William Walter Parsons (1762 - 1802)

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Birthplace: Lyme, Connecticut, USA
Death: Died
Occupation: Midshipman during American Revolution
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
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About William Walter Parsons

William Walter Parsons (1762 - 1802) served as a midshipman in the US Navy during the Revolutionary War. William was seventeen when the British took him prisoner during the disastrous Penobscot Expedition of 1779. He was later released.

The Penobscot Expedition was the largest American naval expedition of the American Revolutionary War and the United States' worst naval defeat until Pearl Harbor. The fighting took place on both land and on sea, in what is today the state of Maine.

In June 1779, British Army forces established a series of fortifications centered on a fort located on the Bagaduce Peninsula in Penobscot Bay, with the goals of establishing a military presence on that part of the coast and beginning a new colony to be known as New Ireland. In response, the state of Massachusetts, with some support from the Continental Congress, raised an expedition to drive the British out.

To spearhead the expedition, Massachusetts petitioned Congress for the use of three warships — the 12-gun sloop Providence, 14-gun brig Diligent, and 32-gun frigate Warren — while the rest of over 40 ships were made up of ships of the Massachusetts State Navy and private vessels under the command of Commodore Dudley Saltonstall. The Massachusetts authorities mobilized more than 1,000 militia, acquired six small field cannons, and placed Brigadier General Solomon Lovell in command of the land forces. The expedition departed from Boston on July 24 and arrived off Penobscot Bay that same day.

The Americans landed troops in late July and attempted to establish a siege of the British fort in a series of actions seriously hampered by disagreements over control of the expedition between Commodore Dudley Saltonstall and General Solomon Lovell. The operation ended in disaster when a British fleet under the command of Sir George Collier arrived, driving the American fleet to total destruction up the Penobscot River. The survivors of the American expedition were forced to make an overland journey back to more-populated parts of Massachusetts with minimal food and armament.

William Walter Parsons eventually settled in Bangor, Maine.

Source: Downloaded 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Holden_Parsons

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William W. Parsons's Timeline

July 5, 1762
Lyme, Connecticut, USA
February 9, 1784
Age 21
December 7, 1785
Age 23
January 24, 1802
Age 39