The American Revolution in North Carolina

Faith Rock

September 22, 1782


Patriot Cdr:

Andrew Hunter
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. David Fanning
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Randolph County
Present County:

Randolph County

On September 5th, Col. David Fanning left Charlestown, South Carolina to go back to Randolph County, North Carolina to retrieve his favorite horse, Bay Doe, which had been taken from him four months earlier by Andrew Hunter. He had offered to trade five horses to Hunter, but Hunter refused.

For two weeks, he rode through the Pee Dee settlements trying to find his horse, to no avail. On September 22nd he decided it was time to get back to Charlestown. The British there had recently received orders to finally evacuate the South Carolina capital, and Fanning did not want to be left behind.

Riding along the Deep River, Fanning heard that Andrew Hunter had been hiding in South Carolina waiting for him to leave the country. He sent a man to get directions to Hunter's house. One of Hunter's friends fooled the man into thinking that Hunter lived in the opposite direction than he actually did. The friend then rode on to warn Hunter of Fanning's presence.

Fanning was not fooled and he rode in the direction Hunter's friend went. When he saw Fanning pursuing him he jumped off his horse and fired two pistols at the approaching Loyalists. Both misfired and the man took off running across an open field. Fanning later wrote, "I ordered one of my men to fire at him, who shot him through the body, and dispatched his presence from this world."

Fanning rode up to the house the man was heading towards, ready to fight anyone in it. The two men in the house chose not to fight and instead told Fanning that Hunter had learned of his presence and had fled with Bay Doe a half an hour earlier. They also informed him that several Patriots had been sent to kill him and his men. Fanning decided it was not worth being killed or captured and headed back to Charlestown.

Some of his men remained and kept an eye out for Hunter. They came across him riding Bay Doe near Cox's Mill, and chased him and cut off his only escape across Buffalo Ford on the Deep River.

Hunter rode into the woods to lose the Loyalists, but when he came out into the open he saw a giant rock that sloped down into the river at a sixty-degree angle. He waved to Fanning's men and then rode down the steep rock into the river. So amazed were the Loyalists by his courageous escape that none of them fired.

One of Fanning's men remarked, "If he has faith enough to try to escape that way we will not shoot again." The rock has carried its name ever since - Faith Rock, and it is located near Franklinville.

David Fanning returned to Charlestown on September 28th with two other Loyalists, his slave, and two slave children. He boarded the ship New Blessing on November 6, 1782 for St. Augustine and left the Carolinas forever.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Andrew Hunter Col. David Fanning, with unknown number of men


© 2009 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved