John Ashe (c.1720 - 1781)

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Birthplace: Brunswick, Sampson, North Carolina, United States
Death: Died in North Carolina, United States
Managed by: Brian Hall
Last Updated:

About John Ashe

John Ashe (c. 1720 – October 24, 1781) was a general officer in the North Carolina militia during the American Revolutionary War.

Born to a prominent family in Grovely, Brunswick County, North Carolina around 1720, Ashe enlisted in the North Carolina militia during the French and Indian War. The Harvard-educated Ashe served as Speaker of the colonial assembly from 1762 to 1765 (his father, John Baptista Ashe, had served as speaker in 1726-27). An outspoken opponent of the Stamp Act and eventually a supporter of independence from Great Britain, Ashe served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress and on both the committees of correspondence and safety as hostilities between the colonies and Great Britain began to rise.

Leading a force of 500 men, Ashe destroyed the British garrison of Fort Johnson (near present day Wilmington, North Carolina) in 1775, becoming a colonel later that year. Raising and equipping a regiment at his own expense, Ashe would later be promoted Brigadier General of militia in April 1776. Dispatched to support Gen. Benjamin Lincoln during the defense of Charleston, South Carolina in 1778, Ashe led a force consisting of 1,200 men to recapture the British-held city of Augusta, Georgia, defended by Col. Archibald Campbell in early 1779. Ashe was at the time serving as one of North Carolina's state treasurers, so Governor Richard Caswell assumed those duties while Ashe fought.

On Mar. 3, 1778, while advancing towards Augusta, however, Ashe's forces were flanked in a surprise attack by Col. James Mark Prevost and routed during the Battle of Briar Creek, with an estimated 150 Americans killed compared to around 16 British casualties, on March 4. The British hold on Georgia was thereby strengthened, resulting in the effective halt of colonial resistance within Georgia, Ashe was censured by a later court of inquiry for "lack of vigilance."

Returning to Wilmington, he was captured and held as a prisoner of war following the town's capture in 1781. Contracting smallpox while imprisoned, Ashe died in Sampson County on October 24 shortly after his parole.

Governor Samuel Ashe (1725-1813) was his younger brother. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ashe_(general)

John Ashe (ca. 1720 – October 24, 1781) was a general officer in the North Carolina militia during the American Revolutionary War.

Born to a prominent family in Grovely, Brunswick County, North Carolina around 1720, Ashe enlisted in the North Carolina militia during the French and Indian War. The Harvard-educated Ashe served as Speaker of the colonial assembly from 1762 to 1765 (his father, John Baptista Ashe, had served as speaker in 1726-27). An outspoken opponent of the Stamp Act and eventually a supporter of independence from Great Britain, Ashe served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress and on both the committees of correspondence and safety as hostilities between the colonies and Great Britain began to rise.

Leading a force of 500 men, Ashe destroyed the British garrison of Fort Johnson (near present day Wilmington, North Carolina) in 1775, becoming a colonel later that year. Raising and equipping a regiment at his own expense, Ashe would later be promoted Brigadier General of militia in April 1776. Dispatched to support Gen. Benjamin Lincoln during the defense of Charleston, South Carolina in 1778, Ashe led a force consisting of 1,200 men to recapture the British-held city of Augusta, Georgia, defended by Col. Archibald Campbell in early 1779. Ashe was at the time serving as one of North Carolina's state treasurers, so Governor Richard Caswell assumed those duties while Ashe fought.

While advancing towards Augusta, however, Ashe's forces were flanked in a surprise attack by Col. James Mark Prevost and routed during the Battle of Briar Creek, with an estimated 150 Americans killed compared to around 16 British casualties, on March 4. Resulting in the effective halt of colonial resistance within Georgia, Ashe was censured by a later court of inquiry for "lack of vigilance."

Returning to Wilmington, he was captured and held as a prisoner of war following the town's capture in 1781. Contracting smallpox while imprisoned, Ashe died in Sampson County on October 24 shortly after his parole.

Governor Samuel Ashe (1725-1813) was his younger brother.

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Maj. Gen. John Ashe's Timeline

1720
1720
Brunswick, Sampson, North Carolina, United States
1757
1757
Age 37
1769
1769
Age 49
North Carolina, United States
1781
October 24, 1781
Age 61
North Carolina, United States
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Clinton, Sampson Family Cemetery, North Carolina, United States