The Provincial Congress of Massachusetts,
on April 13, 1775, voted to raise six companies for an artillery regiment.
They appointed Richard Gridley, a veteran of the siege of Louisbourg in
1745, to be the Colonel. In addition they appointed Lieutenant-Colonel
William Burbeck; First Major David Mason; Second Major Scarborough Gridley;
and the junior officers as well. The regiment served in Bunker Hill
but were not distinguished in this, their first action.
General Washington appointed Henry
Knox to be Colonel of the Regiment on November 17, 1775. Both Burbeck
and Mason were retained as Lieutenant-Colonels, and John Crane and John
Lamb were appointed as Majors.
The dress of the officers shown
in our plate show the blue coat with red cuffs, collar and facings; and
white lining. This became the accepted dress for artillery officers
in the American Army. In 1778 the Massachusetts Artillery became
the 3rd Continental Artillery. In the winter of 1779-1780 this unit,
along with the other regiments of Knox's Brigade of Artillery, were encamped
at Morristown, New Jersey.
The Second Massachusetts Regiment
was commanded by Colonel John Bailey. On September 19, 1777 this
regiment formed part of Ebenezer Learned's Brigade of Continentals.
When General Arnold assumed command of the American forces at the Battle
of Freeman's Farm and led them against the British center we find that
Bailey's regiment was one of those that he led. The dress of the
private soldier of this regiment shown in our plate is based upon the dress
of a man from Captain Jacob Allen's Company in June, 1777.
[REFERENCES: Uniforms of the
American, British, French, and German Armies . . . Charles M.
Lefferts. The War of the Revolution. Christopher L.
Ward. "Military Collector and Historian." Vol. VII, No. 3, Fall,
1955. "Morristown, A Military Capital of the American Revolution".
National Park Service.]