Henry Sumter, Jr., a Veteran of the Revolutionary War, Passes Away
General Nathanael Greene needed an urgent message sent to Brigadier General Thomas Sumter of his army; unfortunately, seventy miles of treacherous terrain and hostile Native American territory stood between their armies.
Greene turned to Emily Geiger as his courier; she agreed to make the journey.
Early Life and Education
Henry Sumter leaves behind to honor and mourn his memory the love and loss of Tonna R. Sumter; daughters Kiava, Dominick, Myeisha and Isaiah; granddaughter Brooklyn Alston; as well as two caring brothers Howard Bracey and Ernest Bracey and Patricia Sumter who cared deeply about him as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
At the start of the American Revolutionary War, he joined his provincial militia and participated in both of the first and second provincial congresses which would become South Carolina’s new state assemblies between 1775-1776.
He led raids against Loyalists and engaged British General Banastre Tarleton in a bloody duel at Blackstock’s Farm, earning himself the moniker “The Gamecock.” Sumter later inspired Francis Marion’s guerilla campaign against the British in the South before eventually resigning his military commission in 1782.
Henry leaves behind many caring nieces and nephews, relatives, friends, special cousins, his children Kiava, Dominick, Myeisha as well as Brooklyn Alston to celebrate his memory forever.
Sumter served five terms in Congress before being appointed Senator from December 1801 until his resignation in 1810. Upon retiring he moved back to South Mount, his plantation near Stateburg; University mascot “Gamecocks” is named in his honor and sports teams frequently refer to themselves as such. He established a trust for children of Stateburg while living out his final years surrounded by love from family and friends – we will miss you greatly but one day see you again! Rest in Peace: we shall meet again one day
Achievement and Honors
Henry was an integral member of Mercer University’s student community, serving on its Admissions Committee and Executive Boards of Caribbean Student Association and Organization of Black Students respectively. Additionally, he held membership with Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Iota honor societies.
Sumter earned the nickname of Carolina Gamecock during the Revolutionary War for his fierce fighting tactics and victory at Blackstock’s Farm over British General Banastre Tarleton; this victory spurred a Patriot uprising which caused Cornwallis to relinquish Charleston, leading him to his ultimate surrender.
Morris College Sumter Alumni Chapter donated $5000 to the school, to be used for general, operational, and advancement purposes as well as one or more scholarships awarded to underrepresented students to support educational diversity consistent with their institution’s mission and admissions policy.
He had an enormous heart, which he shared generously with those he cared about. His memory will live on in those he leaves behind: Gloria his beloved wife; daughters Sheila Sumter of Franklin Park New Jersey and Stacie Hoffmeister from Scarsdale New York; grandson Myles Shaw as well as granddaughter Ava Hoffmeister who will all miss him greatly.
He served in the French and Indian War against Cherokee in frontier regions, founding Stateburg, South Carolina as well as serving five terms in Congress to limit federal powers. Additionally he owned a plantation nearby as well as opening a mercantile store; both projects became prominent citizens, respected in their community with admirers like neighborly relations as a result. A passionate Christian, he believed strongly in God.
Henry was an avid fisherman, bowler, and camper. He was an active member of Westside Baptist Church in Sumter, SC as well as serving 22 years with the US Air Force. Henry leaves behind his loving wife Tonna R Sumter; children Kiava, Dominick, Myeisha and Isaiah as well as Brooklyn Alston his granddaughter; caring brothers Howard Bracey and Ernest Bracey along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts sisters-in-law and friends to mourn his loss.
He was interred at South Mount, his family’s plantation near Stateburg, which served as a successful cotton ginning business with offices all across America. Through this business he amassed a considerable fortune; South Mount still operates today and remains a tourist attraction.