Captain Samuel Sackett

(1749-1780)
FatherRev Samuel Sackett (1711/12-1784)
MotherHannah Hazard (c 1712-after 1777)
Captain Samuel Sackett, son of Rev Samuel Sackett and Hannah Hazard, was born on 10 July 17491 and died aged 30 on 15 April 1780.1 He was unmarried.1
Capt. Samuel Sackett ... died unmarried, after a lingering illness resulting from wounds received and disease contracted in the service of his country. Shortly after attaining his majority he accompanied a party of adventurous young men of Westchester County and Long Island, to the West Indies, and there engaged in business. A letter dated March 3, 1774, written by his cousin Amy, wife of Capt. Richard Lawrence, to his sister Hannah, wife of Stephen De. Lancey, mentions having heard from him through a friend just arrived from Santicroix, who told of his being located there in good health and doing a lucrative business.
But previous to the breaking out of the Revolution he returned to Westchester County. And the official army records of the period show that he was one of the first young men of that vicinity to openly espouse the cause of American liberty and to take up arms in its defence. On June 28, 1775, the New York Provisional Congress, of which his brother Nathaniel was a active member, issued a warrant constituting him a First Lieutenant of the New York Line. He was immediately thereafter assigned to duty with the 4th Regiment and accompanied the expedition ordered to Canada, where, serving under the brave and experienced soldier, General Richard Montgomery, he participated in the taking of the Fortress of St. John, in the capture of Fort Chamley and in the investment of Montreal, which resulted in it capitulation on Nov. 13, 1775: two days after which General Montgomery issued a special order promoting him to the rank of Captain for conspicuous gallantry in action, and honor, so far as shown by records, conferred on no other American officer during that campaign.
At Quebec, where General Montgomery was killed, Capt. Sackett was so severely wounded that for several months he was obliged to remain in Canada, where he was devotedly nursed and tenderly cared for by the nuns of the Ursuline Convent. His subsequent return by way of the rough military roads through the intervening wilderness to Albany, in his weakened condition, was a painful and tedious journey, which still further undermined his constitution. He, however, anticipated a speedy recovery and insisted on remaining in the service. And on the reorganization of the New York Line in 1776, his irregular promotion by General Montgomery was duly recognized and he was commissioned accordingly with rank from date of the General's order and assigned to recruiting service. In a letter dated "Albany, 27 September, 1777," written to his sister, Mrs. De Lancey, who appears to be his special favorite, he says:

I have been very poorly which occasions my letter being dated from this place. A fever caught me and like to have sent me - I know not where. But my constitution has at last almost got the better of it, with the help of a few nostrums from the doctors. But it still keeps lurking about me, attacks me as a coward and seizes me every night when I am asleep, which makes me very weak all the day. It has lost me the honor of helping to drub Burgoyne once already, and I fear it will keep me company so long that I shall not be able to join the army before he is entirely destroyed. This chagrins me, but so it is, and so it must be . . . What Desdamonas have you in your town. Are any of them Christians? This place is forsaken of all those fine lassies you have so often heard me speak of - all fled and left the place as solitary as a hermit's cell.

Capt. Sackett never regained his health sufficiently to permit his again taking the field. Over two years after date of foregoing letter he writes to the same sister saying:

How can you answer for your conduct, I don't know. So long to neglect writing to your friends. Not a line has been received from you, nor have I but once heard you were in evidence. Surely you might have got some opportunity from so public a place as Sharon before this time. You were likewise to have come down if there was an sleighing. I am sure want of snow will not do for an excuse. So that you are in two respects culpable. What shall I do with you when I see you again! I think you must do penance. Here I have been all winter moped up in the most disagreeable solitude entirely alone, tho' in a thickly inhabited country. When I want to go I know not where to go to, but you have lived here. As to my health, since the cold weather came on it has been indifferent. The intervals between the severe fits of the disorder are short and imperfect, the severe turns longer and more acute. I am just recovering a little from the worst attack I ever had, and indeed many such I can not undergo.

I hope Mr. Baldwin's business will permit him to come with you before the sleighing is gone. To see him and you would give me more life, for really I suffer much as to my health by having nothing to amuse or divert the attention from the gloominess of my situation. The two or three books which you lent I have almost got by heart, they are quite worn out. I would write Mr. Baldwin but am not able. It will give me great pleasure to receive a letter from him. I have an errand I want you to attend to, which is, to ask if he could not either nor or toward spring exchange the continental horse I have and let me have a better one. I sent him to Fishkill this fall but was a little too late, and at that time there were none so good as the one I have. I think Mr. Baldwin, as the horses are chiefly in his hands before they come to Fishkill, could supply me better than I could be supplied there . . . . I shall expect an answer by the bearer and hope it will not be long before I see you. You must come by the way of Fishkill and then you will have good roads. The other way may not be good this winter and that one is not so much further when you are traveling with a good sleigh and horses. But I am tired tho' I have rested several times. My best respects to your husband. May you live long and happily together, is my sincere wish of
Your truly affectionate brother
Samuel Sackett

Crompond 19 Jan. '80
P. S. - When I wrote the above I expected the man to go the next day but he was detained. I then thought I was recovering from one of my fits, but it is quite the reverse. I am very very sick - Adieu.

Capt. Sackett had no need of exchanging his Continental horse for a better one. The above was probably his last letter. He lingered, growing daily weaker and weaker, until Apr. 15 following, when death ended his service and his sufferings.

—Weygant, The Sacketts of America


     The orderly books of the Fourth New York Regiment show that Captain Samuel Sackett served as a member of several courts martial: at a brigade court martial held in camp on 9 November 1778 he was one of ten members; he sat again on 17 February 1780 as an officer of the Second Maryland Brigade.2
     A diarist in the regiment noted that on "Wednesday 14th [July 1779] Capt Sacket went to the Country to recover his Health."2
     After Samuel's death, the following regimental orders were issued.2
Regemental Orders April 21st 1780

Capt Smith is Desird to Inquire Whether Capt Sacket has Left any Effects in the Regt and to take a nivatary of the same the to hous Compnies"

"Regimental Orders April 23rd 1780

those officers Who have accounts aganst Capt Sacket Decesed are to Delever the Same to Capt Smith Likewise those Soldiers of his Company Who may have Money Due to them from Said Capt are to Exhebet there accounts to the Pay Master Who is to Lay them Before the Colo for Inspction.
ChartsLine 3a (American)

 Notes & Citations

  1. Charles Weygant, The Sacketts of America, "154. Samuel Sackett, 3rd, b. July 10, 1749, d. Apr. 15, 1780, unmarried."
  2. Orderly books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778–1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780–1783, The University of the State of New York, Albany (1932).
Generation.Tree154.5M.3a
Sackett line4th great-grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder
Last Edited4 February 2011