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Henry Parsons' valuable book must be read by any who want the Parsons family history. As a descendant, I am grateful that Henry Parsons went to this effort.
I think some of the information contained, pertaining to Nathan Parsons Sr and Jr, has been conflated, with some Revolutionary War service assigned to Nathan Jr, which belongs to Nathan Sr. Military sources naturally did not include "Jr: or "Sr" when listing soldiers - which can cause confusion later -as seems likely here.
Henry notes that "Nathan Parsons" was dismissed from the military, having been said to be "deranged." This merely means that his unit was disbanded.
See the following (at this wonderful site – Googlebooks):
“The original MSS. Massachusetts Archives collection of Muster and Pay Rolls, Valley Forge period, do not include any county rolls from Colonel Marshall's regiment, while he commanded the Tenth Foot Regiment of the Massachusetts line. Castle and Harbor Rolls, vol. 25, page 207, files original list made out by him on the 8th of April, 1780, giving names of officers and men of that regiment that were in camp on or before Aug. 15, 1777, and to whom the State bounty had been paid. On Jan. 1, 1781, Colonel Marshall was succeeded by Colonel Benjamin Tupper as colonel of the Tenth Massachusetts.
“CASUALTIES IN MARSHALL'S REGIMENT
. . .
“Ensign and Adjutant Nathan Parsons of Ipswich, also given Belchertown. Deranged
March 1, 1779.”
This means only that his unit was disbanded.
Source: the magazine of history with notes and queries vol.XX By William Abbat, page 15
I think the rank of "Major" belongs to Nathan Sr and may well have been a post-service promotion.
I would be pleased to receive confirmatory information. firstname.lastname@example.org