Brigadier-General James Tanner Agnew (1719 – 4 October 1777) was a British Army officer killed by a sniper in the Battle of Germantown during the American Revolutionary War.
Agnew was born in 1719 in England to Major James Agnew, 7th Dragoons, and Margaret Wilkinson. On 27 September 1747, he married Elizabeth Sanderson in County Durham, England. His son, Robert, was born c. 1749.
James Agnew came to Boston in the latter part of 1775, holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel. By 1777 he had been appointed a local brigadier general and commanded a brigade.
General Agnew was engaged at the Battle of Long Island in 1776. In 1777 Agnew accompanied British forces under the command of General William Tryon and General William Erskine on an inland raid against Patriot supply depots in Danbury, Connecticut. After successfully destroying Patriot supplies, the British forces engaged and defeated Continental Army Generals David Wooster, Benedict Arnold, and Gold S. Silliman and Patriot militiamen in the Battle of Ridgefield. Lastly, Agnew was at the Battle of the Brandywine, where he was wounded.
While leading his 4th brigade in support of Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Germantown, General Agnew was killed by a civilian sharpshooter named Hans Boyer. His soldiers brought him back to their headquarters in John Wister's Big House (now called Grumblethorpe) on Germantown Avenue, where his blood is rumored to still stain the parlor floor.
He is buried at De Benneville Family Burial Grounds, on the 6000 block of North Broad Street.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania