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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RUSSELL, William, soldier, born in Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1758; died in Fayette county, Kentucky, 3 July, 1825. He removed with his father to the Virginia frontier in early boyhood, joined Daniel Boone's Indian expedition when he was fifteen years of age, and was appointed lieutenant in the Revolutionary army the next year, in which capacity he served at King's Mountain. In that battle he was the first to reach the summit of the mountain, and to receive a sword from the enemy. He was then promoted captain, served against the Cherokee Indians, and negotiated a treaty of peace with that tribe. He subsequently fought at the battle of Whitsell's Mills and at Guilford Court House. He removed to Kentucky at the end of the war, and bore an active part in almost every general expedition against the Indians until the settlement of the country, commanding the advance under General John Hardin, General Charles Scott, and General James Wilkinson. In the expedition under General Anthony Wayne he led a regiment of Kentucky volunteers. He was a delegate to the Virginia legislature in 1789 that passed the act that separated Kentucky from that state, and on the organization of the Kentucky government was annually returned to the legislature till 1808. At that date he was appointed by President Madison colonel of the 7th United States infantry. He succeeded General William H. Harrison in command of the frontier of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri in 1811, and planned and commanded the expedition that was sent against the Peoria Indians in 1812. He served again in the legislature in 1823, and declined a nomination for governor. Russell county, Kentucky, is named in his honor.
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