Gardner's Regiment dates back to 1636 when it was originally constituted as the North Regiment. It consisted of what were known as "Train Bands" from Charlestown, New Town, Watertown, Concord and Dedham Massachusetts. Train bands were men between the ages of 16 and 60 who were required, under English law, to organize themselves into militia units and equip and train themselves to provide military service in much the same manner as our current day National Guard. The Regiment was re-organized in various ways until it became known as the 1st Regiment of Militia of Middlesex in 1733.
Finally in 1775, the Regiment became known as Gardner's Regiment after it's Colonel, Thomas Gardner. Regiments were commonly named after their Colonels, who were responsible for organizing and equiping their Regiments - often at their own expense. It was Gardner's Regiment that fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Regiment which we proudly re-enact today.
Colonel Gardner died of wounds received at the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Regiment became known as Bonds Regiment after it's new Commanding Officer. In 1776 the Regiment became the 25th Continental Regiment and in 1777, the 7th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army.
The 25th Continental served under General Nathanael Greene at Prospect Hill in what is now the City of Somerville, Massachusetts. They guarded against an attack from the Mystic River by British troops. They also guarded a redoubt ( fortification ) on Winter Hill in Somerville and kept watch on up to one thousand prisoners of war captured in New York. By the wars end, the Regiment not only saw action at the British retreat from Lexington and Concord, and Charlestown, but also at Quebec and twice in New York.
The Revolutionary War, however, was not the last assignment for the Regiment. Over the years the Regiment was re-organized under various Commanders up thru the 19th Century. Light infantry assignments featured prominently. Campaign streamers were awarded for the War of 1812, and Civil War service at Bull Run and in North Carolina.
During the 20th Century, the Regiment served at Meuse-Argonne in World War I and in World War II at Guadalcanal, the North Solomons, Leyte and the Southern Philippines.
The Regiment is currently organized as the 182nd Infantry Regiment and, happily, it's home remains in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.
The Regiment's motto is "Avitos Juvamus Honores", which translates: "We uphold our ancient honors" - an important value for a group which proudly bears the distinction of being "the oldest infantry regiment in the United States Army".
Lt. Roche of Gardner's Regiment discussing the 182nd's change of command ceremony in Concord. The 182nd is the direct descendant of Gardner's Regiment
Lt. Roche presents an "Honorary Officer of Gardner's Regiment" certificate to Lt. Col. Arthur Elbthal of the 182nd Massachusetts National Guard.