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7th Massachusetts Regiment
Alden's Regiment
Active 1775–1776
Country United States of America
Allegiance Continental Army
Type Infantry
Engagements wikipedia:Siege of Boston
Wikipedia:Battle of Saratoga
Cherry Valley Massacre
Sullivan's Expedition
Ichabod Alden (1739-1778)

7th Massachusetts Regiment (AKA: Alden's Regiment)

Unit History[]

The 7th Massachusetts Regiment was an infantry regiment of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. It was constituted on 16 September 1776, and was originally known as Alden's Regiment after its first colonel, Ichabod Alden (1739-1778). It was organized as seven companies of volunteers from across Massachusetts, and Mayhew's company from the 25th Continental Regiment during the later months of 1776. The regiment was assigned to the Northern Department on 9 February 1777. It was reassigned to the Highland's Department on 13 March 1777. On 12 June 1777 it was assigned to 2nd Massachusetts Brigade and three days later, 15 June 1777, it was reassigned to the 1st Massachusetts Brigade.

The brigade was reassigned to the Northern Department on 1 July 1777 and the regiment was relieved from the brigade on 31 March 1778. The regiment re-organized to nine companies on 25 September 1778 and reassigned to the Northern Department on 14 June 1779. The regiment was reassigned to the New Hampshire Brigade of the main army on 23 August 1779. On 14 November 1779, the regiment was reassigned to the 3d Massachusetts Brigade in the Highland Department.

The regiment saw action at the Battles of Saratoga, the Cherry Valley massacre (in which Colonel Alden was killed and Lt. Col. William Stacy was captured), and the Sullivan Expedition.

Cherry Valley Massacre 1778[]

Ichabod Alden (1739-1778) was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Plymouth militia regiment in 1775, Alden first saw action serving with the 25th Continental Regiment during the Siege of Boston. Following his promotion to Colonel in November 1776, Alden was assigned to the 7th Massachusetts Regiment stationed at the garrison of Cherry Valley, New York. Although commanding between 200 and 300 men, Alden's limited military experience and lack of knowledge regarding local Indian tactics or customs would prove to be a great disadvantage as in early November 1778, receiving a warning of an attack by local tribes, Alden made minimal preparations.

On November 11, a combined force of 600 Indians led by Joseph Brant and 200 Tories known as Butler's Rangers under Major Walter Butler launched a surprise attack after the capture of several of Alden's scouts provided intelligence of the situation in the valley. In the attack 32 civilians and 16 soldiers were killed, and 71 residents were captured. The officers of the regiment were quartered in private homes, and Alden was killed in an attempt to reach the fort from a house on the outskirts of the fort. His executive officer, Lt. Col. William Stacy, was taken prisoner. The attack, retaliation for the defeat at the Battle of Oriskany, would later provoke an expedition against the villages and agricultural crops of the Iroquois League led by Gen. John Sullivan in 1779.

1781 Unit Reduction[]

When the number of Massachusetts regiments was reduced in 1781, the men of the 14th Massachusetts Regiment were folded into the 7th Regiment. The 14th regiment was disbanded on January 1, 1781, at West Point, New York.

On 1 January 1781, the regiment was reassigned to the 1st Massachusetts Brigade. The regiment was furloughed on 12 June 1783 at West Point, New York and disbanded on 15 November 1783.

Unit Roster[]


Company Commanders

Regimental Staff


External links[]