GARNDER, CARSWELL, was born in the year 1756. He entered the army of the United States in 1776, in a regiment commanded by Col. Ward, and was taken prisoner by the British on Dorchester Neck, carried to Boston, and confined on board a transport-ship in Boston Harbor. In about six weeks he escaped in one of the cutters of the enemy. This he sold for eighty dollars, which he received in bills of one dollar each, all bearing the head of John Hancock. Soon thereafter he was appointed sergeant of the foot-guard of Gen. Washington. He followed the fortunes of the general, and was in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Princeton, and Trenton, and shared in the honor of taking the Hessians at the latter place. His term of service having expired, at the soliciation of Gen. Washington he recruited a troop of horse, which was joined by twenty-two of the foot-guard. When the troop was marched to Morristown where the army then lay, Gen. Washington made choice of the same twenty-two, together with Mr. Gardner as his horse-guard, on account of his attachment to them and his confidence in them. They marched with him to various places, and hutted at Valley Forge, sharing great privations during the long and inclement winter when the army lay at that point.

At the battle of Germantown Mr. Gardner was the bearer of a flag of truce, by order of Gen. Washington, to the enemy in Chew's house commanding them to surrender, but was not permitted to approach within speaking distance of the house before he was fired upon. He bore a part in the battle of Brandywine; he was also in the battle of Monmouth, and was the bearer of a dispatch from Gen. Washington to Gen. Lee the evening before the battle, containing orders relative to that battle, which were disobeyed by Gen. Lee, and for which disobediece he was afterwards tried by court-martial and suspended from service.

He served as a member of the horse-guards until Gen. Washington went to West Point in 1779, when he joined the regiment of light dragoons under the command of Col. William Washington. At the end of his term of service, in 1780, he received an honorable discharge from Col. Washington, with a request that he would engage in the service as a recruiting-officer, which he did.

At the close of the war he engaged in the peaceful pursuit of agriculture in New London township, Chester Co., where he spent the remainder of a long life, respected and esteemed by his neighbors. He received a pension from the general government, and died in the year 1842, at the age of eighty-six years.

This page updated on January 21, 2011