Samuel Whittemore is the oldest documented combatant in the American War of Independence. At the age of 80, he had already served as an officer in the British Army. A veteran of King’s George’s War as well as the French and Indian Wars, Sam retired to his farm.
On April 19, 1776, Sam spotted a British brigade marching back to Boston. With the odds at about 4000 to one, Sam grabbed his weapons and attacked. From behind a stone wall he killed a soldier with his first shot. Drawing his pistols, he killed two more. He then began trading shots with a detachment sent to deal with him. He had fired five times when the soldiers closed on him. Drawing his sword, Sam attacked. It was then that he was shot in the head. Repeatedly beaten and bayoneted thirteen times, he was left for dead in a pool of blood.
Instead of dying, he was found later trying to load his weapons. He recovered from his wounds and lived to the age of 98.
In 2005, Samuel Whittemore was named the State Hero of Massachusetts.