Rose enlisted and served on April 23, 1776, in the 1st Bat. N.C. 4th Reg. Continental Line.
He received the appointment and commission of Ensign by Governor Burke. Rose served for 18 months under Captain Secrecy. He was constantly engaged with his company in scouring the surrounding county, disarming the Tories and marching against them. He returned home briefly for the birth of his son William in 1780, and then returning to his regiment when he could safely leave his family.
The order came for his regiment to join General Washington at York Town but before they could arrive there Cornwallis had surrendered and Rose’s regiment returned to North Carolina. Shortly after he resigned his commission and returned to his family.
William Rose lived in South Carolina, Georgia and Powell Valley, Tennessee, before settling in Whitley County, Kentucky. He died in Whitley County on February 12, 1835. It is believed he is interned in an unmarked grave in the Rose Cemetery. In 1923 a monument was erected in honor of his service to the Revolutionary War in the Partin Family Cemetery in the Mountain Ash area of Whitley County.