: born in Prince George county, Md.
, in March, 1749; was left an orphan at twelve years of age; appointed lieutenant of a rifle company at the beginning of the Revolution, he marched to the Continen-
tal camp at Cambridge
; and in 1776 was appointed major of a new rifle regiment, which formed part of the garrison of Fort Washington
, New York
, when it was captured.
He gallantly opposed the Hessian column, but was wounded and made prisoner.
Being soon exchanged, he was made colonel of the 6th Maryland Regiment, with which he accompanied De Kalb
to South Carolina
; and when Gates
took command of the Southern Army Colonel Williams
was made adjutant-general.
In the battle near Camden
he gained great distinction for coolness and bravery, and performed efficient service during Greene
's famous retreat, as commander of a light corps that formed the rear-guard.
At the battle at Guilford Court-house he was Greene
's second in command; and by a brilliant charge which Williams
made at Eutaw Springs
he decided the victory for the Americans
In May, 1782, he was made a brigadier-general, and was appointed collector of customs for Maryland
, which office he held until his death, July 16, 1794.