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Adam Stephen


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(c.1721–91) Revolutionary War army officer. Stephen was born and educated in Scotland, where he probably became a doctor. He emigrated to Virginia in 1848, establishing a medical practice and becoming a planter. Stephen assumed temporary command of the Virginia militia during the French and Indian War (1754–63) when the regular leader, George Washington, was absent, and he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He competed with Washington also in political life, losing a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1761 to the general; he did hold several local political posts. He joined the Continental army in 1776, becoming a brigadier general, and was with Washington as the army retreated through New Jersey. Stephen was dismissed from the army after a court-martial growing out of criticisms of his leadership at the battle of Germantown (1777).

From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.


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