William Thompson (general)
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.
While on parole in Philadelphia on December 17, 1778 he became an early Member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
After finally being exchanged for Baron Riedesel, Thompson died at his home near Carlisle.
- History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and of the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland: March 17, 1771-March 17, 1892.. Hibernian Society 1892 | John Hugh Campbell |pp. 44, 135-136.
- "The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: Vesuvio Playground (Thompson Street Playground)"
- William Thompson at Find a Grave
- Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. Monday, November 23, 1778. Censure of Thompson.
- The Wild Geese Today: The Resurrection of Edward Hand. Irish-born soldier served Mike Flannery, George Washington and his adopted nation well
- Correspondence with George Washington
Sam Maner Revolutionary War Generals site