Putnam, Israel, 1718–90, American Revolutionary general, b. Salem (now Danvers), Mass. A farmer at Pomfret, Conn., he fought in the French and Indian Wars, seeing action at Montreal (1760) and at Havana (1762). In 1764, he was commander of the Connecticut force sent to relieve Pontiac's siege of Detroit. At the outbreak of the American Revolution he joined the Continental army and was prominent in the battle of Bunker Hill. Putnam was in command at the unhappy battle of Long Island (1776) and in 1777 lost forts Montgomery and Clinton in the Hudson Highlands to the British. A paralytic stroke (1779) ended his military career.
See biographies by W. Cutter (1847, repr. 1970) and I. N. Tarbox (1876, repr. 1970).
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