Howard, John Eager

Howard, John Eager (1752-1827) Soldier, Governor of Maryland: Howard grew up in a wealthy home, and was well-educated by tutors. He joined the Continental Army at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, commanding a company of the flying camp under Gen. Hugh Mercer at the Battle of White Plains in 1776. When his corps was disbanded in December of that year, Howard was commissioned a major in the 4th Maryland regiment of the line, and saw action at Germantown and Monmouth. On 1780, as lieutenant-colonel of the 5th Maryland regiment, he fought at Camden under Gen. Horatio Gates, and later joined the army under Gen. Nathanael Greene. He was hailed for his gallantry at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781, and the bayonet-charge under his command secured the American victory. At one point during the battle, he held the swords of seven British officers who had surrendered to him. In honor of his service at the Battle of Cowpens, he received a Congressional medal. Howard significantly aided Gen. Greene in effecting his retreat at Guilford Courthouse and at the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill in 1781. Howard succeeded to the command of the 2nd Maryland regiment. At Eutaw Springs, where his command was reduced to thirty men, and he was its only surviving officer, he made a final charge, and was severely wounded. He served as Governor of Maryland from 1789 to 1792, and was a senator from 1796 to 1803. After serving in the War of 1812, he ran for vice-president, but did not win the election. In 1824, he entertained the Marquis de la Fayette at Belvidere, Howard's home.