Biographical / Historical
Colonel William Augustine Washington was the sixth son of George Washington's older half-brother Augustine. He was born November 25, 1757 and died March 6, 1810 or October 2, 1810. He is buried at Mt. Vernon. Colonel Washington married three times – first in 1777 to Jane Washington, a first cousin by whom he had six children and then to another first cousin Mary Lee, who had no children. His third marriage on May 17, 1799 was to Sarah (Sally) Tayloe, born in 1765, the daughter of Col. John Tayloe of Mt. Airy, Virginia and his wife, Rebecca Plater. Sarah bore three children, one of whom died at birth.
Colonel Washington lived first at Wakefield, the estate where George Washington was born. This house was destroyed by fire during a party Col. Washington was giving on Christmas day, 1780. He then moved to Blenheim, Virginia.
Colonel Washington was commissioned a captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment on February 25, 1776. He was wounded at Trenton in December of that year, received his majority in January 1777 and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on November 20, 1778. He was wounded again in the battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781 and received a silver medal for his part in this battle on March 9, 1781. Taken prisoner at Eutaw Springs, September 8, 1781 he remained a prisoner on parole until the end of the war. Made a Brigadier General in July 1798, he was honorably discharged on June 15, 1800.
There is a Charles Wilson Peale portrait of Colonel Washington at Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia and one by Rembrandt Peale "after" the Charles Wilson Peale portrait in the Maryland Historical Society. A copy of a drawing by Charles Balthazar St. Memin, from a private collection in Virginia was exhibited by the Corcoran in 1932 in an exhibit entitled "The George Washington bicentennial Historical Loan Exhibition of Portraits of George Washington and His Family." A copy of the St. Memin drawing appears in the catalogue of this exhibit.
SourceHeitman's Historical Register of U.S. Army, 1789-1903 Vol. 1 and Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America 2nd edition, 1981.