Benjamin McDonald a Soldier of the American Revolution

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Benjamin McDonald a Soldier of the American Revolution

1776 Project
... ... ... ... served with Virginia Line during the American Revolution.
SAR insignia
... ... ... is an NSSAR Patriot Ancestor.
NSSAR Ancestor #: P44836
Rank: Private

Note: This Sticker also adds the Patriot to the American Revolution Veterans Category.

Note: To view Benjamin McDonald's Life, Family, Descendants, and Travels click on Benjamin McDonald Documents or Benjamin McDonald's profile.

The goal of this project is to share information and documentation of Benjamin McDonald's Revolutionary War History.

Private Benjamin McDonald served the entire Revolutionary War both on the New Jersey and the Virginia Continental Lines.

Oct. 12th, 1775 - PHILADELPHIA, IN THE following resolutions from the Journal of Congress, first call on New Jersey for Continental Troops:

Continental Congress approving on November 4, 1775 to increase the Continental Army by 4 Regiments in New Jersey.

While living with his family in Monmouth County, Freehold, New Jersey on Nov. 18, 1775 Benjamin McDonald was the third person to sign up on the 1st NJ Continental Line commanded by Alexander Sterling and Elias Longstreets.

Benjamin McDonald Enlisted on the NJ Line Nov. 18, 1775

As above the battalion's were stationed at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. They were joined at Elizabeth Town, April 28th, 1776 and left for New York on the next day. On May 1, 1776 First Battalion, sailed in sloops for Albany. Colonel Elias Dayton reported to Brigadier General John Sullivan, of New Hampshire. During the remainder of the year, they were stationed at Johnstown, German Flats, Fort Dayton, Fort Schuyler, Ticonderoga, and Mount Independence.

Official Register

With the reorganization of the Continental Army of September 17, 1776 the 1st New Jersey Brigade was commanded by General William Maxwell (Maxwell Brigade) and Col. Colonel Mathias Ogden.

Reorganization of the New Jesery Line General William Maxwell (Maxwell Brigade) and Col. Colonel Mathias Ogden.

Sullivan Division

On several occasions one or more of the regiments of the New Jersey Brigade were detached for special service. This first occurred in August 1777 when the 1st and 3rd Regiments were left near Elizabeth town, New Jersey, later taking part in the attack led by General John Sullivan on British-held Staten Island. During the same month the 2nd and 4th Regiments continued with Washington's main army, taking part in the encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; the four regiments were reunited in September 1777.

September 1777 - May 1778 Maxwell Brigade New Jersey Line, Valley Forge Winter Camp.

Valley Forge Muster Roll
September 1777 - May 1778 Maxwell Brigade New Jersey Line Valley Forge Winter Camp
September 1777 - May 1778 Valley Forge Encampment Map showing General William Maxwell Brigade
September 1777 - May 1778 Maxwell Brigade New Jersey Line Valley Forge Winter Camp
September 1777 - May 1778 Maxwell Brigade New Jersey Line Valley Forge Winter Camp

There are many discrepancies among the New Jersey Continental Line Muster and Pay Rolls:

1. The most important is when Benjamin McDonald was listed under Capt. Peter Voorhier's as a "Deserter" and then under Capt. John Polhamus as "Sick/Absent and a Deserter" 

Private Benjn McDonald as in "War" and in the Remarks: "DESERTED JANUARY"

2.  All the while Benjamin McDonald  served under Col. Ephriam Martin and Capt. John Forman of the 4th New Jersey Regiment.

NJ Line Muster Roll Showing Benjamin McDonald was not a Deserter.

3. When Muster Rolls were taken Benjamin McDonald was listed as serving in the war or during the war on all lines. 

4. On the 1781 Chesterfield County Virginia Court House Size Roll shows Benjamin McDonald correcting his status of Deserter to Enlisted as serving during war in Monmouth, New Jersey. Through this Size Roll is how Benjamin was traced to New Jersey before enlisting on the Virginia Line and eventually settling in Winchester, Virginia.

How I Traced Benjamin McDonald to the New Jersey Continental Line

To view full timeline, muster and payroll of Benjamin McDonald go to the 1780 New Jersey Continental Line

July 5, 1780 - Why did Benjamin McDonald enlist on the VA Continental Line while serving on the NJ Continental Line? Founders

Per letter to George Washington from William Lord Stirling Alexander, 24 March 1780

Dear Sir Baskingridge March 24th 1780
I duly received your Excellency’s letter of the 22d accompanied by a Extract of a letter from Govr Livingston with twelve Copies of the Act for recruiting the Number of Men therein Mentioned within this State. I immediately requested all the field Officers in Camp belonging to the three Jersey Regiments to meet General Maxwell at his Qrs in order to fix upon twelve of the most proper Officers to Carry the Law into Execution in the different Counties of this State, which they were to finish yesterday Evening. In the Mean time I drew up the enclosed Instructions, twelve Copies of which were finished and sent with the Laws to Colonel Barber who has promised me to fill up the Blanks and to see the recruiting parties sent of in the best Manner and as soon as possible. I expect they will all be off tomorrow if the weather permits. I hope your Excellency will find the Instructions as explicit as you intended. As soon as I get from Colonel Barber the Return of the Officers Names & Ranks, and the different Counties they are sent to, I will forward it to your Excellency. I have the Honor to be your Excellency’s Most Humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.

July 5, 1780 Virginia Recruiters signed up Benjamin to serve on the VA Continental Line but stayed with the New Jersey Line until after the Battle of Yorktown, VA. After the Battle of Yorktown Benjamin served under Peter Muhlenburg of the Virgina Line as a Guard at the Hessian Barracks located in Winchester, Virginia where he settled.

July 5, 1780 Virginia Continental Army Certification of the bearer Benjamin McDonald enlisted as a Drummer

For Benjamin's Service for the entire War he was awarded Land Grants in Ohio and in Virginia. The Land Grants in Ohio Benjamin sold one and the other was put back in the pot to give to another Solider. Benjamin did use the Land Grants received in Virginia to settle in Gore, Virgina.

To view Benjamin McDonald's History and Documentation on New Jersey Line go to:

1780 New Jersey Continental Line

To view Benjamin McDonald's History and Documentation on the Virginia Continental Line go to:

Benjamin McDonald Family History

To view copies of Benjamin McDonald's VA Land Grants, Census and Taxes please click on link and scroll to bottom:

Benjamin McDonald Family History]


  • Garland, Melissa. Tracing the Life and Service of Benjamin McDonald a Soldier of the American Revolution (Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press Inc, 2018), np.

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Memories: 1
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Did you know while Benjamin McDonald resided in Monmouth New Jersey and served on the NJ Continental Line he was one of the Original Signers of the Monmouth Article of Association?


"The Monmouth patriots were forced to take action against traitors in their midst. Hence it is that there has come down to us a document, which while it adds to the history of the county a valuable chapter, is also a roll of honor for the descendants of those who thus banded themselves together in their country's defense. It was in the spring of the year 1780 that the patriots of Monmouth, tried beyond measure by repeated outrages and robberies, and realizing the assistance the non-combatant Tories still living unmolested in their midst were rendering the refugees, Tories and pine robbers, resolved on redress by retaliation.

The document which follows is unique, and of the 436 names subscribed nearly one-half served either in the Continental Army or in the Monmouth Militia before the war was concluded. Every part of the county was represented, and the Committees of Safety of the various townships are represented among the names of those who were not only willing to associate but also to have that fact advertised in the New Jersey Gazette.

To view the entire Monmouth Associators and the MONMOUTH Articles of Association click on link and scroll to just about the very bottom of page.

posted 19 Apr 2017 by Anonymous McDonald   [thank Anonymous]
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