Colonel Edward Antill
Colonel Edward Antill signature


1775 1776 1777 1778 1779 1780 1781 1782 1783...

Edward Antill's family must have been with him in August of 1776, because Charlotte gave birth to baby Amelia on the 15th of May, 1777. Lieutenant Colonel Edward Antill was captured by the British at the Battle of Long Island on August 22, 1777. In December of 1777, his baby Amelia died in Lancaster, PA. Antill was found by his brother, a British officer, Major John Antill, when the major was inspecting the prison ships.

This was, most definitely, a war within families. Besides his brother John, the estate of sister Mary's husband, Richard Cochran, was confiscated by the state of New Jersey, as being the property of a Loyalist.

George Washington to Edward Antill 8 Jan 1777
Edward Antill to George Washington 13 Feb 1777
John Hancock to Edward Antill 31 Mar 1777
Lewis Morris to John Jay 30 Apr 1777
George Washington to Edward Antill 19 May 1777
George Washington to John Sullivan 10 Aug 1777
Samuel Chase to Thomas Johnson 25 Aug 1777
Charlotte Antill to Congress 17 Nov 1777

George Washington to Edward Antill, January 8, 1777

Head Quarters, Morris Town, January 8, 1777.

Sir: I received yours of the 2d. instt. from Baltimore, In answer to which, I have only to desire you to call upon all your Officers who are upon recruiting Service, to exert themselves, as much as possible, in filling their Companies, and sending their Recruits forward to some general place of Rendezvous, that they may be Armed, equipped and got into Service, with as much expedition as possible As you and Colo. Hazen(59) had the nomination of your own Officers, by virtue of your Commissions, I shall have no objection to any Gentleman of good Character, that you may think fit to appoint. I would only mention to you that Mr. Burwell(60) has already got a Company in the Virginia Artillery, and therefore you had better fill up the place you intended for him, with some other Person. If going to Virginia yourself will be of any Service, I certainly shall have no Objection to it. I am etc (61)

59. Col. Moses Hazen. He commanded the Second Canadian Regiment, also called "Congress's Own." This and the First Canadian Regiment (commanded by Col, James Livingston) were raised in Canada by authority of Congress. The Second was to consist of 1,000 men, of 4 battalions of 5 companies each. About 500 men were recruited in the spring of 1776, but before the year was out the number had dwindled to less than too. In the formation of the new army in 1777 the Second Canadian Regiment retained its original character. Hazen was to recruit in New York and New England and Antill in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The New England State bounties being larger than the Continental, Hazen encountered much difficulty, and most of the men raised for the regiment came from the middle States. Congress was plagued for a long time with the claims of many of the Canadian recruits.
60. Capt. Nathaniel Burwell, of the First Continental Artillery.
61. The draft is in the writing of Tench Tilghman.

Letters of Delegates to Congress:
Volume 6 January 1, 1777 - April 30, 1777
Edward Antill to George Washington

May it Please your Excellency.        Philada, Feby 13th, [17]77.

I beg Leave to Apologize for troubling you again on the State of the Regiment. I forwarded to Head Quarters a Return of the Regiment as it then Stood & Requested your Intentions as to the Contents Lt. Wilson of our Regiment having Some business at Camp will Wait your Commands with which he will return to me. If your Excellency Declines filling up the Reaminder of the Subaltern officers, there are Several Applications to me by Persons who Recommended to me whom I would not Venture to Give Positive Answers untill I had the Honor of a Line from You.

Lewis Morris Junr now with General Sullivan has by Some means been Left Out in the Appointments of New York State. If he is not provided for, and Merits your Approbation, I would be happy he had a Majority in our Corps in Which Case I would be obliged to your Excellency to Order him to Join me as he will be of much Service in forwarding the Several Matters of the Regiment his Father a Near Relation of Mine first mentioned it to me I would be happy in the Appointment in Eager Expectation of an Answer by the bearer.

I remain with profound Respect
Excellency's most obedt Hbbl Servt
Edwd Antill

To his Excellency General Washington


Letters of Delegates to Congress:
Volume 6 January 1, 1777 - April 30, 1777
John Hancock to Edward Antill

Sir, (1)        Philadelphia, 31st March, 1777.

In consequence of the foregoing Resolution, you are hereby directed immediately on Receipt of this to Deliver up to the Civil Authority of this State the person mention'd in the said Resolve.(2)
I am, Sir, Your very hum. Servt,
John Hancock, Prest.

Reprinted from Pa. Archives, I st ser. 5:269.
1 Antill was lieutenant colonel of Moses Hazen's Second Canadian Regiment.
2 On March 29 Congress had ordered Edmund Minyer, the adjutant of the Second Canadian Regiment, to be tried by Pennsylvania authorities for the murder of Jacob Gross, a resident of Lancaster County. JCC, 7:208.

Letters of Delegates to Congress:
Volume 6 January 1, 1777 - April 30, 1777
Lewis Morris to John Jay

Dear Jay Phia March 11th 1777

Congress as yet not being able to make a house, is the reason of my not transmitting to you the resolve Relative to Docr Morgan,(1) when it does be assured I shall do it. Mr Holt is come to this Place, and says that he is employed by our State to print, that he has purchased a Quantity of paper to the amount of two hundred pounds, he waited of Mr Robert Morris to advance him the Money. Mr Morris told him if I would become his security for our State he would let him have the Money, and accordingly I Said I would. I hope Holt is Honest, but should he be otherwise, your leting me know by the return of this Express, I shall have time enough to secure myself. Just this moment we have an account the large Powderhouse near French Creek in this State is blown up, it is said to be done by some evil minded Persons.(2) The reason that my Son Jacob has not joined his regit. is, that Genl Lee has requested one [on his Aid de Camp's to come to him, and I heard Jacob was to go. Lewis has refused a Majority in Hazins and Antills regit., Chose rather to remain with Sullivan. I know your goodness will excuse me for troubling you with my Family but I am convinced you Love them. My best regards to Mrs Jay and believe me Dr Sir,
Yours Most Sincerely,
Lewis Morris

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 3b Varick Transcripts
George Washington to Edward Antill, 19 May 1777, Morris Town
Robert H. Harrison to Edward Antill, May 19, 1777

Sir:         Morris Town, May 19, 1777

This will be delivered you by Monsieur Colerus, who is to fill a Majority in Colo. Hazens Regiment, at present, under your immediate command. This Gentlemans conduct, I trust, will promote the service and do Honour to himself. Monsr. Colerus's rank, is to be governed by the date of the Commission and the rules for adjusting rank in the American Army. I am etc (59)

Note 59: The text is from the Varick Transcripts in the Library of Congress.

The enclosed letter reads, in part:
It has always been my wish and design, that you should be provided for, so soon as you acquired a competent knowledge of our language, to make you fit for Command, and Circumstances would admit. When you were here last, I told you, I should try to place you in some Corps, as you seemed uneasy at your situation, and expressed a desire of being immediately in Service. This was all I meant or promised, nor could you infer more from what I said. There is now a vacant Majority in Colo. Hazen's Regiment at Princeton under the command of Lieut. Colo. Antill, which you may have immediately by repairing to it, and which you will do. Should this appointment, be not equal to your views, I have no other in my power....I might add, without any disparagement to your merit, that there are many good Officers in the Service and who have been in it, from the commencement of the War, who have not received such Honorable marks of favor and distinction. If there are Foreigners, who came to America, when you did, or since, who have been promoted to higher rank, without having better pretensions, it has not been thro' my interest. Tho' I wish to see every man rewarded according to his deserts, and esteem Emulation in Officers a laudable qualaity, Yet I cannot but condemn the over sanguine, unjust, ambitious expectations of those, who think every thing should be made to yield, to gratify their views. The inclosed Letter for Colo. Antill you will be pleased to seal, after you have read it, and deliver it to him on your arrival at Princeton.

The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799
George Washington to John Sullivan, August 10, 1777

Head Qurs. near German Town, August 10, 1777.

Dear Sir: I am this day favoured with your letter of 7th. Instt. I am happy to hear that you are so far recovered, as to be able to join your Division, and expect the Regimen you propose to follow will effectually remove all your Complaints.

I have repeatedly wrote to the Clothier General respecting the Articles of his Department, particularly Shoes, and have ordered him to search the Continent, rather than let the Troops want in future. I have been informed that your Division has lately had a supply and that Colo. Antill and Major Steward were lately in Philadelphia for more, which I expected they had obtained and would be sufficient.

As the Troops are now on their March to the Delaware, it will be in your power, without any great inconvenience, to issue orders for your paymasters to come on, with their Abstracts ready Certified &ca. that they may be paid off to the last of July.

Since the Fleet disappeared off Delaware, I have not been able to obtain the least intelligence of their Course or design, but, being almost persuaded their Operations are turned to the Eastward, I shall cross Delaware with the Army, that we may be more ready to meet them, or effect any other purpose which may present itself in a favourable light.

You will observe, in one of my Letters to Genl. D'Borre, he is ordered, in case the Enemy should appear off the Hook or in such manner, that their designs are evident to be up the North River or Sound, he should, under such Circumstances, recross the North River and join Genl. Putnam without waiting to hear from me.

From the Representation made to me respecting Brown and Murphy,(76) I then thought that it became necessary to execute one of them by way of Example, but as you are of Opinion that the necessity is in some degree removed, and from late discoveries, that there is a possibility of their not being guilty, you have my free consent to pardon them both, as it is my most sincere wish, that whenever we are guilty of an Error in matters of this Nature, it may be on the Side of Mercy and forgiveness.

If Major Mullen will make such Concessions to Genl. D'Borré as you deem sufficient and will be Satisfactory to him, and that he will give you Reason to beleive that he will in future be sober and attentive to his duty. I have not the least objection to your Reinstating him.

I have attended to the Information you received from the Deserters, but am of opinion that few or no Officers in Genl. Howe's Army knew his real designs before he left New York.

I would in future call your attention, in the most particular manner, to find out the Numbers, Situation and Posts of the Enemy on Staten Island, Long Island and New York. Your surest method to effect this, will be to find out what Corps, Regiments &ca. are at such and such places, by which you will be able to form a much better Judgment of their Numbers, than from the rough guess of Spies or Deserters, who are always exceedingly Mistaken in Calculations of this kind; this I would wish to be done in such a manner and interwoven with other Queries, so as to avoid Suspicion of your real design, and when any accounts can be collected which you think may be depended on, or may serve to give me a tolerable Idea of their strength, Situation &ca., they may be communicated to me. I am etc. (77)

Note 76: Daniel Brown and John Murphy.
Note 77: The draft is in the writing of John Fitzgerald.

Letters of Delegates to Congress:
Volume 6 January 1, 1777 - April 30, 1777
Samuel Chase to Thomas Johnson, 25 Aug 1777

My Dear Sir.         Philada. Augst. 25, 1777. Monday Evening.

I am favoured with your Letter of last Fryday by this Days Post. Your Expresses arrived here Saturday afternoon. Eer this an Express to you must be arrived. I wrote You this Day, that we were informed by a Letter from Hollingsworth of yesterday that 200 Sail were lying between Turky Point & Sassafras River, & that on Saturday Evening not one Person had landed. Troops are undoubtedly on board. Gen. Washington marched at the Head of his army, between 8 & 9000, thro' this City yesterday Morning. Genl. Nashes Brigade of N. Carolina forces between 12 & 1500 passed thro' this Morning. Genl. Sullivane will be here in three or four Days.

I must approve your Proclamation for Calling forth the Militia, and am glad the Wish and Intentions of Congress and Gen. Washington so exactly correspond with yours. I beleive Gen. Washington will be posted on the Heights before Howe can land & march there. It will greatly assist Us to be in Possession.

I am satisfied neither Annapolis or Baltimore can, at present, be defended against any considerable Sea or Land force, and yet I would

by no Means have them abandoned, especially the latter I am convinced Mr. Howe will be fully employed, and can spare no Land force against either, if he means to prosecute any attempt against this City. If I may be permitted to suggest my opinion, I would endeavor to obstruct the Passage between Queenbury and Horn Points, and would keep the Gallies & Xebeck in the Harbour, put the Forts in the best Condition, & keep 200 Militia in the City. I would give considerable attention to Baltimore. I would compleat the present works, erect new temporary works on some advantageous place between the Town & Pataspsco River, capable of being defended by 500 but capable of Holding 1000 Men, & I would station 500 Militia in Baltimore. In that Situation neither could be taken or destroyed without a Landforce that Howe cannot spare. It is probable if Mr. Howe should fail in or decline his Design on this City, or be beaten, he will make an Attempt to possess himself of one or both of those Places for his Winter Quarters. If you could only delay him a few Days, our Army would follow him. Expence must be incurred & some Danger risked. I am very unwilling to lose our only trading Towns. Be assured that a few fire-Rafts, procurred at a little Expence, will greatly terrify the Enemy. Gen. Washington will consider of sending you an Engineer.

I think you perfectly right to remove the public Stores & Money, but I hope You will consider well before You dismantle the fortifications.

This Moment, while writing, Colo. Hazen showed Me a Letter, giving an account of an attempt by Gen. Sullivane on the Enemy on Staten Island last Thursday. One party under Colo. Ogden of 500, surprised the Enemy, killed a few, made 100 prisoners & returned. Sullivane commanded Deborres Brigade, he killed 5 & made 30 prisoners. Gen. Smallwood had no Luck. He was discovered & the Enemy escaped. So far Success. About 9 o'Clock the two Brigades joined, & began to cross at the old blazing Starr. Before all our Men got over, the Enemy came up & attacked 150 of our Men. Our People behaved bravely, drove the Enemy several Times, but were overpowered. We had but a few killed. We lost 130 privates prisoners. Colo. Antill, Major Woodson, Major Stewart, Major Tillard, Capt. Carlisle, & Duffee a Surgeons Mate are taken. Capt. Hoven, Lieut. Campbell, Lt. Anderson & Ensign Lee were not mentioned in the flagg & are suffered to be killed. Several Field & Commd. officers fell into our Hands. The above is the substance of the Letter.(1)

If Howe should issue a proclamation I wish You would answer it by another. Their perfidy to, and Robbery & Murders of those who were so credulous as to trust them would be excellent Subjects. Our press should rouse our People. I am convinced in no Manner can our Friend Mr Carroll so effectually serve his Country as by publishing a weekly Paper.

1 For General Sullivan's lengthy report to Washington on this engagement, see Sullivan's Letters (Hammond), 1:437-42.

National Archives Microfilm
Charlotte Antill to Congress, 17 Nov 1777

Sir.         17th November.

I have the honor of addressing myself to your Excellency to pray you to grant permission to me and my children to go to my husband now a prisoner of war at New York. I flatter myself that the zeal with which he hath always served the United States of America and the sacrifices which he & I have made in their cause ought to scatter all suspicion injurious to his honor, and that his Fidelity will merit for me this Favor from your Excellency & the honorable Congress.

I am with respect
Your very humble servant
Charlotte Antill

Antill Family
Antill Family

family tree


site map
Site Map

IME logo Copyright © 2002, Mary S. Van Deusen