George Eager

Surgeon’s Mate George Eager, Bedel’s New Hampshire Rangers

George Eager was born around 1746. At the start of the American Revolution, he was a resident of Orford, New Hampshire.  

            George Eager was appointed as a Surgeon’s Mate in Colonel Timothy Bedel’s Regiment, also known as Bedel’s New Hampshire Rangers, on January 22, 1776. He appears on the Rolls of the regiment until July of 1776. Most of the regiment was captured at The Battle of The Cedars in May of 1776, but were exchanged for British soldiers captured during the Canadian campaign eight days later. With the ending of the enlistments of the soldiers, the regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1777 at Coos, New Hampshire.

            In the Winter of 1777/1778, the Continental Congress threatened to invade Canada again with John Stark to command the expedition. Congress authorized Colonel Bedel to raise a regiment from the inhabitants of the Connecticut River valley for service in the invasion. The enlistments started in December of 1777. As such, on December 15, 1777, Dr. George Eager was appointed as Surgeon for the Regiment. The invasion never was realized and the Regiment was disbanded when the enlistments ran out in March of 1778.

            Later in 1778, the idea of an invasion of Canada was again proffered with Major General Lafayette in command this time. Colonel Bedel again raised a Regiment for this purpose. Dr. George Eager was also the Surgeon for this Regiment. This Regiment was sent to New York where it served. This Regiment continued in existence until March of 1779 when enlistments again ran out. No further records listing Surgeon Eager’s service have been found, but he lists that he served until June 1783 in his service pension (S3316) which was approved April 23, 1818. When he made his application for this pension he was a resident of Manlius, Onondaga County, New York.

Sources: Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army (Baltimore, 1914), 209; The State of New Hampshire, Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, Volume XIV: 1775 to May , 1777, (Concord, 1885), 552, 591; Albert S. Batchellor, The ranger service in the upper valley of the Connecticut, and the most northerly regiment of the New Hampshire militia in the period of the revolution, (Concord, 1903); Selected Wartime Service Records of Surgeon George Eager.