John Stark


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John StarkStark, JOHN, military officer; born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, August 28, 1728; moved to Derryfield (now Manchester) in 1736. In 1752, while on a hunting excursion, he was made a prisoner by the St. Francis Indians, and was ransomed in a few weeks for $103. He became popular with the Indians, and was adopted into their tribe. In 1755 he was made lieutenant of Rogers's Rangers, and performed good service during the French and Indian War. A member of the committee of safety at the commencement of the Revolution, he was alive to the importance of every political event. On the news of the , he hastened to Cam-bridge and was immediately chosen colonel of the New Hampshire troops. He was efficient in the battle on Bunker (Breed's) Hill. Near the close of 1776, after doing effective service in the Northern Department, he joined George Washington on the Delaware. He commanded the vanguard in the battle at Trenton, and was active in that at Princeton. In the spring of 1777, displeased because he had been overlooked in promotions, he resigned his commission in the army and was placed in command of New Hampshire militia, raised there to oppose the British advance from Canada. Acting upon the authority of his State and his own judgment, he refused to obey the orders of General Lincoln to march to the west of the Hudson. He soon afterwards gained the battle at Hoosick, near Bennington (August 16, 1777), for which Congress, overlooking his insubordination, thanked him. He joined Gates at Bemis's Heights, but the term of his militia having expired, he went home, raised a new force, and cut off Burgoyne's retreat from Saratoga. Stark was placed in command of the Northern Department in 1778, and in 177980 served in Rhode Island and New Jersey. He was also at West Point, and was one of the court that condemned Major Andre. He was again in command of the Northern Department in 1781, with his headquarters at Saratoga. After the war he lived in retirement. He was the last surviving general of the army, excepting Sumter, who died in 1832. He died in Manchester, New Hampshire, May 8, 1822.



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