After the Battle of Concord and Lexington the Vineyard prepared to enter the war.  At the Battle of Bunker Hill Joseph Huxford of Edgartown was one of Colonel Prescott’s men.  Between the eighth and fourteenth of October, 1775, the first company was formed on the Vineyard.  It consisted of three commissioned and eight non-commissioned officers, two musicians and thirty-one privates.  On January 1, 1776, a new enlistment was called for, and was placed under the command of Captain Benjamin Smith.  This company consisted of sixty-five privates, and was made up of Edgartown men.  They were stationed on the eastern end of the island.  A company was kept here until 1778.  Many of the men left the island and joined Washington, and there was hardly a battle from Bunker Hill to Yorktown in which an “Edgartown” did not take part.

     While Washington was retreating across New Jersey, Andrew Norton, son of Major Peter Norton, was captured by the British, taken to New York, and placed on the prison ship Jersey.  The commander of the vessel sent word to Major Norton that he could ransom his son by sending him five hundred pounds in gold.  This was a great deal of money to collect, especially in Revolutionary times, but Major Norton with the help of his wife and family collected the money by sacrificing sheep, cattle and land.  At last the five hundred pounds was ready to be sent.  He called the family together, and while giving thanks to God that the money had been secured, and that his beloved son Andrew would be saved, a horseman galloped up to the door with the sad news that Andrew was dead, having been shot by the British while running the bowsprit.


Edgartown did her part in the Civil War by giving three hundred and fifteen soldiers and sailors to the cause.  There is a park and monument dedicated to the “Boys of  “61.”  July 4, 1920, a square and monument were dedicated to the boys who did their part in the World War.


Antone B. Andrada

Elmer H. Delora

Earle Laidlaw

Luther M. Sibley

Joeseph Andrada

Antone DeFrates

Harry Mullineaux

Edward F. Silva

John H. Bachelder

Freeman O. Downie

Thomas K. Neilson

Edward K. Sylvia

Antone Barboza

Herbert Duvay

Samuel B. Norton

Charles A. Teller

Manuel S. Bettencourt

James W. Eldridge

Richard H. Norton

William H. Ward

Joseph S. Bettencourt

John F. Enos

Jack O’Neil

Charles Waters, Jr.

Frank R. Brown

Morris Hall

Philip Perry

Grames P. Waters

Maurice Brown

Alfred Hall

Fred Richards

Clarence F. Waters

Leon W. Brown

Walter P. Hillman

Joseph S. Rose Jr.

Percy D. West

George W. Brown

Carl Jeffers

Joeseph E. Rowe

Arthur J. Western

Irving H. Coffin

Henry A. Kelly

Ernest A. Royal

Thomas J. Wilson

Edwin Coffin

John H. King

William E. Salvadore

Dr. Edward P. Worth





     Joeseph Norton, the son of Nicholas Norton, was Justice of the King’s Bench.  Next in line was his son Ebenezer who was selectman of Edgartown many terms.  At one time Ebenezer was very ill and the family didn’t expect him to live.  His wife Deborah took from the great chest his linen winding sheet or shroud.  It had yellowed with age for she had made it many years before.  She washed it carefully and spread it out to dry and to whiten in the sun near the front of the house.  It seems that from his high-posted bedstead Ebenezer could see it.  Soon after she had spread it out the pigs got out of the pen and started for the front of the house.  The family were in the kitchen waiting to hear of his death, when, to their great astonishment, they heard him call: “Debby!  Debby! Drive those hogs away from my winding sheet or it won’t be fit to bury the devil in”

     The son of Ebenezer who remained on the home farm was Peter Norton, later known as Major Peter.  At the time of Grey’s raid the British came to Major Norton’s and took eight hundred sheep and a number of cattle.  About a hundred of his wife’s tame geese were feeding in Quatapog Pond.  The British shot every one of them.