DescriptionBattle of Ridgefield: Jonathan Trumbull Letter Signed as Governor of Connecticut. One page, 8" x 13", Lebanon CT, April 26, 1777. American patriot and politician Jonathan Trumbull Sr. was the first Connecticut governor to serve in a true executive capacity. A close friend and advisor to George Washington, Trumbull gave his all to the American cause, going so far as to personally supply about 60% of the manpower, food, clothing, shoes, and munitions for the Continental Army. Trumbull's store in Lebanon, once the headquarters for his mercantile business, became a meeting place for the Connecticut Council of Safety that assisted him (1775-1783), and was referred to as "the War Office." During the Revolution, Governor Trumbull and the Council of Safety held more than eleven hundred meetings there.
In this letter, Trumbull discusses militia preparations and readiness for the Battle of Ridgefield with Brigadier General James Wadsworth, who would soon become the Major General of Militia, the second-highest ranking officer in the state. The Governor writes, in full: "Sir, I have received your Letter of this morning with the enclosed Letters from Generals Wooster & Silliman and approve the Orders you have issued to your Brigade to hold themselves in readiness to march on the Shortest notice, would have the same Orders issued to the Alarm Companies, if not already done. As the Information I have received of the Numbers of the Enemy is imperfect & their Designs unknown can give no particular Orders for your Government. Have wrote General Wooster, who is on the spot & directed him to call to his aid such part of the Militia & Alarm Lists as he shall find necessary."
The day after this letter was written, the battle was on. Continental Army Major General David Wooster, Brigadier General Gold S. Silliman, and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold commanded a combined force of roughly 700 Continental Army regular and irregular local militia forces. Near the Connecticut town of Ridgefield, they engaged a British invasion force of 2000 commanded by Major General William Tryon. When the battle was over, American forces reportedly killed or wounded 200 British soldiers and captured 40 more; American losses included 20 killed and 80 wounded. 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 attempted a landing by ship to attack any inland colonial strongholds. Letter is lightly age toned. Red wax seal and resulting seal tear; small paper loss at extreme lower left corner. Trumbull's letter has been matted and framed to an overall size of 14" x 19.5", and is in fine condition. A wonderful Revolutionary War letter about a decisive battle!
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