Francis Nash bigraphy, stories - American general

Francis Nash : biography

1742 - October 7, 1777

Francis Nash (c. 1742 – October 7, 1777) was a brigadier general from North Carolina in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Prior to the war, he was a lawyer, public official, and politician in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and was heavily involved in opposing the Regulator movement, an uprising of settlers in the North Carolina piedmont between 1765 and 1771. Nash was also involved in North Carolina politics, representing Hillsborough on several occasions in the colonial North Carolina General Assembly.

Nash quickly became engaged in revolutionary activities, and served as a delegate to the first three Patriot provincial congresses. In 1775, he was named lieutenant colonel of the 1st North Carolina Regiment under Colonel James Moore, and he served briefly in the southern theater of the Revolutionary War before being ordered north. Nash was made a brigadier general in 1777 upon Moore's death, and commanding the North Carolina brigade of the Continental Army under General George Washington. He led North Carolina's soldiers in the Philadelphia campaign, but was mortally wounded on October 4, 1777, at the Battle of Germantown. He died from his wounds several days later. Several city and county names honor Nash, including those of Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville, North Carolina, and Nash County, North Carolina.

Early life and family

Nash was born around the year 1742 in Amelia County, Virginia (in an area that would later become Prince Edward County) to John and Ann Owen Nash. His parents were originally from Wales, and several of his seven siblings, including four brothers, had been born there. One of Nash's brothers was Abner Nash, who later became a statesman in North Carolina. By 1763, Francis Nash had moved along with Abner to Childsburgh, which later became Hillsborough. Francis had a law practice in Childsburgh, and became a clerk of court in 1763, which position paid an annual stipend of £100 sterling. The Nash brothers also owned substantial real property in the town, and established a mill on the Eno River, while Francis individually invested in a store in town. From 1764 to 1765, he served his first term in the North Carolina Assembly representing Orange County.

In 1770, Nash married Sarah Moore, the daughter of colonial jurist Maurice Moore, niece of James Moore, and sister of Alfred Moore (later a United States Supreme Court justice). Their union would produce two daughters, Ann, who died as a child and Sarah, who went on to marry the son of North Carolina colonial soldier Hugh Waddell, John Waddell, and was the grandmother to American Civil War Confederate blockade runner James Iredell Waddell. Nash had an illegitimate child, possibly a son, by Hillsborough barmaid Ruth Jackson, and another illegitimate child for whom records are lacking. At least one of Nash's illegitimate children was also named Francis Nash, and was possibly born in 1770 or 1771. For the child born to Jackson, at least, he provided the mother with property west of Hillsborough, and several slaves.

American Revolutionary War

Southern theater

In 1775, Nash served in the Third North Carolina Provincial Congress, which organized eight regiments of soldiers pursuant to instructions from the Continental Congress. Later in that year, the Provincial Congress voted for Nash to become lieutenant colonel of the 1st North Carolina Regiment under the command of then-colonel James Moore. In November, the 1st North Carolina was formally integrated into the Continental Army organization. Nash served as an officer under Moore during the maneuvering that led up to the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in February 1776, but like Moore, did not participate in the battle, arriving after its conclusion.

In April 1776, Nash and Alexander Martin were promoted to colonel to replace Moore and Robert Howe, who had each received a promotion to brigadier general. Nash took part in the expedition to aid Charleston in 1776, which culminated in the Battle of Sullivan's Island. Immediately prior to that engagement, Nash had been ordered by Major General Charles Lee, at the time commander of the Southern Department, to relieve William Moultrie's South Carolina troops on Sullivan's Island, but the British assault prevented that relief. Moultrie would go on to successfully defend the island from a much larger British force, while Nash's unit guarded the unfinished rear of Fort Sullivan.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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