During the Revolutionary War Winter encampment (1778-1779) at Camp Reading, Joseph Johnson was furloughed on December 25, 1778 for 30 days. He was also listed as, "on Detachment," during the months of February, March, and April of 1779. More information is needed to determine what he was doing while on detached service, but there may be a hint in his sister, Faith (Watrous) Isham's affidavit when she applied for a pension for her husband, Isaac Isham's Revolutionary War service. She mentions that her husband Isaac Isham, and brother Joseph Johnson, drove wagons from, "Colchester to headquarters of the army at Hartford and in the neighboring Country." This service lasted several months, it's just hard to determine the dates when this actually took place. He may have been transporting food/clothing/military supplies for the army while on detached service?
Colonel John Durkee's Fourth Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Line, along with the Third Connecticut, Sixth Connecticut, and Eighth Connecticut Regiments of the Continental Line were part of General Samuel Parson's First Connecticut Brigade. In February 1998, local historians gave us a private tour of the encampment site of Gen. Parson's Brigade, and we were able to fire a musket salute in their honor. An article regarding the preservation of this Revolutionary War Winter encampment site was published in the Spring 1998, Volume XCII, No. 4, issue of the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) Magazine.
"May it please your Excellency. The Sense of the Importance of opposing with Force, ye attempts of Great Britain to enslave our Country, induces us to lay before your Excellency the Condition of that Part of ye Army raised from the State of Connecticut & ye great danger of their disbanding & returning to their several Homes.'
The petition described the living conditions of the Connecticut soldiers, the lack of food, clothing, and money during the Winter encampment.
"wee assure you not less than four hundred are to this Day totally destitute, & no one has received two Blankets according to Contract, nor has more than one half of the Cloathing promised ever been received or any compensation made for ye deficiency, that when they have Coats they are without Breeches, & when they are supplied with Shoes, they have neither Stockings nor Shirts, & at this Inclement Season many of our Men are suffering for want of Blanketts, Shirts, Breeches, Shoes & Stockings, & some are destitute of Coats & Waistcoats."
The Connecticut soldiers are, "naked in a severe Winter, they are hungry & have no money. Wee have promised them redress, wee have assured them of ye good Intentions of their Country towards them, & that Justice was intended & would be done them, but their patience is exhausted & wee shall not be able longer to gain Credit with them."
In closing the Connecticut soldiers asked Gov. Jonathan Trumbull to bring these grievances before the General Assembly, and to address and prevent the desertion of a naked and starving army at Camp Reading.
"Wee beg your Excellency to lay this Representation before ye Assembly & to assure them wee have ye most ardent Desire to assist in our several Stations in reducing that Power which involved our Country in this Cruel War & to promote that Order & decency in ye Soldiery, so necessary to ye Attainment of this End."
Revolutionary War soldiers during the Winter encampment.
Presented by the Gen. Israel Putnam Branch #4, Connecticut SAR (1996-2003).
"A Salute to George Washington," George Washington Bicentennial 1799-1999,
Scatacook District Boy Scout Camporee and Revolutionary War Encampment,
Putnam Memorial State Park, Redding, Connecticut, November 5-7, 1999.
On Wednesday October 5, 2005, the 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia was invited to serve as the Color Guard at the State of Connecticut Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open the new pavilion at Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding, Connecticut.
M. Jodi Rell, Governor of the State of Connecticut, Putnam Memorial State Park, Redding, CT.
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(1999 & 2001)
2. Affidavit of Faith Isham, page 6, Revolutionary War Pension Application of Isaac Isham, R.5491, can be accessed at www.fold3.com.
3. Undisturbed 1778-1779 Patriot Encampment Site Disclosed, Charles A. Couch, The SAR Magazine, The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Spring, 1998, Vol. XCII, No. 4, pages 4-6.
4. American Christian Rulers or Religion and Men of Government, compiled by Rev. Edward J. Giddings, Bromfield & Company, New York, 1890, Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>.
5. The American Revolution A Picture Sourcebook, John Grafton, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1975, page 77.
6. The New England Historical & Genealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal, Volume XXVII, No. 1, January, 1873, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1873, page 58, Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>.
9. Ibid. pages 58-59.
10. Ibid. page 59.
12. The American Revolution A Picture Sourcebook, John Grafton, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1975, page 77.
13. The Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Memorial State Park, Meeting Minutes, November 15, 1997, page 4.
15. *June 28, 2002, The History of the 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia, Living History/Color Guard Unit of the Gen. Israel Putnam Branch #4 of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Raised 1993 & Organized 1995, The First Twenty Five Years, 2019 (unpublished history).
16. The Connecticut Line, Newsletter of The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Inc., September 2001, page 3.