General William Woodford

General William Woodford
General William Woodford

The American Revolutionary War general William Woodford was born in Caroline, USA (1734-1780) in the town of present-day Woodford.   His wife's grandmother, Mildred Washington Gregory, was George Washington's Aunt and Godmother. 

When the French threatened to take over Virginia lands in the Ohio Valley, the royal governor sent young George Washington to the frontier to hold back the French and marauding Indians.   This very small military force was ordered to defend the frontier.  With this force was a unit from Caroline commanded by William Woodford.   


General Woodford was raised in an atmosphere of culture and refinement at his father's estate in Caroline, known as Windsor.  His father had been one of Governor Spotswood's Knights Of the Golden Horseshoe.

He had been with George Washington earlier with another small force which had attempted to block the French at Fort Necessity.  His bravery on that campaign defined his later military career.

In late 1779, he and his brigade were sent to join the Southern Continental Army but were captured at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.  He was sent to New York City where he died on board a British prison ship on 13 November 1780.  General Woodford was buried at Trinity Church, New York.

His grandfather, Dr William Cocke, served Virginia as the Secretary of the Colony and as a member of the governor's Council under Governor Spotswood. General Woodford's great uncle was Mark Catesby, the famous English naturalist.

Outline descent of George Washington and Genersal William Woodforde from Sir Ralph Woodford of Ashby Folvlle
Outline descent of George Washington and Genersal William Woodforde from Sir Ralph Woodford of Ashby Folvlle