1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 First Light Infantry Company Records

 Militia company, Providence, R.I.

 Records, 1818-1952

 Size: 5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 673 sg 5

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, September 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The First Light Infantry Company was formed in 1818 as a state militia company based in Providence, R.I., and was affiliated with the Second Regiment of the Rhode Island militia. It became the First Light Infantry Regiment in 1863. In 1879, Infantry Hall was built by the regiment's Infantry Building Association on South Main Street. When this building was torn down in 1952, a time capsule was found in the cornerstone, the contents of which have been added to this collection.

            Like most militia units, the regiment never saw active duty, and frequently resembled a social club more than a military regiment. However, it did play an important role in providing trained soldiers when circumstances required. It helped suppress the Olney's Lane riots in 1831, and the Dorr Rebellion in 1842. Many of its members served in the Civil War in Companies C and D of the First Regiment, Rhode Island Detached Militia. Similarly, many of its members served in the Spanish-American War in 1898.

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Scope and content:

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            Many of these records were donated by Nino Scotti in 1972. Another substantial portion was donated by Mrs. John W. DeWolf in 1926. Smaller portions were purchased from Frances Edwards in 1944, the Lincoln Book Shoppe in 1967, and Nino Scotti in 1969. The photocopy of the 1861 roll was donated in 1968 by Prof. Robert George, who made it from the original at the Infantry's offices in Cranston, R.I. The provenance of some items is unknown.

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Processing note:

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Minutes. The first four record books, dating 1818 to 1873, are not in this collection.

Oversized volume 1.   Record book #5, 1873-1889 Quarterly and annual meetings.

In box 1.                    Record book #6, 1891-1905. Quarterly and annual meetings.

In box 1.                    Record book, 1904-1910. Weekly meetings.

In box 1.                    Record book, 1910-1915. Weekly meetings.

In box 1.                    Fair Committee minutes, 1885-1886

In box 1.                    Joint committee with Veteran's Association, 1879-1910

Membership. See also historical roll in box 3.

In box 1.                    Roll call and dues book, 1820-1837. With general accounts, 1820-1844.

In box 1.                    "Declaration of intent, signatures of those who would enlist", 4/16/1861.

Oversized volume 2.   Roll book, 1879, 1893, 1908-1916.

Oversized volume 3.   Dues book, 1890-1905

In box 1.                    Rifle scores, 1885-1901

In box 1.                    Signed clothing receipts, 1858-1872

In box 1.                    Quartermaster's list of clothing issued, 1948.

Finances. See also roll call book for cash accounts, 1820-1844.

In box 2.                    Ledger, 1818-1844

In box 2.                    Ledger, 1859-1869

In box 2.                    Ledger, 1942-1947

In box 2.                    Cash book, 1861-1889

In box 2.                    Cash book, 1889-1930

In box 2.                    Cash accounts of fairs, 1880, 1885, 1886

Order books.

In box 2.                    1898-1902, manuscript

In box 2.                    1911-1913, printed and bound in binder

In box 2.                    1916-1917, printed and bound in binder

Historical material.

Box 3, folder 1. Regimental history through 1873 by Frederic Hayes. 342 pages plus index.

Box 3, folder 2. "Report of the First Light Infantry, 1818-1905" by Hayes. 104 pages.

Box 3, folder 3. History of regimental uniform, undated, by Hayes. Two copies.

Box 3, folder 4. Historical rosters, 1818-1911, compiled by Hayes.

Box 3, folder 5. Roll, 1870-1883

Box 3, folder 6. Charter, constitution, by-laws. 3 copies.

Box 3, folder 7. "Memorandum of articles received for relic room", 1880

Box 3, folder 8. Letters received by Capt. Brown, 1831-1838. 5 items.

Box 3, folder 9. Miscellaneous material assembled by Hayes:

                                    Court martial of Col. William W. Brown, 1856

                                    Various clippings and transcriptions, 1906-1911

Box 3, folder 10. Miscellaneous material:

                                    9 printed orders to members, 1843-1868

                                    2 bills for fines to George A. Church, 1860

                                    Share certificate to Mrs. C.R. Goddard for Infantry Building Ass'n, 1875

                                    State act re election of officers, 1843

                                    Resolution of thanks to Col. Nathaniel W. Brown, 1858

                                    Bill for "expenses incurred in consequence of the late riots", 1831

                                    Return and roll, 1820


Cornerstone contents, 1879

Box 3, folder 11. Miscellaneous:

                                    History of the Infantry Building Association, 1879 (with 1952 transcript)

                                    Note regarding cornerstone box by creator, Thomas Phillips & Co., 1879

                                    Inventories of contents, 1879 and 1952.

                                    Poem by G.W. Pettes, 1879

                                    Note on flagstaff, 1839

                                    Roster of officers, and of Company C, 1879

                                    Roster of Prescott Post #1, G.A.R., 1879

Box 3, folder 12. Printed programs, invitations, Thomas Phillips ephemera, 1879

In oversized folder. Printed rolls of Companies C and D, 1st R.I.D.M., ca. 1861

                                    Large parchment rolls of companies A, B, D, circa 1879

                                    Roll of Arnold Post #4, G.A.R., 1879

Company A

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1872-1876

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1877-1881

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1881-1885

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1885-1891

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1891-1897

Oversized volume 4.   Quartermaster book, 1913

Company B

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1872-1878

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1879-1880

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1881-1885

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1917-1919

Company C

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1872-1878

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1878-1882

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1882-1889

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1889-1897

In box 4.                    Minutes, 1897-1903

Company D

In box 4.                    Treasurer's accounts, 1876-1898

In box 5.                    Minutes, 1892-1896

In box 5.                    Minutes, 1903-1910

In box 5.                    Minutes, 1910-1914

In box 5.                    Minutes, 1917-1919

Company E

Oversized volume 5.   Minutes, 1897-1903

Oversized volume 6.   Minutes, 1903-1914

In box 5.                    Drill reports, 1909-1913

In box 5.                    Dues and accounts, 1881-1936 (sporadic)

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Brown, William W.

Dorr Rebellion

x First Light Infantry Regiment 

x First Regiment

Hayes, Frederic

Providence, R.I. - Militia

Rhode Island Military Papers

Riots - Rhode Island

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