The Third Regiment of Ulster County Militia has its beginnings in the old Regiments of Foot that served to defend and protect
the interests of local citizens. At the time of the American War for Independence, the Third Ulster was one of many units
raised out of the citizens of Ulster County. Initially, the Third was commanded by Colonel Levi Pawling. However, when Col.
Pawling was appointed as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in January 1778, John Cantine became the Commander.
During the Revolution, Regimental Headquarters was established at Marbletown with the powder magazine located at the Andries
DeWitt house. Later, the unit established a fort in what is now Napanoch just off the Rondout Creek where it crosses Rt. 55.
The units main purpose was not only to provide defense, but also to supply intelligence regarding enemy positions and
movements. Col. Cantine, The troops stationed at these Posts are constantly to Keep out patrolling Parties and Scouts, those
at Shandeken to go out as far Northward as the Albany County line (Palenville), and Westward to Paghkatacken (Arkville). A
big territory! The information gathered by the Third was valuable to the revolutionary cause as Gen. Washington wrote to Gov.
Clinton, I am glad to the measure the state has taken in raising a thousand men, and your expectation that the number would
soon be completed. I hope the intelligence from Colo. Cantine will not materially retard the progress of a business, on which
the general security of the frontier so much depends.
The Third Ulster, like many Militia units of the day, were made up of neighbors, family and friends. If one looks at the
unit roster of the time, several members of the same family will appear. Col. Cantine had several of his nephews as members
of the regiment. These relationships helped to keep the unit strong and to fulfill its most important mission.