George Aldrich

Capt. George Aldrich, Whitcomb’s New Hampshire Rangers

George Aldrich was born March 14, 1738 in Walpole, Massachusetts. He was the son of Benjamin and Mary (Shaw) Aldrich. He married Azuba Howe, daughter of Joshua Howe and Lydia Robbins on September 30, 1762.

During the French and Indian War, George Aldrich enlisted as a private in 1758 in Captain Selah Barnard’s Company of Colonel William Williams’ Regiment. In his at least five years of service during this conflict, he was commissioned as a Captain and honed his skills as a Ranger in the wilderness of Northwestern New England.

George Aldrich was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in Captain Hind’s Company of the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment commanded by Colonel James Reed on May 23, 1775. He served at the Battle of Bunker Hill in this capacity. On January 1, 1776, Second Lieutenant Aldrich was promoted to First Lieutenant in the Regiment.

The Continental Congress passed a resolution on October 15, 1776 authorizing the famed Benjamin Whitcomb to raise two independent companies of 50 men each to serve as Rangers in the Continental Army. Whitcomb was to command the first Company himself and be Captain Commandant in overall command of the two companies as well. He was given the freedom to select the Commander of the Second Company and selected George Aldrich who he knew from Rogers’ Rangers. Subsequently, Captain Whitcomb was promoted to Major and this new body of men became known as Major Whitcomb’s Independent Corps of Rangers.

Captain Aldrich commanded his company of Rangers and participated in all their engagements until the unit was disbanded on January 1, 1781.

After the Revolution he was appointed a Brigadier General in the New Hampshire Militia. He served as a State Senator from 1807 to 1810. Captain George Aldrich died July 17, 1815. He is buried in North Cemetery in Westmoreland, New Hampshire.

Sources: Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, (Baltimore, 1914), 65; Robert L. Tonsetic, Special Operations in the American Revolution, (Haverstown, 2013), 106-108; Gravestone; Selected Wartime Service Records of Captain George Aldrich.