References to Sergeant Joseph Rockwell in the diary of Aaron Barlow, as transcribed in Charles B. Todd�s 1880 History of Redding
[Aaron Barlow, a resident of Redding, Fairfield County, Connecticut, was a sergeant in Captain Zalmon Read�s company in Colonel David Waterbury�s 1775 regiment, early in the Revolutionary War. His diary makes several references to a Sergeant Rockwell (identified in one entry as �Joseph Rockwell�) who accompanied him on his journey from Redding to Albany, New York. Rockwell served in the company of Captain Matthew Mead, and an entry that describes him as staying with his �father Wood� in Sharon, Connecticut, serves to identify him as the son of Dorothy (Wood) Rockwell [widow of Jonah Rockwell of Wilton], who married, secondly, Stephen Wood and moved to Sharon. Joseph�s wife Sarah was the sister of Capt. Mead.]
Harlem, July 25.�Col. Waterbury with his company, Captain Mead and Captain Smith set sail for Albany. The other seven companies is received orders to sail to morrow. About 10 of the clock I set out for home expecting to meet the Regiment at Albany. Being very poorly with much difficulty I reached home that night about 10 of the clock. I remained very poorly and stayed at home 21 days.
Redding, Aug. 16.�I set out to join the regiment, but where I know not, in company with Sergeant Joseph Rockwell about 12 of the clock. My left foot grew so lame that I could bear no weight in the stirrup. We rode as far as David Barlow�s in New Fairfield; there we took dinner. In the afternoon we rode as far as Dover and put up at one French�s Tavern.
Dover, Aug. 17.�We went on our journey and came about twelve of the clock to Uncle Israel White�s at Sharon. There I dined with them. Sergeant Rockwell went to his father, Wood�s being nighest neighbor. There we tarried with our friends till next morning.
Sharon, Aug. 18.�About 9 o�clock we set out on our journey for our intended place; we had not rode above 2 or 3 miles before a pain came in my right knew; at the same time the pain in my left foot quite left me. About 12 of the clock we stopped in the south west corner of Shuffer and took dinner. My knew continued growing worse and worse very fast. I being loth to lose company with much difficulty got on my horse again. We rode about six miles and my knee grew so bad I thought I could ride no farther and put up to a tavern; here anointed my knew with Rattle snake�s grease and tarryed about two hours: my knew very much swelled andso lame I cannot go one step, nor raise my weight. Sergt. Rockwell being a mind to go forward, with some trouble I got on my horse again. We rode this night as far as Noblestown, where we put up. I was in great distress and pain after I came into the house. There happened in a neighbor and I got him to ride my horse for the Doctor. He came about 10 of the clock in the evening, rubbed my knee and gave me some drops.
Nobletown, Aug. 19.�I got up about sun rise feeling poorly and very lame. We got breakfast and Sergt. Rockwell being a mind to go forward and I loth to lose company concluded to go forward. The Doctor bleeded me and bathed my knee a long time, and gave me a vial of his ointment and a vial of his drops. About 9 of the clock we set out for Albany and rode about 7 miles into the edge of Claverack. My knee began to pain me as bad as ever and we stopped at a tavern. I being resolved to stay till next morning Sergt. Rockwell concluded to tarry with me. The Landlady being a good nurse sweat my knee this night.
Claverac, Aug. 20, Sunday.�About 8 of the clock we set out in hopes to reach Albany this day. We rode as far as Kinderhook. Here I met an old acquaintance going to Albany with a wagon empty. I thought I could ride easier in the wagon than on my horse, he being willing to carry me I got Sergt. Rockwell to lead my horse. I rode to Albany with much ease. Come to Greenbush we left our horses and ferried over the river into the city and put up at Thomson�s Tavern.
Albany, Aug. 21.�Here I found Sergt. Johnson of New Stratford and sent my horse home by him. This morning I went to the Commissary to see if I could tarry a few days till I grew better. He said I might go to whatever place suited me best. I went to one Mr. Zolters. Here I dined on a very good pot pie. This afternoon there was about 500 Indians, some of all the 6 nations [the Iroquois] came into the city in order to agree with the United Colonies not to fight against them.
Albany, Aug. 22.�The Indians encamped on Albany Hill. I went up to take a view of their encampment. I found them to be very likely, spry, lustry fellows, drest very nice for Indians; the larger part of them had on ruffled shirts, Indian stockings and shoes, and blankets richly trimmed with silver and wampum. �
Albany, Aug. 24.�I saw a man come from Ticonderoga and says Coll. Waterbury�s Regiment is now there but expects to march for St. Johns in about 10 days, which made me think of going forward as quick as possible to join the Regiment before it marched.
Albany, Aug. 25.�This day the 6 nations of Indians is to tell their minds to the United Colonies by interpreters on both sides. I went to see them. There was a large body of square seats made by the old dutch church for the Indians to set on. They made a very beautiful show, being the likeliest, brightest Indians I ever saw. They agreed to set in the corner and smoke their pipes if we let them alone. The colonies agreed to give them a present of 150 pounds worth of goods, the goods to be in laced hats, Indian blankets, calico, Holland, wampum, and other furniture for their use.
Albany, Aug. 26.�I expected to set out for Ticonderoga with some teams and wagons my knee not being quite so strong as it was before. About one of the clock we set out on our journey. It being a cold, wet, uncomfortable day I got a very bad cold. We traveled to Half Moon, there we put up.
Half Moon, Aug. 27, Sunday.�Being very cold for the season my knee grew so stiff and lame I can hardly walk. The caravan got up their teams, and we went off very early. I rode on the cart the bigger part of the day. We went this day about seven miles above Still Water.
Still Water, Aug. 28.�My knee is very lame, with much difficulty got on the cart, went this day 2 miles below Fort Edward.
Fort Edward, Aug. 29.�Being wet we tarried till one o�clock before we set out. We went within five miles of Fort George.
Below Fort George, Aug. 30.�We set out very early for Lake George where we arrived about nine of the clock. There I met with many of my acquaintance belonging to New Canaan under Capt. Baldwin of New Canaan which had the care of the Battoes [sic, bateaux]. He gave us encouragement that we should have a passage over the lake the next morning. Here I met Joseph Rockwell who left me at Albany.
Fort George, Aug. 31.�About 9 of the clock we went on board the Battow for Ticonderoga, it being 35 miles. The wind being ahead we went only to Saberday Point, which is 24 miles from Fort George and lodged on green feather (Hemlock boughs).
Saberday Point, Sept. 1.�We embarked on board our Battow very early. The wind being ahead we came to the landing about 9 of the clock, it being three miles from the Fort (Ticonderoga). Our regiment marched for Fort St. Johns [a British stronghold on the west shore of Lake Champlain] 2 days ago, and there we found about 150 of Coll. Waterbury�s soldiers, the sick and the cowards, also Capt. Read came in last night by Skeensborough. This afternoon went to view the Fort. I found it a very strong beautiful fort.
[On September 2nd, Sgt. Barlow and others embarked for St. Johns, where, after unfavorable winds and delays, they arrived near the British fort on Sept. 8th, where they faced hostile Indian fire. Barlow mentions that four of Capt. Mead�s soldier�s were killed, Capt. Mead himself was wounded and four privates as well. This being Joseph Rockwell�s company, we can safely suppose that he was present for this and subsequent fighting that led to the capture of St. Johns in early November. Soon after, the regiment marched toward Montreal, arriving there on November 13. Again, Sgt. Rockwell was probably present. The Regiment soon returned south, disbanding for the winter. Years later, numerous Revolutionary War veterans settled in Saratoga County, including Joseph Rockwell. It may be that they were attracted by the country while passing through during their tours of duty in 1775 and later.�K.R.]