Revolutionary War Continental Brigadier General. Born in Prince Edward County Virginia, he settled in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where he practiced as a lawyer. He served in the North Carolina Colonial General Assembly, and actively opposed the “Regulator Movement” in North Carolina, which was a violent rebellion in the 1760s against the British Colonial government concerning taxes and rural county residences desire to “regulate” their own affairs. However, he staunchly supported independence from the British Crown in the 1770s, and in the summer of 1775 he raised troops for the nascent rebellion before being commissioned into the new Continental Army as Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st North Carolina Infantry regiment. In early 1776 he was promoted to Colonel and commander of the unit, and led his men in the defenses of Charlestown, South Carolina in June 1776. He and his men spent the balance of the rest of 1776 in North Carolina to defend against possible incursions by the British Army and their Native American allies. On February 5, 1777 he was commissioned as a Brigadier General, and placed in command of the North Carolina Brigade, when he arrived to join General George Washington’s Continental Army in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He led his brigade of nine regiments at the September 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, where the performance by his North Carolinians were praised by General Washington. The battle was a loss for the Continentals, and the British under General Sir William Howe were subsequently able to capture Philadelphia after the engagement. On October 4, 1777 General Washington struck British forces at Germantown, and General Nash’s men, originally a reserve, were sent into the battle to protect the Continental Army’s left flank. After a stout performance by the North Carolina troops they were forced into a fighting withdrawal, and it was during retreat General Nash was mortally wounded by a British cannon ball that smashed him in the hip (accounts also claim he was also shot in the head). He was brought with other casualties of the battle to Kulpsville, Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania, where he was attended to by General Washington’s personal physician, and where he died three days after the battle. He was interred in the Mennonite Meeting House Cemetery in Kulpsville along with other high-ranking casualties of the battle before the Continental Army moved from the area (ultimately going to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania). Two years after his death a stockade fort was established in Tennessee and was named Fort Nashborough in his honor. It eventually grew to become Nashville, Tennessee, the capital of the state. His home in Hillsborough, North Carolina was purchased by Declaration of Independence signer William Hooper, and is now a National Historic Landmark known as the Nash-Hooper House.
Bio by: RPD2