Thursday, April 18, 2013

Letters From Fielder Ridgeway

On Fold3 in the Letters Received From The Office Of The Adjutant General file:
From Fielder Ridgeway, Lieutenant, Rifle Regiment, written in January, 1811, from Nashville, Tennessee.


Lt. Ridgeway mentioned that he asked for leave from his commanding officer, Col. Alec Smythe, at Fort Hampton, and that he (Lt. Ridgeway) was to present himself to the Secretary of War, and that he was on his way to the City of Washington.  Also mentioned was Capt. Ragan's company, which I [Ridgeway] commanded to be transferred to Capt. Sevier's.

A second letter from Lieutenant Ridgeway dated April 18th, 1811, from Lower Marlbro, stated that he was ordered to Norfolk.  He indicated that he brought a soldier, Thomas Morgan, with him as a waiter.  Lt. Ridgeway stated that he couldn't take Morgan back with him, and since he has his own waiter, he sent Morgan to Annapolis to Lieut. Clark and recommended Morgan as one of the best soldiers he had ever commanded.

This book, the Florida Fiasco: Rampant Rebels on the Georgia-Florida Border, 1810-1815, by Rembert W. Patrick, characterized Fielder Ridgeway as a good recruiter, but not a good commanding officer.  It further stated that Lt. Ridgeway was freed at a court martial at Point Petre due to a technicality.  He ran into further trouble and was cashiered from the Army in 1814.

A powder horn purportedly belonging to Fielder Ridgeway was sold at auction (see picture).

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