Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Happy 25th Anniversary Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia (1995-2020)

During the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778, the Connecticut Council of Safety directed Governor Jonathan Trumbull to ask the "company of grenadiers at Woodstock, Pomfret and Killingly to exert and distinguish themselves on this occasion.”[1]

General Israel Putnam served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia prior to the Revolution until early 1775 when he was promoted to General, and given command of the Third Connecticut Regiment of 1775.

Members of the Connecticut Line (Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia Detachment) 
fire a musket salute at the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of General Israel Putnam, 
Brooklyn, Connecticut, September 29, 2018

The 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia was formed in October 1739, and was composed of companies from the towns of Woodstock, Pomfret, and Killingly, Connecticut, with many of the soldiers serving in the Wars against the French. During the years leading up to the American Revolution, the 11th Regiment added a Troop of Horse in 1773 (the 11th’s Troop of Horse, commanded by Captain Samuel McClellan, would be reorganized in 1776 along with the 5th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd as the 4th Regiment of Connecticut Light Horse commanded by Major Ebenezer Backus. The 4th Light Horse would “faithfully serve” near New York from September 8 to November 2, 1776.), and a Company of Grenadiers in 1774 (This Company of Grenadiers in the year 1778 would be asked by Governor Jonathan Trumbull, “to Exert and Distinguish themselves” during the Battle of Rhode Island).

Men of the 11th Regiment saw action in the 1st, 7th & 8th companies of Putnam’s 3rd Connecticut Regiment at Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston during 1775; as the 11th Regiment, 5th Militia Brigade in Putnam’s Division during the Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776; retreated with the army into New Jersey, September 20, 1776; in Bergen, New Jersey, September 23, 1776; at Fort Constitution October 3, 1776; and while answering numerous alarms in Connecticut and Rhode Island throughout the War. Men of the 11th Regiment also enlisted and served in the Continental Line. The Troop of Horse, Grenadiers, and Militia of the 11th Regiment continued to train annually up to around the year 1840 when the old Connecticut militia regiments were disbanded.

Happy 25th Anniversary


Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia
Company of Grenadiers

Living History/Color Guard Unit of the Gen. Israel Putnam Branch #4 CTSSAR, 
A Detachment of the Connecticut Line, Living History/Color Guard Unit
of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Members of the Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia display their 20 year old faded and torn Regimental Standard following the Winter 2020 Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Line CTSSAR 

Putnam's Eleventh Regiment of Connecticut Militia has the honor of being the oldest continuous running Living History/Color Guard Unit in the Connecticut SAR. From its inception in July 1993, its organization in May 1995, its co-founding of the NSSAR New England District's New England Contingent of SAR Color Guards/Living History Units with the New Hampshire Rangers NHSSAR in 1998/1999, and finally as a co-founder of the re-organized CTSSAR State Living History/Color Guard Unit, The Connecticut Line with the Wolcott and Huntington Detachments in 2005.

Members of the Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia CTSSAR and the 
New Hampshire Rangers NHSSAR (co-founders of The New England Contingent SAR) 
at the 110th Annual Congress of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2000

Signed photo from M. Jodi Rell, Governor of the State of Connecticut (2004-2011)
The 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia served as the Color Guard at the State of Connecticut Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open the new pavilion at Putnam Memorial State Park, 
Redding, Connecticut, October 5, 2005

I was present at the Eleventh Regiment's inception when the concept was first proposed in July 1993, and at its organization in May 1995. I have also served as its original Captain for the past quarter century (I wonder if that's a record for an SAR branch living history/color guard commander?).

(1st version) Regimental Standard of the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment (1995-1998)

Since there are no surviving examples of Connecticut militia flags carried during the American Revolution, we based both the 1st version and 2nd version on General Israel Putnam's "Scarlet Standard," of the Third Connecticut Regiment of 1775. It was a safe compromise since the Third's 1st, 7th and 8th companies were composed of members of the Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia. Our current  standard (3rd version) is still painted on scarlet material, but with Connecticut's Armorial Bearings painted on both sides. It's based more on the letter written on April 23, 1775, describing the Connecticut militia answering the Lexington Alarm, "we shall by night have several thousands from this Colony on their march. . . . . We fix on our Standards and Drums the Colony arms with the motto 'qui transtulit sustinet,' round it in letters of gold, which we construe thus: 'God, who transplanted us hither, will support us.' "[2]

(2nd version) Regimental Standard of the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment (1998-2000)
Members of the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment baptized the 2nd version of our Regimental Standard on Prospect Hill at the Citadel in Somerville, Massachusetts

[July 18, 1775]

"Last Tuesday morning, July 18th, according to orders issued the day before by Major-General Putnam, all the Continental Troops under his immediate command assembled at Prospect Hill, when the Declaration of the necessity for taking up arms of the Continental Congress was read; after which an animated and pathetick address to the Army was made by the Rev. Mr. Leonard, Chaplain to General Putnam's Regiment, and succeeded by a pertinent prayer, when General Putnam gave the signal, and the whole Army shouted their loud amen by three cheers, immediately upon which a cannon was fired from the fort, and the standard lately sent to General Putnam was exhibited flourishing in the air, bearing on one side this motto, "Appeal to Heaven," and on the other side, "Qui Transtulit Sustinet." The whole was conducted with the utmost decency, good order, and regularity, and the universal acceptance of all present; and the Philistines on Bunker Hill "heard the shout of the Israelites, and, being very fearful, paraded themselves in battle array."[3]

General George Washington also raised the Grand Union flag for the first time on Prospect Hill during the Siege of Boston, January 1, 1776.[4]

(3rd version) Regimental Standard of the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment (2000-2020)

Our 3rd version was painted to Commemorate the 225th Anniversary of the 
Lexington Alarm (1775) and it was baptized on the 23 mile historic march from 
Brooklyn, Connecticut to the Massachusetts border in April 2000

Our new 4th version (May 2020) was painted to commemorate our 25th year anniversary!

The following photo album, a brief glimpse at some of the 600+ events that the Eleventh Regiment of Connecticut Militia has participated in over the past 25 years promoting the history and ideals of the American Revolution throughout Connecticut, New England, and beyond. 

Three Huzzahs to the members of the Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia!

Huzzah!  Huzzah!  Huzzah!

General Israel Putnam's Eleventh Regiment Connecticut Militia 1775-1783 wooden sign that we used to display at our Revolutionary War encampment sites in the late 1990s and early 2000s.



Revolutionary War educational programs for home schools and public schools, history fairs, libraries, churches, Revolutionary War encampments/reenactments and historical events, toy soldier painting and history workshops, and for 8 years we held a Revolutionary War Exhibit in honor of George Washington's Birthday at the New England Civil War Museum (1996) and the Old State House (1997-2003).


Revolutionary War reenactments and encampments (participating in many of the 225th/230th/240th and now 250th anniversary events commemorating the American Revolution).


Parades, patriot grave marking ceremonies, Revolutionary War historical commemorations


1) The Public Records of the State of Connecticut, from May, 1778, to April, 1780, inclusive, with the Journal of the Council of Safety from May 18, 1778, to April 23, 1780, and an Appendix, Charles J. Hoadley, LL.D., Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, Hartford, 1895, page 102.
2) Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution, Adjutants-General, Hartford, 1889, page 4.
3) American Archives: Fourth Series, containing a Documentary History of the English Colonies in North America, from the King's Message to Parliament, of March 7, 1774, to the Declaration of Independence by the United States, Volume II, Peter Force, M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force, Washington, October 1839, page 1687, Digitized by Google, Google books, <>.
4) The Continental "Great Union' Flag, Alfred Morton Cutler, City of Somerville, Massachusetts School Committee, Somerville, Massachusetts, United States of America, 1929.


  1. What a great showing. I was not involved in the earlier events but I really enjoyed being involved with the color guard. The friendship I had with the members will always be remembered with the love of history with the Connecticut Line.

  2. Todd did a great job of presenting the life of the American Revolutionary War soldiers and the amount of time involved cannot be duplicated. Due to family medical issues I was unable to participate in chapter events but always remember the great time I had while I was able to do so. George Crede/

  3. Thanks to Todd, Lee and Randy we all have a far better understanding of what it means to be an American. History teaches patriotism, may we never forget! God Bless America! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡²
    Dan Ellis Dudley, 1st Sergeant
    The Connecticut Line CTSSAR Color Guard