Born into slavery in Wake County, NC (later moved to Georgia). He was given freedom in exchange for fighting in place of the man who held him in slavery, Richard Aycock. Dabney fought at the Battle of Cowpens and at Augusta under Col. Elijah Clarke, and was severely wounded.

Dabney was the only African American Revolutionary War veteran to be given his freedom, a pension, and a land grant by the state of Georgia in appreciation for his military service.

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