William Woodford
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William Woodford

William Woodford
Delegate Third Virginia Convention

Personal details
Born(1734-10-06)October 6, 1734
Caroline County, Virginia Colony
DiedNovember 13, 1780(1780-11-13) (aged 46)
New York City, Province of New York
Spouse(s)Mary Thornton
Professionsoldier, farmer
Military service
Allegiance Great Britain,  United States
Branch/serviceVirginia Regiment (Virginia Colonial Militia), Continental Army
Years of service1761-1780
Rankbrigadier general
Commands2nd Virginia Regiment, Virginia State Forces
Battles/warsFrench and Indian War

American Revolutionary War

William Woodford (October 6, 1734 - November 13, 1780) was an American Revolutionary War general from Virginia.

Early life

William Woodford was born in Caroline County, Virginia Colony, in the town, of present-day Woodford.[1] His wife's grandmother, Mildred Washington Gregory, was George Washington's Aunt and Godmother. His father, Major William Woodford, was one of Governor Spotswood's Knights Of the Golden Horseshoe. His grandfather, Dr. William Cocke, served Virginia as the Secretary of the Colony and a member of the governor's Council under Governor Spotswood. Woodford's great uncle was Mark Catesby, the famous English naturalist.

French and Indian War

Woodford served in the French and Indian War, as an ensign, in Colonel George Washington's Virginia Regiment, and was promoted to lieutenant, in 1761. During that year, he served in the Cherokee Expedition, under William Byrd and Adam Stephen.

American Revolutionary War

As war with Great Britain loomed, William Woodford was a delegate to the Third Virginia Convention, and there was appointed colonel, in command of the 2nd Virginia Regiment, of the Virginia provisional forces. He drove the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, from the Norfolk peninsula, after the Battle of Great Bridge on December 9, 1775, the first significant battle of the Revolution on Virginia soil.

Later in December 1776, the 2d Virginia Regiment was ordered to join Washington's Main Army in New Jersey. It would become part of the Virginia Line of the Continental Army. William Woodford was promoted to brigadier general, in February 1777. Woodford was wounded later, that year, at the Battle of Brandywine, where he and his troops performed well. In 1778 he led his brigade at the Battle of Monmouth, where he took control, of Comb's Hill and with artillery, was able to pound the British left flank.

In late 1779, he and his brigade were sent to join the Southern Continental Army, only to be captured, at the Siege of Charleston, in 1780.[2]


William Woodford was sent to New York City, where he died, on board a British prison ship, on November 13, 1780. Woodford was buried at Trinity Church, New York.


Two counties in the United States were named in his honor: Woodford County, Illinois, and Woodford County, Kentucky.


  1. ^ Dyson, Cathy (July 20, 2003). "History and legend unlock origins of unusual names". The Free Lance-Star. pp. A7. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Buchanan, John (1997). The Road to Guilford Courthouse. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 56-57. ISBN 9780471327165.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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