Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733–1810, American Revolutionary soldier, b. Hingham, Mass. He served under Horatio Gates in the Saratoga campaign before becoming (1778) commander in the South. In 1779 he failed, in conjunction with a French fleet under Admiral d'Estaing, to take Savannah and was beaten back to Charleston, where he surrendered (1780) to an overwhelming force commanded by Sir Henry Clinton. Lincoln was exchanged in time for the Yorktown campaign and received General Cornwallis's sword at the surrender. From 1781 to 1783 he was Secretary of War. In 1787 he commanded the Massachusetts state militia that helped suppress Shays's Rebellion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.