Washington and His Generals - Vol. 1

By Joel Tyler Headley | Go to book overview
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BRIGADIER-GENERAL WILLIAM THOMPSON.

ON the 14th of June, 1775, the day before the appointment of the commander-in-chief, Congress ordered that six companies of riflemen should be raised in Pennsylvania, and on the 22d of the same month it was ordered that two more companies should be raised, and that the eight together should make a battalion, to be commanded by such officers as should be recommended by the colonial assembly. These companies were filled up with remarkable celerity. WILLIAM THOMPSON, who had served as a captain of horse in 1759-60, was made colonel; and before the 14th of August they had marched to the camp at Cambridge. These were the first troops raised in pursuance of orders from the Continental Congress. When a party of the British attempted a landing on Lechmere Point, on the 10th of November, they were driven back by Thompson's regiment, who gallantly waded through the water of an intervening marsh and compelled them to embark to the cover of their ships and batteries. On the 1st of March, 1776, he was appointed a brigadier-general, and on the 19th he succeeded General Lee as commander of the troops in New York, where he remained until the following month, when he was detached with four regiments -- increased by reinforcements sent afterwards to ten -- to Canada. He joined the northern army in a period of disasters, and, during the sickness of General Thomas, was in the chief command. General Thomas died on the 2d of June; General Sullivan arrived at Sorel on the the and on the 6th he sent General Thompson with three regiments to attack the enemy at Trois Rivères,

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