Thomas Sumter was born on the Virginia frontier. During the French and Indian War, he served with the Virginia militia in western Pennsylvania and Ohio. He next served as a militia sergeant in the Cherokee War in 1760-1761. Although, he did not see action, he became involved in bringing word of the treaty, first to the Indians and then to London. He returned to Virginia and was imprisoned for an old debt. He escaped and returned to South Carolina where he bought land.
In late 1775, Sumter participated in Snow's Campaign against Tories. He was present at the Battle of Fort Sullivan. His regiment was then commissioned into Continental service. In September 1778, Sumter resigned his commission. He remained out of the war until May 28, 1780, when Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton came after him. On June 15, 1780, he was named commander of the state militia. On October 6, 1780, he was promoted to Brigadier General. In November , 1780, he defeated the British at Fish Dam Ford and then at Blackstock's Ford, but was seriously wounded. In February, Sumter defeated was at Fort Granby, Thomson's Plantation and Fort Watson. His influence declined when he led a disasterous attack on the British at Quinby Bridge.
Following the war, Sumter foundedStateburg and held nearly 150,000 acres. He was elected to the state assembly in 1782 and then was elected to the First Congress in 1789. He was reelected to the Second Congress, but was defeated in 1793. In 1796, he was elected back to Congress. In 1801, he was elected by the State Assembly to the Senate and then reelected twice more before he resigned in 1810 and retired from public service. He died on June 1, 1832 at South Mount.
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