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Newark in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Delaware Militia

 
 
Delaware Militia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 8, 2019
1. Delaware Militia Marker
Inscription.  The federal government recognized the need for a militia. It is mentioned in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment states “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Delaware dates its militia from the early Swedish settlers of 1656 attempting to defend the territories from the Dutch. In the 1600s the meaning of militia became “a military force raised from the civilian population of a country or region, especially to supplement a regular army in an emergency, frequently distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers.” In other works militia members are not paid soldiers but volunteers to protect the freedom of their home and country. Delaware is divided into three counties and the counties are again divided into hundreds. The intent of the hundreds, other than being a subdivision, is not clear. One definition of a hundred is; “A piece of land large enough to provide a hundred men to serve in time of war.” This in itself could be the first Delaware militia as intended by

Delaware Militia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 8, 2019
2. Delaware Militia Marker
William Penn. The Delaware Assembly passed the militia act in 1776 that remained in effect throughout the Revolutionary War. The act provided that, except for clergymen, judges, jailors, and indentured servants, all white males aged 18 to 50 were to enroll in militia companies. They were to report nine times a year for drill. The act could be compared to the Selective Service Act today. Article VI of the Articles of Confederation, 1777, states, “….every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia sufficiently armed and accustomed, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.” In late December 1774, when tensions with Great Britain were beginning to escalate, Delawareans began to push for a revival of their militia. In March 1775 the delegation formally met and formed the New Castle County, Sussex, and Kent County militia. In December 1776, 500 men in the New Castle County militia were called up when it was learned that the Crown Forces would seize Philadelphia after General Washington’s defeat in New York. On September 3, 1777, when the British looked to advance on Philadelphia, there was a Battle that took place at Cooch’s Bridge in Pencader. The New Castle County Militia under the command of Major Thomas Duff were part
Delaware Militia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 8, 2019
3. Delaware Militia Marker
of the forces that took part in the action near Iron Hill. According to firsthand accounts Major Duff had his horse shot out from under him during the engagement. The uniform regulations for the New Castle county militia were as follows: “The field officers of the militia agreed that the upper, middle, and lower regiments should be uniformed in short light blue coats, lined white, with slash pockets, and blue slash sleeves, plain small white buttons and button holes on each side of the breast, black garters, white stockings, small round hat, without buttons on loops, bound black with a ribbon around the crown the color of the facings. The upper regiment wore cuffs and capes of white, the middle wore blue, and the lower wore green.” Through the years Delaware’s need for recognition of the militia changed. The 1783 law read as follows: “Whereas a well-regulated militia is the proper and natural defense of every free state. And as the several laws enacted by the Legislature of this state for the regulation of the militia there have been found to require material alterations: in order to which it has been thought more advisable to revise the whole system, than to amend it by supplementary statutes.” In 1933, with the passage of the National Guard Mobilization Act, Congress finalized the split between the National Guard and the traditional state militias by mandating
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that all federally funded soldiers take a dual enlistment commission…creating a federal reserve force.
 
Erected by Pencader Heritage Area Association.
 
Location. 39° 36.462′ N, 75° 43.614′ W. Marker is in Newark, Delaware, in New Castle County. Memorial is on Pulaski Highway (U.S. 40). The marker is located in Glasgow Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2275 Pulaski Highway, Newark DE 19702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marquis de Lafayette (here, next to this marker); Mason Dixon Line & the Boundaries of Delaware (here, next to this marker); The March Through Pencader A Fight for Freedom (here, next to this marker); Exploring the Past of Pencader Hundred (here, next to this marker); The Hundreds of Delaware (here, next to this marker); Historic Iron Ore Mining (here, next to this marker); Pencader Presbyterian Church (approx. one mile away); Aiken's Tavern Historic District (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newark.
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 

More. Search the internet for Delaware Militia.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 26, 2019, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 26, 2019, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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