MORGAN, DANIEL (1736-1802), American soldier, was born in Hunterdon county, New Jersey, in the winter of 1736, of Welsh ancestry. In 1753 he removed to Virginia. In June 1775, soon after the outbreak of the War of Independence, he was commissioned a captain of Virginia riflemen, and he marched his company to Boston in 21 days. In the winter of 1775 he accompanied General Benedict Arnold to Canada, and in the assault on Quebec (Dec. 31) he and his riflemen penetrated well into the city, where he was hemmed in and was forced to surrender. On the 7th of August 1776 he was discharged on parole; on the 12th of November he was commissioned colonel of the nth Virginia; and soon afterwards he was released from his parole. In the summer of 1777 he was engaged in minor skirmishes in New Jersey, and early in September joined General Horatio Gates, then engaged in the campaign against General Burgoyne. At the first battle of Saratoga (Sept. 19) he was, until Arnold's arrival late in the day, the ranking officer on the field; and in the second battle (Oct. 7) also took a prominent part. Morgan rejoined Washington in November near Philadelphia. In March 1779 he was commissioned by Congress colonel of the 7th Virginia; but in July, suffering from poor health and dissatisfied because Congress did not advance him further in rank, he resigned from the army and retired to Virginia. After the battle of Camden, however, he joined Gates (then in command in the South) at Hillsborough, North Carolina, and on the 1st of October took command of a corps. On the 13th of the same month Congress tardily raised him to the rank of brigadier-general. In January 1781 Cornwallis and Tarleton attempted to entrap him, but at the Cowpens (Jan. 17) he defeated Tarleton and then escaped from Cornwallis into North Carolina. Apparently Morgan suggested to Greene (who had superseded Gates) that general's plan of battle at Guilford Court House on the i5th of March. In December 1793 he was commissioned major-general of Virginia militia, and in November 1794 commanded troops sent to suppress the Whisky Insurrection in western Pennsylvania. He was a Federalist representative in Congress in 1797-1799, and died in Winchester, Virginia, on the 6th of July 1802.
See James Graham, The Life of General Daniel Morgan of the Virginia Line (New York, 1856) ; and Rebecca McConkey, The Hero of Qowpens (rev. ed., New York, 1885).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)