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William Lee Davidson

"General - American Revolution"

William Lee Davidson - Cowan's Ford.jpg

William Lee Davidson's Death

by Dave Teague

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General William Lee Davidson's Pistol

Our Great-Grandfather(4) Brigadier-General William Lee Davidson (1746-1781) , the youngest General in the American War for Independence (1776-1783), commanded a regiment of North Carolina militia.  He was killed at the age of thirty-four in the battle of Cowan's Ford on the Catawba River in North Carolina.  A town, a college, several schools, and counties (in North Carolina and Tennessee) have been named in his honor.a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

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The Battle of Cowan's Ford

Gen. Davidson rallied several hundred patriots to battle them (Cornwallis’ Army) at Cowans Ford, slowing the British while American forces retreated to Guilford Courthouse.  The battle that the Americans and British fought there a month later weakened the Redcoats and hastened their surrender.

At the conclusion of the Battle of Cowans Ford, searchers found Gen. Davidson's dead body stripped naked by the British.  His friends and wife buried him hastily by torchlight five miles away at Hopewell Presbyterian Church on Beatties Ford Road, intending to hide the body from British troops who may have sought it for further desecration at his home church, Centre Presbyterian Church.

General Davidson is one of those figures who's larger than life today because of his 100 percent commitment to the patriotic cause. It was Gen. Cornwallis who nicknamed this area '”The Hornet's Nest” because of the fierce resistance of the local partisans.  Though General Davidson and others didn't stop the British advance, they stung the British repeatedly, and the small engagements had a significant cumulative effect."


Russell Snapp, an associate professor of history at Davidson College

Ural Hill Plantation - Well House.jpg

Ural Hill Plantation - Well House

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General William Lee Davidson's Grave

William Lee Davidson.jpg

To the Memory of
of Mecklenburg County N. C.
Born in 1746, youngest son of George Davidson
of Lancaster, PA, who moved to Mecklenburg Co.

North Carolina, in 1750.

Major 4th Rec. North Carolina Troops.
Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel.
Severely wounded at Calson's Mill.
He was promoted for bravery
to the rank of Brigadier-General.

With 300 men opposing Cornwallis and troops
he was killed at Battle of Cowan's Ford
February 1, 1781.

Erected by
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution 1920.

William Lee Davidson

William Lee Davidson - Memorial.jpg
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