Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam

Detail from Dominique C. Fabronius, Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam, ca. 1864, lithograph – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Israel Putnam (1718-1790)

Israel Putnam, a patriot and Revolutionary War veteran, is most famous today for his bravery during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Originally from Massachusetts, a 22-year-old Putnam moved to what is now Pomfret in 1740. There, local residents credited him with crawling into a wolf den and killing the last known wolf in Connecticut. He fought in the French and Indian War and became a prominent member of the Sons of Liberty and a leader of the opposition to the 1765 Stamp Act. After serving two years in the general assembly, he became second brigadier of the Connecticut forces that fought the British in the Battle of Bunker Hill. A stroke forced his retirement from the military in 1779, and he died in Brooklyn, where a monument now marks his final resting spot.

More on Israel Putnam from the CT Digital Archive

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Israel Putnam: A Youthful Trailblazer Turned Colonial Militiaman

Israel Putnam served with distinction in the Seven Years' War and in the Revolutionary War, particularly at the Battle of Bunker Hill. …[more]

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Connecticut Military Department. “Connecticut Military History:  Israel Putnam,” 2013. Link.
Sons of the American Revolution. “Israel Putnam,” 2010. Link.


“Brooklyn Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“General Israel Putnam Cottage (Knapp’s Tavern),” 2016. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Mashamoquet Brook State Park,” 2016. Link.
“Putnam Memorial State Park,” 2016. Link.


Connecticut Historical Society Library Catalog. “Catalog Record of the Israel Putnam Journal and Orderly Book, 1762-1778,” 2013.
Washington, George. “George Washington to Israel Putnam, et al,  Circular Letter to Officers on Winter Cantonment,” October 14, 1778. Library of Congress, American Memory, George Washington Papers: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “Israel Putnam Collection,” n.d. Link.
Putnam, Israel. “Oath of Allegiance to the United States,” March 3, 1778. Connecticut Museum of Culture and History. Link.


Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati.; American Imprint Collection (Library of Congress), and David Humphreys. An Essay on the Life of the Honorable Major-General Israel Putnam: Addressed to the State Society of the Cincinnati in Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Printed by Hudson and Goodwin, 1788. Link.
Niven, John. Connecticut Hero, Israel Putnam. Hartford, CT: American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1977.
Larned, Ellen. History of Windham County, Connecticut. 1760-1880. Vol. 2. Worcester,  MA: Ellen Larned, 1874. Link.
Livingston, William Farrand. Israel Putnam; Pioneer, Ranger, and Major-General, 1718-1790. New York; London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1901. Link.
Tarbox, Increase N. Life of Israel Putnam (“Old Put”), Major-General in the Continental Army. Boston, MA: Lockwood, Brooks, and Company, 1876. Link.
Cruson, Daniel. Putnam’s Revolutionary War Winter Encampment: The History and Archaeology of Putnam Memorial State Park. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2011.
Humphreys, David. The Life and Heroic Exploits of Israel Putnam, Major-General in the Revolutionary War. New York, NY: Ezra Strong, 1834. Link.
Cutter, William. The Life of Israel Putnam, Major-General in the Army of the American Revolution. New York, NY: George F. Cooledge & Brother, 1848. Link.