The Dodge Family Association

Robert Dodge

Hamilton Minute Man

First Lieutenant, Robert Dodge, then 31,was sowing barley on his farm in The Hamlet (now the town of Hamilton, Massachusetts) when, on the alarm of April 19, 1775, his company of Minutemen under Capt. Elisha Whitney, The Hamlet's physician, was ordered to march to Mystic (Medford) on the route of the retreat of the British from Concord and Lexington.

The Hamlet's pastor, Manasseh Cutler, addressed the assembled men before heir departure and then rode on horse back to Cambridge with the Rev. Joseph Willard of Beverly (later, president of Harvard), reaching Cambridge in time to see the enemy retreating to Boston.

Robert's grandson, Allen Washington Dodge (1804-1878), who often sat on the knees of  his grandfather to listen to his stories and "from these experiences, and from the sight of his cocked hat and sword,drawin at a very early age large draughts of patriotism," says that his grandmother, having stood the sound of the cannon as long as she could, drove alone with horse and chaise to Charlestown the next morning to see what had become of her husband.

"And when she got there the town was still burning and the blood running in the streets" says Danvers author, Harriet W. Preston, placing Allen's grandparents as characters in her novel, Aspendale(1871). Whether Mrs. Dodge found him, we do not know, but she no doubt was at home when he returned on the 22nd.

Commissioned captain in June, 1775, when Dr. Whitney was assigned elsewhere as army surgeon, Robert Dodge was a colonel at the War's end.  He is said to have served in 23 engagements during the whole war. He was at Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights, in the Rhode Island and" northern department" (NewYork) campaigns, and at Trenton, where the story told of him goes, infuriated at the sight of the Hessians, he flew at them brandishing hat in one hand and broadsword in the other, both high above his head, roaring  "Rush on, ye devils! Rush on, ye devils!"

Both Robert Dodge and Manesseh Cutler served in the Third Essex County Regiments of Colonels Ebenezer Francis and Jonathon Titcomb.  Dr. Cutler as chaplain for the month of September, 1776, at Dorchester Heights and for the month of August, 1778, at Newport,  Rhode Island.

The above story was taken from an article by Janice Pulsifer which appeared in the Essex County Newspapers in 1975, and was reprinted in the Dodge Family Journal, September 1987.