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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POSEY, Thomas, soldier, born in Virginia, on the banks of Potomac river, 9 July, 1750; died in Shawneetown, Illinois, 19 March, 1818. He received a common-school education, and in 1769 removed to western Virginia. In 1774 he became quartermaster of Andrew Lewis's division of Lord Dunmore's army, and took part in the battle with the Indians at Point Pleasant on 10 October of that year. A year later he was one of the committee of correspondence, and was commissioned captain in the 7th Virginia Continental regiment. In this capacity he was present at the engagement at Gwynn's island on 8 July, 1776, where Lord Dunmore (q. v.) was defeated. He joined the Continental army at Middlebrook, New Jersey, early in 1777, and was transferred, with his company, to Daniel Morgan's celebrated rifle-corps, with which he took part in the action with the British light troops at Piscataway, New Jersey Captain Posey was then sent to General Horatio Gates, and rendered efficient service in the two battles of Bemis Heights and in that of Stillwater. In 1778 he was commissioned major, and led the expedition against the Indians in Wyoming valley in October of that year. He was given the 11th Virginia regiment early in 1779, but soon was transferred to the command of a battalion in Colonel Christian Febiger's regiment under General Anthony Wayne ; and, at the assault of Stony Point, he was one of the first to enter the enemy's works. Subsequently he served in South Carolina, and was present at the surrender of Yorktown. He then organized a new regiment, of which he took command with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and served under General Wayne in Georgia until the surrender of Savannah. When he was surprised by the Indians under Gueristersigo on the night of 23 June, 1782, he rallied his men and led them to the charge with great bravery and skill, defeating the enemy with loss. At the close of the war he settled in Spottsylvania county, Virginia, and in 1785 he was made colonel of the county militia, becoming also county lieutenant and magistrate in 1786. These offices he held until 1793, when, on 14 February, he was commissioned brigadier-general, and served under General Wayne in his campaigns against the Indians in the northwest, resigning on 28 February, 1794. He then settled in Kentucky, where he was elected a member of the state senate, and chosen speaker in 1805-'6, becoming thereby ex-officio lieutenant-governor of the state. In 1809, when war was threatening between France and England and the United States, General Posey was commissioned major-general and given charge of the organization and equipment of the Kentucky forces. Soon afterward he removed to Louisiana, and during the second war with England he raised a company of infantry in Baton Rouge, and was for some time its captain. He was appointed United States senator from Louisiana, and served from 7 December, 1812, till 5 February, 1818. On the completion of his term he was appointed governor of Indiana territory, and continued as such until its admission into the Union, when he became a candidate for the governorship, but was defeated. His last office was that of Indian agent, which he held at the time of his death.
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