Major Gideon Brownson, Warner’s Additional Continental Regiment
Gideon was the 5th of 10 children (4th son) born of Timothy Brownson (1701-1766) and his wife Abigail Jenner (1707-1784). Gideon’s siblings were: Hulda (1730-1783/4), Amos (1732-1815), Timothy (1734-1789 or 1798), Richard (1737-1790), Nathan (1741 or 1742-1796), Elizabeth (1743 or 1744-1761/2), Asa (1745 or 1746-1831), Eli (1748-1830), and Abigail (1750-1843).
During the French and Indian War (1755-1763), Gideon served in at least two Campaigns. In the Campaign of 1758, he entered the service, April 8th, as a Private in Captain Samuel Elmor’s Ninth Company, Colonel David Wooster’s Fourth Connecticut Regiment under the overall command of Major General James Abercromby, Commander-in-Chief of the King’s forces in North America. During that Campaign, Gideon was promoted to the rank of Corporal and served in that capacity until discharged, November 12, 1758. In the Campaign of 1759, Gideon served, from March 27th until discharged on December 2nd, as a Sergeant in Captain Gideon Stoddard’s Tenth Company, Colonel Nathan Whiting’s Second Connecticut Regiment under the overall command of Major General (Sir) Jeffery Amherst.
Gideon married, April 16, 1761 at Salisbury, Litchfield County, Colony of Connecticut, Cornelia White (1740-1817) by whom he had 6 children (2 sons and 4 daughters): Isaac (1762-1832), Olive (b. 1769), John White (1774-1824), Annice (1776-1851), Cornelia Caroline (1778-1828/9), and Mary Brownson (b. 1782).
Gideon moved from Salisbury, Litchfield County, Colony of Connecticut to Sunderland on the New Hampshire Grants (now in Bennington County, Vermont) in 1766 where he became one of eight of the first settlers in that permanent settlement. Gideon was Sunderland’s first Town Clerk being elected at the first regular freeman’s meeting of record, 1769. Gideon was again elected Town Clerk in 1770.
Following notification of the taking of Fort Ticondeoga, May 10, 1775, and becoming alarmed that the British intended to mount an attack from the Province of Quebec, the Continental Congress of the Associated Colonies meeting in Philadelphia resolved and ordered the raising of an American Continental Army. The Province of New York was ordered to raise four Regiments to give protection to it’s inhabitants and to be employed as part of that army. On June 24, 1775, the Continental Congress directed that one of those four Regiments be the “Green Montain Boys” under such officers as they shall chuse. Representatives of the several Towns on the New Hampshire Grants met in Dorset on July 27th and elected that Regiment’s Officers. Seth Warner of Bennington was elected Lieutenant Colonel and Gideon Brownson was elected Captain to command the Regiment’s 5th Company to be raised from Sunderland and vicinity. Captain Brownson and his company served with the Northern Army in the 1775 Canada Campaign until their enlistments expired in the later part of the year and they returned home.
On January 6, 1776, six days after the failed attack on Quebec City and the death of General Richard Montgomery, commander of the American Army in Canada, Seth Warner was pleaded to for immediate assistance. Warner reformed the “Green Mountain Corps” for 3 months service under his command with Companies of soldiers and their officers hailing from the New Hampshire Grants, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Albany and Charlotte Counties in north-eastern New York. Captain Gideon Brownson commanded one of those Companies. His Company marched to St. Johns, Montreal, and then to Quebec City arriving there in late February or early March. They remained before Quebec City until the American Army’s retreat to southern Lake Champlian in mid-May 1776 where they were discharged. Gideon was back home in Sunderland by Tuesday, May 28th.
In the later part of June 1776, meeting in General Convention, the Deligates from the Towns on the New Hampshire Grants called up three Militia Companies for about 30 days (June 29th to July 29th) to protect the Frontiers of the Grants. Those Companies were commanded by Captains Gideon Brownson, Ebenezer Allen, and Benjamin Hickok respectively. The Detachment was under the overall command of Captain Brownson.
The Continental Congress passed a resolution on July 5, 1776 that an independant Regiment be raised out of the Officers who served in Canada. Enlistments were to be for at least three years or the Duration of the War. Seth Warner was appointed Colonel, Samuel Safford was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Gideon Brownson was appointed one of the Regiment’s eight Captains. The Regiment served in the American Northern Department (The New Hampshire Grants and north-eastern New York) until being decommissioned on January 1, 1782. In 1777, the Regiment was at Fort Ticonderoga until its fall to the British in early July. The Regiment then served as the Army’s Rear Guard on its retreat through the New Hampshire Grants to Manchester. During this retreat it was engaged in the Battle of Hubbardton. On August 16, 1777 it was engaged in the Battle of Bennington where Gideon was wounded. The Regiment was present at the surrender of the British Army under the command of General Burgoyne at Saratoga.
From early 1778 until about mid-summer, when Colonel Warner’s Regiment was ordered into New York State, Captain Gideon Brownson commanded about 40 men from Warner’s Regiment and the augmenting Militia units sent to defend and garrison Fort Ranger at Rutland and it’s dependancies on the Vermont Frontiers. In February 1779, he was ordered to return to Rutland with his Company and resume the mission and command that he had left the year before. In mid-April 1779, Gideon and his Company were again ordered into New York State. By early July 1779, Colonel Warner’s Regiment had a subaltern and 15 men at Bennington, a Company of 34 Rangers at Saratoga, and the rest at Fort George at the southern end of Lake George under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Safford. In mid-July, Gideon accompanied a party from Fort George down Lake George to Fourteen Mile Island on a huckleberry gathering and fishing expedition where they were they were, on July 15th, attacked by a scout of twenty-four Indians and three white men. All in the party with Gideon were either killed, wounded or taken prisioner. Wait Hopkins, the Regiment’s Major was killed, and Gideon was wounded, taken prisioner and taken to Canada where he remained in captivity until exchanged at Skenesborough (now Whitehall, Washington County), New York in September 1781. While in captivity, Gideon was promoted to Major in Colonel Warner’s Regiment effective July 15, 1779.
On February 26, 1782, the Vermont General Assembly proceeded to elect a Major to command the State Troops to be raised for the ensuing campaign. Gideon Brownson was elected and served as Major Commandant of the Vermont Battalion (Regiment) raised during 1782 (March 26th to November 6th, 1782).
Gideon was the Town of Sunderland’s Representative to the Vermont General Assembly in 1786 and 1788-1791. He was elected Side Judge (Assistant Judge) for the subsequent year of the Bennington County Court, November 26, 1783, October 18, 1791, October 16, 1792, October 16, 1793 and October 14, 1794.
Gideon Brownson was issued Bounty Land Warrant No. 72 for two hundred acres of bounty land on February 14, 1793. His name appears on a list of applicants for invalid pensions returned by the District of Vermont, submitted to the House of Representatives by the Secretary of War on May 22, 1794 -Rank: Major; Regiment: Colonel Seth Warner; Disability: Received thirteen gunshot wounds, Viz. one through his left shoulder at the Battle of Bennington, August 1777, and the others in different parts of his body in an action with savages on Fourteen Mile Island, in Lake George, July 1779.
On October 19, 1795, the Grand Committee, the Vermont General Assembly meeting with the Governor and Council, appointed Gideon Brownson Brigadier General of the First Brigade, Second Division, Vermont Militia, an office that he held until his death.
(1) “Genealogy of one Branch of the Richard Brownson Family, 1631-1951” by Ernest Ray Brownson, 1951, pages 14a, and 34-35
(2) “Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French and Indian War, 1755-1762 – Volume II. 1758-1762.” by the Connecticut Historical Society, 1905, pages 4, 74, 83-84, 100, 126, & 142-143
(3) “The Vermont Historical Gazetteer:” Vol. I., by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1867, pages 238-239
(4) “History of Bennington County, Vt.” by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1889, pages 63 & 469-471
(5) “The State of Vermont Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783” by John E. Goodrich, 1904, pages 7-10, 107-110, 133, 239, 592, 613, 623-625, 635-638, 668-670, 676-677, 680, 730, 755-759, 762-767, 770, 774, 776-777, 779, 788, 791, 799, 810, 813-816, 828, 831, & 836-837
(6) “Records of the Council of Safety and Governor and Council of the State of Vermont” Vol. I. (1775-1777), by E. P. Walton, 1873, pages 6-8, 35, 160, 258, 267, 272, 290, 293, 295, & 300-301
(7) “Journal of the Rev. Ammi R. Robbins, A Chaplain in The American Army in the Northern Campaign of 1776” published at New Haven, 1850. pages 20-27
(8) “Journals and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont 1781-1783” Vol. 3, Part II State Papers of Vermont, by Walter H. Crockett, 1925, pages 48-50, 54, 56, 81, & 86
(9) “Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont” Vol. III. (1782-1791), by E. P. Walton, 1875, pages 4, 34, 38, 171-172, 189, 210, 273, 362, 370-371, 375, & 501-502
(10) “Journals and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont 1791-1792” Vol. 3 Part V State Papers of Vermont, by John A. Williams, 1970, pages 3, 15, 19, 114 & 142
(11) “Journals and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont 1793-1794” Vol. 3 Part VI State Papers of Vermont, by John A. Williams, 1972, pages 28 & 158
(12) US Federal Land Bounty Warrant Record File No. BLWT72-200
(13) “Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont” Vol. IV. (1791-1804), by E. P. Walton, 1876, pages 94 & 405
Abstracted from a biography posted on FindAGrave