Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nathan Stoddard or Stoodard.

The other day I help a gentleman with some information on a Nathan Stooddard or Stoddard, and in return he give me some information on him. Not being of the family, but a surname researcher I found the information interesting and knew the information would be a big help to those looking into his life.

Nathan Stoddard, son of Gideon and Olive, born Aug. 8th 1742, lived in Woodbury, married Eunice Sanford about 1767. They had seven children Nathan joined the First church Woodbury, Sept, 1st 1771, and the same day his three children then living were baptized, but his wife Eunice did not join until Dec. 6th 1772.

In 1775 the air was full of rumours of war, the martial spirit of his father was inherited by the son, and as if preparing for the coming frav, Nathan, who had undoubtedly served ere now in the ranks, was in April of this year commissioned Ensign of the first Company or trainband of Woodbury which was known as the 13th Regiment of the Colony. What service, if any, he saw in this capacity does not appear, but hostilities soon afterwards breaking out, a few months later he entered the army as a private in the 4th Regiment which was ordered by General Washington to join the troops opposed to the British near Lake Champlain and to garrison Fort Ticonderoga.

In a skirmish with the enemy he was taken prisoner and carried to Quebec. Before he was ordered to jail he was concealed through the kindness of a French landlady, and was fed by her for a considerable time, and aided to escape, which it is said he did by swimming the St. Lawrence. He finally returned to Woodbury and there in the adjacent towns raised another Company of which he became Captain and was in all the engagements near Danbury, Conn, and Horse Neck, N. Y., in April and May 1777.

After the success of the northern Army under Gates and the surrender of Burgoyne in October, Captain Stoddard prepared to join the army of Washington on the Delaware. Early in November Captain Nathan Stoddard and Lieutenant John Strong, who had been sent to Woodbury on Military service, sent forward blankets and military stores to the amount of J£46. 13s. 5d. and then joined their command, which was stationed opposite Fort Mifflin on Mud Island.

Here they were opposed to Lord Howe who proposed to force the passage of the Delaware which was commanded by Fort Mercer at Red Bank on the Jersey side, and Fort Mifflin on Mud Island. After the disastrous dedefeat of their attack on Redbank the British proceeded with more deliberation to the reduction of Mud Island. By the 10th they had completed their batteries within 500 yards of the American fort and began an incessant fire from heavy artillery.

Lieut-Colonel Samuel Smith of Maryland, who was in command, was wounded next day and went to the main land, und on the 13th the brave garrison of 286 men and 20 artillerists was confided to Major Simeon Thayer of Rhode Island, who now volunteered to take the desperate command. On the 15th surrounded by 6 large British ships of war and a large Indiaman armed with 24 pounders with the land batteries, now five in number, playing from thirty pieces at short distances, the ramparts and block-houses on Mud Island were honeycombed and their cannon silenced.

In this desperate attack Captain Stoddard was instantly killed by a cannon shot which severed his head from his body as he was sighting a piece to fire on the enemy. In the evening the garrison evacuated, and when the British entered the fort they found nearly every cannon stained with blood. Captain Stoddard left one son, Nathan Ashbel, aged 9 years and six young daughters. He died intestate and his death is recorded in the Register of Woodbury. He was aged 35 years.

From the Record of Service of Connecticut Men published by authority of the General Assembly, under direction of the Adjutant General Hartford, 1889.


Stoddard was transferred to Colonel Parson's Regiment, 10th Continental.

Private—Nov. 6th 1776—Captain Isaac Gailup's Company, per roll this date. Disbanded Dec. 31, 1776. On the reorganization of the Army 1777-1781, the Officers were selected with great care, with few exceptions none were appointed who had not seen previous service in 1775 or 1776.

8th Regiment, Connecticut Line Formation 1777-1781. Colonel John Chandler, Newtown, Ct.

Captain—Nathan Stoddard of Woodbury. Commission dated Jan. 1st 1777. 1st Company.
Rendezvoux at Danbury, April 14th, from thence to Peekskill, N. Y. Marched to reinforce Washington Sept. '77 and arrived in time to participate in battle Germantown, Oct. 4 '77. After which a detachment was ordered to assist in the effort to command the Delaware.

(Note—between these last events,. Stoddard appears to have gone to Woodbury to raise supplies for the troops, and returning joined the detachment for Fort Mifflin).


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