Information of the formation of Minute Companies for the 2nd Albany are fairly sketchy. We do, however, have the following information.
Here are some information from "Rules and Orders for Regulating the
Militia of the Colony of New York: Recommended by the Provincial Congress,
August 22, 1775":
XIV. That the commissioned officers of each company of minute-men, form
their own companies into four sub-divisions, in such manner as they shall
think most convenient for their frequent meetings; the sub-divisions under
their respective officers to meet once in every week, and to employ half a
day, or at least four hours each time, in perfecting themselves in military
discipline, the whole companies to meet once every fortnight, to spend the
same time for the same purpose. That the several companies of minute-men
be formed into regiments, to consist of about seven companies each, that
there be commissioned by this Congress to each regiment, one Colonel, one
Lieutenant Colonel, and two Majors, and Adjutant and Quarter-Master.
XV. That those regiments be formed into brigades, each brigade to consist
of about ______________ regiments ____________________________ That there
be commissioned by the Congress, to each brigade, one Brigadier General,
and a Major of brigade.
XVI. That the whole body of minute-men shall be under the direction of the
Major General, appointed by this Congress, while within the colony, unless
a Continental Officer of superior, or equal rank be present.
XVII. That the minute-men when called out in defense of their country,
shall be subject to the articles of war established by the Continental
Congress; and be intitled (sp), to the same allowance as to pay and
provisions, with the Continental forces; and to be under the direction of
the commander in chief of those forces.
The following was found in "A
History of Schenectady During the Revolution" by Hanson.
"On September 2, 1775, agreeable to a request from the Committee of
Safety, a meeting of all the militia of the town of Schenectady was held at
the Dutch Church for the purpose of forming companies in accordance with
the plans of the Continental and Provincial Congresses."
"At this meeting the three companies already formed were reorganized
and two additional companies raised. Jellis J. Fonda and John Van Patten
were retained as captains; John Mynderse, who had originally been selected
as a lieutenant in Captain Van Dyke's company, was promoted to the rank of
captain; and to the command of the new companies were elected Abraham
Wemple and Thomas Wasson."
"The companies of Captains Fonda and Mynderse retain their
classification as minute men and as such served until the spring of 1777,
when they were incorporated with the regular militia. The motto of these
companies as noted on their flags was "Liberty or Death", and because of
the color of the uniform worn by their members Captain Mynderse's company
was known as "The Blues" and Captain Fonda's company as "The Green's"."
More along the same lines, the following is from the pension papers of Cornelius Gansvoord, 1832 - in part of his declaration in support of Jellis Fonda's pension application - (spelling and grammer are as written in the petition)
"Sometime early in the summer of the year 1775, two companies of minute
men were raised in the township now City of Schenectady, for the defense of
the rights and liberties of America, a sort of intermediate between regular
troops and militia, whose motto as painted on their colours was "Liberty or
Death". One of these companies was called "blues" from the color of their
uniform was placed under the command of John Myerderse of said township: of
the other company of minute men called "greens" (from the color of their
uniform) the aforesaid Jellis was appointed to Captain, and served as such
during the war... "
Some members of the 2nd Albany, who wish to portray the members of a Minute Company, have chosen to portray members of the "Greens".
The recreated Green's minute company is the campaign part of the 2nd Albany. It is mostly made up of the younger members of the unit that camp, cook and operate in a progressive manner. The goal of the campaign company is to show people what militia on campaign or militia that has been sent on patrol in the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys would have looked like. The members work as a mess group and have no tents. This is not to say we will not take up shelter when we can find it whether it be a house, barn or in an arbor built with branches.
The Green's Minute Company adheres to the following rules:
We eat and work as 1 mess.
Food issues Saturday morning to all men and woman
Camp duties are performed by all
Cooking duties are rotated throughout the mess (men and women)
We eat, sleep and pull guard duty as a mess.
We travel and live out of our packs and bed roles
If you can't walk from your car to camp in one run you don't need it!
Max two blankets
Packs and rolls should be appropriate to our impression (see gear guide at end)
You will also be carrying your food and water so keep that in mind.
Clothing will be proper for time period we are doing, i.e. rev war civilian in Albany, New York
Clothing should be fit to 18th century standards
Hats should be appropriate to our area and time period
Shoes to be either half boots or buckle shoes. Buckle shoes being the preference.
Almost all of your kit needs to be hand finished or completely hand sewn. (the completely is if you are crazy like Will)
Help will be given to anyone and everyone to get this ready for next season. You also have one season to get your gear to this point.
You must have a period and area proper flint lock. Gun safety is extremely important to this group! You must live fire your flint lock to know and understand it. If you have not done this we will take care of that, not to worry.
For the men of the Green's Minute Company I would like to see you stick to the following clothing guidelines. Remember that all of the men coming in brought their own clothing, packs, bedding and flint locks. Most of them were also tradesmen, far
packs, bedding and flint locks. Most of them were also tradesmen, farmers, Shop keeps and things of that sort so keep this in mind when getting your kit together:
Civilian Frock coats (of wool or Linen these can be any number of period correct colors)
Civilian Jackets (of wool or linen. These are also different then sleeved waistcoats)
Farmer or work frocks (these are oversized shirts made of a heavier linen or linsey-woolsey colors include Natural, brown, oznaburgh, checks and stripes of the period)
Waistcoats (can be with and without sleeves and made of wool or linen. The following colors are the most common Linen: white, unbleached, or oznaburgh. Wool: blue, brown, madder red and white)
Double breasted waistcoats and Jackets (can be made of wool or linen. The following colors are the most common Linen: white, unbleached, or oznaburgh. Wool: blue, brown, madder red and white)
Shirts (white, unbleached, oznaburgh, check or striped linen)
Breeches (oznaburgh, or unbleached, linen as well as hemp or leather)
Trousers (oznaburgh, or unbleached linen or Hemp. There are also many pairs of checked or stripped trousers in the period)
Stockings (can be wool or cotton and should be solid blue, gray, brown or other appropriate colors.)
Neck clothes (silk or linen of solid or block printed fabric)
Gaiters both the short and tall version (short gaiters should be black and tall gaiters should be black, brown or white and all should be made of heavy wool or linen canvas. Please note that white tall gaiters are less common then black or brown)
Country boots or Wrappers (a pieces of wool clothing that raps around the bottom of the leg between the knee and ankle and are ties to the leg with woven tape at the ankle and below the knee. Theses should be either blue, brown, dark green or black and can be of different weights of wool)
Leggings with out decoration (These can be wool or leather wool being more common. Wool colors should stay to blue, red and green)
Shoes or Half boots (black rough side out and straight-lasted. Which means no specific left or right. Also note that Half boots are common in the period but not as common a buckle shoes)
Equipment Militia Man:
Below is a list of gear you will need to go along with your impression. This list includes personal items, which the common man might have with him.
Packs and Bedding:
Wool Blankets (these would be brought from home and would be a mix of solid colors strips and checks)
Pack (this should hold a bushel the most common type would be an oversized haversack with 3 buttons to close it and two straps. It also may or may not be painted to waterproof it.)
Market wallet (used by both men and woman while traveling or shopping in town. Are also know to be used by men in the militia to carry there stuff)
Tumpline (most common tumpline are an oversized leather belt about 2 to 3 inches wide or a 2 inch wide hemp strap.
Arms and Accouterments: These would be what the men brought with them into service.
Firelock (this would be of both the civilian and military types and would also be of many different calibers.)
Cartridge box or Belly boxes
Hunting bag (Can be made of leather or of heavy linen or hemp canvas. The canvas ones would be painted to waterproof them.)
Powder horn (there are a huge variety of these so please consult with a member before buying one)
Bayonet (if the gun you bring has one)
Side-arms (tomahawks, Hunting swords, or a small swords)
Mess Items: Please note that with the items listed below are the most commonly known eating equipment for soldiers and are recommended because we eat as a unit. But, we also know that more times then not the men did not have these items to eat with and eat a lot of there food right out of the mess kettles with there hands or what utensils they had.
Bowl of wood or tin
Spoon of horn or pewter
Tin, Earthen wear or horn cup
Blade or knife (this could be either a folding knife or a belt knife)
Canteen either Glass, Wood or tin
"S" hook (this is optional but, I recommend having a small one in your kit they can be used for many things)
Personal Items: The gun cleaning kit is something you will need right away and the rest are optional.
Period shaving kit
Tooth brush and tooth powder
Fire kit (this will be a steel striker, flint, char cloth and tinder / tow. You will need this if you have a tobacco kit)
Tobacco kit (this will have your clay pipe and tobacco in it)
Gun Cleaning kit (below are the list of things that should be in the kit)
Oil (the most common oil used in the time is sweet oil also known as olive oil)
Brick dust or fire ash to clean and brighten the metal on your firelock (fire ash is more common and on hand at every encampment)
Flints (you should have at least 12 in your stuff per military orders)
Tow or cloth patches for cleaning the barrel
Soft leather or linen clothes to use with the brick dust or fire ash.
Oiled cloth for wiping and lubricating your firelock
Special tools: (You will need these)
Turn-key (screw driver)
Tow worm or cleaning jag that fits your ramrod
Spring vise for removing lock springs
Optional Items: (You won't need these right away but as time goes by you will want them)
Leather or oiled linen cloth Lock cover (used to protect your lock from the rain or fowl weather
Oiled linen cloth or wooden tompion for plugging the muzzle of the gun against rain or fowl weather
April 5 and 6: Herkimer home Muster this is our Drill weekend so put it
on your calendars This will be a weekend for us all to work together and
check over everyone’s gear and clothing. So be ready for pack and
clothing inspection. This is not to put anyone down or make them feel
out of place just to get you ready for the year.
April 19 and 20: Battle road and hunting shirts in mass with the 2nd
May 17 and 18: Boones Homestead This is a LI event and only for those
of us with the kit not a Green’s event.
May 31 June 1: ALL UP!!! This is the Schoharie event this will be our
all up. Camp kitchen and brush huts be ready to work there will be
little down time at this one!
August 2 and 3: Fort Plain or Sturbridge Village this is an up in the
Air set of events. But I would like this to be final gear check before
August 18 to 21: Trek against the Marks men I would like to have 8 guys
for this!!! This is a true test of gear and everyone should do it one
time. Ladies are welcome on this to but will be armed on this trip!
Sept 6 and 7: Fort Ticonderoga just to support our friends at the fort.
Oct 3 to 5: Meyers Hill war game this will be our immersion event for
the year at this point I would like to meet up on Thursday night or
Friday morning at the hunting camp 30 miles from there and then all go
in as one on Friday afternoon.
Nov 8 and 9: Fort Stanwix this will be our relax sew and tavern event.
The Sgt will set up a punch bowl tavern on Saturday night.