(1733–85) Revolutionary War army officer. A Virginian, Sumner served in the French and Indian War (1754–63), after which he became a landowner in North Carolina. He was elected to the Third Provincial Congress in 1775 and, after the start of the Revolutionary War, appointed colonel of the Third Continental Regiment. He participated in the battles of Germantown and Brandywine (both 1777), and wintered at Valley Forge. In 1779, a brigadier general, Sumner led his troops in the Battle of Stono Creek; with the surrender of Charleston, he undertook to recruit troops to defend the rest of the state. He provided outstanding leadership in 1779 at the battle of Eutaw Springs. Sumner remained commander of the Continental's defense of North Carolina throughout the rest of the war.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.