Stephen Hempstead (1754 - 1831)

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Birthplace: New London, New London, CT, USA
Death: Died in Saint Louis, MO, USA
Managed by: Steven Kelley
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About Stephen Hempstead

STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD son of Stephen and Sarah Hempstead lineal descendant of Robert Hempstead one of the chief settlers of the town was born in New London Conn May 6 1754 In the summer of 1775 he was lieutenant of a guard of 15 or 20 men under Capt Nathaniel Saltonstall which in the first movement to screen the country from invasion manned the old fort in New London on the parade near the water's edge On the spilling of the first American blood at Lexington 19th April 1775 he volunteered May 6th as a private soldier into the service of his country He went from New London to Boston served a term of seven months and was present at the affairs of Cambridge Bunker's Breed's Hill and Roxbury and had the pleasure to see the British evacuate Boston Upon the expiration of his first term December 10th he entered the service for a second term as a sergeant in Capt Nathan Hale's company and marched to New York Hale's company was part of Col Webb's regiment Continental troops The British now occupied Long Island and New York city and the Americans lay on Haerlem Heights General Washington anxious to know the strength and position of the enemy engaged Capt Hale to examine it Hempstead accompanied him to the point of his departure from the Connecticut shore took charge of his uniform and valuables that it was not safe to take on a tour through the British camp As Hale lost his life on this expedition and his enemies buried him like a dog Hempstead was the last companion in arms perhaps the last friend who saw him Mr Hempstead followed General Washington in the noble retreat from Long Island September 1776 He under Thos Updike Fosdick with sixteen men mostly New London boys volunteered to go in one of the fireships directed by the General to burn the Asia a man of war of 84 guns then in the Hudson River above New York Was grappled to her for twenty minutes and exposed to the fire of the cannon and small arms of the Asia and a frigate without having a man killed and though unsuccessful the expedition was so satisfactory to General Washington that he thanked them in General Orders and directed $40 to be paid to each man October 27th Mr H was on Haerlem Heights and had two ribs broken by the grape shot from a British field piece He was left for dead and did not recover from his wound till the expiration of his term of service in 1777 The next year he entered into the State service of Connecticut and on the capture of Fort Trumbull September 6 1781 he crossed under fire to Fort Griswold on the other side of the river Thames at New London Here he was again severely wounded The capture of the fort exposed the town of New London It was sacked and burnt by the Traitor Arnold Mr Hempstead's family lived there and shared the fate of the place Their of Stephen Hempstead house and property was destroyed and his wife nie Mary Lewis with some young children 1 and afflicted with the small pox fled six miles through the country Mr Hempstead did not again enter the army Soon after the capture of Cornwallis put an end to hostilities It was twelve months before he recovered of his wounds He moved to St Louis in 1811 where he died in 1831

source: The Battle of Groton Heights: A Collection of Narratives, Official Reports ...

By William Wallace Harris  p. 58-60

"Stephen Hempstead a Searg of the garrison of Fort Trumbull was wounded at Fort Griswold with a ball through the joint of the left elbow and a bayonet in his right hip The wound in his hip is recovered with no other disadvantage than a weakness and partial disability in that part which in a great degree prevents the ability of traveling The wound in the elbow was more dangerous and has occasioned an entire stiffness in the joint whereby he is rendered incapable of bringing his hand near his head or performing any considerable labour to advantage"

The Battle of Groton Heights: A Collection of Narratives, Official Reports ...

By William Wallace Harris p. 130 
view all 13

Stephen Hempstead's Timeline

1754
May 6, 1754
New London, New London, CT, USA
1777
September 4, 1777
Age 23
New London, CT, USA
1778
June 29, 1778
Age 24
New London, CT, USA
1780
June 3, 1780
Age 26
New London, CT, USA
1782
October 25, 1782
Age 28
New London, CT, USA
1785
March 24, 1785
Age 30
New London, CT, USA
1787
May 3, 1787
Age 32
New London, CT, USA
1789
September 7, 1789
Age 35
New London, CT, USA
1791
November 13, 1791
Age 37
New London, CT, USA
1794
September 10, 1794
Age 40
New London, CT, USA