Gen. James Winchester

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Gen. James Winchester's Geni Profile

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James Winchester

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Frederick County Maryland,
Death: July 27, 1826 (74)
Gallatin Sumner County Tennessee
Place of Burial: Cragfont Cemetery GallatinSumner County Tennessee
Immediate Family:

Son of William Winchester and Lydia Winchester
Husband of Susan Winchester
Father of Maria Eliza Breedlove; Lucilius Winchester; Valerius Publicola Winchester; James Martin Winchester; Louisa Orville Rucker and 5 others
Brother of George Washington Winchester; Richard Winchester; William Winchester, Jr.; Mary Winchester; Katherine Winchester and 4 others

Managed by: Michael Keith Emerson, I
Last Updated:

About Gen. James Winchester

A Patriot of the American Revolution for MARYLAND with the rank of Captain. DAR Ancestor # A128339

James was born the son of William Winchester [1711] ENG and Lydia Richards [1727] MD [daughter of Edward Richards [1678] ENG and Mary Head [1690] ENG]. Edward Richards came to the new world from Manchester England by 1710 or earlier. By 1739, Edward had settled his family on ground, "Spring Garden", and "Rattlesnake Ridge", that would become Hampstead MD.

William and Lydia were married in 1754. William is credited with being the founder of Westminster MD. These were families who were among the first white settlers moving west from the Baltimore MD area.

"Winchester enlisted in the Maryland militia during the American Revolution. He served Gen. Hugh Mercer's Flying Camp battalion during the early months of the war. By May of 1776, he was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant. He was captured by British forces during Gen. John Sullivan's failed attempt to take Staten Island on August 22, 1777. Winchester was released in a prisoner exchange, and in May 1778 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the 3rd Maryland Regiment. He was taken prisoner a second time at the surrender of Charlestown, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. Exchanged in December, he was promoted to captain and served the remainder of the war under Gen. Nathanael Greene".

"On June 1 transferred to 3rd Maryland Battalion; on Feb. 9, 1782, commissioned a captain; with his brother, George, a lieutenant, fought through the southern campaign under General Nathaniel Greene; is said to have been present at the siege of Yorktown and at the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis; served until Nov. 1785."

In November of 1785, James and his brother George Winchester [1757] MD arrived in territory that would later, in 1796, become Sumner County in the state of Tennessee [what was then called the Cumberland settlements]. They built a log cabin, with some fortification against local Indians, on a large bluff overlooking Bledsoe's Creek.

In 1796 Tennessee was admitted to statehood, and James was elected speaker of the first Tennessee State senate. In 1800 James Winchester, Judge John Overton, and Andrew Jackson [future president of the United States] joined with others to purchase the Rice Grant; this was 5,000 acres located on the western border of TN on which the town of Memphis, Tennessee, was eventually built. James chose the name "Memphis" for the community, and thus became one of the first proprietors of the town.

In 1802 James completed work on his manor house named "Cragfont" on Bledsoe's Creek about 6 miles east of Gallatin TN [and about 30 miles north east of Nashville]. This house is today on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public for tours.

On the 22nd of November in 1809 the town of Winchester, TN in Franklin County was named after James by an act of the Tennessee legislature.

In the War of 1812 James was commissioned as a Brigadeer General and placed in charge of the army of the northwest.

Memphis TN was founded on May 22 1819. James' son Marcus Brutus Winchester, oversaw the beginnings of the fledgling community, opened its first business, was its first postmaster, and later mayor.

Fought in Revolutionary War. Moved to TN, 1785. Elected Speaker of the Senate and brigadier general, commandant of the Mero District, 1796. Developed land which would become Memphis, 1820. General during War of 1812.

United States Army Brigadier General. At the start of the War of 1812, he was a Captain in the Tennessee Militia. In March 1812, he was commissioned a Brigadier General in the US Army, in command of the Army of the Northwest, Ohio. After engaging in several skirmishes with British forces, he was sent to part in an attempt to recapture Frenchtown, Michigan. On January 22, 1813, at the Battle of Frenchtown, he was attacked by a combined British and Indian forces resulting in his capture and the loss of many soldiers. Despite the surrender of all his troops, the British slaughtered hundreds of unarmed American soldiers. Winchester was imprisoned in Canada and resigned his commission following his release in March 1815. After the war, he served on the state commission to regulate the Tennessee-Missouri boundary.

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Gen. James Winchester's Timeline

February 6, 1752
Frederick County Maryland,
May 14, 1793
Age 41
Gallatin, Sumner, Tennessee, USA
May 28, 1796
Age 44
Gallatin, TN, USA
August 4, 1800
Age 48
Age 49
Age 50
Cragfont, near Gallatin, TN
Age 52
Cragfont, near Gallatin, TN
Age 56
Age 57