William Washington (February 26, 1752 - March 6, 1810) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
Born in Stafford County, Virginia, son of Henry and Mary Washington.
a second cousin of George Washington.
Married Jane Riley Elliott (March 14, 1763 - December 14, 1830).
Died in Charleston, South Carolina.
William joined the 3rd Virginia when George Weedon formed it in 1775, and was elected the Captain of his company. He fought at the Battle of Harlem Heights in August 1776. At the Battle of Trenton he led his company in a charge that kept the Hessian artillery from being used. He and one of his company, James Monroe, were two of the few Americans wounded in that battle.
William joined the 4th Continental Dragoons when that unit was formed in January 1777, as a Major. Weedon had recommended him for Lt. Colonel, but George Washington turned this down since their relation might cause it to ...be looked upon as the effect of partiality. He fought at the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.
In November 1778, the 3rd Dragoons were badly mauled at Tappen, and William was sent to rebuild the unit. The Congress confirmed him as their commander and promoted him to Lt. Colonel. He led the reformed unit to South Carolina in 1779. His unit kept up an attack on the British supply lines in the difficult time leading up to the Fall of Charleston in 1780. He barely escaped capture at the Battle of Monck's Corner and the attack at Lenud's Ferry on May 6.
After General Lincoln surrendered at Charleston, he moved north to North Carolina. Following the disaster at Camden, he joined with General Daniel Morgan to conduct operations to cut supply lines and harass British movement and Tory Militia.
On December 29, 1780 he engaged a Tory militia unit at the Battle of Hammond's Store near modern Clinton, South Carolina. The Tory losses were about 100 men killed or injured beyond recovery. The Continentals took 40 prisoners and captured 50 horses, without the loss of a man.
Then on January 17, 1781 Washington led his force in the Battle of Cowpens. He managed by skillful maneuver, to always fight with at least a 2 to 1 advantage. His dragoons first turned the British 17th Dragoons on the left, then hit Tarleton's Legion Dragoons on the right. He followed with an assault on the infantry in the center, and pursued them when they broke.
Washington captured the enemy cannons at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. At the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill he covered Greene's withdrawal and recovered the American artillery. He was captured at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, on September 8, and sent to Charleston.
William stayed at Charleston, on parole, until the British evacuated the city in December of 1782. He put his time as a prisoner to good use and on April 21, 1782 he married Jane Elliot. He had met her three years before, when he first arrived in South Carolina. After the war they made their home at her late fathers estate, called Sandy Hill, just outside of Charleston.