Thomas Dundas | American Battlefield Trust
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Revolutionary War
Biography

Thomas Dundas

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Thomas Dundas
TITLE
Lieutenant Colonel
WAR
Revolutionary War
DATE OF BIRTH - DEATH
June 30, 1750 - June 3, 1794

 

Scotsman Thomas Dundas joined the British army in 1766 at the youthful age of 16. He was appointed as a Cornet in the King’s Dragoon Guards. By May of 1769, Dundas was serving with the 63rd Foot. He also sought political opportunities as he was elected a member of Parliament for the Stewartry of Orkney & Shetland in 1771; he kept this seat in Parliament until 1780. Upon purchase, he became Major in the 65th Foot in 1776. By December of 1777, Dundas was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 80th Regiment of Foot. Serving under Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis in the Revolutionary War from 1779 to 1781, Dundas stood as the head of a brigade composed of the 76th and 80th Regiments of Foot. He was commissioned by Cornwallis to arrange battle strategy at Yorktown, Virginia but the fateful battle of October 17th, 1781 led to American victory in the revolution. Dundas continued his military career and, upon the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, rose to the rank of Major General. Under Lieutenant General Sir Charles Grey and Admiral Jervis, he was assigned to an expedition that led him to the West Indies. There, Dundas commanded a brigade of light infantry. His force made great strides against the French in the capture of Martinique, St. Lucia, and Guadeloupe. After accepting the French surrender of Guadeloupe in April of 1794, Dundas served as Governor. While serving as Governor, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel. His good fortune didn’t last long as Dundas died in Guadeloupe on June 3rd, 1794 after contracting yellow fever.