Josiah Hayden

Hayden, Josiah.
Autograph Letter Signed to His Wife,
September 24, 1776. Ernest Sturm Collection.

British forces attacked New York in the middle of September, 1776, and American troops retreated to Harlem Heights. Josiah Hayden, then serving as major of Colonel John Bailey’s Massachusetts regiment, describes the ensuing battle in this letter to his wife. He begins, “I gladly imbrace this opertunity to informe you that through divine goodness I am well…” The Battle of Harlem Heights has been called a turning point in the Revolution; though the Americans did not win New York, their defense of it boosted morale.

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