Colonel Ichabod Alden was born 11 August 1740 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States to Samuel Alden (1688-1781) and Sarah Sprague (1701-1773) and died 11 November 1778 Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Wakefield (1742-) 8 January 1774 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.


LTC Ichabod Alden was an American Revolutionary War officer and commanding officer during the Cherry Valley Massacre.

The great-grandson of the Mayflower pilgrim John Alden (c1599-1687), Ichabod Alden was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

American Revolutionary War

Battle flag of 1777

7th Massachusetts Regiment, also known as Alden's Regiment, was raised on September 16, 1776, under Ichabod Alden (1739-1778) at Boston, Massachusetts. The regiment would see action in the American Revolutionary War at the Battle of Saratoga, Cherry Valley (11-Nov-78) and Sullivan's Expedition.

Cherry Valley Massacre 1778

Appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Plymouth militia regiment in 1775, Alden first saw action serving with the 25th Continental Regiment during the Siege of Boston. Following his promotion to Colonel in November 1776, Alden was assigned to the 7th Massachusetts Regiment stationed at the garrison of Cherry Valley, New York. Although commanding between 200 and 300 men, Alden's limited military experience and lack of knowledge regarding local Indian tactics or customs would prove to be a great disadvantage as in early November 1778, receiving a warning of an attack by local tribes, Alden made minimal preparations.

On November 11, a combined force of 600 Indians led by Joseph Brant and 200 Tories known as Butler's Rangers under Major Walter Butler launched a surprise attack after the capture of several of Alden's scouts provided intelligence of the situation in the valley. In the attack 32 civilians and 16 soldiers were killed, and 71 residents were captured. The officers of the regiment were quartered in private homes, and Alden was killed in an attempt to reach the fort from a house on the outskirts of the fort. His executive officer, Lt. Col. William Stacy, was taken prisoner. The attack, retaliation for the defeat at the Battle of Oriskany, would later provoke an expedition against the villages and agricultural crops of the Iroquois League led by Gen. John Sullivan in 1779.


Offspring of Colonel Ichabod Alden and Mary Wakefield (1742-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Alden (1774-1854)
Rebecca Partridge Alden (1777-1807)


Research Notes

During my Alden research I found a vital record in Duxbury, MA that validates his birth as 11 Aug 1739 in Duxbury.



Footnotes (including sources)

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