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Alexander Moffatt[1]

Male about 1753 - 1826  (~ 73 years)


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  • Name Alexander Moffatt  [2
    Gender Male 
    Born about 1753  Montgomery, Orange Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Alternate Name Moffat/Moffitt  [3
    Match and Merge Other Last Name: Moffitt 
    Military “The initial information on him came from my mother’s DAR application that I used to join the SAR. I have since been trying to expand my knowledge of Alexander Moffitt, particularly his Revolutionary War service. I know he served in various units including the 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment at Fort Montgomery, New York, when it and Fort Clinton fell to British forces in October 1777. He was captured but, after being exchanged, served in the Army until discharged in early 1781. This fall, we hope to attend the ceremonies marking the 225th anniversary of the battle.”

    In His Footsteps

    This fall, my wife and I traveled to New York State to attend the dedication of the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site on 6 October 2002, and retrace the footsteps of my Great-great-great-great-grandfather Alexander Moffatt**, a Revolutionary War soldier.

    On 6 October 1777, some 2000 British soldiers commanded by Gen. Sir Henry Clinton and supported by ships of the Royal Navy in the Hudson River, attacked and overwhelmed the estimated 600 defenders of Fort Montgomery and its twin, Fort Clinton. Albeit a minor battle, it is believed to have contributed to Gen. John Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga on 17 October 1777, the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Believing the forts’ capture had fulfilled his mission of supporting Gen. Burgoyne’s operations, Sir Henry delayed moving further up the Hudson until too late. Initially occupied by the British, the two forts were subsequently destroyed as the British forces withdrew down the Hudson to New York City, some 50 miles south.

    As time passed, both forts were reclaimed by nature and largely forgotten. However, a dedicated group remembered and formed the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association to reclaim and preserve what remained of Fort Montgomery - Fort Clinton having been lost to road construction years before. The 6 October 2002 dedication of the site by Gov. George Pataki marked the realization of the Association’s goal.

    At the time of the battle, Great-great-great-great-grandfather Alexander Moffatt was assigned to Fort Montgomery as one of about 100 artillerymen divided between the two forts. He was already a veteran of over two years of military service. In early 1775, he had enlisted in Capt. William Jackson’s Company of Col. Henry B. Livingston’s New York Regiment and participated in the Battle of Long Island and the Battle of White Plains in 1776. On 10 January 1777, he enlisted at Fort Montgomery as a “Matross” (private or gunner) in Capt Andrew Moody’s artillery company, Col John Lamb’s 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment, for "three years or during the war."

    During the Battle of Fort Montgomery, he received three apparently minor wounds and was one of the 263 Americans taken prisoner by the British. He was imprisoned on the prison ship "Good Intent" and in the Sugar House in New York City for nine months and two days before being exchanged at Elizabeth Town point in New Jersey. The exchanged American prisoners marched to White Plains, New York, where he rejoined Capt Moody's company in which he served until his discharge on 10 January 1780 at West Point, which is located a few miles north of Fort Montgomery, at the expiration of the "three years."

    Born in Montgomery, Ulster (now Orange) County, NY about 1753, Alexander Moffatt is believed to have been a resident of the county until sometime between 1804 when his wife died, and 1818 when he applied for a Revolutionary War pension while living in Washington County, PA. He was still living in Washington County when he died on 2 January 1826 at his residence in Hopewell Township. His place of burial is unknown.

    In addition to his military service, Alexander Moffatt was a farmer and a blacksmith – the latter occupation followed by his oldest son, John B. Moffatt, from whom I am descended. According to the “History of Coshocton County, 1740-1881,” John Moffatt was a blacksmith who worked for Robert Fulton and did the smith work on the first three steamboats that Fulton tried out on the Ohio River.

    Robert D. Howell, Sr. (1463)

    It would be nice if you could add an additional note on Alexander's Revolutionary War service. Per pension application he stated that he served 7 years during which time he was made captive at the loss of Fort Montgomery to the British and was incarcerated on a Prison Ship in New York City harbor for 9 months. Very very few men served in the American Army for the entire war, not even in Continental Line (regular) Regiments.much less the Militia outfits.  [4, 5, 6, 7
    American Revolutionary War Veteran
    Submitter 239, 296 
    Died 2 January 1826  Hopewell Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I9213  Clan Moffat Genealogy
    Last Modified 17 April 2009 

    Father Hugh Moffatt,   b. Ulster Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F42268  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Anna Comfort,   b. 23 May 1749, Montgomery, Orange Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1804, Hopewell Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Children 
    +1. John B. Moffatt,   b. 1780, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1869, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    +2. Hugh Moffatt,   b. 1784, Montgomery, Orange Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 January 1865, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    +3. Thomas Moffatt,   b. 19 June 1793,   d. 19 July 1855, Ulsterville, Ulster Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     4. Alexander Moffatt
     5. Nancy Moffatt
     6. Margaret Moffatt
    Family ID F4825  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Military Service: Revolutionary War veteran

      Sources: NSDAR Book of Patriots; Military and Pension records on file in National Archives

      Background: Historically, Montgomery was in Ulster Co, NY although today it is in Orange Co. Application for a pension in 1818 gave his age as 65 thus establishing his birth year of 1753. It is presumed that he was buried in Washington Co, PA

      A second source gives death date of 2 Jan 1825 and birthdate of 1756 [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S241] GEDCOM file JohnMoffatt.ged, submitted by Robert Howell Sr, Clan Moffat Society 1463.

    2. [S1] Original Moffat GEDCOM File, Robert and Frances Moffitt.

    3. [S147] Clan Moffat Society Lineage Sheet, submitted by Robert Howell Sr.

    4. [S148] Letter from Robert Howell Sr, Robert Howell Sr.

    5. [S323] titled Re: Descendants of John B. Moffatt, eMail message from Bob Howell.

    6. [S418] titled Article, eMail message from Robert Howell Sr.

    7. [S473] titled father of Alexander MOFFATT 1753-1826, eMail message from Tom Moffatt.


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