Abercromby, Robert (1740-1828) was born in Clackmannanshire, Scotland into a prominent aristocratic family. He entered the military as a young man and served during both the French and Indian War and American War for Independence. During this time he rose in rank achieving Lt. Colonel of the 37th Regiment of Foot. During the War for Independence he not only participated in the skirmishes around Whitemarsh but also most of the major engagements. After the war he was made Colonel of the 75th Highland Regiment and served in India in the 1790s during England’s fighting with France. There, he was made Governor of Bombay and eventually Commander in Chief of the British Army in India. Upon returning to Great Britain in 1797 due to failing eyesight, then Governor General of India, Sir John Shore, commended him “for his zeal, excessive good nature and disregard for material gain.” He entered Parliament for a time. In 1801, he was made Governor of Edinburgh Castle which he held till his death and in 1802 was elevated to the office of general in the British Army. Abercromby held distinction as Knight of the Bath.
André, John (1750-1780), born in London, joined the British Army in 1771 and by 1779, was promotedto major and adjutant general. He was in close correspondence with Benedict Arnold, and together they schemed to gain control of West Point, New York. On multiple occasions, Arnold and André exchanged key information and negotiated the surrender of West Point. When André was returning to the British lines he was halted by the New York militia, who discovered a map of West Point in André’s possession. He was then questioned and found out to be a spy. Washington ordered his execution, which took place by hanging on October 2, 1780.
Bush, Mathias (1722-1790) was a prominent member of the colonial Jewish community in Philadelphia during the time of the American Revolution. Born in Prague, Bohemia, he emigrated to New York in 1740 and eventually made his way to Philadelphia and then Germantown. Mathias eventually became naturalized as a citizen. Mathias was a merchant, ship-owner and owned tracts of land in the region as well as in Virginia. He is noted as one of the signatories of the Philadelphia Merchants Non-Importation Act, 8 in response to the Stamp Act in 1765. Some of Mathias’ children were active in the Continental Army including Lewis Bush who was killed at Brandywine and Solomon Bush who was severely wounded in the thigh at the same battle. Solomon was brought to his father’s home in Chestnut Hill where he convalesced for some time. When General Howe took over the Bush house, the British soldiers threatened to run him through with a bayonet. This caused his stepmother so much anxiety that she miscarried the child she was carrying. Solomon was taken prisoner and eventually treated by an English physician and recovered.
Cornwallis, Charles (1738-1805) began his military career at the age of eighteen. Also politically engaged, he was elected to the House of Commons and later the House of Lords, where he defended the American colonies until rumors of American rebellion began to arise. He had an extremely successful military career with many victories in the Americas. However, he was always subordinate to men he disliked, including William Howe. As others blamed him for the lost war, he decided to serve as the Governor General of India. While governing India, he introduced many reforms, subdued uprisings and maintained a perfect record. He later became viceroy and commander-in-chief of Ireland and was a signer of the Treaty of Amiens between France and England in 1802.
Greene, Nathanael (1742-1786) was a major general during the American Revolution. He had a military reputation that trailed only that of George Washington. Ironically, he was born into a pacifist Quaker family. He is known for his involvement and command in the Southern Campaigns in the Carolinas, where he pushed Cornwallis up to Virginia. He was also involved in the Philadelphia Campaign, including the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth.
Grey, Charles (1729-1807) was born in London and, at the age of nineteen, was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He traveled to America with William Howe in 1776 and was made a major general. After his performance in the Battle of Paoli, He was widely known as “No- Flint Grey.” He became lieutenant general in 1782, four years after returning to England. At the end of his career, he served in the West Indies in the French Revolutionary Wars before retiring in 1801. That same year, he was named a baron and in 1806, was named Viscount Howick and Earl Grey. He died the next year at the age of 78.
Howe, William (1729-1814) was born into a family with connections to the crown. At the age of seventeen, he followed his brothers in joining the military. With his skill and social connections, he steadily rose through the ranks, becoming a lieutenant, captain, colonel and eventually major general. Besides his participation in the Battle of Whitemarsh, he is also known for his involvement in the French and Indian War, Seven Years War and other battles in the American War for Independence. In addition to serving in the military, he also was a part of the political scene in Britain. He served as a representative in Parliament who fought against the Intolerable Acts and was the governor of the Isle of Wight.
Irvine, James (1735-1819) was born on August 4, 1735, in Philadelphia, the son of Irish immigrants. He worked as a hatter before joining the military in 1760. During his military career, he served in the French and Indian War as a captain. He was promoted to colonel in 1776, but later resigned, since he had not been assigned as general. Months later, he returned as a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania militia. In the Battle of Whitemarsh, he lost three fingers and suffered neck injuries. Also involved in politics, he served as the vice-president of Pennsylvania, and served on the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the State Senate and the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. After a prolonged sickness, he died in Philadelphia.
Morgan, Daniel (1735-1802), the grandson of Welsh immigrants, was known for being abrasive and tough. Reports claim that he knocked out a lieutenant and had been involved in many bar fights. He was also able to handle the roughest conditions as he was a prisoner of war in the Invasion of Canada and survived a bullet through the back of his neck. As an excellent rifleman and an expert in Indian fighting tactics, he was assigned to be captain of a rifle company in Virginia. In addition to the Battle of Whitemarsh, he participated in the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle at Cowpens. After ending his military career, he served in the House of Representatives.
Potter, James (1729-1789), born in Ireland, later moved with his family to Delaware and Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He entered the militia and became lieutenant at the age of twenty-five. During the French and Indian War, he became a captain and then a lieutenant colonel. He led troops at the Battles of Trenton, Germantown, Princeton and Brandywine. In addition to his military service, Potter engaged in a political career in Pennsylvania. In 1780, he was elected to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council and won its vice-presidency in 1781, a post he held for one term. During this time he also served as a trustee of the University of the State of Pennsylvania, now the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he served as deputy surveyor for Pennsylvania in Northumberland County until he died as a result of a construction injury.
Sherman, Isaac (1753-1819), from Connecticut, was the son of Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Originally, he had intended to enter the mercantile business, but had to join the Continental forces at the beginning of the war. He eventually rose to the position of command of a regiment. Sherman was most remembered for his leadership during the march to Princeton. He was very disciplined and meticulous with the drills and marching of his soldiers. After his service in the military, he joined Congress to help oversee western territory.
Sullivan, John (1740-1795) was involved in both the War for Independence and American politics. As a major general of the Continental Army, he is most famous for his victories against the Iroquois and Tories living in New York. He served as the governor of New Hampshire for some time and was a representative in the Continental Congress. Later he would oversee the New Hampshire’s ratification of the Constitution and would serve as a U.S. district judge.
Von Knyphausen, Wilhelm (1716-1800) was born in what would become modern day Germany. After the remarriage of his mother to his uncle, the family moved to Berlin, where he was educated. He entered the Prussian military in 1734 and steadily rose through its ranks. He received full command over the Hessian auxiliaries in 1777 and later took the place of Henry Clinton, who had been in charge of New York City. Knyphausen played an essential role in the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and many others. He was known to be a fair and excellent general who continued his career into old age despite various health problems.
Washington, George (1732-1799) grew up in a middle class planter family in Virginia. Due to the deaths of his father and brother, Washington, at age twenty-two, became head of Mount Vernon, one of the largest estates in Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed to the rank of major in the Virginia militia and would later fight in the French and Indian War. In 1775, he was designated the commander-in-chief of the entire Continental Army, partly because of his strong patriotism and charisma. His ability to hold the American troops together and defeat the British during the American Revolution made him a national hero. As a result, in 1787, he was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States of America. He died at the age of 67 at his estate, Mount Vernon.
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