Benjamin Bellows

Brigadier General Benjamin Bellows, Jr., New Hampshire Militia in Continental Service

Benjamin Bellows was born September 25, 1740 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. He was the son of Colonel Benjamin, Sr. and Abigail (Stearns) Bellows.

Benjamin Bellows, Jr. moved with his father to Walpole, New Hampshire in 1753. In March 1759, he was selected as the town clerk at the early age of 19 years. He continued in that office for thirty-six years.

In the years before the Revolution, Benjamin Bellows, Jr. had worked his way up in the New Hampshire Militia. By August 24, 1775, Benjamin, Jr. was already a Major, and was promoted by the New Hampshire Provincial Congress to Colonel with command of a Regiment of Militia.

In October 1776, Colonel Bellows was order to march his regiment to Ticonderoga to reinforce the Continental Army. After twenty-four days service, the Regiment was dismissed with a complimentary letter from Major General Gates. In May 1777, Colonel Bellows Regiment was again called out. This alarm proved false, and the troops were sent home on June 21, 1777. The Regiment had hardly reached home when they were again called out on the actual approach of British troops under Major General Burgoyne. This period of service was June 28th to July 9th. Colonel Bellows’ Regiment was not ordered to join Brigadier General Stark, otherwise it would have taken part in the Battle of Bennington which occurred on August 16, 1777.

On September 21, 1777, Colonel Bellows marched his regiment to reinforce the Continental Army at Saratoga. Colonel Bellows’ Regiment served in Whipple’s Brigade during the battle and was in the filed for twenty-seven days.

In 1780, Colonel Bellows was promoted to Brigadier General in the New Hampshire Militia. On December 25, 1784, he was again commissioned a Brigadier General in the New Hampshire Militia. On June 20, 1786, Brigadier General Bellows was promoted to Major General with command of the First Division of New Hampshire Militia. In 1788, Benjamin Bellows, Jr. was elected to be a member of the Constitutional Ratifying convention in New Hampshire and voted for ratification.

On May 15, 1792, Major General Bellows sent a letter resigning his commissioned to Governor Bartlett, citing his old age. On December 28, 1792, Governor Bartlett re-nominated Bellows, but he declined.

Brigadier General Benjamin Bellows, Jr. died in Walpole, New Hampshire on June 4, 1802.

Sources: Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, (Baltimore, 1914), 98; State of New Hampshire, Provincial and State Papers, Volume VII, (Nashua, 1878), 577; State of New Hampshire, Provincial and State Papers, Volume VIII, (Nashua, 1878), 651; State of New Hampshire, Provincial and State Papers, Volume XV, (Manchester, 1890), 367; State of New Hampshire, Provincial and State Papers, Volume XVIII, (Concord, 1896), 843; Adjutant General for the State of New Hampshire, Adjutant General’s Report for 1866, Volume II, (Concord, 1866), 304; Thomas Bellows Peck, The Bellows Genealogy, Or, John Bellows, the Boy Emigrant of 1635 and His Descendants, (Keene, 1898), 50-61; Selected Wartime Service Records for Brigadier General Benjamin Bellows, Jr.