3d Company (Beaverdam), 3d Regiment (1st Rensselearwyck Battalion)

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY

Albany County, New York Militia

Author: Harold Miller, Edited By: Glen Swartz

* Assumption
Staffing Author-
20 Oct 1775[2] 20 Feb 1776[3] Jul 1776[4] - Oct 1777[5] Apr 1788[6]
Captain 1 Jacob Ball Jacob Ball Peter Dietz[5], [7] Peter Dietz*
1st Lt. 1 John Warner John Warner
2d Lt. 0 - 1 Peter Dietz Peter Dietz Joshua Shafer Joshua Shafer
Ensign 1 Joshua Shafer Joshua Shafer William Dietz* William Dietz*
Sergeants 3 - 4 William Dietz[8][9]
Corporals 3 - 4
Fifer 1
Privates 50-76 Jacob Shultes[10]
John Ramsey[11]
John Ramsey[11],
William Ball[12]

David Kniskern[13]

Staffing 22 Jun 1778[7] Oct 1778[6] 4 Mar 1780[14] after 1 Sep 1781[15]
Captain Peter Dietz* William Dietzl[12] William Dietz
1st Lt. Joahua Shafer Willliam Dietz[9] Mathias Shultes Sr. Mathias Shultes Sr.[10], [9]
2d Lt. William Dietz Mathias Shultes Sr.[16]
Peter Weidman
Adam Dietz, Jr. Adam Dietz, Jr.
Ensign Peter Weidman Adam Dietz Jr.[16]
Privates John Ramsey,[11]
William Ball[12]
David Kniskern[13]
John Ramsey,[11]
William Ball[12]
David Kniskern[13]
Jacob Shultes,[10]
Francis Becraft[17]
Mathias Shultes Jr.


  1. The authorized strength (Table of Organization) for a Continental line company changed a number of times during the course of the Revolutionary War (Wright). Authorized strength does not mean all the positions are filled. The NY Militia would have had to have adopted a similar structure to the Continental line for integration into it.
  2. 20 Oct 1775, the 5th Co, 4th Rgmt (2d Rensselearwyck Bn), Albany Co, NY Militia was organized with the following officers; Capt Jacob Ball, 1st Lt John Warner, 2d Lt Peter Dietz, and Ens'n Joshua Shafer. At that time the 4th Rgmt was commanded by Col Kilian Van Renselaer and the 3d Rgmt was commanded by Col Abraham Ten Broeck with the second in command Lt Col Francis Nicoll (Fernow, pp263-264).
  3. 20 Feb 1776, the appointments made 20 Oct 1775 in the 3d-6th Albany Co. Rgmts, were considered as irregular, and at the request of the County Committee a new arrangement was made and commissions issued accordingly at that time. In the new arrangements the 5th Co, 4th Rgmt was redesignated as the 3d Co, 3d Rgmt (1st Rensselearwyck Bn) and Col Francis Nicoll assumed command of the 3d Rgmt. Col Nicoll resigned before 22 Jun 1778 and Col Philipp P. Schuyler assumed command of the 3d Rgmt (Fernow, pp263-264). It is unclear what the command relationship was between the 3d Co, 3d Rgmt and the 15th Rgmt (Col Peter Vrooman, Schoharie District). Fernow makes no mention of a change in command relationships, but from pension applications apparently the 3d Co, 3d Rgmt was closely tied to the 15th Rgmt. Most likely this relationship arose from existing lines of communication between Berne and Schoharie. Evidence of this can be found by examination of the baptism and marriage records for the town of Berne around this time, when most were recorded at Schoharie. It is possible the 3d Co was attached to the 15th Rgmt and assigned to the 3d Rgmt. A review of pay rolls for the two Rgmts or unit histories should shed further light.
  4. Following the Declaration of Independence on 4 Jul 1776, Ball was removed from Command because of his Tory sympathies. Warner would ordinarily taken command, but perhaps he too was a Tory. In 1778 Ball defected with about 63 of 85 men from Beaverdam and Duanesburgh (Simms, chap VII). Ball was made a Lt. and later attained the rank of Capt(????) in Butler’s Rangers (Palmer). So, Peter Dietz became the commander of the 3d Company, Shafer became second in command, William Dietz was promoted to 2d Lt and Peter Weidman was commissioned an Ens'n.
    Subj:Jacob Ball, Date:18-Jan-02, From:bill_smy@yahoo.com (bill smy), To:GlSwartz@aol.com: Jacob Ball served as a Lieutenant in Butler's Rangers. His commission was dated 4 Aug 1779. Court Martialled with his son, Peter, for "attempting to stir up a mutiny." Acquitted. 1783, in Ten Broeck's Company, 60 years old. I Don't have any reference of a John Warner.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sep-Oct 1777 With Gen Burgoyne's approach down the Hudson River toward Saratoga, Gen Gates directed the creation of two draft Battalions to serve in Brigadier General Glover's Brigade. Each of the draft Battalions consisted of seven companies, most likely drawn from the Albany Co Militia. Col Abraham Wemple, Commander of the 2d Rgmt Schenectady, Albany Militia, was detached and took command of one of the Battalions (the other was commanded by Col Whiting). The Battalions arrived in Cohoes, NY 9 Sep 1777, where the Northern Army was assembled. On 17 Oct 1777, Gen Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga (present day Schuylerville). The 15th Rgmt remained in the Schoharie valley to fend off skirmishers during the battles at Saratoga.
    A Capt Peter Dietz, in Col Wemple's Battalion, was accidentally wounded at Saratoga on either 9 Sep or 18 Oct 1777 {depending on secondary sources} and died the next day. From Fernow, we know the Capt Peter Dietz of the 3d Co, 3d Rgmt was deceased before 4 Mar 1780, but appears to be alive before 22 Jun 1778. Therefore, I (Harold Miller) assume that the Capt. Peter Dietz who died at Saratoga from Schoharie, and was the son of William Dietz, Esq., not to be confused with his nephew, William Dietz of Beaver Dam.
    "The Dietz Family," history says, “Capt Peter Dietz was killed in action, and Lt. William Dietz took his place and was made Captain at once; this change was made so fast that no date was given for it.” No further citations or details. A story in the "Altamont Enterprise," states similar events.(Both Secondary Sources). If I (Harold Miller) am correct that the Capt. Peter Dietz who died at Saratoga was from Schoharie, then it would have been the Capt. Peter Dietz from Beaverdam who was succeeded by his brother William.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Apr–Nov 1778, a stockade in Switzkill (Beaverdam) was erected, under Col Peter Vrooman, Maj Johan Jost Becker, Capt William Dietz, Lt. Mathias Schulders, and Ens'n Adam Dietz. (1839, affidavit of William Ball). The affidavit indicates Capt Peter Dietz was deceased before Nov 1778, but again it could simply be fading memories that lead William Ball to say it was William Dietz, rather than Peter Dietz.
  7. 7.0 7.1 22 Jun 1778, changes: Joost Shaver, 1st Lt of the Company of the Beat, wherein he resides; Wm. Teets, 2d Lt.; Peter Whitman, Ens'n. (Fernow, p264) From this entry it appears Capt Peter Dietz is still in command of the 3d Co. 22 Jun 1778 is probably the date the commissions were made, the appointment may have been earlier.
  8. Between 20 Feb 1776 and 22 Jun 1778, William Dietz was either appointed to Ens'n or serving as a Sergeant and commissioned 22 Jun 1778 directly to 2d Lt.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 25 Mar 1782, Mathice Schoultis, Lt., appears as the Head of a Class on a Return of the Names of the Heads of the different Classes of the Regiment Commanded by Col Peter Vroman (Military Service Records, National Archives, Wash, D.C., Mathias Schoultes #M1782). A senior Lieutenant might have served as a Captain-Lieutenant exercising practical command of a company.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 1776, from the 1832 Declaration of Jacob Shultis, age 72, of Knox for a pension. Jacob said, that in the year 1776, he this declarer was enrolled at the Beaverdam (now Town of Bern) in the County of Albany, under the command of Capt William Dietz, and in Col Peter Vrooman's regiment of militia. That he enlisted for nine months in Col John Harper's Regiment, and joined Capt Bogart's (of Albany) Company in the middle fort at Schoharie, and lay in garrison there for seven months and then marched with the regiment to Fort Stanwix, where this declarer was in garrison for about two months, and his term of enlistment being then expired, he was discharged and returned home to the Beverdam; Sometime after his return home from the nine months service, he this Declarer was ordered out with the militia, in a company commanded by Matthise Shultis, who was either Captain or Lieutenant Commandant of the company, and the father of this declarer, and marched from Beaverdam to the lower fort at Schoharie and was in garrison there for three weeks or a month, and then returned home to the Beverdam; Sometime afterwards, this Declarer was ordered out to march with Capt Jacob Van Arnum to Schenectady, where he remained only a week, and he was discharged and returned home to the Beverdam. (photo copy of the original declaration from Terrell W. Shoultes).
    I (Glen Swartz) attribute the discrepancy between Fernow and Shultis, to Jacob's fading memory of who was in command at which time. 56 years had elapsed from when Jacob served and made the above deposition. It is likely Jacob served under Capt William Dietz, but the year was probably later than stated above.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Pvt John Ramsey’s Revolutionary War record: Enlisted at Rensselearville, Sep 1777 and served four months in Capt Dietz's Co, Col Vrooman's Rgmt. In 1778 and 1779 he served under Capt William Deitz.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives." Wash DC. #R2847. Dietz, Adam, NY, widow Margaret. This is the application of Margaret Reinhart Dietz, widow of Adam Dietz, [son of William Dietz, Esq. of Schoharie] for a Revolutionary War pension--not approved. Transcribed 30 Aug 2001 by Rev. Edwin Beller Jr. p1. 1839 affidavit of William Ball, of Berne, in support of Margaret Dietz's claim for pension. William said He did militia service with Adam Dietz. The said Adam Dietz acted as Ensign in the company of militia commanded by Captain William Dietz, of which company, Matthias Schulders was Lieutenant and Adam Dietz was Ensign. . . Of the Regiment of Peter Vrooman was Colonel and Johan Jost Becker was the Major. The said company was stationed in the fort or stockade in Beaverdam, in which fort the said Dietz served from the 2nd day of April 1778 to the 15th day of November 1778. The said Adam Dietz served as Ensign and aided in erecting said fort or stockade. . .
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives." Wash DC. #R2847. Dietz, Adam, NY, widow Margaret. This is the application of Margaret Reinhart Dietz, widow of Adam Dietz, [son of William] for a Revolutionary War pension--not approved. Transcribed 30 Aug 2001 by Rev. Edwin Beller Jr. p6. 1851 affidavit of David Kniskern, of Berne, in support of Margaret Dietz's claim for pension. David said that he was well and personally acquainted with Adam Dietz who served in a fort that was erected in Bern, or now Bern, in the County of Albany, during the war of the Revolution. This deponent . . . did duty under the said Adam Dietz in and about said fort from the Spring of the year 1778 to the Winter of the same year. To the best of his recollection Adam Dietz served as Captain in said fort from March to December of 1778, after that time he said Adam Dietz removed to a fort at Switzkill. . . This deponent is unable to say - to what regiment the said Adam Dietz Company belonged. . .
  14. 4 Mar 1780, changes: Wm. Deatz (Dietz), Capt, vice Peter Dietz, deceased; Mathias Shultes, lst Lt, vice Whitman, declined; Adam Deatz, Jun'r, 2d Lt, vice Shultes (Fernow, p264). Peter Weidman's term of service was probably expired. Fernow does not list any records for the 3d Co after 4 Mar 1780. Appointments may have been made earlier than the date of the commissions.
    The American Colonel Peter Vrooman was informed on July 18, 1780, that nearly one hundred Tories from the Helderbergs, Neskitha, and Beaverdam were ready to join Butler and Brant. These Loyalists were to depart soon for Niagara from Captain Jacob Pall's house in Beaverdam. The militia left Schenectady immediately and marched all night to intercept the enemy. Arriving at Beaverdam at daybreak, they surrounded Jacob Ball's barn, where they found three members of the party with arms, ammunition, and provisions for the journey. The prisoners confessed that they were to be joined by 50 other men that morning. ["The Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York." vol. 6, #3088 -- Donhart]
  15. 1 Sep 1781, Capt William Dietz was captured and his family massacred at his home in Berne. This Capt Wm. Dietz died in captivity at Ft. Niagara.
    On 3 Sep 1781, Hugh Mitchell wrote to Governor George Clinton concerning Captain Teets who had been taken prisoner the previous Saturday night: The rest of Captain Teets family consisting of his old Father and seven other persons were most inhumanly Murdered, and his house and barn burnt. It appears that after the capture of Capt William Dietz, Mathus Shultes commanded elements of the 3d Co (Beaverdam) in Schoharie, and Adam Dietz commanded the Switzkill stockade in Berne.
  16. 16.0 16.1 10 Oct 1778, Lt. Mathew Shulter and Ens'n Adam Dietz were informants against Jacob Angle of Beaverdam who, along with another man, was accused of going off to the Enemy with Jacob Ball. (NY Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies, in the minutes of the Albany Co Committee of Safety)
  17. Revolutionary War Pension Applications" p2. 1839 affidavit of Francis Becraft, of Berne, in support of Margaret Dietz's claim for pension. Francis said that he was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army and is now a pensioner under the laws of the United States. This deponent further says that during the Revolutionary War he served as a Private in a company commanded by Captain Adam Dietz in the County of Albany during which time the said Adam Dietz had the command of the Switz Kill fort in the said County of Albany. The said Adam Dietz did duty as a Captain and commanded a company in which this deponent was a Private in the said County of Albany, during the War of the Revolution, for the term of two years and states _________. He had the command of said Company at the time that Peace was declared and for about two years previous there, that said Company according to the best Knowledge of this deponent belonged to a Regiment commanded by Colonel Vrooman. Margaret Dietz's claim for a pension was denied. Perhaps because there is no evidence to support the claim that Adam Dietz was a Captain.

Other Media:

Altamont Enterprise, 123 Maple Ave, Altamont, NY 12009 (Newspaper-weekly), article 21 Jul 1899: A short time before the commencement of the revolutionary war, a militia company had been organized in the township of Berne, composed of eighty-five men and commanded by a Captain [Jacob] Ball. On the breaking out of the Revolution, this captain with sixty-three of the men left the organization and joined the British; nothing daunted, the little remnant of the company promptly elected Peter Dietz, who before had been sergeant, to the capacity made vacant by the deserter, and his brother William Dietz a sergeant of the same company was as promptly made second in command.

On the approach of Burgoyne from the north they marched to Saratoga to join the army of Gates, here unfortunately Captain [Peter] Dietz was killed by one of his own men, who accidentally [sic] shot him. William Dietz was at once elected to the place made vacant by his brother's death.

No source is given for this article.

Other Sources Used:

  • Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies - officially created on 5 Feb 1778 in response to the invasion of NY by the British army, and the fear of domestic foes, such as the Tories. The nine Commissioners, aided by armed forces, traveled throughout NY, where they sought out and arrested "enemies of the State" (Eric Schnitzer, Historian, Saratoga National Historical Park).
The index of the "Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence", has the following entry: "Dietz, Peter, captain, p.790."
p.790, Albany Committee Chamber June 1st. 1777...Christopher Hotto Appearing before this Board on Recommendation of Capt Dietz he having Voulantary (sic) taken the Oath as prescribed by Convention is Liberated According... (Capt Dietz had evidently suspected Hotto of being a Tory, but Hotto took the "Oath" and was free to go. No mention of a "Peter Dietz" is made on p790 or surrounding pages. {Hal H. Miller})
  • DEITZ, George F. "The Dietz Family, with an Appendix by Stanton L. Dietz, 1959." Complied has, "The Dietz Family of Schoharie County, NY, with additional information collected by Eva Dietz Young." 1967. Manuscript, bound by Donald Keefer, 1992.
  • DONHARDT, Gary L., Ph.d. "Indian Ladder; A History of Life in the Helderbergs ." Collierville, TN: Donhardt and Daughters Publishers, 2000
  • FERNOW, Berthold, and Edmond B. O'Callaghan, ed. New York State Archives: "Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York." vol XV, New York in the Revolution, vol I.” Albany, NY State Library University: Weed, Parsons and Co., 1887. Reprinted. NY: AMS Press., 1969. Reprinted. Cottonport, Louisiana: Polyanthus, 1972.
  • HAGAN, Edward A. "War in Schohary - 1777-1783" Middleburgh, NY: Middleburgh News Press, 1980
  • National Archives and Records Administration, General Reference Branch NNRG-P (Military Records), 7th Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Wash., D.C. 20408; Phone # (202) 501-5170. Requests for Military records up to W.W.I; use form NATF form 80.
  • PALMER, Gregory. "Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution." Westport, CT: Meckler Publishing, 1984. ISBN: 0-313-28102-5.
  • SIMMS, Jeptha. R. "Frontiersman of New York." 2 vols., Albany NY: George C. Riggs, 1882-3.
  • SULLIVAN, James and Alexander C. Flick, eds., "Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence, 1775-1778." 2 vols., Albany, NY: University of the State of New York, 1923-25.
  • WRIGHT, Robert K. Jr., Center of Military History, United States Army. "The Continental Army," Wash DC: GPO, 1983.

1782 Muster Roll

1782, a muster roll of the Schoharie settlement, Albany Co (15th Militia, under Colonel Peter Vrooman) listed residents who were eligible for service. In section no. 3 are "Jacobus Deitz, Adem Deitz, Adem Deitz, Jr., Hendryck Deitz, Jury Ball, Hendrick Crosspile, Counrade Swarts, William Becraft, Jr., Francis Becraft, Johannis Eker, Nicolas Eker, Johannis Cher, Jr., Peter Snyder, John Tomson, Charles Heflig, Jacob Heflig."

Section No. 3 was part of Beaverdam, Albany Co, NY. From Fernow, that would have been the 3d Co, 3d Reg't Albany Militia -- though many of them served under the 15th Rgmt. The muster roll was broken down into 23 sections with about sixteen men per section. In total it listed 357 men. (Roscoe, William E., "History of Schoharie County." Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1862. p52)