Thomas Sumter was born in Virginia, August 14, 1734, a son of William and Patience Sumter. He was engaged in surveying in Virginia, worked in his father's mill until the father died, and then cared for his mother by taking his father's place on the farm. After he found his way to South Carolina, he was engaged in Indian service for several years on the frontier. He was a captain in the Snow Campaign of 1776 and commissioned brigadier general in 1780. Supposedly, while on a recruiting expedition in the South Carolina upcountry, the Indians gave him the name "Gamecock." He settled in St. Mark's Parish and had a small business consisting of a store, sawmill, and a grist mill. He married a wealthy widow, Mrs. Mary Cantey Jameson. He and his wife had one child, a son, Thomas Sumter, Jr., born August 30, 1768. General Sumter was a senator in the South Carolina General Assembly, a member of the Continental Congress, a United States Congressman, and a United States Senator. General Sumter served under four Presidents: Washington, Adams, Madison, and Jefferson. General Sumter died June 1, 1832, at the age of 98 years young. A historical marker and small park are located not far from the west side of Shaw Air Force Base on Route 441.
Thomas Sumter's Grave