Woodford, William, was born in Caroline county, Virginia, in 1735. He distinguished himself in the French and
Indian war. In 1775. when the Virginia militia assembled at Williamsburg, he was commissioned colonel of the Second
Regiment. At Great Bridge, December 9, the same year, he fought the forces of Lord Dunmore, royal governor of the
colony, and gained a victory. Dunmore had fortified a passage of the Elizabeth river, on the borders of the Dismal
Swamp, where he suspected the militia would attempt to cross. At the Norfolk end of the bridge. Dunmore cast up
his entrenchments, and supplied them amply with cannon. His forces consisted of British regulars, Virginia Tories.
negroes and vagrants, in number about 600. Woodford had thrown a small fortification at the opposite end of the
bridge. Early in the morning the Royalists attacked the Virginians. After considerable manoeuvring a sharp battle
ensued which lasted about twenty five minutes, when the assailants were repulsed and fled, leaving two spiked field
pieces behind them. The loss of the assailants was fifty five, killed and wounded: not a Virginian was killed.
Woodford was afterward commander of the First Virginia Brigade, having been appointed brigadiergeneral. At the
battle of the Brandywine. September 11, 1777, he was severely wounded, but was in the action at Monmouth, New Jersey,
June 28, 1778, and at the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. Here he was taken prisoner by the British
and sent to New York City, where he died on November 13, of that year.
Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
By: Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL. D.
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York 1915
Vol. 2 Prominent Persons in Virginia
Vol. 2 Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals
Vol. 2 United States Senators
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