Robert Lawson – Continental Army Officer – Virginia


Robert Lawson (January 23, 1748 – April 5, 1805) was an officer from Virginia in the American Revolutionary War.

In early 1776 Lawson was commissioned a major in the 4th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. He eventually became the colonel in command of the regiment. He resigned from the Continental Army in December 1777.

Lawson returned to active duty in 1779 as a brigadier general in the Virginia militia. According to some accounts, he commanded the Virginia militia at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.



Robert Lawson was born 23 Jan 1748 and died 05 Apr 1805 in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Lawson and Elizabeth. He married Sarah Meriwether Pierce 13 Dec 1769 in VA, daughter of John Pierce and Sarah. She was born, and died 10 Jun 1809.


Sarah Meriwether Lawson b 9/13/1770 d 4/19/1771

America Lawson b 1/22/1778 d 10/1/1830

John Pierce Lawson b 2/23/1781 d 6/1/1809

Arria Lawson b 3/14/1785 d 10/24/1787

Columbus Lawson b 8/11/1789 Kentucky d 1/8/1815

===Continental Service===

Major, 4th Virginia, 13 February 1776

Lieutenant Colonel, 4th Virginia, 13 August 1776

Colonel, 4th Virginia, 19 August 1777

Resigned, 17 December 1777

The 4th Virginia Regiment was authorized by the fourth Virginia convention on December 1, 1775, and accepted by Congress on February 13, 1776. The 4th Virginia Regiment joined Washington’s army late in 1776 and participated in the battles of Trenton and Germantown. (Sanchez-Saavedra p42)

On November 23, 1776, the 4th, 5th, and 6th Virginia Regiments joined the army at New Brunswick, New Jersey, forming a brigade of 745 men under Adam Stephen (Sellers 1978:6-7,9,11. Lesser 176:40)

Battles of the 4th Virginia Regiment:

Battle of Trenton, 26 December 1776

Second Battle of Trenton, January 1777

Battle of Princeton, January 1777

Battle of Brandywine, 11 September 1777

Battle of Germantown, 4 October 1777

===Virginia Militia===

Colonel, Steven’s Brigade, Battle of Camden, 16 August 1780 ???

General, Lawson’s Brigade, Guilford Courthouse, 15 March 1781

General, Attached with General Steuben, Point of Fork, June 5, 1881

General, Lawson’s Brigade, Siege of Yorktown, September – October 1781

===Public Service===

Attended Virginia Convention, St John’s Church Richmond, March 1775

Attended Virginia Convention, July 1775

Attended Virginia Convention, December 1775

Member Virginia House of Delegates, May 4 – December 19, 1778

Member Virginia House of Delegates, May 1, 1780 – March 22, 1781

Member Virginia House of Delegates, May – December 28, 1782

Member Virginia House of Delegates, May 5 – December 22, 1783

Member Virginia House of Delegates, October 15, 1787 – January 8, 1788

Deputy Attorney General Prince Edward County 1784 to April 1788 .

Delegate, Convention of the Commonwealth of Virginia on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 1788 Voted in the minority against ratification of the Federal Constitution, 25 June 1788.

Trustee, Hampden-Sydney College, 1783-1805