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First Name: Otho

Last Name: Williams

Birthplace: Prince George County, MD, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Middle Name: Holland

Date of Birth: 01 March 1748

Date of Death: 15 July 1794

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Otho Holland Williams

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Otho Holland Williams
Brigadier General, Continental Army

Otho Holland Williams was born on 1 March 1748 in rural Prince George's County, MD. Williams spent his childhood on Springfield Farm near present day Williamsport. He was orphaned at age thirteen and was put in the care of his father's brother-in-law, Mr. Ross. Williams took an apprenticeship under Mr. Ross and studied his profession in the Clerk's office of Frederick, eventually taking charge of the office. At age eighteen, Williams moved to Baltimore and undertook a similar trade. He returned to Frederick in 1774 and entered into a commercial life.

In response to Congress's call for soldiers at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in the spring of 1775, Williams joined a Continental Army rifle unit as a commissioned officer. Soon thereafter, he and his unit marched off to the Siege of Boston. Seeing his first significant combat action in late 1776 at the Battle of Fort Washington, Williams was captured by the British and imprisoned in New York. He was released in early 1778 and returned to the Continental Army as Colonel of the 6th Maryland Regiment, a position he had acquired during his captivity.

Thereafter, Williams led his Regiment through much of the Southern Campaign, most notably in the Battles of Camden, Guilford Court House, and Eutaw Springs. Near the end of the War, Williams was sent by his Commanding Officer, General Greene, with documents to Congress and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1782.

After the war, Williams later served as an Associate Justice for Baltimore County, and as the first Commissioner of the Port of Baltimore. He returned to Springfield Farm in 1787, bought the house and the surrounding land, and began laying out the town of Williamsport. In 1792, Washington offered Williams to be Brigadier General of the Army, though he declined due to his failing health.

His health deteriorating, Williams was induced to try the "sea airs" and in 1793 journeyed to Barbados which afforded him some benefits. In 1794, upon reaching Woodstock on his way to Sweet Springs, VA, Williams became too ill to travel. On Tuesday, 15 July 1794, at the age of 46, Williams died.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Otho Holland Williams died on 15 July 1794 in Woodstock, VA. He is buried at River View Cemetery in Williamsport, MD. His remains were interred under a simple monument on the summit of a hill on his Williamsport homestead.

His wife died one year later leaving their children orphaned and under the care of her father.

Honoree ID: 3229   Created by: MHOH




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