Ledyard, William(lĕd`yərd), 1738–81, American Revolutionary officer, b. Groton, Conn. In 1781, as commander of Fort Griswold (near Groton), he refused to surrender, despite threats of massacre if he should resist the overwhelming British force. After heroic defense, the fort fell and Ledyard and most of his 165 men were killed.
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Ledyard, William(1738–81) soldier; born in Groton, Conn. An active patriot in the years before the American Revolution, he became a captain in the Connecticut militia in 1776. In September 1781 he surrendered Fort Griswold, Conn., after a spirited defense, and was killed, along with 85 other survivors of the battle, by British troops run amok.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.