Captain Reuben Dow's Coy, Prescott's Battalion


Background Information


TIME PERIOD May-December 1775
UNIT HISTORY Dow's Co. began as the Hollis, NH Militia Company.  After receiving word of the Lexington Alarm on the afternoon of April 19,1775 a total of 92 men marched to Cambridge before dawn the following day.  Being a typical New England unit, they opted to elect new officers and NCO's before they left.  In this election, Reuben Dow was elected Captain, John Goss as 1st Lieut., and John Cummings as 2nd Lieut.  Four Sergeants and four Corporals were also chosen.

According to town legend, the march to Cambridge was not only long but hot, and they stopped to quench their thirst at a tavern in the Billerica area, where they may have stayed for a few days.  Thirty-Nine of the privates returned home in the next few weeks, however Fifty-Three of them volunteered in various units to serve for Eight months.  Most of them re-enlisted in a new company under Captain Dow and the same Lieutenants.  Shortly after the commencement of the Siege of Boston they were incorporated into Prescott's Massachusetts Regiment as part of the GRAND MASSACHUSETTS ARMY.   Prescott owned land in Hollis and knew most of the men very well, so it must have seemed a natural choice for them to fall under his command, rather than one of the unknown Colonels from New Hampshire.

The regiment served throughout the Siege of Boston and was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  The company made up roughly one-sixth of the men under Col. Prescott on the 16th of June, 1775, who made their way to Breed's Hill and began building the redoubt.   The ensuing battle has, of course, gone down in history.  Six men from the Company were killed in the battle, including the 1st Sgt, and eight men were wounded.   The regiment, as a whole, recorded Forty-Two killed and Twenty-Eight wounded.

By year's end the enlistments of Captain Dow's men ran out.  Some returned home, many were signed on in other units, and some were discharged with pensions due to wounds.   Captain Dow was in this last category.  He returned to Hollis and served as Chairman of the Committee of Safety.


MUSIC The Field Music will play tunes that might likely have been heard in the Roxbury Camp, where Prescott's Battalion was quartered throughout the Siege.  Dow's Company originally had a single Fifer and Drummer to provide music for the unit.
TODAY This re-enactment unit was founded in 1990 by seasoned re-enactors culled from various local groups and typifies the somewhat awkward transition between Militia and standing Army that took place outside Boston in the summer of 1775.  The drill they use today was published by Col. Timothy Pickering,a native of Salem, MA in 1775 and was taught at the Roxbury Camp.  Dow's Coy. is a volunteer group at Minuteman National Historic Park and performs there often.