Monday January 10, 2011

Pittsfield's illustrious and proud history of contributions during wartime began at the onset of the Revolutionary War.

On April 21, 1775, just two days after Paul Revere's famous "Midnight Ride" and the battle between Colonists and English armies at Lexington and Concord, a horse galloped into Pittsfield with the recent news of conflict.

With a good sense of politics and an ability to gauge the future, Capt. David Noble already had assembled a small army of minutemen from Pittsfield and neighboring Richmond.

Noble, who served in various town government positions, was a stickler for excellence. He outfitted his regiment at his own cost and spared little expense in doing so.

Noble supplied arms. Buckskin breeches and "coats of blue turned up with white." Noble even called in a "breeches-maker" from Philadelphia to tailor the uniforms.

Upon news from the east, Noble's regiments saw action almost immediately.

With patriots like Noble, Pittsfield contributed mightily to the war effort in such categories as money, men and sacrifice.

The "farmer-soldiers" from Pittsfield and Berkshire County served at Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Bennington, Saratoga, White Plains, Princeton and other key battles.

When the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 to formally end hostilities, Pittsfield citizens marched and celebrated in the streets to the backdrop of thundering cannons.

The series can be found at www.berkshireeagle.com/Pittsfield250.