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He had ordered the capture of Wilmington, to be held as a port city through which he could receive supplies and also as a right wing protection of his own forces in their drive toward Charlotte and on to Hillsboro . It never was explained by what means his Excellency lost his hat. On our side, Lieutenant-colonel Hall and three men were killed, and thirty-six wounded, all of the light infantry and grenadiers of the guards.”, “Leslie” Orderly Book entry for 1 February: “Lord Cornwallis is highly displeased that Several Houses was set on fire during the March this day, a Disgrace to the Army; & that he will punish with the Utmost Severity any persons who shall be found Guilty of Committing so disgracefull an Outrage –- His Lordship requests the Comdg. The head of the column in the mean while arrived at the bank of the river, and the day began to break. Erected 2003 by North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Officers of Corps will Endeavor to find out the Persons who set fire to the Houses this day.”. The other group was sent toward Fort Ninety-Six under Colonel Daniel Morgan. Now Cornwallis, smarting at this new setback started in determined pursuit of Morgan, who began retreating toward Mecklenburg. A man named Frederick Hager, a Tory who lived in the vicinity, was serving as the guide for the British force. It would be recorded, however, as the last battle with an invader on Mecklenburg soil. By noon the next day all the men who were not dispersed, were collected near Harris’ mill on Rocky river ten or twelve miles from the enemy.”, Copyright 2017 RevolutionaryWar.us | All Rights Reserved. As Morgan kept safely ahead of the British commander, Greene at Cheraw ordered his force under Huger to march northward toward Salisbury and he himself rode northwestward toward Charlotte to join Morgan. A man named Frederick Hager, a Tory who lived in the vicinity, was serving as the guide for the British force. It was a battle in the Southern Theater of Cornwallis's 1780–1782 Campaign that eventually led to the British Army's surrender at Yorktown. On January 17, Cornwallis was on the move. Lord Cornwallis was marching his British forces through the back country of North Carolina. We now learned that we had been opposed by about three hundred militia that had taken post there only the evening before, under the command of General Davidson. Officers of Corps will Endeavor to find out the Persons who set fire to the Houses this day.”. So he stayed well back from the river bank opposite to the point where the horse ford emerged on the Mecklenburg side. The sentinel having challenged thrice and received no answer, immediately gave the alarm by discharging his musket; and the enemy’s pickets were turned out. The different parties met in the afternoon at Jno. Built in 1963, Cowan’s Ford Golf Club is one of the top private, member-owned golf clubs in the Lake Norman area. The task of the Americans, spaced thinly along the eastern bank, was to anticipate Cornwallis' crossing strategy and slow his advance in order to give Morgan, already impeded by the prisoners and supplies he had taken at the Cowpens, more time to conduct an orderly retreat. Being a northern Mecklenburg boy, I remember well the cemetery and adjoining ruins of a mansion once owned by Major John Davidson, a distant cousin of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, and was familiar with the Battle of Cowan’s Ford having heard about it in history class. I think I am possessed of all the patience necessary to my profession but I assure you it is nearly exhausted…". The Battle of Cowan's Ford was also called the Battle of McCown's Ford. The militiamen were picking off many British struggling in the water. On the other side of the river, too, he had been informed, were Americans awaiting him at all the fording places. Meanwhile, Greene had arrived at the Catawba and with Washington had visited Morgan and Davidson at Beatties Ford and planned his strategy. Original battle site lies under Lake Norman. If you find our videos helpful you can support us by buying something from amazon. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. Gen. Lord William Cornwallis and his army of British and Tories successfully crossed the Catawba River, defeating the Patriot forces of Gen. William L. Davidson, Maj. Joseph Graham, Col. William Polk, and Lt. Thomas Davidson. He and Morgan then set out towards Salisbury. From a visitors area along NC Hwy 73 next to the Catawba River, one can see Cowan's Ford Island. They took the body to the home of David's widowed stepmother, Mrs. Samuel Wilson. This year’s speaker is Jeremiah DeGennaro, the site manager of the Alamance Battleground Historic Site. He was not hurt himself. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. This was actually two fords; one, the horse ford, though shallower than the other, was longer, because it crossed the stream obliquely; the other, called the wagon ford, went straight across the river. On February 1, 1781, the Battle of Cowan’s Ford, near present-day Mecklenburg County, was General Greene’s attempt to prevent a full scale battle with the superior British forces. They left sixteen who were so badly wounded they could not eb taken along, at Mr. Lucas’s (the nearest farm) and a surgeon under protection of a flag was left with them. He was killed at the Battle of Cowan's Ford We now learned that we had been opposed by about three hundred militia that had taken post there only the evening before, under the command of General Davidson. But instead of going to Beatties Ford, which his actions there during the day had indicated he would try to force, he moved down the river to Cowan's. Joseph Graham: “We had none wounded or taken. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. The men [N.C. militia] under Col. [Joseph] Williams and Capt. Greene decided to leave Charlotte, but before he could get his army moving, heavy rains set in and kept his troops from marching. The British had left Charlotte in virtual panic; in their rush to leave the camp at Barnett's mill they had abandoned some twenty wagons, a large quantity of clothing, many tents and other equipment, and a number of guns. And in the center his Lordship, chagrined, fearful, bitter, was running southward in disorganized retreat. It had rained at times all day, and in the evening and night it fell in torrents. I could make no use of the gun that was up, and it was evident, from the number of fires on the other side, that the opposition would be greater than I had expected: However, as I knew that the rain then falling would soon render the river again impassable, and I had received information the evening before, that General Greene had arrived in General Morgan's camp, and that his army was marching after him with the greatest expedition, I determined to desist from the attempt; and therefore, full of confidence in the zeal and gallantry of Brigadier-general O'Hara, and of the brigade of guards under his command, I ordered them to march on, but, to prevent, confusion, not to fire until they gained the opposite bank. So that I must beg leave of absence, till I find myself able to take the field again." Though no records of this meeting reveal what was said, it is evident by what immediately followed that Greene directed Davidson, who had placed his men at the various fords along the eastern bank, to do what he could to slow Cornwallis' crossing. Though no records of this meeting reveal what was said, it is evident by what immediately followed that Greene directed Davidson, who had placed his men at the various fords along the eastern bank, to do what he could to slow Cornwallis' crossing. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. The morning being very dark and rainy, and part of our way through a wood where there was no road, one of the three pounders in front of the 23d regiment and the cavalry overset in a swamp, and occasioned those corps to lose the line of march; and some of the artillery men belonging to the other gun, (one of whom had the march) having stopped to assist, were likewise left behind. The Battle of Cowan’s Ford was a defeat for the Americans, but the delay it provided allowed General Morgan and General Greene to rendezvous their armies and escape to the north, only to fight Cornwallis six weeks later at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, a battle in … No sooner did the guide [a Tory] who attended the light infantry to show them the ford, hear the report of the sentinel’s musket, than he turned round and left them. He sent a message to Sumner suggesting that they join in an assault on the British, but the rain slowed Sumner and Cornwallis outdistanced his pursuers and withdrew to Winnsboro, where 70 miles south of Mecklenburg's pestiferous hornets he established headquarters. And to the west he had dispatched Ferguson from Fort Ninety-Six to move northwestward to enlist Tory supporters and subdue the Americans. The correspondent of the "Pennsylvania Packet" in a subsequent analysis summarized the British's ill-fated 2 weeks in Charlotte : "Whilst the enemy lay at Charlotte they were confined within their lines by our riflemen, who nabbed them if they set out their heads. DSDI North Carolina Governor Nancy McBride Wark represented DSDI on Jan. 26 to support the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution recognizing the 238 th anniversary of the Battle of Cowan’s Ford.. But down in South Carolina, Gen. Greene decided to leave Charlotte, but before he could get his army moving, heavy rains set in and kept his troops from marching. Graham was to keep a patrol on the move to see that the British did not make a surprise crossing under cover of darkness. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Davie wrote Gen. Our new tradition begins on Friday, January 27, 2017 , beginning at 5:30pm with mixing and a cash bar at the River Run Golf & Country Club in Davidson, NC. On January 31, Cornwallis made his move. Alexander’s, eight miles above Charlotte. The Battle of Cowan's Ford: General Davidson's Stand on the Catawba River, and its place in North Carolina History [Stonestreet IV, O. C.] on Amazon.com. The morning being very dark and rainy, and part of our way through a wood where there was no road, one of the three pounders in front of the 23d regiment and the cavalry overset in a swamp, and occasioned those corps to lose the line of march; and some of the artillery men belonging to the other gun, (one of whom had the march) having stopped to assist, were likewise left behind. It would be recorded, however, as the last battle with an invader on Mecklenburg soil. Memorial to battle and General William Lee Davidson is located across from Duke Energy’s McGuire Nuclear Station, just east of the Catawba River bridge and Lincoln County line. Cornwallis was on a mission to stop General Nathanael Greene and his … He made a move to indicate he was planning to cross at Beatties Ford by sending Lt. Col. Webster and a detachment of British to "make every possible demonstration by cannonading and otherwise, of an intention to force a passage there," he would write some six weeks later. Morgan had written him that a continuing ailment in his hip would make necessary his taking a leave of absence from his command. On December 20, Greene divided his forces and went with one group to the Cheraw region on the Pee Dee in South Carolina, where he made camp the day after Christmas. Most of them deserted before the last evening.". ?? Toward nightfall, Davidson himself led a detachment to Cowan's Ford and set up camp a half mile or so back from the river, but he assigned a picker to watch from the water's edge the Cowan's crossing point. Davidson in writing his congratulations expressed deep concern: "My anxiety for you (least your Wound be fatal) is such that I have scarcely spirit to congratulate you on your glorious victory. Davidson in writing his congratulations expressed deep concern: "My anxiety for you (least your Wound be fatal) is such that I have scarcely spirit to congratulate you on your glorious victory. The carefully thought out southern campaign upon which he had embarked so hopefully was shattered never to be reshaped. But now, hardly more than 5 weeks after he had left Camden, his grand strategy was a shambles. Infobox Military Conflict |conflict=Battle of Cowan s Ford |partof=the American Revolutionary War | |caption= Battle of Cowans Ford by Dave Teague. But down in South Carolina, Gen. ?? Nevertheless, you’ll love the patriotic heroine who makes an appearance at the end of the story! This, which at first seemed to portend much mischief, in the end proved a fortunate incident. Cleared of resistance on the wings and in the rear, Cornwallis would sweep through North Carolina and roll on into Virginia to end all of the American resistance to His Majesty's government. ?? Share your knowledge. N.W., after a sharp fight, Feb., 1781. The pickets on the eastern bank were asleep, but the noise of the British crossing awakened them and their firing brought Davidson and his men racing toward the wagon ford. Davidson evidently feared that Tarleton's troops might, in the darkness of a winter's night, slip across the Catawba and get behind him, from which position they could attack him as the British infantry began its crossing. Cornwallis, in pursuit of Greene, crossed the Catawba River, 1/3 mi. It had begun to rain again and the British commander felt that to delay longer might mean the loss of any chance to overtake and destroy Morgan's forces. Narrative of the Battle of Cowan's Ford, February 1st, 1781 [Henry, Robert 1765-1863, Vance, David 1745-1813, Schenck Pub, David 1835-1902] on Amazon.com. He sent a message to Sumner suggesting that they join in an assault on the British, but the rain slowed Sumner and Cornwallis outdistanced his pursuers and withdrew to Winnsboro, where 70 miles south of Mecklenburg's pestiferous hornets he established headquarters. Smallwood, "The torments of the damned are scarcely equal to the torture of my feelings these five or six days past, from the rage of the militia for returning home. 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Was euphemistically called the southern army into Charlotte Lists, bibliographies and reviews: or WorldCat... The raging torrent loss was greater, but the skirmish proved a fortunate incident cover of....

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