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Capt William Piatt, I
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Birth: Oct. 7, 1743
Death: Nov. 4, 1791
Fort Recovery
Mercer County
Ohio, USA

Captain William Piatt and his four brothers were veterans of the American Revolution. William and two of his brothers were members of the Society of the Cincinatti. William Piatt was a personal bodyguard for General George Washington. He was present at the final surrender of the British at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. William Piatt married Jemina Quick in 1774. They had a son. Following her death, he married Sarah Shotwell (1756-1841) in December of 1778. Sarah Shotewll Piatt was the daughter of John Shotwell (1712-1779) and Grace Webster Shotwell. Her grandfather, John R. Shotwell (1685-1762), settled at Shotwell's Landing (Port Rahway, NJ). Her great grandfather, Abraham Shotwell (1624-1680) emigrated from Ipswich, England to Woodbridge, NJ. The Shotwell's were early leaders of the Quaker "Friends" Church in NJ. Captain William and Sarah Shotwell Piatt lived in Scotch Plains, NJ. at 1805 Front Street. The house was erected ca. 1740 and razed in 1954. Captain William Piatt, in 1791, raised a company of volunteers at Scotch Plains, New Jersey to serve in the "Indian War" and marched on foot to Cincinnati, Ohio via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and joined the army of General Arthur St. Clair in defense of the Ohio Valley with the Second Regiment of Levies. On the morning of November 4, 1791, St. Clair's troops suffered the greatest military defeat ever by Native American forces. Little Turtle and his warriors massacred hundreds of St. Clair's men above the banks above the Wabash River. Of the more than 1000 troops that were present the morning of the defeat, only 48 escaped unharmed. General Anthony Wayne later erected Fort Recovery at the massacre site and defeated the tribal forces. The remains of the fallen are interred below an enormous granite obelisk. The obelisk area is called Fort Recovery Memorial Park. A first hand account of the "Battle of the Wabash" or "St. Clair's Defeat;" The narrative of Major Jacob Fowler, in (1846), living in Covington, Ky., his own personal experience in the events of that fatal day. Mr. Cist, in his "Advertiser" ...I ran across the army to where I had left my relative, Captain Piatt, and told him that the army was broken up and in full retreat. "Don't say so," he replied: "you will discourage my men, and I can't believe it." I persisted a short time, when, finding him obstinate, I said, "If you will rush on your fate, in God's name do it." I then ran off towards the rear of the army, which was making off rapidly. Piatt called after me, saying "Wait for me." It was of no use to stop, for by this time the savages were in full chase and hardly twenty yards behind me. Being uncommonly active in those days, I soon got from the rear to front of the troops, although I had great trouble to avoid the bayonets which the men had thrown off in the retreat, with the sharp points towards their pursuers. On the retreat, Captain Piatt was seen by some of his friends sitting by a tree wounded. They were close pressed by the Indians, and his friends offered to assist him along. But he told them to go on and leave him, to save themselves for he was so badly hurt that they could not escape and save him. So they left him and made their escape, leaving him to his fate.
NOTE: Major Jacob Fowler was the son of Edward and Rachel Piatt Fowler.
According to The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood; Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey: The year 1824 marked the visit of the Inn's (Scotch Plains' Stage House Inn) most famous confirmed guest, General Marquis de Lafayette. The General was a friend of Captain William Piatt, a former Scotch Plains resident and bodyguard to George Washington. When Lafayette toured the colonies at the invitation of Congress, he tried to contact Piatt. Unfortunately, Piatt had been killed. William Piatt, II, the son of Captain Willaim Piatt, I, entertained the Marquis de Lafayette in place of his father, during the General's visit to Scotch Plains. It was during Lafayette's second visit to the United States.
William and Jemina Quick Piatt had one child, a son:
I. John Piatt. He was baptised on April 12, 1778 at the Six Mile Run Dutch Reformed Church. Jemina Quick Piatt was the daughter of Col. Abraham Quick and Machtel Veghte Quick of Ten Mile Run, New Jersey.
William and Sarah Shotwell Piatt had the following children:
II. John James Piatt (b.Nov. 10, 1779, Scotch Plains, NJ.-d.July 6, 1825, East Bend, Boone County, Kentucky). James Piatt married Rachel Bear in Kentucky on May 13, 1802.
III. Fanny Piatt (b.Feb. 18, 1782-d.1783 in Scotch Plains, NJ.).
IV. Jemina Green Piatt Shotwell (b.Sept. 14, 1785-d.1868 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA.). She married Elijah Shotwell (b.Oct 24, 1779-d.Aug. 9, 1857 in Scotch Plains, NJ.).
V. Dr. William F. Piatt, II, M.D. (b.Oct. 9, 1788 in Scotch Plains, Union, County, NJ-d.May 7,1843 in NYC, NY) married Eliza T. Littell, daughter of Nathaniel Littell, Esq. on March 19, 1810 and had children:
V.a. Mariah M. Piat, who married Joel Wilson, son of John Wilson, Esq and had children:
V.a.(1)William Piatt Wilson
V.a.(2)Mercy Wilson
V.a.(3)Eliza Wilson.
Vb. James Mortimer Piatt, who went to sea and was lost.
Dr. William F. Piatt, II's first wife Eliza T. Littel died 29th November, 1827. He next married Caroline Kempton, widow of Capt. Kempton, of NY. where they both lived, and had a daughter, Eliza C. Kempton Piatt who was a private tutor in NYC, NY. All of the children of William and Sarah Shotwell Piatt were born in Scotch Plains, NJ.
Sarah Shotwell Piatt, the widow of Captain William Piatt, married a Mr. Murray who died before her. She drew a pension from the United States government for many years for Captain Piatt's war services. She lived to be 95 years old. She was taken care of by her daughter, Jemina Green Piatt Shotwell in Scotch Plains, NJ. She died on May 30, 1850.

Family links: 
  John Hull Piatt (1712 - 1760)
  Frances Vliet Wyckoff Piatt (1713 - 1776)
  John James Piatt (1779 - 1825)*
  Jacob Wyckoff (1734 - 1797)**
  Margaret Wyckoff (1735 - 1738)**
  Frances Wyckoff (1737 - 1738)**
  John Piatt (1740 - 1820)*
  Abraham Piatt (1741 - 1791)*
  William Piatt (1743 - 1791)
  Daniel Piatt (1745 - 1780)*
  Jacob Piatt (1747 - 1834)*
*Calculated relationship
Fort Recovery Monument Park
Fort Recovery
Mercer County
Ohio, USA
Created by: Terry T
Record added: Feb 01, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64996773
Capt William Piatt, I
Added by: Cousin Becky
Capt William Piatt, I
Added by: Cousin Becky
Capt William Piatt, I
Added by: Terry T
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- Judy Chatfield Montei
 Added: Oct. 9, 2012
Patriot and Pioneer
- Terry T
 Added: Feb. 2, 2011

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