Unit History

On October 16, 1775 the Pennsylvania Council of Safety authorized the formation of a single company of artillery for the defense of Pennsylvania, comprised mostly of residents of Philadelphia, Bucks, and Chester counties. The company was raised with two officers and twenty-seven enlisted men to be stationed at Fort Island (present day Ft. Mifflin) in the Delaware River below the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia. Commissioned as its Captain on October 27, 1775 was Thomas Proctor, a carpenter from Philadelphia and a native of County Longford, Ireland. Commissioned on the same day, as Lieutenant of the company was Francis Proctor Jr. father of Thomas. Proctors Company quickly grew to battalion strength with the addition of several companies with Thomas Proctor being promoted to the rank of colonel. Although the unit remained under state control until being absorbed into the Continental Army of General Washington on June 6, 1777, it was for all intent and purposes the 4th Continental Artillery Regiment from Feb. 6th, 1777. The regiment lasted throughout the war and was engaged (in one form or another) in most of the major battles of the conflict. It was disbanded in 1783 after the signing of the peace treaty with England.

One most notable person of Proctors Artillery was Mary Hays, the wife of an artillerist with the company. She would become the infamous “Molly Pitcher” who took up her husband’s post when he was wounded at The Battle of Monmouth in 1778.