Lieutenant Colonel Tench Tilghman
Tilghman, Tench. 1744-1786.
Tench Tilghman was born on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the oldest son of James Tilghman, a lawyer. He joined a militia unit in 1775 and that unit joined the American army in 1776. Lieutenant Tilghman was soon selected as Aide-de-camp to George Washington. He remained a member of Washington's staff until the end of the war.
Upon the signing of the Articles of Surrender at Yorktown, Tilghman was sent with a dispatch to the president of the Continental Congress. Tilghman sailed down the York River on October 20 and then up the Chesapeake Bay, reaching the Eastern Shore the evening of October 22. Tilghman rode horseback day and night, stopping for a fresh horse whereever he could find one. In the early morning hours of October 24, sick with chills and fever, he rode into Philadelphia. In no time, his news spread throughout the city. Tilghman left the army in 1783, but his health was failing. He died in 1786, in his 42nd year.
Did You Know?
On July 6, 1781, near Jamestown, the Marquis de Lafayette’s small American force fought General Cornwallis’s army at the Battle of Green Spring. Lafayette lost this, Virginia’s largest infantry battle of the war, but saved his army, enabling him to spy on the British army as it moved to Yorktown.