Gen. William Thompson

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Gen. William Thompson's Geni Profile

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William Thompson, of Pennsylvania

Birthplace: Northern Ireland
Death: Died in Carlisle, Cumberland Co., PA
Place of Burial: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Thompson and Elizabeth Douglas
Husband of Catherine Thompson
Father of George Thompson; Mary Thompson; Catherine Thompson; Robert Thompson; Juliana Thompson and 4 others
Half brother of Elizabeth Scott and Robert Thompson

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gen. William Thompson

DAR Ancestor #: A114648

William Thompson (July 5, 1736 – September 3, 1781) was a soldier from Pennsylvania and a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Thompson was born in Ireland and emigrated to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. During the French and Indian War, Thompson served as a captain in the Kittanning Expedition under John Armstrong.

After news of the Battle of Bunker Hill reached Pennsylvania in 1775, Thompson was appointed colonel of a rifle battalion and was sent to Massachusetts to help in the defense of Boston. His unit was known as Thompson's Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, or the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. After Thompson's company of Pennsylvania sharpshooters drove back a British landing-party on November 9, 1775, he was made a brigadier-general, to the displeasure of George Washington, who had reservations about Thompson's abilities.

Sent to reinforce American troops in Canada, Thompson was captured during an attack on the enemy at Trois-Rivières in Quebec on June 8, 1776. He was paroled, but not exchanged for four years, and so he could not reenter military service. Thompson blamed Congressman Thomas McKean for hindering his exchange; his criticism became so harsh that he was censured by Congress. McKean successfully sued Thompson for libel.

Thompson married Katherine Ross daughter of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence for Pennsylvania.

After finally being exchanged for Baron Riedesel, Thompson died at his home near Carlisle.

Thompson Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City was named after General Thompson.


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Gen. William Thompson's Timeline

July 5, 1736
Northern Ireland
March 29, 1762
Age 25
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
January 13, 1763
Age 26
January 1, 1765
Age 28
Age 30
June 1, 1770
Age 33
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
July 19, 1774
Age 38
July 10, 1777
Age 41
May 23, 1780
Age 43
September 3, 1781
Age 45
Carlisle, Cumberland Co., PA