Excerpts, Diary of Col. Fisher Gay, 1776
February 2, 1776
Set off for headquarters to join the army under command of General Washington before Boston, and arrived at Roxbury the 6th. … Stationed at Roxbury with the regiment I belong to, and quartered at Mr. Wyman's with Col. Wolcott and Mr. Perry. Was sent for by General Washington to wait on his Excellency the 13th [of February], and was ordered by the General to go to Connecticut to purchase all of the gunpowder I could. Went to Providence [Rhode Island], and from thence to [the home of Connecticut] Gov. Trumbull, where I obtained 2 tons of the Governor, and then to New London to Mr. T[homas] Mumford, and obtained of him an order on Messrs. Clark & Nightingill, merchants in Providence, and returned to camp the 19th, and made report to the General to his great satisfaction.
March 17, 1776
An alarm in the morning. I ordered the regiment to meet before the Colonel''s door after prayers. I marched them off with Major Chester. Near the alarm post found, instead of going into action, the enemy had abandoned Boston. 500 troops immediately ordered to march into and take possession of the fortifications in Boston. … Never people more glad at the departure of an enemy and to see friends.
Source: Col. Gay's diary quoted in Julius Gay, "Farmington in the War of the Revolution: An Historical Address," May 3, 1893.
Fisher Gay of Farmington was a wealthy and influential businessman. He was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1775. He was a member of a committee overseeing the local Tunxis.
The war had begun the year before with the famous ride of Paul Revere and the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, and the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775.
After the British evacuated Boston in March 1776, Col. Gay and his regiment were ordered to New York to protect the city from capture by the British. But on August 22, Col. Gay died in camp in the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.