Josh Alder Surgns m, his signature from the Parole of Honor, 13 December 1777


Nationality: English
Born: ca.1741
Regimental warrant/commission dates:
Surgeon's Mate, 25 December 1769
Surgeon, 7 November 1792
Captured: Saratoga, New York, 17 October 1777 (Convention Army)
Died: unknown


Joseph Alder served as the 62nd Regiment's venerable surgeon's mate (or “mate”) for almost 23 years. He no doubt received a considerable amount of experience during the course of 1777, especially following the deadly Battle of Freeman's Farm (19 September 1777) and the Battle of Bemis Heights (7 October 1777). He surrendered with the rest of Lieutenant-General Burgoyne's Army at Saratoga on 17 October 1777.

Enumerated on the Return of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers & etc Sick and Invalids of the Convention Troops under the command of Major General Phillips to go by Sea and Land to New York and to be left behind [in Cambridge], dated Cambridge, Massachusetts, 3 December 1778 (Horatio Gates Papers), Alder, along with Hospital Mate Benjamin Shield and four nurses, was tasked with attending to those severely sick and wounded Convention Army officers and men who were being transported to the City of New York by sea. Alder was able to achieve an exchange at least as early as July 1779, and soon after returned to Britain. He eventually rejoined the rest of the repatriated regiment in England by July 1781. Alder stayed with the regiment during its period of post war reorganization, and ended up being one of the regiment's longest serving officers. He must have been a good mate; after the death of the regiment's almost equally venerable surgeon, Alexander Moodie, Alder was made regimental surgeon.

According to William Johnston's Roll of Commissioned Officers in the Medical Service of the British Army (The University Press: 1917), Alder was surgeon to the staff at Jamaica on 17 July 1793.