William Washington

Washington, William (1752-1810) Army Officer: Washington was educated for the church, but left his vocation to join the patriot cause. He became captain of infantry in the 3rd regiment of the Virginia line early in the war. He was severely wounded in the Battle of Long Island. In 1778, he was transferred to the dragoons and, in 1779, he joined the army of Col. Benjamin Lincoln in the south. Washington was made commander of the regiment with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1780, he defeated Tarleton at Rantowles and became attached to the command of General Daniel Morgan. Under Morgan, Washington used a painted log, known as a "Quaker gun," to reduce the British post defended by Col. Rudgely and 100 men to surrender. At the Battle of Cowpens, Washington charged on the enemy at a critical moment, later receiving a Congressional medal for his part in the victory. After participating other battles, he was wounded and taken prisoner in 1781. After the Revolutionary War, Washington served in the South Carolina legislature. When the United States was threatened with war with France in 1798, President Washington asked him to direct affairs in South Caroline and Georgia. After his death, he was described as "modest without timidity, generous without extravagance, brave without rashness, and disinterested without austerity."