After the events at Lexington and Concord, Thomas Knowlton assembled 200 men into what became known as Ashford Company of Connecticut Militia; this group eventually joined 5th Regiment Connecticut Militia consisting of men from Windham, Mansfield and Coventry and elected Knowlton captain unanimously.
Knowlton became the first foreign force to enter Massachusetts since their colonization, taking up position behind a rail fence on Breed’s Hill.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Knowlton was born in West Boxford, Massachusetts on November 17th 1740. He attended Vestal and Paul Smith’s College before going on to manage hotels in both New York City and Boston.
At Bunker Hill, Knowlton led a group of men that helped strengthen the Patriot redoubt on Breed’s hill. He used an existing rail fence as the basis for building another, parallel one alongside it and filled in any spaces between with freshly cut grass to form an effective breastwall – maintaining his position during combat with only three men losing their lives from his team.
Knowlton was honored by General George Washington for his efforts and was given the task of organizing an elite unit of troops dedicated to intelligence-gathering known as ‘Knowlton’s Rangers,’ later becoming one of America’s first official spy networks.
Knowlton joined the English army during the Final French War (1754-1763) at 15 and served four years, rising through the ranks from private to lieutenant.
In 1775, he led a company from Ashford, Connecticut into Massachusetts to help fight in the American Revolutionary War after Lexington and Concord had taken place. His unit became the first from any colony to march into Massachusetts, and he assumed its leadership. He served as captain.
Washington promoted Knowlton to Lieutenant Colonel and created an elite unit, now known as Knowlton’s Rangers, that carried out hazardous intelligence missions. This unit included some of America’s first official spies as well as Nathan Hale himself; similar to today’s special forces units. In 1995, Washington created the Knowlton Award to recognize soldiers demonstrating professional excellence in Intelligence and Reconnaissance functions.
Achievement and Honors
Knowlton proved himself an outstanding captain during the Revolutionary War. He led an Ashford, Connecticut militia into Massachusetts to help fight British oppressors – becoming one of the first Americans ever to lead forces from another colony into battle.
George Washington commissioned Knowlton to form an elite unit known as Knowlton’s Rangers to handle reconnaissance and dangerous scouting missions – this group would later include future revolutionary spy Nathan Hale.
Knowlton’s creation of this unit is widely recognized as being at the root of military intelligence today; today’s Army Intelligence Department even features his unit’s date of 1776 on their official seal! Additionally, Knowlton is remembered for his valor during Bunker Hill and Augustana College has established an annual scholarship in his name in his honor.
Thomas Knowlton was born November 22nd 1740 in West Boxford, Massachusetts – approximately 80 miles north of Boston – before moving with his family to a farm near Ashford Connecticut when he was 8 years old.
At the start of the Revolutionary War, he organized a company of militia from Ashford and marched with them to join troops at Boston. Once there he was elected captain and led them in battle at Bunker Hill.
In 1776, Knowlton formed his own unit, later known as Knowlton’s Rangers, to perform dangerous covert missions for General George Washington. This event marks the birth of military intelligence. Knowlton is also widely recognized as having trained Nathan Hale – America’s first (though least successful) spy – which earned him recognition with an award by Military Intelligence Corps Association. Thomas Knowlton Award
Knowlton’s net worth has been estimated at $61.9 Million dollars. As Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Tabula Rasa HealthCare Inc, Knowlton owns over 20,000 units worth $3,814,574 that have been traded within six years 91 times.
Born November 22nd 1740 in West Boxford Massachusetts. At eight years of age his family relocated to a farm near Ashford Windham Connecticut (currently June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation).
Knowlton served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and is widely recognized as being the founder of American military intelligence. His unit, “Knowlton’s Rangers”, became one of the first intelligence-gathering units. Additionally, they participated in fighting at Harlem Heights which was America’s initial battlefield victory of this conflict.