Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

John Mills
MSA SC 3520-17473


John Mills enlisted into the First Maryland Regiment on March 5, 1776. At was the time of the Battle of Brooklyn (otherwise known as the Battle of Long Island) on August 27, 1776, Mills was a private within Captain Patrick Sim’s Second Company. Although the battle was a defeat for the Americans, the valiant defense by Mills and the other soldiers of the “Maryland 400” held off the British long enough to allow much of the trapped American army to escape. Mills was one of the lucky soldiers who survived that day, his company losing fewer than ten men. [1]

After the Battle of White Plains, the Battle of Trenton, and the Battle of Princeton, Mills reenlisted into the First Maryland Regiment on December 10, 1776 like many of his fellow soldiers. After the reestablishment of a restructured First Maryland Regiment, these Marylanders went on to participate in every main battle fought by the Continental Army until 1780. In these battles, the new recruits to Maryland’s forces were provided with a hardened core of experienced soldiers like Mills who were able to provide them with stability, strength, and the experience of prior confrontations. This helped with the campaign of 1777, where the First Maryland Regiment acted as a crucial aspect of Washington’s offensive force.

Mills served until June 10, 1777, when he was discharged for an unknown reason. [2]

It is possible that he returned to Prince George’s County, Maryland and married Ruth Jacobs on January 3, 1778 and Elizabeth Waters on January 20, 1782. The Second Company that was recruited in 1776 was composed of men from Prince George's County, making Mills most likely from that area. However, as there were multiple John Mills living in Maryland at the time, there is no further definitive information about Mills’s life. [3]

-Taylor Blades, 2017


[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 8.

[2] Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 136.

[3] Robert Barnes, Maryland Marriages, 1778-1899 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1978), 157.

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