York Town Square

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York’s Yankee Doudle went to Boston

Cathy Cline is interested in Capt. Michael Doudle’s rifle company, sometimes called the York Rifles. Her ancestor, James Matson, served in that company, known to be an early responder when Gen. George Washington sent out word that the Continental Army needed help in the siege of Boston in 1775.
Doudle – sometimes Doudel or Dowdle – appears on the short list of York County patriots early in the American Revolution. (To see a colorful hall of fame gallery of Doudle and other patriots from York County, see ‘Revolutionary War Portraits.’
The following excerpt from “Nine Months in York Town” tells how Doudle, a York tanner with no military experience, led the rifle company on the march to Boston:

“Bells rang. Townspeople cheered. Horatio Gates, the Continental Army’s adjutant general who was passing through town at that time, looked on as the men headed east toward the Susquehanna River.
The men boarded boats at Wright’s Ferry, where they crossed the Susquehanna on the 414-mile trek to Massachusetts.
The spirited unit reported to Gen. Washington 25 days later – on July 25, 1775.
York County was now up to the tops of its boots in the American Revolution.”

Doudle’s inexperience may have led to his replacement by Henry Miller, who is best-known today as the head of the fleet-footed local rifle company.
Anyone with information on Matson, Doudle or the York Rifles may contact Cathy at ludicy@bellsouth.net.