Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PERCY, Hugh, Duke of Northumberland, born in England, 25 August, 1742; died there, 10 July, 1817. He entered the army at an early age, and saw his first active service under Prince 'Ferdinand in Germany. Although he did not approve of the war with the American colonies, he offered his services to the crown, and served in this country in 1775-'6 with the rank of brigadier-general. He led the first brigade of Dutch fusileers to re-enforce the expedition that was sent by Gem Gage to Lexington on 19 April, 1775, and prevented the destruction of Colonel Francis Smith's command, but he permitted his troops to plunder the houses by the wayside in their retreat, and wantonly to murder several citizens, afterward officially lending himself to the falsehood that the Americans "scalped and cut off the ears of the wounded who fell into their hands at Lexington." He pleaded illness before the battle of Bunker Hill, and did not accompany his regiment to the field. Percy was ordered to make an attack witch 2,400 men on Dorchester in November, 1775, but, perceiving the impracticability of the plan, halted his command just before the expected action. In November, 1776, he contributed to the reduction of Fort Washington, and led the column that was the first to enter the American lines. He succeeded to the barony of Percy in 1776, returned to England, and became Duke of Northumberland in 1786.
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