William Campbell

Born 01/01/1745 in Virginia, United States
Died 08/22/1781 in Virginia, United States


William Campbell (1745 – August 22, 1781) was a farmer, pioneer, and soldier in western Virginia. In 1775 he was one of the 13 signers of the Fincastle Resolutions, the earliest statement of armed resistance to the British Crown in the American Colonies. He was an important militia leader of the American Revolutionary War, and was known as the "bloody tyrant of Washington County" for his harsh treatment of Loyalist supporters of the Crown. He became a colonel in 1780, and was most famous for leading the militia to victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain, where he charged the enemy while telling his men to "shout like hell and fight like devils!" Afterwards he worked in conjunction with Continental Army troops to oppose the British invasion of Virginia, providing support at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The Virginia Assembly commissioned him a brigadier general in 1781, but he died soon after of an apparent heart attack.

Campbell was married to Elizabeth Henry, the sister of Governor Patrick Henry, and represented Hanover County in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1780 and 1781.

Campbell County, Virginia, is named for him.