There were several men by the name of Joseph Cilley in the early annals of New Hampshire’s military history. To clarify–“The elder son [of Greenleaf Cilley] was known as Colonel Joseph Cilley, his grandfather was General Joseph Cilley, and his great-grandfather was Captain Joseph Cilley.
For this story I have focused on the first mentioned, Colonel Joseph Cilley. During the War of 1812 he was originally commissioned an ensign, on 6 July 1812, in Capt. John McClary’s company, Eleventh Regiment, United States Infantry (then commanded by Col. Isaac Clark of VT). Joseph Cilley was promoted to 2nd Lieut. 6 July 1812, then again promoted 1st lieutenant on March 17, 1814 and transferred to the Twenty-First United States Infantry, commanded by Colonel Miller. He was breveted Captain after the Battle of Niagara NY. It was not until 1827 that he was appointed an aide on the staff of then New Hampshire Governor Benjamin Pierce, with the rank of colonel, by which he was known for the rest of his life. Continue reading