While it is unclear when Alexander Innes was born, it is likely that he was originally from somewhere in Scotland. Innes arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on April 19, 1775. On that fateful date, almost one thousand miles to the northeast, British forces clashed with the famed Minutemen at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Innes had been assigned to serve as the secretary to South Carolina’s Royal Governor Lord William Campbell. He was also secretly tasked with reporting on colonial politics to the Earl of Dartmouth, William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth, who was the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Cabinet of Lord North, the British Prime Minister. Innes urged the government to send British troops to South Carolina. Events soon forced Innes to flee to a British warship in Charleston Harbor. Innes joined the British forces tasked with suppressing the American rebellion, eventually rising to the rank of colonel and receiving an appointment in 1777 as the Inspector General of Provincial Forces. In 1780 he commanded Tory forces at the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill. Innes was wounded during the battle. He was apparently still alive at least as late as 1802 as he is listed in an index of British officers receiving half-pay that year.
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