General Horatio Gates


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General GatesGates, HORATIO, military officer ; born in Maldon, England, in 1728 ; was a god-son of Horace Walpole; entered the British army in his youth, and rose rapidly to the rank of major; came to America; was severely wounded at Braddock's defeat (1755); and was aide to General Monckton in the expedition against Martinique in 1762. After the peace he bought an estate in Virginia, and when the Revolutionary War broke out Congress appointed him (June, 1775) adjutant-general of the Continental army, with the rank of brigadier-general. In 177677 he was twice in command of the Northern army, having, through intrigue, displaced General Schuyler. He gained undeserved honors as commander of the troops that defeated and captured Burgoyne and his army in the fall of 1777. He soon afterwards intrigued for the position of Washington as commander-in-chief, using his power as president of the board of war for the purpose, but ignominiously failed. In June, 1780, he was made commander of the Southern Department, but made a disastrous campaign, his army being utterly defeated and routed by Cornwallis near Camden, South Carolina, in August, 1780. This defeat terminated Gates's military career. He was removed from command and suspended from service, but was finally vindicated, and reinstated in command in 1782. He retired to his estate in Virginia, and in 1790 made his residence in New York City, having first emancipated all his slaves, and provided for such of them as could not take care of themselves. He was presented with the freedom of the city of New York, and elected to the State legislature, but declined to serve. He died in New York City, April 10, 1806.

General Gates

Portrait of General Horatio Gates



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