Sunday, 12 May 2013

American generals of Ulster origin during the Revolutionary war.

Quite apart from the fact that one third to one half of the American colonial army were Ulstermen or the sons of Ulstermen, nothing brings more conviction of the great part played by our people in the Revolution than to consider the number of American officers of high distinction who were of Ulster origin or descent. Over 25 of Washington’s generals were of Ulster heritage, here are some of those men… 

General Richard Montgomery was from County Donegal. He fell while gallantly leading his men in an attack on Quebec. By a strange co-incidence, the British commander on that occasion, and the man who saved Canada for the British Empire, was General Sir Guy Carleton, who was born near Strabane, only a few miles from Montgomery's home.

General Henry Knox

General Henry Knox has been described as, after Washington, the most illustrious soldier of the Revolution. He was from New Derry, and was the son of an emigrant from Donegal. He was the organiser and commander of the American artillery arm, and he fought in every battle of the war. He was dearer to Washington than any other man and was the Secretary for War in Washington's first Cabinet.
General Anthony Wayne's grandfather fought under King William at the Boyne. He was a great cavalry leader, and a fierce fighting general of infantry who told Washington he would storm hell if he got the orders. General Andrew Lewis was born in Donegal, and at one time it looked as if he would become Commander-in-Chief of the American army. General Dan Morgan was born at Ballynascreen, in County Derry. The British General Burgoyne said to him after the battle of Saratoga: "Your Scotch-Irish Rifles is the finest in the world". Bancroft pronounced him the ablest commander of Light Troops in the world, and affirmed that in no European army of that day were there troops like those he had trained.  

General Andrew Lewis

General Walter Stewart was born in Ulster in the city of Derry.  General Thomas Robinson went out from Ulster just before the war. He was Anthony Wayne's brother-in-law. General William Thompson and his famous brother Charles were born in Maghera. General Enoch Poor was born of Ulster parents in New Hampshire.  General John Stark was born in New Derry.  General William Maxwell was born in Ulster. General John Clark was born in Antrim.  General Andrew Pickens was born in Pennsylvania of Ulster parents.  General Ephraim Blaine was born in Donegal. He was Washington's quartermaster. General Thomas Polk's people had been in America for 100 years before the war, but the original emigrant came from Ulster.

General Walter Stewart

General James Miller was from New Derry and so also was General George Reid. General George Rodgers Clarke was born in the valley of Virginia. He was of Ulster forebears, and was one of the most distinguished officers in the American army. General Joseph Reed was the son of Ulster parents who settled in New Jersey. He was Washington's adjutant-general.  General James Clinton was an Ulsterman who won distinction by his defence of Fort Clinton in 1777. His brother George was Governor of New York for 18 years, and was twice Vice-President of the United States. General John Armstrong was born in Ulster. 

General William Irvine
General James Ewing, General William Henry, and General Rutherford were all of Ulster descent.  General Michael Simpson was an Ulsterman who served under Montgomery at Quebec. General William Irvine was born at Enniskillen. He raised the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment and commanded the troops on the N.W. frontier. The father of General Francis Preston was born in Ulster, and the general's father-in-law was General William Campbell, one of the five Presbyterian colonels at the battle of King's Mountain.

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