(1732–92) Revolutionary War army officer. Born into a prominent Maryland family, Smallwood fought in the French and Indian War (1754–63) and then entered state politics. An ardent patriot, he supported the nonimportation agreements that followed the passage of the Townshend Acts and by 1774 was working on committees that joined the colonies in efforts to resist British policies. In 1776 Smallwood was commissioned a colonel and raised a troop that became the First Maryland Regiment. The troops joined with Gen. George Washington in the fighting in and around New York City (1776). In South Carolina (1780), his troops prevented a disaster caused by the inept leadership of Gen. Horatio Gates. Smallwood was again promoted, to major general. After the war, he retired to his plantation in Maryland and, although elected, declined to serve in the U.S. Congress. He served three terms as governor of Maryland (1785–88).
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.