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Joseph, s. of William and Mary (Ball) Monroe, was b. in Cambridge, now Lexington, Aug. 16, 1687. He m. Elizabeth _____ and they were the parents of a large family. He was known as ‘Corporal Joe’, and he was one of the ‘Minute Men’ at the battle of Concord bridge, April 19, 1775. As the patriots formed to cross the bridge a raking fire from the British killed some of them, and the regular musician hesitating to play the martial strain designed to inspire the wavering volunteers to advance, the commander called upon the bystanders for assistance in this dilemma, when every moment of time lost meant so much. ‘Corporal Joe’ Monroe quickly stepped forward, saying: ‘I am so old it will not matter if I am killed,’ and instantly struck up a tune and advanced rapidly toward the bridge. Aroused by this martial spirit the men hesitated no longer but advanced at a double quick. The drummer depicted in the famous picture of the battle at the bridge was the white-haired patriot, Corporal Joe, whose valiant deed enabled the captain of the Minute Men to march upon the enemy. He d. in 1787, at the age of one hundred years.”
Browne, George Waldo (1851-1930). The History of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, 1735-1921. Published by the Town in 1922. NEHGS catalog #F44/H55/B8/1921. Volume Two: Biography and Genealogy, p. 421.

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(Joseph Munroe)
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