Titus Coburn

Quick Facts
Patriot of Color at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Place of Birth:
Shirley, Massachusetts(?)
Date of Birth:
Circa 1745
Place of Death:
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Date of Death:
April 14, 1778

The following is from the 2004 National Park Service study Patriots of Color researched and prepared by George Quintal:

Titus CoburnI was born circa 1745.II

On the Lexington Alarm he marched from Shirley (MA), in Capt. Henry Haskell’s minute man company in Col. James Prescott’s regiment. He joined the eight month’s service on 6 May 1775 in the company of Capt. Oliver Parker, in Col. William Prescott’s regiment.III This company served in the Battle of Bunker Hill in the redoubt. On 18 June 1775, one day after the Battle, he was listed on an order ‘for cartridge boxes dated Camp at Cambridge.’IV This is a strong sign of participation in the Battle. He served on the main guard under Lt. Col. Loammi Baldwin on 22 June 1775.V On the 1 August 1775 muster roll he was serving under Lt. Nathaniel Sartwell.VI He was also recorded on the 7 October 1775 roll of the company under Capt. Ephraim Corey. On 31 October 1775, his name appeared on an ‘order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Camp at Cambridge.’VII

On 17 December 1776 he marched ‘to reinforce army in the Jerseys under Gen. Washington,’ in Capt. Fortunatus Eager’s company in Col. Josiah Whitney’s regiment. His unit returned on 27 March 1777.VIII

He had just enlisted in Capt. Samuel Hill’s militia company when, with Gen. Burgoyne preparing to advance on northern New York, the call once again went out for soldiers to meet this serious threat. He enlisted on 14 April 1777 for three years in the Continental Army, in Capt. Joshua Brown’s company in Col. Timothy Bigelow’s 15th Massachusetts regiment. This unit served at Saratoga, being stationed at Van Schaick’s Island just before the battles. [T]he 15th then spent the winter at Valley Forge. Titus Coburn died there on 14 April 1778, most probably of smallpox.IX

He filed, at Harvard (MA) on 12 November 1771, intentions to marry Peggy Whittemore. At the time his residence was listed as Camden (NH).X


  1. Soldier description unavailable – soldier placed in database based on given (first) name alone. 
  2. Birth date backwardly-computed, based on average age of marriage of 26 (per study of compiler).
  3. Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War (1896-1908) 3:744, listed as ‘Colburn.’ Also 2-CD Family Tree MakerTM set “Military Records: Revolutionary War.” After the Battle of Bunker Hill, Capt. Parker left the service and command of the company fell to Lt. Nathaniel Sartwell. Capt. Ephraim Corey took command by October.
  4. Ibid 3:736, listed as ‘Colbrn.’
  5. Ibid 3:687, listed as ‘Coborn.’
  6. Ibid 3:736.
  7. Ibid 3:744.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid 3:695, listed as ‘Coburn.’
  10. Vital Records to 1850. Births, Marriages and Deaths. Vols for most Massachusetts towns, Harvard, Marriages, 148.

Learn more about Quintal's study.

Boston National Historical Park, Saratoga National Historical Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park

Last updated: February 28, 2022