Alexr Moodie Surgn, his signature from the Parole of Honour, 13 December 1777


Nationality: Scottish
Born: ca.1749
Regimental commission dates:
Surgeon, 21 February 1776
Captured: Saratoga, New York, 17 October 1777 (Convention Army)
Died: Kingston, Jamaica, August 1792


For over 15 years, the tag team of Surgeon Alexander Moodie and Mate Joseph Alder served the medical needs of the 62nd Regiment of Foot.

As with most regimental surgeons, Moodie began his military medical service as a surgeon's mate (or "mate"). Appointed mate to the 21st or Royal North British Fusiliers on 25 October 1766, Moodie remained in that position with that regiment for almost a decade. Moodie joined the 62nd Regiment as its new surgeon upon the transfer of Surgeon William Gardiner to the 15th Regiment of Light Dragoons in 1776. One might wonder what anyone being sent to a new, young surgeon named “Moodie” must have thought, but no doubt he was soon well received by the officers and men of the regiment. Soon after receiving his commission, Surgeon Moodie joined the regiment and accompanied it to Canada in 1776. He was also with the regiment during the entire Northern Campaign of 1777, which proved deadly for so many of the regiment's officers and men. One can imagine Moodie working tirelessly after both Battles of Saratoga: the Battle of Freeman's Farm (19 September 1777) and the Battle of Bemis Heights (7 October 1777). Moodie surrendered with the rest of Burgoyne's army at Saratoga on 17 October 1777.

It is interesting that the surgeon's mate, Joseph Alder, was able to attain a release from captivity by 1779 and rejoin the repatriated regiment in England in 1781 well before the surgeon himself; by July 1781, Moodie was still listed as “on his way to join from America” on regimental returns. As the war ended and the 1780s passed, the 62nd Regiment was transferred to Jamaica where Moodie continued as regimental surgeon. He died there under unknown circumstances in August, 1792. His replacement was non other than his longtime mate, Joseph Alder.

Alexander Moodie's name was sometimes listed in records of the 62nd Regiment as “Richard Moodie.” “Richard” may have been a middle name (or perhaps even the given name) for this officer.