Isaac Frye

Major Isaac Frye, 1st and 3rd Regiments, N.H. Continental Line – Original Member

Isaac Frye was born in 1743 in Wilton, New Hampshire. When Colonel James Reed’s 3rd New Hampshire Regiment was organized in June of 1775, Isaac Frye was appointed as Quarter Master of the Regiment. He served in this position at the Battle of Bunker Hill. On January 1, 1776, Isaac Frye was commissioned as a Captain in the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment, Continental Line. During the Continental Army’s encampment at Valley Forge, Captain Frye is listed as a Company Commander in 3rd New Hampshire Regiment. He is further listed as “Present” from December 1777-May 1778, but in June 1778 he is listed as “Sick at Valley Forge.”

The 3rd New Hampshire Regiment was ordered disbanded on January 1, 1781, based on Congress prescribing a new arrangement for the Continental Army on 3 October 1780 that dictated there be just two regiments from New Hampshire, rather than three. Washington’s general orders of November 1, 1780, conveyed this arrangement to the army. The officers of the three New Hampshire regiments met and agreed on who would continue to serve and who would agreeably retire based on this new arrangement; this resulted in several officers from the 3rd Regiment continuing service by moving to the 1st or 2nd Regiments of the New Hampshire Continental Line. Captain Frye was one of these officers and he transferred to the 1st New Hampshire Regiment. He was breveted a Major by Congress on 27 November 1783.

At the close of the Revolution, Major Isaac Frye was elected as one of the 30 Original Members of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire on February 5, 1784 (signing the covenant as Captain, perhaps out of habit, or perhaps the news of his higher rank had not reached him). He died on November 3, 1791.

Of note is that a four volume set on the life of Captain Isaac Frye has been recently published: The War has Begun (Duty in the Cause of Liberty) by Charles E. Frye.

Sources: Frederic Kidder, History of the First New Hampshire Regiment in the War of the Revolution (Albany, 1868), 115; Selected Wartime Service Records of Captain Isaac Frye.