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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GIST, Mordecai, soldier, born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1743; died in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1792. His ancestors were early English emigrants to Maryland. He was educated for commercial pursuits. At the beginning of the Revolution the young men of Baltimore associated under the title of the "Baltimore independent company," and elected Gist captain. It was the first company raised in Maryland for the defense of popular liberty. In 1776 Gist was appointed major of a battal-regulars, and was with them in the battle near Brooklyn. In January, 1779, congress appointed him a brigadier-general in the continental army, and he took the command of the 2d Maryland brigade. He fought stubbornly at, the battle of Camden, South Carolina, in 1780, and at one time after a bayonet charge his force secured fifty prisoners, but the British under Cornwallis rallied and the Marylanders gave way. Gist escaped, and a year later was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. He joined the southern army under Greene, and again when the army was remodelled in 1782 he was given the command of the light corps. On 26 August, 1782, he rallied the broken forces of the Americans under Laurens at, the battle of the Combahee, and gained a decisive victory over the British. After the war he resided on his plantation near Charleston, South Carolina General Gist possessed a tall and graceful figure, symmetrical proportions, great strength, and expressive features. He had but two children, sons, one of whom he named "Independent " and the other "States."
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