James Winchester was born in Carroll County Maryland born on February 26, 1752. He was most noted as a Brigadier General during the War of 1812 and commanding officer of American forces during the River Raisin massacre. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Winchester enlisted in the Maryland militia serving with Gen. Hugh Mercer's Flying Camp. He was captured by the British on August 22, 1777 during General John Sullivan's attempt to capture Staten Island.to capture Staten Island. He was released after a year in a prisoner exchange only be to captured again during the surrender of Charlestown, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. He was released December of that year and promoted to Captain. Winchester served under Gen. Nathaniel Greene until the end of the war fin October 1781. Moving to what is now Tennessee in 1785, Winchester joined the local militia and became a Brigadier General. He was elected to Tennessee's first State Legislature during the establishment of the state's government in 1796. Shortly before War of 1812, Winchester was officially commissioned as a Brigadier General in the US Army in March 1812. Shortly afterwards Winchester was in command of the Army of the Northwest, consisting of several regiments near Cincinnati, Ohio. . Winchester commanded one wing of his army to Fort Defiance and, after engaging in several skirmishes with British and local native forces, he encamped at the Maumee Rapids present day Toledo, Ohio in December 1812. In mid-January 1813, Winchester led a force to recapture Frenchtownwhich is now Monroe, Michigan. He was attacked on January 22, 1813 by a combined British-Indian force. Winchester and a large number of soldiers were captured during the first assault, Winchester agreed to a conditional surrender in exchange for a pledge of protection. However, despite agreement, Indians under British command massacered hundreds of unarmed American soldiers.This becamed knowned as the River Raisin Massacre. Winchester was imprisioned in Canada for a year and released in a prisoner exchange and commanded the District of Mobile for the duration of the war. He resigned from the army in March 1815 and returned to Tennessee. Winchester, along with Andrew Jackson and John Overton, founded the city of Memphis on May 22, 1819. He died seven years later in Gallatin, Tennessee on July 26, 1826.