Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pratt Stories-Col. Abraham Gould II

Look at a map of Connecticut. Note that the route the British took from Saugutuck to Danbury was northerly following about along today's State Highway 33 and US 7.  Col. Gould's 5th Militia Regiment took a route approximately parallel to the British northerly from Fairfield through Redding and Bethel. Time wise they were well behind the British. Danbury was already burning when the militia stopped for the night. The British plan for the next day was to prompty return to their ships, their mission accomplished.. Also note the location of Ridgefield. Continuing from the Burr book:
Next morning (Sunday) they learned that the British had taken the Norwalk Pike through Ridgefield and were making all haste for their ships. The Norwalk Road from Danbury to Ridgefield trends westward to escape mountains forming a section of a circle. Wooster detached 400 men under Silliman, Arnold and Gold, and sent them across country to occupy Ridgefield in advance of the enemy, while he with 200 men pursued and attacked them in the rear. This was done.
Sillman's force reached the village about 11 o'clock AM and threw up a barricade across the road and on rising ground, the right of the position being covered by a house and barn, and the left by a ledge of rocks. Sharp fighting to the north told them that Wooster had come up with the enemy and engaged them, but not that he had fallen mortally wounded by a musket ball.
Soon the British appear, marching down the street in a solid column, three field pieces in advance and three in the rear, with detachments of about 200 men on either flank. At noon they began an artillery fire, and soon came to close quarters with the intrepid patriots, who stoutly maintained the combat, though under fearful odds. In the hand-to-hand combat around the barricade Col. Gold was pierced by a musket ball and fell dead from his horse, his keen-edged sword being stained by British blood. The British soon overpowered the Continentals and continued their hasty retreat to their ships.
NEXT: The sad homecoming.

Emailed Sept. 12

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