Israel Putnam (January 7, 1718 – May 29, 1790) was an American army general officer, popularly known as Old Put, who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill (1775) during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). His courage and fighting spirit became known far beyond Connecticut’s borders through the circulation of folk legends in the American colonies and states celebrating his exploits.
He had previously served notably as an officer with Rogers’ Rangers during the French and Indian War, when he was captured by Mohawk warriors. He was saved from the ritual burning given to enemies by intervention of a French officer, with whom the Mohawk were allied.
Acacia Lodge No. 85 has dedicated this year to the memory and national and masonic legacy of Brother Israel Putnam to commemorate his 300th birthday. It is also fitting that the same year the lodge commemorates Putnam, is also the same year they are meeting at the old Knapp Tavern, commonly called Putnam Cottage, were General Putnam made his daring dash down the Great Hill to bring back troops to counter British General Tryon’s destructive raid into Horseneck.