Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DESPARD, John, British soldier, born in 1745; died in Oswestry, England, 3 September 1829. He entered the army as ensign of the 12th foot in 1760, and became lieutenant in 1762. After serving in Germany, he came with the royal fusiliers to Quebec in March 1773, was taken prisoner at St. Johns in November 1775, and, after being exchanged in December 1776, became captain in March 1777. He then joined the army in New York, and was at the capture of Fort Montgomery. In June 1778, he was commissioned major of a corps raised by Lord Rawdon, and in December 1779, became deputy adjutant general. He was present at the capture of Charleston and in the campaigns of Cornwallis that ended with the surrender at Yorktown. Subsequently he served on the staff of the army, being made colonel in August 1795, and major general in 1798. From 1800 till 1807 he was governor of Cape Breton, and in 1814 was made full general. General Despard was in twenty-four engagements, and was three times shipwrecked.
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