Ledyard, William (lĕdˈyərd) [key], 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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