Prince/Printz Family History

From "Brentz" in Duehren, Germany to "Printz" in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to "Prince" in Ohio and Beyond


Captain George Printz at Valley Forge?

Posted by Victor Prince on February 5, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Charles Printz noted in the book that: "George was also found on a list, dated Baltimore, MD, July 29, 1778, on General Nelson's Corps of Light Dragoons.  Whether the Virginia Militia was a part of this group or not, has not been ascertained.  George's name is enscribed on a brass plate at the Valley Forge Memorial Bell Tower dedicated by the NSDAR to patriots of the Revolutionary War."

I just found some new information that might help more directly connect George to Valley Forge.  The following is the content of a letter from General George Washington sent from Valley Forge to General Nelson.  This text comes from the University of Virginia's collection of Washington's papers, which you can search by clicking on the link above.


Head Quarters, Valley Forge, May 15, 1778.

Dear Sir: By last nights post I received your favor of the 5th. Instant.

I thank you for your exertions to raise a body of Cavalry for reinforceing and relieving those belonging to the Army, which by the severe service of the last campaign are much reduced.

As motives of generosity and duty bring your Corps to the field, I flatter myself they will render essential services, and that their conduct will be such, as to merit the approbation of their Country.     With respect to Carbines, if they can be procured without much delay, it would be best, but if they cannot, I would not wish you to wait for them. The most direct route will be thro' Baltimore. However, I do not know but the Horses may be more easily subsisted on the upper road, tho' that too has been greatly frequented and the forage considerably exhausted.

There is a bit more in that letter after that but not relevant to this.  Click on this link to see the full text of the letter.

The reason I think this provides one more possible proof that George was at Valley Forge is that General Washington directs Nelson to go through Baltimore on the trip.   The roster where George Printz appears on Nelson's troop rolls was done in Baltimore about 10 weeks after Washington wrote this letter.  Allowing for horse-based travel time for Washington's letter to go from Valley Forge to Nelson in Virginia and for Nelson's travel time to Baltimore, this would seem to be a reasonable amount of time for George Printz to be in Baltimore as part of this troop movement.  This makes me believe George was on his way to Valley Forge when he was listed on the roster in Baltimore.  That said, the Continental Army vacated the Valley Forge encampment in mid-June of 1778, so if George Printz's unit did go there, they probably just joined up with the forces at the very end at Valley Forge or somewhere else.

-- Victor

Categories: Revolutionary War, Documents, Captain George Printz