French & Indian War:
Thomas served in the provincial militia in 1755 during the French and Indian war. In February 1755 he was involved in a deed with his brother Philip Goss IV in Granville which I will present in a future post. He also served in 1776 in the Revolutionary War.
Thomas Goss shares his experiences:
“…At which period recruits being wanted to act against the French in Canada, the war between them and the English, in the year 1755, I enlisted as a soldier in the provincial service, for a short term, in defense of English liberty; and, with other recruits took my departure from Springfield, under the command of Lt. Jonathan Ball, (afterwards Major).
Notes: There is a Maj Jonathan Ball b. 29 Jun 1729 and died of smallpox 7 March 1760 who is buried in the Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. His gravestone reads: Here lies interr.d the Body of Jonathan Ball Esqr of Granville Major of a Regimment provencial troops who died of ye Smallpox…in the 31st year of his age per Find A Grave Plot Willow Ave 1-24. Could this be the same person that Thomas Goss mentioned above?
Thomas Goss continues to describe his service.
On our arrival at Fort Edward, I was detached, under Major Rogers, commanding a corps of Rangers in that department, to scour the woods in search of war parties of the enemy; and being distinguished as qualified for such excursions, discovering an acquaintance with the woods, as well as a fondness for enterprise; I was immediately ordered to act in capacity of a serjeant, though I never obtained a warrant of that office, nor received, though promised, more wages than a private soldier; being, as is but too frequently the case, defrauded of them by my officers. In piloting scouting parties of our men through the woods was therefore my principal employment; nor did I ever betray the confidence reposed in me; but acted as a faithful guide, and dutiful soldier; not having been guilty of any misdemeanours, for which I now feel the least remorse of conscience.”
Source: Hartford, Nov. 19. The Speech of Thomas Goss, New Hampshire Mercury & General Advisor Vol I LII page 2, December 13, 1785, Genealogy Bank Library version.
I am a bit confused by the above statement from Thomas Goss regarding being made an Serjeant? I am wondering if he is getting these two wars mixed up or he was also made an officer at that time back in 1755. See Revolutionary war information below about the 18th Regiment.
Fort Edward is located in Washington Co., New York below Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain. I actually drove down through New York and visited this area briefly on my Canadian trip in 2014. I turned west at Saratoga Springs.
This date of 1755 refers to the French and Indian War and at that time the French won a string of victories in quick succession. The French were expanding into the Ohio River valley. The History channel’s website gives information about this conflict. Family Search has a Wiki about the French and Indian war. I will write more about it when I talk about Thomas’s grandfather Philip Goss II.
Provincial troops were separate from the militia and were raised by the colonial governors and legislatures for extended operations, or enlisted for specific campaigns and organized anew each spring. Wikipedia’s article on this is very interesting and there are some possibilities of Thomas’s service either in Massachusetts or out of Connecticut, you will have to scroll down to the state area:
I think this link below might be about Major Rogers as mentioned in the above excerpt. This Wikipedia article is very interesting it is about Rogers Rangers and what they did and seems very much like what Thomas Goss describes.
The Revolutionary War:
Source Below: A catalogue of Barkhamsted men, who served in the various wars, 1775 to 1865, Compiled by Wm. Wallace Lee, Republic Pub. Co. 1897. Family Search has a copy of this booklet.
Pg. 19, 41 Goss, Thomas – Private in Capt. Seth Smith’s Company, L. A;
Notes: Capt. Seth Smith’s Company, New Hartford, Connecticut Militia answered the “Lexington Alarm,” Seth’s name is on the plaques that appear throughout Connecticut about this event.
…also Sergeant in Ensign John Norton’s Company, at defence of New York; was in Barkhamsted as early as 1762; lived near Hartland on Center Hill, west, street, where Oscar Tiffany lives; became insane; at first harmless, eventually raving; conceived the idea that his wife was a witch, and under that delusion killed her; was convicted of murder and hanged at Litchfield in November, 1785. The whole affair is a blot on the records of Connecticut justice, for it ever a man was irresponsible taking human life, it was Thomas Goss.
Apparently the author or compiler Mr. Lee was a bit unhappy with Thomas causing him to make the statement in the book that I have bolded.
Source: Thomas Goss signed up on 19 August 1776 in CT became a Sergeant for the 18th Reg. Militia. #37087917. G 18 Conn. Militia – Arrived on 19 August 1776 and was discharged September 25, 1776 1 mo, 20 days L4 pay.
Source: U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records 1775 to 178 Conn – 18th Reg. Militia. Based on this information he did not participate long. He was 42 at the time.
Other Revolutionary War sources for Thomas Goss that you might find:
Source below: Register of Revolutionary Soldiers and Patriots buried in Litchfield Co. compiled by Joyce Mackenzie Cropsey. A copy of this booklet is also at FamilySearch but they do not show it online at this time.
Pg. 53 Goss, Thomas (issue) d. 11-9-1785 bur. Litchfield Co., cemetery unknown (HR; DER) (DER means Robert’s Soldiers of the Revolution, Barkhamsted. Richard’s Honor Roll Litchfield Co. Revolutionary Soldiers.
Source: Honor Roll of Litchfield County Revolutionary soldiers, Josephine Ellis Richards, editor-in-chief, 1912, Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, DAR, on view at Hathi Trust Digital Library. It reads Pg. 41 Thomas Goss Bark. Men page 19 – Rec. Conn Men 17, 471. This is a listing of soldiers in various towns and the booklets mentioned above give the actual information.
Another source: Revolutionary War Graves Register: In Our Memory, by Clovis H. Brakebill, Sons of the American Revolution, 1993. Thomas Goss page 247 3rd column. “Thomas Goss @-1785; Litchfield Cem, Litchfield, CT; Soldiers, CT.”
Well, I hope I have made this clear and have been able to separate the French and Indian War in 1755 from the Revolutionary War Service in 1776. I was finding it very difficult to get good information about the French and Indian War and if I figure it out I will come back and update this post. As for the Revolutionary War service there might be more for Thomas Goss but this short time of 1776 August to September may be all there is.
In any event, I think this is very important information. I did not know about the French and Indian War service. So I am very pleased to know this about Thomas Goss.
In the next post, I will write about the circumstances of the accusation of a Ephraim Pelton who believed Thomas Goss was responsible for the murder of Elias Hopkins in 1758.