He had been turned in the turn of the 1800’s.
A handsome man had taken him by the arm, lead him on a magical evening of dancing, dining and wining. Then on the stroke of midnight leaned down for a kiss on the neck and had gone for a bit instead. However, the creature had not realized that he was a soldier and part time dancer and he beat the life out of the creature. The bite, infected with the curse of the living undead, changed him and he found himself among the ranks of the undead soon after.
For some time, he adjusted to the best that he could. He learned, he made mistakes, he picked himself up and he ran like hell from hunters when they found him. Through the years he got good at hunting, carefully pacing himself so he would not end up like those that drowned themselves in the stuff and practically begged to be slaughtered like squealing pigs.
When he found himself comfortable with how he was operating he found himself bored. Sure he could become a brilliant business man who could charm his way into fabulous and ludicrous wealth, he could live out his days as the nightmare of humanity, he could work to the fulfillment of humanity and perhaps learn the skills of doctors and cure ailments that could kill.
Then the War of 1812 happened.