New Interpretive Sign
The Arnold Expedition Historical Society has erected a new trail sign at West Carry Pond on Arnold Point.
On 16 May members of the Society gathered for trail clearing along the Arnold Trail from the Kennebec River to West Carry Pond. This maintenance happens every spring to help keep the Trail clean and user friendly through the summer months. Every season we always strive to refresh our signage and add new signs that will enhance the overall education of the public as they hike these trails.
Getchells Powder Horn
A picture of the original horn was provided by John Getchell”s relative who let me have the copy of the photo so that it could be published in the Blog. If you can magnify the picture you can see part of the Horn that has Getchells name and the inscription of Vasselboro Maine where the Getchells were from. The scene depicted on the powder horn resembles that of the Boston Massacre but that is only a guess on my part. It could be of another incident related more closely to their family history .
The list of Getchell relatives that that were hired to scout for the Expedition are as follows: Dennis Getchell, John Getchell and Nehemiah Getchell. They were all from Vasselboro ,Maine including Samuel Berry . John Horn, Isaac Hull, Nathan Parlin, John McCurdy, Luke Sawyer, Christopher Jacquin and John Marsh rounded out the total number of Guides hired by Arnold. Hull was from Waterville , Parlin from Noridgewock , McCurdy from Bristol Maine , Sawyer from Noridgewock , Jacquin from Ticonoc Falls ( Waterville) , and Marsh from Ripley, Maine.
It is obvious that the Expedition recruited man power as it advanced into the wilderness. Not only these guides but also soldiers . In several cases the mans name is listed without a home town but the area lived in is usually mentioned as Maine. The actual body count of volunteers ebbed and flowed as the troops moved onward to Quebec.
Joseph Kirks Grave
Joseph Kirk was the second casualty of The Expedition on 13 October 1775. While helping to clear the Great Carry from the Kennebec to the first pond (East Carry) a tree fell on him from either high winds or from a tree that had been cut by one of his mates during the clearing process. He was transported from the high ridge to the Rivers edge where he expired the next morning. He was buried in a shallow grave on the interval of the Kennebec.
In 1925 clearing for the Wyman Dam was begun and several cemeteries were being relocated to the Moscow burial ground. Kirk’s grave was exhumed from its original location on the interval and placed in that cemetery.
Kirk was a member of Wards Company and listed from Maine but no town is identified.He could have been from a small town that was located along the route of March which was not uncommon during the Expedition.
The BDA ROCK
The Famous Rock in the Farmers Field
The BDA Rock still exists. Found in the town of Solon,Maine this summer (2015)
It has turned into one of the largest finds of the Arnold Expedition in the last 239 years. If this inscription proves to be as old as The Expedition it may open new doors into the past . Applying Rubbing techniques that have been used on old grave stones will give us a much clearer picture of the numbers and letters that are scratched into the ledge. Maybe even a lead into who was responsible for the carving.
New AEHS-sponsored Sign In Place
The first of what will be several new roadside signs sponsored by the AEHS is in place. On September 27th, members installed the granite posts and metal bracket that holds the sign which arrived from the manufacturer in a few weeks later.
Hospital Site Artifacts Being Treated
Artifacts recovered from the site of Benedict Arnold’s log hospital on the Great Carrying Place in Maine are currently being treated by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and should be ready for display at the Colburn House State Historic Site this summer.
The cast iron kettle (at left) has been treated with a solution of Tannic acid to remove the rust and give it a protective coating. Each piece of the kettle (there are 19 in all) was given several treatments.
The kettle was originally 8-1/2 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter at the mouth. Several of the pieces were found in the remnants of a small, stone-lined firepit. Why the kettle was shattered and the pieces cast about in an area about 100 feet across is a mystery.
The kettle shown below is very similar to the one being treated. There is no evidence of legs on the Arnold example but it may have had them and those pieces have yet to be found. Nothing that apperas to have been part of a handle was discovered either.
Click here to see the rare Massachusetts uniform button found nearby.
Rare Uniform Button Discovered
Among the artifacts recovered from the site of Benedict Arnold’s log hospital on the Great Carrying Place in Maine is a pewter military button in surprisingly good condition for having spent 236 years underground.
Military artist, author and collector Don Troiani has identified it as one of the thousands of buttons issued in 1775 by the Massachusetts Colonial government. While these were cast with numbers for use by separate regiments of the Grand Army of Massachusetts, the outbreak of warfare forced the colony to issue the coats that bore them hurriedly, without regard to which units got which numbers.
The coats became known as “Bounty Coats” as they served as an incentive or bounty to induce men to enlist. The third Massachusetts did not take part in Arnold’s March to Quebec in 1775, but several men from Massachusetts did individually.
To learn more about the Massachusetts bounty coats of 1775, read this 1999 article by Henry M Cooke, click here.
New Book About Arnold’s March Available
Voices from a Wilderness Expedition: The Journals and Men of Arnold’s Expedition to Quebec in 1775
by Stephen Darley
The purpose of Voices from a Wilderness Expedition is to reawaken the now silent voices of the brave men who made the historic 1775 march through the Maine wilderness with Benedict Arnold to attack Quebec and conquer Canada. This book is not a chronological history of that expedition, but rather offers details and new information about the lives of the men who participated and, equally important, the journals that chronicled the hardships of the march. It provides significant new information on both the men and the journals that has never been published.
The book features:
First ever bibliography of all printings of thirty journals written by the participants
Three newly discovered journals found in the University of Glasgow Library
Two other journals written by privates and never published before
New biographical information on seven lesser known officers
Examination of the career of Col. Roger Enos whose three companies left the expedition early and returned to Cambridge
Identification of the elusive Captain Scott, a previously unknown company commander
Transcription of the 2nd Isaac Senter journal
Comprehensive roster of the names and biographical details of 1125 officers and men who enlisted on the expedition
Stephen Darley has a law degree from George Washington University and owned his own real estate development and construction firm from 1972 until he retired in 2009. Mr. Darley has a thirty year interest in Benedict Arnold and the history of the Revolutionary War, as well as an extensive collection of Arnold books, prints, ephemera and rarities.
Mr. Darley has written a number of articles on Benedict Arnold, the Revolutionary War and other subjects for various publications. Three articles regarding Benedict Arnold have been published in Early America Review and the on-line magazine, Cry Havoc, published two of his articles. He also wrote a 2006 article for the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution on-line magazine and three of his articles on authors were published by Firsts Magazine. Darley recently completed extensive research on the sixteen vessels and their commanders in the Battle of Valcour Island, which may be found on the Historic Lakes web site. In 2010, Darley co-authored a bio-bibliography of Rafael Sabatini published by Oak Knoll Press.
Mr. Darley is a member of the New Haven Museum and Historical Society and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. He lives in North Haven, Connecticut with his wife Peggy.
New Book About Reuben Colburn Available
Patriot on the Kennebec: Major Reuben Colburn, Benedict Arnold and the March to Quebec, 1775
by Mark York
From the back cover
In late 1775, a few months after the first shots of the Revolution were fired, Benedict Arnold led more than one thousand troops into Quebec to attack the British there. Departing from Massachusetts, by the time they reached Pittston, Maine, they were in desperate need of supplies and equipment to carry them the rest of the way. Many patriotic Mainers contributed, including Major Reuben Colburn, who constructed a flotilla of bateaux for the weary troops. Despite his service in the Continental army, many blamed Colburn when several of the vessels did not withstand the harsh journey. In this narrative, the roles played by Colburn and his fellow Mainers in Arnold’s march are reexamined and revealed.
About the author: Mark A. York is a journalist, biologist and novelist. He has worked as a carpenter, actor, and fisheries biologist all over the West and Alaska, and was a full-time reporter at The Livingston Enterprise in Livingston, Montana. He has written a blog that focuses on environmental issues since 2003 and wrote special projects in 2011 for the Idaho Mountain Express in Ketchum, Idaho where he resides. He is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild.
See it on Amazon.com
2011 Great Carrying Place Artifact Discoveries
On August 20, eleven AEHS members went up to the Great Carrying Place in the Maine wilderness to search for the site of the log hospital built by Arnold’s men in October 1775. Traveling back to the general area of a site that the group located in 1974, the party began locating artifacts almost immediately. Before they called it a day, they had located dozens of artifacts from the location of a major campsite used by the expedition.
Among the highlights are a pewter spoon, pocket knife, uniform button, polling axe, musket balls, nails, an English half-penny, a small part of a musket and several pieces of a large cast iron cook kettle that were found in a campfire pit.