Have you ever wondered where the University of South Carolina’s official mascot, Carolina Gamecocks, came from? This influence came from none other than Thomas Sumter, a true hero of the Revolutionary War. Thomas gained this nickname for his vicious fighting tactics during the war. "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" – Nathan Hale. This is a common feeling of the soldiers serving in the American Revolution War including Thomas Sumter. Thomas was both an American soldier and politician. He served in the French - Indian war, and Revolutionary war. He was also a merchant, planter, and politician. Thomas Sumter was born July 14, 1734 in Louisa County, VA to William, an emigrant from Wales, and Patience Sumter. He grew up in a cabin in Louisa County with his parents, two sisters, Patience and Anne, and brother William. They were from a poor class and worked very hard. The children received a basic education. When he was old enough, Thomas began working in the fields by tending sheep. He later went to work in the mill with his father. He was known as being wild as he was into horse racing, cockfighting and gambling. In 1767, Thomas married Mary Jameson who gave birth to his only son, Thomas Sumter, Jr, in 1768. After the Indians came through the Blue Ridge Mountains on a killing spree Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent for support. Thomas joined the Virginia militia under Colonel William Byrd during the French and Indian War. After joining they headed toward western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Thomas showed his leadership skills and that he was not afraid of taking risk and was promoted to sergeant. He also served as a Sergeant in the Cherokee War in 1760-1761. After the Cherokee leader and the English made peace, Thomas and Timberlake took the treaty to the Cherokee nation. After being caught by a bunch of Cherokee Indians they explained what they were there for they were taken to the Chief. They were treated well and this gave Thomas...
Bibliography: Barefoot, Daniel W. Touring South Carolina’s Revolutionary War Sites
Winston-Salem, NC: John Blair
Bass, Robert D. Gamecock: The Life and Campaigns of General Thomas Sumter
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“South Carolina History” The World Book Encyclopedia 18th volume 1977
Cummings, Scott “Patriot Militia General Thomas Sumter” The Patriot Resource: The American Revolution 1999-2011 <http://www.patriotresource.com/amerrev/people/patriots/sumter.html>
“History of Thomas Sumter” Sumter South Carolina 2011 City of Sumter
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