The New Student's Reference Work/Sumter, Thomas
Sum′ter, Thomas (1734-1832), an American Revolutionary soldier, was born in Virginia. Early in his career he served under Braddock in the disastrous expedition against Fort Duquesne and took part in fighting the Cherokees. In 1776 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of South Carolina riflemen, and subsequently became a partisan commander, defeating the Tories in 1780 at Hanging Rock. Twice he had to accept defeat at the hands of Tarleton, the English general in command of The British Legion, though later he settled accounts with that general at Blackstock Hill, though himself wounded in the affair. Prior to this, and while in command of the South Carolina troops, he had gained the rank of brigadier-general. At the close of the Revolutionary War he acted as a member of the South Carolina convention which ratified the Federal constitution, and for two periods (1789–93 and 1797–1801) was a member of the Federal house of representatives. During 1801–09 he served in the national senate, and during 1809–11 he was minister to Brazil. When he died, he was the last general officer of the Revolutionary era.