John Reznikoff, a historic document expert, recently presented the Wilton Historical Society with an extraordinary piece of Revolutionary War correspondence between Patriot General David Wooster and General Gold Selleck Silliman.
The communication between the two leaders was so imperative that the response was dashed out on the bottom of the letter and immediately returned, likely by an aide or messenger, to the sender.
“I love that document, it speaks to me,” Reznikoff said.
A long-time Wilton resident and the founder and president of University Archives, Reznikoff is a trustee of the Wilton Historical Society.
The correspondence shows urgent preparations that were made in anticipation of the British troops’ march on Danbury. In his letter, Silliman informs Gen. Wooster of the enemy movements and requests Wooster gather reinforcements to intercept the British attack. In Wooster’s response, he orders all commanding Continental Army officers to march their troops to Stratford to “receive further orders.” He also orders the militia in nearby towns to stand ready to march.
The rare April 26, 1777 letter, possibly the last one sent by Gen. Wooster before he was mortally wounded the next day at the Battle of Ridgefield, has been added to Wilton Historical’s Permanent Collection.
Patriots’ Day is an annual event commemorating the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy, some of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. The holiday occurs annually on the third Monday of April, and has been celebrated by Connecticut since 2018.