american flag                            William Alexander (1726-1783)  

william alexanderBorn in New York City, William Alexander served in the British Army during French and Indian Wars and was known as Lord Stirling in recognition of his claim to an earldom in the Scottish nobility. At the outbreak of the Revolution, he raised a unit of New Jersey militiamen at his own expense and was later promoted to brigadier in the Continental Army. Assigned to lead the American right wing at the Battle of Long Island, he made a heroic stand against vastly superior forces near Gowanus Creek, ordering five separate bayonet charges in an effort to blunt the British advance. Alexander was himself taken prisoner in the action, but was later released in a prisoner exchange. Promoted to Major General, he would serve with distinction at Trenton and through the end of the war.

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