(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The United States did not rely upon a standing army for defense. Instead, the law required that every able-bodied man between the ages of sixteen and sixty had to be a member of the local militia. Spring and fall "training days" supposedly kept these citizen soldiers trained and prepared to march at a moment's notice to meet any military emergency. This muster sheet records the names and accouterments of the members of the Deerfield, Massachusetts, Militia Company of Captain John Wells. Note that all of the men brought their own weapons. Only one came with a rifle; the rest carried smoothbore muskets. Most also carried their own bayonets, extra flints, and
"wires and brushes" to keep their guns clean and operable.