Frederick William, Baron De Woedtke

Frederick William, Baron de Woedtke (c. 1740 - 31 July 1776) was a Prussian officer who served in the American Revolutionary War.

Woedtke came to the new United States after the beginning of the American Revolution. He was said to have served for several years under Frederick II of Prussia, even though he was only twenty-six years old. Congress granted him a commission on 16 March 1776 as a brigadier general and assigned him to the army under General Philip Schuyler in New York.

En route to serve his new commission in April 1776, Woedtke accompanied Benjamin Franklin, who was on a diplomatic mission to Canada. Charles Carroll, a congressman from Maryland on the same mission, wrote that Frederick William was "not the best bred up by his Prussian Majesty." This may have been a reference to Woedtke's alcoholism.

Baron de Woedtke broke company with the diplomatic mission after reporting to General Schuyler. The two generals joined Brigadier General John Thomas and set out to reinforce General Benedict Arnold in the siege of Quebec.

After the failure of the Canadian campaign, Woedtke remained in New York. He was with the general council (which included Schuyler and Horatio Gates) that decided, against the advice of Col. John Stark and others, to abandon Fort Crown Point and fall back on Mount Independence. Baron de Woedtke died of exposure at Lake George in July 1776, shortly after that meeting.

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