Description[Battle of Ridgefield] David Wooster Autograph Letter Signed "David Wooster/ Major General". One page, 7.5" x 12.5", April 26, 1777, Stratford [Connecticut]. Written "In haste", this letter directs the movement of the Connecticut militia to stop the advancing British invasion of Connecticut. In part: "I must hereby request & direct that you order with all possible dispatch two hundred of your Brigade to this place and two hundred to Milford to replace those who have marched against the enemy from those towns. . . . The Importance of a vigorous push at this time is so great that no man will want motives to urge him on instantly."
This letter was written during a flurry of communications and activity by Connecticut patriots on April 26, 1777, after they had learned that the British had landed at Compo Beach, Connecticut. On April 25, one day before this letter was written, the British invasion force of 2000, commanded by Major General William Tryon, marched north to destroy a supply depot at Danbury. On the day after this letter was written, a combined American force under Continental Army Major General Wooster, Brigadier General Gold Selleck Silliman, and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold--700 strong--engaged the invasion force near the Connecticut town of Ridgefield. When the battle was over, American forces reportedly killed or wounded 200 British soldiers and captured 40 more; American losses were 20 killed and 80 wounded. Wooster died five days later from battle wounds. Although Tryon's raid on Danbury and actions in Ridgefield were British successes, the influx of American forces in the area would deter the British from ever again attempting a landing by ship to attack any inland colonial strongholds. This letter, obviously written hastily, thoroughly communicates the need for swift action. It is framed and matted to an overall size of 13.5" x 19". Though the letter has not been examined outside of the frame, some paper separation along a fold exists. There is also some paper loss in the lower left corner. Very good.
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