Brigadier General Peleg Wadsworth, Continental Army

Is your surname Wadsworth?

Research the Wadsworth family

Brigadier General Peleg Wadsworth, Continental Army's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Peleg Wadsworth

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Hiram, Oxford, ME, USA
Place of Burial: Wadsworth Cemetery, Hiram, Oxford, Maine, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Peleg Wadsworth and Lusanna Wadsworth
Husband of Elizabeth Wadsworth and Elizabeth Wadsworth
Father of Zilpah Longfellow; Charles Lee Wadsworth; Uriah Wadsworth; Lucia Wadsworth; Alexander Samuel Wadsworth and 8 others
Brother of Cephas Wadsworth; Jephthah Wadsworth; Zilpah Drew; Child Wadsworth; Ira Wadsworth and 4 others

Occupation: General, Teacher; Mil Off; Congrssman frm ME;
Managed by: Colleen Rose Keenan
Last Updated:

About Peleg Wadsworth

A Patriot of the American Revolution for MASSACHUSETTS with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor # A119859

Peleg Wadsworth (May 6, 1748 – July 18, 1829) was an American officer during the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from the District of Maine. He was also grandfather of noted American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Wadsworth was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, to Peleg and Susanna (Sampson) Wadsworth. He graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. (1769) and an A.M. (1772), and taught school for several years in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with his former classmate Alexander Scammel. There he met Elizabeth Bartlett (1753 to 1825), whom he married in 1772.

The Wadsworths lived in Kingston, Massachusetts, until 1775, when Wadsworth recruited a company of minutemen, of which he was chosen captain. His company marched to battle April 20, 1775, in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775, and the Battle of Lexington and Concord on that day.

Wadsworth served as aide to Gen. Artemas Ward in March 1776, and as an engineer under Gen. John Thomas in 1776, assisting in laying out the defenses of Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was present at the Battle of Long Island on August 1, 1776. He was made brigadier general of militia in 1777 and Adjutant General of Massachusetts in 1778.

Wadsworth's finest military engagement was in one of the worst American military defeats of the war. In the summer of 1779 he served as second in command to General Solomon Lovell over the land forces sent to make a combined arms attack on the British fort at Castine, in the so-called Penobscot Expedition. Commodore Dudley Saltonstall was in command of the naval forces. Lt. Colonel Paul Revere also served in this expedition as commander of artillery. While General Lovell remained aboard the Commodore's vessel, Wadsworth and Revere landed with the infantry and artillery and laid siege to the fort for about two weeks. Due to the reluctance of the Commodore to launch a naval attack in support of the ground forces, the British garrison held out until ships of the Royal Navy arrived from Halifax and drove the American Navy up the Penobscot River where all 43 American warships were sunk or were scuttled and burned, comprising most of the American fleet, making it the worst American naval disaster prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Wadsworth, still with the forces on shore organized and led a successful overland retreat through the Maine frontier. Colonel Revere and Commodore Saltonstall were court-martialed for their roles in the debacle (Revere was acquitted, Saltonstall was "dismissed the service").

In March 1780, Peleg was given command of all the troops raised for the defense of the Province of Maine. On February 17, 1781, British soldiers overran his headquarters in Thomaston. Wadsworth was captured and imprisoned in Fort George at Bagaduce (Castine) (the same fort he had led the attack against in the summer of 1779), but he and fellow prisoner Maj. Benjamin Burton eventually escaped by cutting a hole in the ceiling of their jail and crawling out along the joists. Wadsworth then returned to his family in Plymouth, where he remained until the war's end.

In April 1784 Wadsworth returned to Maine, purchased 1.5 acres (6,000 m²) of land on Back Street (now Congress Street in Portland), engaged in surveying, and opened a store in early 1785. There he also built a house, now the historic Wadsworth-Longfellow House. He headed the committee that organized the first convention to discuss independence for Maine from Massachusetts, held in January 1786. He and his wife had ten children, one of whom later gave birth to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Although he continued to live in Portland, in 1790 he purchased 7800 acres (30 km²) from the Commonwealth in what became the town of Hiram, Maine, settled his son Charles there in 1795, and in 1800 built Wadsworth Hall there for his retirement.

In 1792 Wadsworth was chosen a presidential elector and a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and from 1793-1807 was the first representative in Congress from the region of Massachusetts that later became Maine. In January 1807 he moved to Hiram where he incorporated the township (February 27, 1807) and served as selectman, treasurer and magistrate. For the remainder of his life devoted himself to farming and local concerns. He died in Hiram on July 18, 1829, and is buried in the family cemetery at Wadsworth Hall.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House In 1784 Peleg and Elizabeth Bartlett Wadsworth, the poet's maternal grandparents, arrived in Falmouth, Maine, which was soon to be renamed Portland. Falmouth had been bombarded and burned by the British in 1775, but was being rebuilt from the ruins. Peleg, commanding general of American forces in Massachusetts's District of Maine during the war, had been wounded, taken prisoner, escaped, and continued the fight against British encroachment on the northeastern frontier. After the war, he, like so many other veterans, saw opportunity for a new, prosperous life in Maine. In 1785 he began building in the promising seaport. The house was completed in 1786. Peleg and Elizabeth moved to the new house with their six children: Charles, Zilpah (mother of the poet), Elizabeth, John, Lucia, and Henry (called Harry). Four more Wadsworth children were born there: George, Alexander, Samuel, and Peleg Jr. Zilpah's son, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, grew up in the house.

Sources:

-------------------- Added by Elwin Nickerson II -American Revolutionary War

The Wadsworths lived in Kingston, Massachusetts, until 1775, when Wadsworth recruited a company of minutemen, of which he was chosen captain. His company mustered in response to the alarms generated by the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The Plymouth County battalion, commanded by Col. Theophilus Cotton marched to Marshfield, Massachusetts to attack a garrison of British troops there. The attack was delayed for two days, allowing the British time to escape Marshfield by sea. During that time, Capt. Wadsworth, frustrated with the delay, advanced his company to within firing range of the British encampment, nearly instigating combat.[2]

Wadsworth served as aide to Gen. Artemas Ward in March 1776, and as an engineer under Gen. John Thomas in 1776, assisting in laying out the defenses of Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was present at the Battle of Long Island on August 1, 1776. He was made brigadier general of militia in 1777 and Adjutant General of Massachusetts in 1778.

Wadsworth's finest military engagement was in one of the worst American military defeats of the war. In the summer of 1779 he served as second in command to General Solomon Lovell over the land forces sent to make a combined arms attack on the British fort at Castine, in the so-called Penobscot Expedition. Commodore Dudley Saltonstall was in command of the naval forces. Lt. Colonel Paul Revere also served in this expedition as commander of artillery. While General Lovell remained aboard the Commodore's vessel, Wadsworth and Revere landed with the infantry and artillery and laid siege to the fort for about two weeks. Due to the reluctance of the Commodore to launch a naval attack in support of the ground forces, the British garrison held out until ships of the Royal Navy arrived from Halifax and drove the American Navy up the Penobscot River where all 43 American warships were sunk or were scuttled and burned, comprising most of the American fleet, making it the worst American naval disaster prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Wadsworth, still with the forces on shore organized and led a successful overland retreat through the Maine frontier. Colonel Revere and Commodore Saltonstall were court-martialed for their roles in the debacle (Revere was acquitted, Saltonstall was "dismissed the service").

In March 1780, Peleg was given command of all the troops raised for the defense of the Province of Maine. On February 17, 1781, British soldiers overran his headquarters in Thomaston. Wadsworth was captured and imprisoned in Fort George at Bagaduce (Castine) (the same fort he had led the attack against in the summer of 1779), but he and fellow prisoner Maj. Benjamin Burton eventually escaped by cutting a hole in the ceiling of their jail and crawling out along the joists. Wadsworth then returned to his family in Plymouth, where he remained until the war's end. [edit] After War Years

In April 1784 Wadsworth returned to Maine, purchased 1.5 acres (6,000 m²) of land on Back Street (now Congress Street in Portland), engaged in surveying, and opened a store in early 1785. There he also built a house, now the historic Wadsworth-Longfellow House. He headed the committee that organized the first convention to discuss independence for Maine from Massachusetts, held in January 1786. He and his wife had ten children, one of whom later gave birth to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Although he continued to live in Portland, in 1790 he purchased 7800 acres (30 km²) from the Commonwealth in what became the town of Hiram, Maine, settled his son Charles there in 1795, and in 1800 built Wadsworth Hall there for his retirement.

In 1792 Wadsworth was chosen a presidential elector and a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and from 1793-1807 was the first representative in Congress from the region of Massachusetts that later became Maine. In January 1807 he moved to Hiram where he incorporated the township (February 27, 1807) and served as selectman, treasurer and magistrate. For the remainder of his life he devoted himself to farming and local concerns. He died in Hiram on July 18, 1829, and is buried in the family cemetery at Wadsworth Hall. -------------------- U.S. Congressman. Revolutionary War officer, serving in various capacities including aide to General Artemas Ward and later as brigadier general of militia-gained fame for escaping British capture and helping liberate the city of Bagaduce (now named Castine), Maine from British control. Appointed Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, 1778. Elected to the U. S. House of Representatives as a Federalist from Massachusetts in 1792; re-elected six additional times, serving in Congress from 1793 to 1807. Also served in the Massachusetts Senate, 1792. Grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). (bio by: GravesScribe)



      
view all 20

Brigadier General Peleg Wadsworth, Continental Army's Timeline

1748
May 6, 1748
Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts
1750
May 13, 1750
Age 2
Massachusetts
1751
1751
Age 2
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1753
January 25, 1753
Age 4
Duxbury, MA
1772
June 18, 1772
Age 24
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1774
May 9, 1774
Age 26
Kingston, MA
1776
January 26, 1776
Age 27
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1776
Age 27
1778
January 6, 1778
Age 29
Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1779
September 21, 1779
Age 31
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA