George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Artemas Ward, 10 August 1775

From Major General Artemas Ward

Camp at Roxbury [Mass.] 10 August 1775

“Capt. Baldwin, the Bearer hereof, has been for three Months past engaged as an Engineer in the Service of the united Colonies. he was upon Bunker’s Hill, & behaved very well thro’ the Engagment. . . . He has no Birth in the Army, If any Vacancy presents, & he can be advanced I doubt not he will do Honor to his Office.”1

LS, DLC:GW.

1Although Jeduthan Baldwin (1732–1788) of Brookfield, Mass., served with the American army as an assistant engineer throughout the siege of Boston, he received no rank until 26 April 1776, at which time Congress appointed him a lieutenant colonel (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:312). As a provincial captain during the French and Indian War, Baldwin helped erect Fort William Henry on Lake George in 1755–56, participated in the siege of Ticonderoga in 1759, and late in the war oversaw the building of a new fort at Crown Point. In 1774 Baldwin represented Brookfield in the first Massachusetts provincial congress. He was involved in laying out the American defensive lines at Bunker Hill before the battle on 17 June 1775, and in the following months he worked on fortifications at Prospect Hill, Sewall’s Point, Cobble Hill, and Dorchester Neck (Baldwin to John Adams, 21 Jan., 28 Mar. 1776, in Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 3:408–9, 4:93). Baldwin was assisting with the defense of New York City in April 1776, when he was appointed lieutenant colonel. He subsequently served the American army in the northern department as its chief engineer, and on 3 Sept. 1776 Congress promoted him to full colonel (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:732). In July 1778 Baldwin became commander of the army’s quartermaster artificer regiment, a position which he held until he resigned his commission in April 1782.

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