The American Revolution in South Carolina

Wahab's Plantation

September 21, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Col. William R. Davie (NC)
Loyalist Cdr:

Maj. George Hanger
Killed:

0
Killed:

20
Wounded:

1
Wounded:

47
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Camden District
Present County:

Lancaster County

The correct spelling is Wauchope. This is the plantation of one of Col. William Richardson Davie's men - Capt. James Wauchope, often misspelled as Wahab since is was pronounced similarly to Wahab.


When Lt. Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis moved with his army to Waxhaws around September 8th, it was on the same ground occupied by then Major William Richardson Davie in June and July 1780, located on the SC-NC border. It was a rich country but one much devastated by warfare and neglect, with many plantations completely deserted, and many of the inhabitants killed, captured, or made refugees.

The 71st Regiment was posted about a half mile in Lt. Gen. Cornwallis's rear, Cornwallis on the north side of Waxhaws Creek. To the east of the 71st Regiment were some Loyalist light troops and militia, who had been spreading "havoc and destruction."

After the battle of Hanging Rock, Maj. William Richardson Davie of the Camden District Regiment had had enough of Col. Thomas Sumter, so he returned to North Carolina for his talents to be employed there.

Davie was soon appointed (9/5/1780) Colonel/Commandant of all cavalry in the Western District of North Carolina by the NC General Assembly. He had 80 dragoons under his direct command plus two companies of riflemen commanded by Maj. George Davidson of Anson County, all of which he posted twenty-five miles above the British camp at Providence, and fourteen miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Col. Davie finding out about the 71st Regiment wreaking havoc, "formed a design to attack them." Early in the morning of September 20th, he encircled Lt. Gen. Cornwallis's position, coming from the east. Finding the Loyalists had moved a few days before, he continued scouting and found them at Wahab's Plantation, a location overlooked by the camp of the 71st Regiment. It is not clear who these Loyalists were, but references which suggest that horsemen were present among their ranks make it probable that they included Harrison’s Provincials.

On the morning of September 21st, Col. Davie surprised and routed them, though he could not follow this up as being too risky. At one point in the fighting some of the Loyalists were surrounded, Col. Davie’s cavalry cut them down, being unable to take prisoners due to the proximity of the 71st Regiment. Col. Davie did, however, capture some arms (120 stand), and 96 horses, and with the new horses all of Col. Davie's men were now mounted.

The British lost 15 to 20 killed, and 40 wounded, while only one of the Patriots was wounded. The late arriving British, in retaliation, burned the home of Capt. James Wauchope, who himself had acted as a guide for Col. Davie. That same afternoon Col. Davie returned to his camp, having performed a march of sixty miles in twenty-four hours.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. William Richardson Davie - Commanding Officer

NC State Cavalry - Western District, led by Col. William Richardson Davie and Maj. George Lee Davidson, with the following ten (10) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Peter Burns (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. Robert Davis (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. John Gillespie (Guilford County)
- Capt. Daniel Gillespie (Guilford County)
- Capt. John Harris (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. William Hart (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. Samuel Martin (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. David Ramsey (Rowan County)
- Capt. James Wauchope (Mecklenburg County)
- Capt. Zaccheus Wilson (Mecklenburg County)

Total Patriots - ~150 men (?)

Maj. George Hanger - Commanding Officer

British Legion Cavalry detachment led by Maj. George Hanger with 60 men

71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) led by Lt. Col. Alexander McDonald with 300 men

Total British/Loyalists - ~360 men

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© 2012 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved