About Thomas Grosvenor
A Patriot of the American Revolution for CONNECTICUT with the rank of LIEUTENANT COLONEL. DAR Ancestor # A048966
When Connecticut raised and officered the first seven regiments for the relief of Massachusetts in the Revolution, Grosvenor was commissioned second lieutenant of the Third Regiment, under Colonel Israel Putnam and Lieutenant-Colonel Experience Storrs, of Mansfield. The minute-men followed Putnam to Cambridge and the old red house where the company assembled on the morning of their departure, April 23, 1775, is still standing. On the evening of June 16, 1775, Lieutenant Grosvenor was detailed with thirty-one men drafted from his company to march to Charlestown under Captain Thomas Knowlton, of Ashford and with about a hundred others of the same regiment were stationed before noon next day at the rail fence on the left the breastworks on Breed's Hill (commonly known as Bunker Hill) and extending thence to Mystic river. The whole force was under the command of Knowlton. When the British attack was made, a column under General Pigott was directed against the redoubt and another under General Howe advanced against the rail fence. Captain Dana relates that he, Sergeant Fuller and Lieutenant Grosvenor were the first to fire. When at the third attack the British burst through the American line at the left of the redoubt, Captain Knowlton, Chester and Clark, clung persistently to the position near the Mystic, though separated from the main body of provincials, and eventually protected the retreat of the men who were in the redoubt, fighting, according to the report of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, with the utmost bravery, and keeping the British from advancing further than the breach until the main body had left the hill. Colonel Grosvenor related in a letter to Daniel Putnam, Apr 30, 1818, respecting General Dearborn's charges against the behavior of General Putnam at Bunker Hill, that his command of thirty men and one subaltern lost eleven killed or wounded. "Among the latter was myself, though not so severely as to prevent my retiring." At Winter Hill, where entrenchments had been thrown up by the Connecticut troops, the Provincials made their last stand. Colonel Grosvenor carried a musket and used to relate that he fired his nine cartridges the same precision of aim as if fox hunting and saw a man fall after each shot. His wound was caused by a musket through the hand. Before striking his hand it had passed through the rail and it passed through the butt of his musket after piercing his hand and finally bruised his breast. He bound up his hand with a white cravat and remained on until after the battle. This incident immortalized in Trumbull's painting of the battle of Bunker Hill. The commanding figure in the foreground was intended to represent Lieutenant Grosvenor accompanied by his colored servant. On the arrival of the American army in New York, May, 1776, General Washington organized a battalion of light troops from the volunteer regiments of New England and Thomas Grosvenor commanded one of the companies under Colonel Thomas Knowlton. The Knowlton Rangers, as they were called, took part in the battle of Long Island, in the fight at Harlem, in that near McGowan's Pass, where Knowlton was killed. The silk sash of Colonel Knowlton, which had been presented to him by the town of Boston, is preserved in the family of the youngest daughter of Colonel Grosvenor, Hannah. Captain Brown, who succeeded Knowlton, fell in the defense of Fort Mifflin in November, 1777. Colonel Grosvenor was in the battle of White Plains, October 28, 1776, and was captain in Durkee's regiment in the battles of Trenton, Trenton Bridge and Princeton, and wintered at Valley Forge. He was captain in Colonel Wyllis's regiment and was with him at the capture of Ticonderoga, May 10, 1776. He was commissioned February 6, 1777, major in that regiment.
During the winter at Valley Forge he belonged to Huntington's brigade, which took part in the battles of Germantown, Brandywine and in the movements at White Marsh and Chestnut hill, from November 23 to December 22, 1777, and down to the encampment at Valley Forge. He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, March 13, 1778, in Colonel Durkee's regiment, and marched to Monmouth, where June 28, 1778, a battle was fought that decided the fate of Washington. His regiment was in the advance under Lafayette and was ranged upon the heights behind the causeway after Lee's retreat. Colonel Grosvenor was also in General Sullivan's expedition against the Seneca Indians in the summer and autumn of 1779. On May 22, 1779, he was appointed, and July 11 following was commissioned as sub-inspector of the army under Baron Steuben. He was commissioned an inspector, January 1, 1781. On the death of Colonel Durkee, May 29, 1782, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the First Connecticut Regiment and continued in that command until January 1, 1783, when the Connecticut regiments were consolidated under act of Congress of August 7, 1782. He was also assistant adjutant-general of the Connecticut Line, as his orderly books show. After January 1, 1783, Colonel Grosvenor returned to Pomfret and resumed the practice of law.