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First Name: Jedediah

Last Name: Huntington

Birthplace: Norwich, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 04 August 1743

Date of Death: 25 September 1818

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Jedediah Huntington

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Jedediah Huntington
Brevet Major General, Continental Army

Jedediah Huntington was born on 4 August 1743 in Norwich, CT, to Jabez and Elizabeth Backus Huntington. He graduated from Harvard College in 1763, with distinguished honor. The social rank of his family is evidenced by the order of his name on the college catalogue, it being the second on the list of his class, above that of Josiah Quincy. The Master's Degree was also conferred on him by Yale College in 1770.

After the close of his academic course, he engaged with his father in commercial pursuits, and, with the approach of the struggle for independence, became noted as a Son of Liberty, and an active Captain of the Militia. Promoted to the command of a regiment, he joined the Army at Cambridge on 26 April 1775, just a week after the battle of Lexington. His regiment was part of the force detailed for occupying Dorchester Heights and, after the evacuation of Boston by the British, marched with the Army to New York. He entertained the Commander-in-Chief, on the way, at Norwich. During the year 1776, he was at New York, Kingsbridge, Northcastle, Sidmun's Bridge, and other posts. In April of that year, he helped repulse the British at Danbury, CT, assailing the enemy's rear, and joining up with his fellow townsman, Benedict Arnold.

In March 1777, Colonel Huntington was recommended by General George Washington as a fit person for brigadier, but that Connecticut had more than her share. On 12 May of that year, he was promoted to Brigadier General "at Gen. Washington's request." In July, he joined Gen. Putnam at Peekskill, with all the Continental troops that he could collect. In September, he was ordered to join the main Army near Philadelphia, where he remained at headquarters, at Worcester, Whippin, White Marsh, Gulph Hills, etc.

In November, on the information of the enemy's movement upon Red Bank, he was detached with his brigade, among other troops, to its relief, but Cornwallis had anticipated them. Having shared the hardships of his companions-in-arms at Valley Forge through the winter of 1777-78, Huntington and Col. Wigglesworth were, in March, appointed by the Commander-in-Chief, "to aid Gen. McDougall in inquiring into the loss of Forts Montgomery and Clinton, in the State of New York; and into the conduct of the principal officers commanding those posts." In May, he was ordered with his brigade to the North River, and was stationed successively, at Camp Reading, Highlands, Neilson's Point, Springfield, Shorthills, Totowa, Peekskill, West Point, etc.

In July, he was a member of the court martial which tried Gen. Charles Lee for misconduct in the Battle of Monmouth; and in September he sat on the court of inquiry that handled the case of Major Andre. In December 1780, his was the only Connecticut Brigade that remained in the service. On 10 May 1783, at a meeting of officers, he was appointed one of a committee of four to draft a plan of organization, which resulted in their reporting, on the 13th, the Constitution of the Society of the Cincinnati. On the 24th of June, Washington wrote that the Army was "reduced to a competent garrison for West Point; Patterson, Huntington, and Greaton being the only Brigadier Generals now left with it, besides the Adjutant General."

At the close of the war, Huntington received the brevet rank of Major General. His greatness was more intellectual and moral, rather than physical, as there is in existence a memorandum of the weighing of several Revolutionary Officers at West Point on 19 August 1788. Gen. Washington weighed 209 pounds, Gen. Lincoln, 224, Gen. Knox, 280, and Gen. Huntington, 132.

After retiring from the Army, Huntington resumed business in his native town, and was successively chosen Sheriff of the County, Treasurer of the State, and delegate to the State Convention that adopted the Constitution of the United States. In 1789, he was appointed by President Washington as Collector of the Customs at New London, then the port of entry for eastern Connecticut and Connecticut River. He retained that office under four administrations, and resigned shortly before his death.


At the age of twenty-three, Huntington made a public profession of religion, and was for many years, an officer and pillar of the church of which he was a member. "His munificence, for its profusion, its uniformity, its long continuance, and for the discretion by which it was directed," was pronounced, "without an example, or a parallel, in his native state."

His first wife was Faith, daughter of Governor Trumbull. She died at Dedham, MA, in December of 1775, on her way to the camp. Two of her brothers, one of them the distinguished painter, were associated with her husband in the War, of which her father was one of the main supports. She left a son, Jabez.

His second wife was Ann Moore, daughter of Thomas Moore, who was born in New York, received his education at Westminister School, London, and engaged in commercial pursuits in his native city. At the approach of the Revolution, he retired with his family to West Point, and driven away by violence, returned to the city, where he occupied a place in the custom house through the war. Thomas Moore died in the house of his daughter, in Norwich. Her brother was the late venerable Bishop Moore, of Virginia. Her uncle Stephen was the proprietor of the spot at West Point now occupied by the U.S. Military Academy, which Gen. Huntington had advised should be established there. Ann survived her husband, and was the mother of seven children: Elizabeth M., Ann C., Faith T., Harriet S., Joshua, Daniel, and Thomas.

Death and Burial

Major General Jedediah Huntington died on 25 September 1818 in New London, CT, where his remains were first interred. Later, his remains were transferred to the family tomb at Old Norwichtown Cemetery in Norwich, CT.

Honoree ID: 2664   Created by: MHOH




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