Minute Man Soldier Search Instructions

Amos Doolittle, "Plate III. The engagement at the North Bridge in Concord" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1775.
Amos Doolittle, “Plate III. The engagement at the North Bridge in Concord” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1775.

How To Use

You may search by soldier, company, or town. Please choose the appropriate tab at the top of the page to start your search. You must include at least 3 letters to start a search. If the word you type does not produce a match you should receive the following message: “No Results Matched Your Search”

If you do receive a match(es), please scroll down and click on the name, company, or town that you are interested in. For example, typing in “smith” will reveal many matches for you to click on and explore. Please click on any text that is shown in blue for more information. To return to the main Soldier Search page when searching, please click on the “close” tab.

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Scope and Accuracy

Please use Soldier Search to find only militiamen who engaged British forces on April 19, 1775 in the battles of Lexington and Concord and along the British retreat route back to Boston. The database currently lists almost 4,000 men from over thirty towns in Massachusetts.

The Minute Man Soldier Search database is based on the book entitled The battle of April 19, 1775, in Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, and Charlestown, Massachusetts by Frank Warren Coburn, published in 1912. The database was compiled from Coburn’s appendix, titled “Muster Rolls of the Participating Companies of American Militia and Minute-Men in The Battle of April 19, 1775, Mostly from the Archives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, But a Few From Other Sources.” Coburn combed the muster rolls of militiamen and minutemen that engaged British forces on April 19, 1775 in the Massachusetts State Archives.

Click here for a digital copy of The battle of April 19, 1775, in Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, and Charlestown, Massachusetts by Frank Warren Coburn (1912).

The information included in the Soldier Search database was sourced directly from Coburn’s book and data entry was performed by volunteers under the direction of National Park Service staff.

Although Coburn’s book is based on extensive primary source research, we understand that there are some limitations to the information provided in this book and therefore, in this database. For example, some companies did not submit muster rolls to the Provincial Congress. Other companies rose to the alarm but arrived too late to see action. Coburn explains some of his limitations on page 3 of the appendix (page 219 of the digitized version). Click here for a digitized version of Coburn’s book.

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Additions and Corrections

Help us grow! Due to the limitations of Coburn’s book, we invite you to suggest additions, deletions, and corrections to the Minute Man Soldier Search. We can only accept proposals that are based on primary source documents. Please contact us at info@friendsofminuteman.org if you would like to propose any additional information to the database or correct an error. All submissions will be subject to review and must include the following information:

  • Your name, address, email address.
  • The soldier, town, or company you would like to add to the database.
  • Primary-source documentation such as government documents or first-hand accounts that confirm your proposed correction or addition. Please provide a full citation as this will be added to the “Note” sections of the new or corrected database entry.

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Patriots of Color

Currently, three patriots of color are identified in the database, including Cato Stedman of Cambridge, Cuff Whittemore of Arlington, and Cato Wood of Arlington. We can identify them as patriots of color as Coburn’s book identifies them as “a negro.” We decided to leave the original terminology of “a negro” in the “notes” section of the database to preserve Coburn’s historical usage of the word. Patriots of color that are added later to the database will be identified as “Black; African American” or “Native American” as these are the preferred terms currently used by the National Park Service.

There is not currently a search function for Patriots of Color in the Minute Man Soldier Search database, so we will list them here as they are identified:

  • Stedman, Cato
  • Whittemore, Cuff
  • Wood, Cato

Click here to learn more about Patriots of Color on the Minute Man National Historical Park website.

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