Major Benjamin Tallmadge was born February 25, 1754 at the Presbyterian parsonage in Setauket, Long Island. He was the son of Rev. Benjamin Tallmadge and Susannah Smith. He spent his boyhood days in Setauket and later attended Yale where he graduated in 1773. Tallmadge was employed as a teacher in Weathersfield, Connecticut until shortly after the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill when he entered the army.