captured at the Battle of Worcester by Oliver Cromwell's troops, and taken to Boston as an indentured servant. He worked hard and quickly bought his freedom. He settled in the settlement of Cambridge Farms Parish, (later Lexington, Massachusetts), Massachusetts, in a part of the town called Scotland.


William Munroe was married to Anna Smith and they had six children. After her death in 1781 he later married Polly Rodgers.[1]

His obituary from the American Mercury (CT), Nov. 20, 1820, p. 1 reports: Death of another Revolutionary Hero.--

Businesses and occupations[edit]

Munroe owned two businesses in April 1775. One was his tavern, known as Munroe Tavern, and the other was a retail shop. Several pages of his ledger survive.[2] He was also the orderly sergeant of the Lexington militia.

Roles in the Battles of Lexington and Concord[edit]

William Munroe fought in the Battle of Lexington acting as orderly sergeant in the company commanded by Captain John Parker.

Later in the day, his home, Munroe Tavern, was occupied by Colonel Percy. Percy placed a cannon on the tavern's land, and used it as a field hospital and refuge for retreating troops.

In March 1825, fifty years after the battle, Munroe gave a sworn testimony about his activities in April 19, 1775.[3]

Roles in the Battle of Saratoga[edit]

William Munroe served at the Battle of Saratoga under the rank of lieutenant.[1]

Later life[edit]

William Munroe was a Captain in militia when he marched with a body of men towards Springfield during the Shays Rebellion in 1786.[1] The Munroe family was visited by the first President of the United States, George Washington, in November 1789.[4] He was a selectman for nine years and represented his town for two years.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hudson, Charles (1868), History of the town of Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1868, with a genealogical register of Lexington families, Boston, Massachusetts: Wiggin & Lunt, OCLC 729124426 , Internet Archive [1] Retrieved 2011-09-20
  2. ^ Munro Tavern [2] Lexington Historical Society website. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  3. ^ Phinney, Elias (1825), History of the battle at Lexington, on the morning of the 19th April, 1775, Boston, Massachusetts: Phelps & Farnham, OCLC 654831668 , Internet Archive [3] Retrieved 2011-09-20
  4. ^ Munroe, James Phinney (1900), A sketch of the Munro clan : also of William Munro who, departed from Scotland, settled in Lexington, Massachusetts, and of some of his posterity : together with a letter from Sarah Munroe to Mary Mason, descriptive of the visit of President Washington to Lexington in 1789, Boston, Massachusetts: G.H. Ellis, OCLC 24439812 , Internet Archive [4] Retrieved 2011-09-20