Revolutionary War Musket Remnant
With a silver plate inscribed ER 1776 on the top, inscribed For Capt. Edward Roggers on a brass plate on the side, and further inscribed Liberty or Death on a brass plate on the butt. Length 19 inches.
As the remnant says 'for', it is possible that the gun was a presentation to him; it appears the silver plate of 'ER 1776' as well as the 'For Capt Edward Roggers' are later additions, as the script of 'Liberty or Death' is very fine and by another hand.
Edward Roggers was from Cornwall, Connecticut and joined the army as a captain in 1776 (probably in January). He was a captain in Colonel Fisher Gay's regiment, under Wadworth's Brigade, under Gunrunner Joseph Spencer (whose Aid-de-Camp was William Peck). Under Gay, Roggers participated in the defense of Danbury, was at Brooklyn Heights, White Plains, Harlem Heights and generally New York City. He also would have been at Boston at Dorchester Heights and Castle Point. It is important to note that all of the preceding engagements were under the command of General George Washington.
The inscription 'Liberty or Death' could be a rally-cry from any Minuteman at that time, following Patrick Henry's speech, but it is more associated with Virginia than a Connecticut regiment. In fact, it is very often associated with the 1st Virginia Regiment. It is interesting to note that the 1st Virginia Regiment was at the battle of Harlem Heights. Colonel Thomas Knowlton died at the battle of Harlem Heights (September 1776, near Turtle Bay) and is depicted in the painting of Bunker Hill carrying a musket of this exact type. This type of musket was the standard arm of Minutemen at that time and is seen in pretty much in all statues of Minutemen today.
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