Brief History of the First New Jersey Regiment
Biographical Sketch of
Colonel of the First New Jersey Regiment
Matthias Ogden was born at Elizabethtown, New Jersey in 1754, the son of Robert Ogden, a lawyer. Robert was politically prominent, serving as the speaker of the House of Representatives on the eve of the Revolution. The family had deep roots in New Jersey: John Ogden had built a house in Elizabeth in 1664 after having moved from Long Island, where he had settled in 1640 from Hampshire, England. Matthias attended the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) as did his brother Aaron. He went along as a volunteer on Arnold's march to Quebec and was wounded in the assault on that city on December 31, 1775. He was named lieutenant colonel of the First New Jersey in March 1776. He became colonel of the same regiment on January 1, 1777 after Silas Newcomb resigned the position. Ogden was captured by the British at Elizabethtown in November 1780. He was exchanged and later granted a leave by Congress in April 1783, to visit Europe. He was breveted brigadier general by Congress in September 1783. Ogden was described by one historian as a "brave and gallant soldier". He died in 1791.
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