Francis Nash Is Not The Enemy

Francis Nash Is Not The Enemy

Francis Nash was a Brigadier General in the American Revolutionary War.

Nash had only just made his way onto the political scene in North Carolina when he went to fight for freedom.


War of the Regulators

During the late 1760’s, the residents of the North Carolina back-country became agitated with the wealthy elites on the coast. They saw what was a corrupt government who seemed to be letting the economy slide into a depression.

In what is often considered a prelude to the American Revolution, they began to rebel. The problem, however, was that many of these frontiersmen were angry at several soon-to-be revolutionaries.

Frustrated and desiring action, these men began a series of assaults known as the War of the Regulators.

In one of the confrontations during this short series of battles, the frontiersmen captured the city of Hillsborough. Many of the wealthy men of the city evacuated.

One of the evacuees was Francis Nash.


Francis Nash

Francis Nash had not been born to wealth.

He (with his brother Abner) had worked his way up the ranks of North Carolina society. After establishing a law practice, Francis invested in property, a mill, and a general store.

Eventually, Nash was made Colonel in the Militia. This is when he began to rub the Regulators the wrong way. He called on the Militia to suppress the rebels, but the Militia took the Regulators’ side and refused.


Brigadier General

After the War of the Regulators came to an end, Francis Nash found himself elected to the North Carolina Provincial Assembly.

When the American Revolution broke out, he served in the Continental Army. Though originally commissioned as a Colonel, Nash would receive promotion to Brigadier General.

Francis spent several months leading all North Carolina troops who were a part of the Continental Army.



Unfortunately, Francis Nash was killed just two years into the war.

After serving in the Southern Department, he had led his men north to participate in the attempt to retake Philadelphia from the British. During the Battle of Germantown, a cannonball shot through his hip, killing his horse and throwing him to the ground.

Nash was carried from the field and attended to by General Washington’s personal physician. They were unable to heal the wound and Francis passed away days later.



Although he is little remembered as a Founder, thousands of people still say his name every day, though they might not realize it.

Francis Nash is the namesake of Nashville, Tennessee.

People may not always recognize who the city is named for, but hey, its more respect than most Founders on this site receive.

To learn about other Revolutionaries who died in battle, try reading my articles on Nathaniel Scudder and Richard Montgomery.

‘Patriot Sons, Patriot Brothers’ is a book about Francis Nash and his brother Abner. It tells their stories together which makes it especially interesting. Pick it up through our Amazon affiliate link below.

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