by Lloyd W. Fowles

     The demands of colonial military duty continually kept Samuel Wylls away from Hartford and the Governor's Guard in whose creation he had been so instrumental. The Company, in a manner of speaking, lost its first Captain to the more pressing military demands of the new nation, and in 1771 Jonathan Bull was chosen the second leader of the Command. The pattern of leadership which had begun so auspiciously with Samuel Wylls was continued under Jonathan Bull. , , , Both, moreover, occupied important military positions in the Continental forces during the Revolutionary War. It seemed logical, therefore, when Connecticut soldiers were being sent to oppose General Burgoyne's advance from Canada through New York in 1777, that Colonel Bull should lead his own Company with these troops. The times were perilous, all available forces were needed, and the Foot Guard soldiers were eager to show their valor. Therefore, without official State sanction, the Command participated in this general gathering of troops that was to spell the doom of Burgoyne's invasion. In its only expedition outside Connecticut to meet a foreign foe, the Command did not, however, obtain glory and honor on the battlefield. Before Colonel Bull and his Company reached the battle area in upper New York and while they were at Rhinebeck Flats near the Hudson River, the news of Burgoyne's defeat arrived. So ended an episode in the history of the Foot Guard that was a demonstration of its loyalty and indicated that when dangers threatened, the "honor of the state" meant more than ceremonial duties.


February 22, 2004
Article edited for inclusion in "Battalion Review" by Major L. Schave

From An Honor to the State, by Lloyd Fowles.
Used with permission