The New International Encyclopædia/Washington, William Augustine
WASHINGTON, William Augustine (1752-1810). An American soldier, a kinsman of George Washington, born in Stafford County, Va. He was educated for the ministry, but on the outbreak of the Revolutionary War entered the patriot army as a captain under Colonel Hugh Mercer. He was wounded in the battles of Long Island and Trenton; fought at Princeton; and later became a major in Colonel Baylor's corps of cavalry. In 1779 he joined General Lincoln's army in the South; became a lieutenant-colonel in March, 1780; and in many conflicts greatly distinguished himself as a leader of light cavalry. At the battle of Cowpens he made a charge upon Tarleton's troops that decided the day, and in the pursuit he had a personal encounter with the British leader. He assisted in covering the rear of Greene's army in the famous retreat before Cornwallis, and fought with great distinction at Guilford Court House and Hobkirk's Hill. At Eutaw Springs his horse was shot under him; he received a bayonet wound, was taken prisoner, and was not released until the close of the war. He then married a Charleston lady, settled in that city, and became a member of the South Carolina Legislature. When war with France became imminent in 1798, he was, upon the recommendation of General Washington, made a brigadier-general.