What is the Danvers Alarm List Coy.?
The Danvers Alarm List Coy. is a group of 18th century living history reeanactors that portray the militia, minute and alarm companies of Danvers and surrounding communities, as they existed in the 1774-1775 timeframe. The Alarm List Coy. presents its impression to the public through demonstrations, exhibitions, parades, living history encampments and battle reenactments. We clothe and accouter ourselves with reproductions of the period, according to research done by the members and use the drill manual created in 1775 by Col. Timothy Pickering of Salem, “An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia.”
Did Danvers Participate in the Events of April 19th 1775?
During 1774, the town of Danvers responded to the ever-increasing tensions in the colony, by forming nine companies of citizen soldiers for the defense of the community. These companies trained on a regular basis to be “ready at a moments notice” and did respond to an early foray by the Crown forces into the Salem area to seize arms and ammunition. But it was one morning in April 1775 that the real hostilities began and the Danvers men were on their way into history.
A post rider sounded the alarm around 9:00 AM that the regulars were out again; this time to seize Sam Adams and John Hancock, along with the military supplies hidden in the Lexington-Concord vicinity. Shots had been exchanged between the Crown troops and Lexington’s minutemen. Several colonists had been killed. Within an hour the men from Danvers were on the way, receiving updated news and changing direction several times. By 2:00 that afternoon, the Danversites, along with men from Menotomy (present day Arlington), Medford and Lynn, were stationed in and around the yard of Jason Russell of Menotomy, waiting for the “lobsterbacks” to pass by on their return to Boston. As the regulars came within range a furious battle ensued, one of the bloodiest of the day. Before the battle ended, the colonists had been encircled by Light Infantrymen; forcing them to scatter for their lives. The aftermath was horrendous. Jason Russell lay dead on his doorstep, bayoneted several times. Seven Danvers men lay dead in the Russell yard. Danvers had lost the second highest number of men killed on April 19th, save only for Lexington, who sacrificed eight of their own men on the green. Danvers was also the community that responded from the furthest distance and fought in the battle. Those killed included: Samuel Cook Jr., Benjamin Dealand Jr., Ebenezer Goldthwait, Henry Jacobs Jr., Perley Putnam, George Southwick Jr., and Jonathan Webb. Nathan Putnam and Dennison Wallis were wounded. Joseph Bell was captured but later escaped. The following day, the Danvers men in their gray stockings loaded their dead comrades into a wagon and headed home.