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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ELBERT, Samuel, soldier, born in Prince William parish, South Carolina, in 1743; died in Savannah, Georgia, 2 November 1788. He became an orphan at an early age, and went to Savannah, where he engaged in commercial pursuits. In June 1774, he was elected captain of a grenadier company, and later was a member of the Savannah committee of safety. He entered the Continental army with the rank of lieutenant colonel under Colonel Lachlin McIntosh in February 1776, and was promoted to colonel in September 1776. In May of the following year he was given command of an expedition against the British in East Florida, and in April 1778, captured Fort Frederica at St. Simons Island, Georgia. Later in the same year he was actively engaged in the vicinity of Savannah, and behaved gallantly when the attack was made on that City in December 1788, by Colonel Archibald Campbell. He distinguished himself in the action at Brier creek, where he commanded a brigade under General John Ashe, 3 March 1789, and was made prisoner. After his exchange he joined the army under General Washington, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. He received the brevet of brigadier general on 3 November 1783, and in 1785 was elected governor of Georgia, succeeding John Houston. Subsequently he held the rank of major general of the state militia. Elbert County, in Georgia, was named in his honor.
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