When we arrived at Saratoga National Historical Park on June 7, 2016 to learn about Seth Ring Shackford and the Battle of Saratoga, Park historian Eric was in the midst of an excellent presentation to a school group totally engaging a group of sixth graders about life in the Revolutionary Army. He provided an outstanding description of the background, battles, and outcomes of the Battle of Saratoga at a level perfect for the young school children, adults with little background of the battle (myself), and those with a background of the battle (my husband).
When Eric was finished we asked him about Seth Shackford and learned that Seth had just been honored at the park on Memorial Day along with the other many soldiers of the 3rd New Hampshire who died fighting at the Battle of Saratoga. He also showed us a map on the area outlining the places where Seth had most likely been camped and where he most likely fought on September 19th, and where he had been on the battlefield when he died. We were pleased to be able to share Seth’s birth date and our source for that information with Eric.
Seth Ring Shackford was the fourth son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Ring) Shackford born Sept 22, 1754 in Newington, New Hampshire. He most likely was very aware of the political climate of the time as his father who had been serving as Selectman, Town Moderator, and had been one of the parties responsible to ensure members of his community signed the Declaration by the Inhabitants of New Hampshire on April 12, 1776.
Seth served in many military units – the first record we found is his service under Captain David Copps unit which went to Winter Hill in Somerville, Massachusetts in December 1775. On July 28, 1776 he mustered in Col Wingate’s Regiment . His name then appears on a payroll for the same unit headed to Ticonderoga. In January 1777 we find him with Captain Richard Wear’s Company commanded by Colonel Scammel.
On April 1, 1777 Seth enlisted under Capt Isaac Frye. He’s listed in the US Revolutionary War Rolls on 15 Jun 1777 and showing as under Captain Wear’s Company on September 1 1777. That same document lists him as a sergeant and states “ killed October 7, 1777”. Some references list Seth as a private when he died, and others as a sergeant – none of the documents remind us that he had just turned 23 years old about three weeks before he died.
On October 17, 1777, ten days after Seth’s death, the British under General Burgoyne, surrendered to the American Colonists led by General Gates. This victory is seen by historians as the “Turning Point of the American Revolution.”
We assume that Seth was one of the many soldiers who were buried on the battlefield. While driving through along the excellent driving tour through the park we listened the mobile web app and read the well done interpretive stations. Along this driving route we found this special memorial honoring the many soldiers who died in the Battles of Saratoga.
THE UNKNOWN AMERICAN SOLDIERS
WHO PERISHED IN THE BATTLES OF
SEPTEMBER – 19 AND OCTOBER 7 – 1777
AND WERE HERE BURIED IN UNMARKED
HELPED TO ASSURE THE TRIUMP OF THE
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
TO CREATE THE REPUBLIC OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND TO ESTABLISH LIBERTY THROUGHOUT
IN HONOR OF THESE PATRIOTS
AND IN RECOGNITION OF THE
BICENTENNIAL OF THE BIRTH OF
THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED
DAUGHERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
OF NEW YORK STATE
There also was a separate memorial placed in honor of the New Hampshire Men who fought in these decisive battles.
All posts on this website are a work in progress. We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared. Also we’d love it if you’d like the post here or at http://www.facebook.com/shackfordgenealogy) as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!
 Hardon Henry W, Newington, New Hampshire Families in the Eighteenth Century (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc, 1991), page 168
 Fitts James Hill, Rev. and Edited and Arranged by Rev. N. F. Carter, History of Newfields New Hampshire 1638-1911 (Concord, N. H.: 1912), page 263; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 February 2014.
 Muster Roll for the Company in Col Wingate’s Regiment.
 McClintock John Norris, Colony Province State 1623-1888 History of New Hampshire (Boston: B. B Russell, Cornhill, 1888), page 389; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 February 2014
 Metcalf Henry H, Editor and Manager, The Granite Monthly A New Hampshire Magazine Devoted to History, Biography, Literature and State Progress. (Vol. VLI, No 7, July 1909, New Series, Vol 4, No 7) (Dover, N. H.: H. H. Metcalf, Publisher, n.d.), page 231, Volume One 1877-8; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 February 2014; New Hampshire at Saratoga.
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