Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Whitcomb, John

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WHITCOMB, John, soldier, b. in Lancaster, Worcester co., Mass., about 1720; d. in 1812. He was colonel of Massachusetts troops in the campaign against Crown Point in 1755, in which he served with credit. At the beginning of the Revolution he was not called into service on account of his advanced age, but the soldiers of his regiment were so greatly attached to him that they resolved not to enlist under any other officer, and the veteran, failing to move them from their purpose by appeals to their patriotism, proposed, as an inducement to them to remain in the army, to join them in the ranks. Col. Brewer, however, who had been appointed Whitcomb's successor, relinquished the command, and the latter continued with the regiment at Boston until he was chosen brigadier-general on the Continental establishment, 5 June, 1776, having previously been promoted to the same rank by the Provincial congress. On the 13th of the same month he was made major-general in the Massachusetts service, but he was soon after permitted to retire from the army.