Friday, September 11, 2015

Phillips Friday (continued from 9/04/2015)

While reading the information from Revolutionary Soldiers of Warren County, Pennsylvania, I spent some time looking up names of the officers who Esquire Phillips mentions in the report of his service. 

If you are a Revolutionary War buff or even just a good history student, you know who Col. Wm. Ledyard was.  If you are like me, you have forgotten if you ever knew.  Col. Wm. Ledyard was in command of Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold in Connecticut when Fort Griswold was attacked and fell to the British under the command of Benedict Arnold. (Now, there is a name we all know). The Americans were far outnumbered according to American accounts of the battle. Ledyard and his poorly armed militia of 157 held off the British force of 800 for nearly an hour. According to one of the articles I read Ledyard ordered his men to cease firing and to lay down their arms after the British stormed Fort Griswold.  A Tory, Major Bromfield or Brownfield demanded to know who commanded the fort.  Ledyard replied "I did, sir, but you do now," and offered his sword.  The British officer took the sword and stabbed Ledyard to death. The date was September 6, 1781, in Groton. A massacre of the Americans followed, in which nearly 100 were killed or wounded   (Information found in Wikipedia) There is far more to this story, but I will let you do your own research if interested.

Esquire Phillips served under Col. Wm. Ledyard as his Waiter. Esquire writes, ".....served under Col. Ledyard at Fort Griswold 6 mos [sic].  I believe that Col. Ledyard commanded in the Fort across the river at New London and I was backwards and forward between the Forts, with Col. Ledyard frequently."

My guess gives me the estimate of spring of 1779 when Esquire was next discharged to go home. Later in 1779, he married Anna Gates. He says he was called back after the capture of Fort Griswold. He writes, "I helped at that time to take care of the sick and wounded also to bury the dead."

This Phillips line has certainly intrigued me. I have traveled in some of the areas where my husband's 4x Great Grandfather Esquire served in the Revolutionary War. If only I had known some of this information when my husband and I visited Groton, Connecticut a few years ago to see our son, the 5x great grandson of Esquire Phillips.  They both served their country in that location... just 200+ years apart.

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