(b. 18 July 1741
Newbury, Massachusetts, USA (Byfield)
d. 8 November 1777
Beacon, New York, USA (Matteawan) (Fishkill Landing)
Family Group Record
Zachariah Beal was born 18 July 1741
in Newbury, Massachusetts, USA (Byfield).
was the child of
Zachariah Beal and
and the grandchild of:
Edward Beal and
Andrew Stickney and
He married Abigail Goodwin
2 June 1765
in Berwick, Maine, USA
The couple had (at least) 1 child.
was born 20 June 1745
in Berwick, Maine, USA
She died 1797
in Newmarket, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA
She was the daughter of Aaron Goodwin and Sarah Thompson.
Zachariah Beal died 8 November 1777
in Beacon, New York, USA (Matteawan) (Fishkill Landing).
Revolutionary War Captain.
BEAL, Zachariah, NH Portsmouth, Captain, Col. Scammel's 3rd NH regt., served during Burgoyne campaign, Jun - Oct 1777. Commissioned 8 Nov 1776. Died of his wounds, 6 Nov 1777.
During the American Revolution, New Hampshire raised three Continental Army Regiments for the war effort – aptly named, the first, second and third. The 3rd NH Regiment was formed on June 1, 1775 and saw action in many famous and important battles, including Bunker Hill, Saratoga and Yorktown. They also confronted the enemy at many lesser known locations including at Fort Mercer in New Jersey at the Battle of Red Bank.
In the fall of 1777, the commander of the American forces in New Jersey decided that an apple orchard near the homestead that was serving as his headquarters would be an ideal location for a defensive fort. His troops cut down the trees and Fort Mercer was built with 10 foot walls and a defensive barrier of sharpened tree trunks and branches. The fort was named for General and Brother Hugh Mercer (Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Virginia).
At about that same time, the British Army was having difficulty supplying their positions in Philadelphia because of extensive American defensive positions. To alleviate the problem and open up a supply route, the British planned an offensive against Fort Mercer. On October 22, a British Brigade of 1200 Hessian soldiers (Germans) moved into position, and at about 4:00 in the afternoon, they attacked the Fort. During the battle, the Americans ran short of ammunition, and soldiers were offered a gill of rum (4 oz.) to retrieve the 32-lb. British cannon balls that had fallen short of their target. The Americans fired the retrieved cannon balls right back at the Hessians. Incredibly, the good guys held the Fort, inflicting 600 casualties on the enemy, while suffering only 14 casualties and 23 wounded of their own. What makes this story particularly interesting is that the men of the 3rd NH Regiment were there helping defend the Fort.
The leadership positions in the 3rd NH Regiment around that time were filled with some familiar names to us in St. John's Lodge. Colonel Alexander Scammel was in command of the Regiment with Lt. Col. Henry Dearborn as a Staff Officer. Nicholas Gilman was Adjutant and there were eight Company Officers including Captain James Gray, Captain Michael McClary, and Captain Zachariah Beal. Yes, these leaders of men were all members of our Lodge. Oh yes, and Captain Zachariah Beal; well, he was made a Mason in our Lodge earlier that same year on March 27. Bro. Zach was badly wounded on that October afternoon at Fort Mercer, and he died of his wounds on November 6. He was one of the 14 American casualties of that little known but very important battle of the Revolution.
We remember him today as a Brother and as a brave patriot from New Hampshire who helped win our nation's freedom.
Historian's Article for March 2006
by Alan M. Robinson, P.M., Historian
St. John's Masonic Lodge No.1, Portsmouth,
Marriage / Partner(s) and Child(ren)