A History of Gershom Mott

Gershom Mott was born in Middletown, New Jersey in 1743. At the age of 22, he moved to New York City to become a tradesman and while there he became friends with Mr. John Lamb. The two of them became patriot leaders, helping to form the Sons of Liberty in New York City and raising a protest against the Stamp Act.

As unrest against the British continued to grow, the New York Provincial Congress raised money in 1775 to form an army and Gershom Mott was appointed Captain of the 7th Company in the 1st New York Regiment. Almost immediately the 7th company was armed as artillery and marched with the American army to Canada, joining General Richard Montgomery in the December attack on Quebec. During the winter the army was reorganized and in March 1776 Gershom Mott was appointed artillery commander in Col. John Nicholson’s Regiment in the Continental Army.

In February, 1777, John Lamb, now a Colonel, appointed Mott to be in charge of the 6th Company of the new 2nd Continental Regiment of Artillery. Mott’s Artillery was involved throughout the war, first in Quebec, and later at West Point, Kingston NY, Connecticut, New Jersey and then as far South as Virginia. Gershom Mott died at the age of 43 in 1786 and was buried at Albany, New York. At the end of the war he was ranked 11th of 46 Artillery Captains and 3rd in rank with the 2nd Continental Regiment of Artillery.

 

Modern Day Motts Artillery

The modern day Mott’s Artillery was formed in 1977 by Charles McGatha, who was the commanding officer of the unit until 1998 when he moved to Virginia. From 1998 to the present time, John Mills, Curator of Princeton Battlefield, has been the Commander of Mott’s Artillery..

Mott's Artillery command structure is set with one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Sergeant, one Corporal. At most events, all soldiers will fall under the command of the Sergeant unless the event requests an artillery Captain to command more than one gun. All soldiers, regardless of rank, are expected to maintain military disclipine when on the field.

Currently Mott's Artillery maintains a bronze 3 pounder cannon, Bonhom Richard, named after a former crew member who died in a bicycle accident. The unit also maintains tentage for colonial camping, as well as the necessary cooking equipment.

Mott’s Artillery, a non-profit (501c3) corporation, is a member of the Continental Line and associate member of the Brigade. We have a Constitution, by-laws, elected officers, and a Board of Directors.

Artillery Captain John Mills

Mott's Artillery Captain John Mills continually shows his dedication to history by hauling most of the unit equipment to and from most events, including the unit cannon. He is the curator of Princeton Battlefield State Park and a wealth of historical knowledge, especially in the colonial era. His humor, wit, and good company, combined with excellent leadership has kept Mott's Artillery going for many years and for that we are truely greatful to have him in our ranks.

Guard on Washington's tomb

In 1999 Mott's Artillery participated in an event at Mt. Vernon, his Excellency Gen. George Washington's homestead where members of Mott's Artillery were given the honor of guarding the tomb of Gen. George Washington. This is one example of how participating in a reenactment can be a rewarding and educational experience.