The American Revolution in North Carolina

The NC State Cavalry - Western District Regiment

Date Established:

Commander:

Known Lt. Colonels:

September 5, 1780

Col. William Richardson Davie

Lt. Col. DeBrisbourn

Date Disbanded:

Known Majors: 

Known Adjutants:

Late December 1780 or
early January 1781

Maj. George Davidson
Maj. Joseph Dickson
Maj. James Cole Mountflorence
Maj. James Rutherford
Maj. Salter
Maj. James White

Joseph Graham

Miscellaneous Players:

-

James R. Alexander - Surgeon

-

Known Captains:

William Alexander

William Bell

John Brandon

Peter Burns

James Byers

John Clark

Joshua Coffee

Henry Connelly

Thomas Cook

Robert Davis

Thomas Dougan

John Foster

William Gardner

Daniel Gillespie

John Gillespie

Joseph Graham

John Harris

David Hart

James Hart

Samuel Hart

Warren Hart

William Hart

William Hunter, Jr.

John Locke

Benjamin Lowery

Samuel Martin

Robert McKnight

William Nesbitt

Nathan Orr

Charles Polk

Robert Porter

David Ramsey

David Reed

John Reid

? Russell

James Scarborough

Samuel Snead

Matthew Stewart

William Stewart

John Turner

James Wauchope

Oliver Wiley

-

Zaccheus Wilson

-

Known Privates / Fifers / Drummers, etc. - Captain Unknown:

Samuel Hunt

Hugh King

William Price

John Stevenson

James Wilson

William Witherspoon

Brief History of the Regiment:

On September 5, 1780, Col. William Richardson Davie is given command of a new regiment of Light Horse in the Salisbury District, aptly named by the Board of War as the NC Cavalry-Western District.

On September 21, 1780, Col. William Richardson Davie led nine known companies of the recently-created NC State Cavalry-Western Division in a pre-emptive attack on about 350 enemy comprised of the British Legion Cavalry and the 71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) at Wahab's Plantation very near the border between North Carolina and South Carolina.

Col. Davie surprised and routed them, though he cannot follow this up as it 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 under Lt. Col. Alexander McDonald. 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 and who owned the plantation where this battle took place. That same afternoon Col. Davie returned to his camp, having performed a march of sixty miles in twenty-four hours. The correct spelling of this plantation is Wauchope, but since it was pronounced as Wahab, this is the name that has stuck over the years.

As Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis approached Charlotte on September 26, 1780, Brigadier General Jethro Sumner (a Continental officer) and a large group of North Carolina Militia were on their way to Salisbury, and the local farmers were "flying before us in confusion." Col. William Richardson Davie went beyond his orders and fought an almost pitched battle with the entire British army as they marched into Charlotte. Joined by Militia reinforcements, Col. Davie continued to harass Cornwallis for several hours, and it is estimated that his Patriots killed twenty and wound even more of the enemy.

Of Col. Davie's men, Capt. John Clark was wounded, and Capt. Joseph Graham was so badly wounded that he was left for dead. Somehow, he miraculously survived and took five months to heal. Lt. George Locke, son of Col. Matthew Locke, was cut to pieces by sabres of the British Legion.

Charlotte turned out to be a royal pain for Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis. His army, as any at the time, required sustenance for their horses, and small foraging parties began sweeping the countryside in ever-widening circles, stripping it of all grain and grasses. Col. William Richardson Davie with considerable support from local Militia units constantly harassed the British occupiers, with an intense focus on these foraging parties. Riflemen also hid on the outskirts of Charlotte and took every target of opportunity that came their way.

On October 9th, Col. Philip Taylor of the newly-created Mounted Volunteers led a detachment of about 120 mounted riflemen and discovered Lt. Stephen Guyon with twenty Royal Welsh Fusiliers and some Loyalist Militia posted at Polk's Mill-he immediately attacked. It is apparent that Col. John Dickerson (Granville County Regiment) was also with Col. Philip Taylor at this point in time. So was a detachment of the NC State Cavalry-Western District led by Maj. Joseph Dickson on behalf of Col. William Richardson Davie.

Col. Philip Taylor was able to capture the sentinel of the Fusiliers and eight of the Loyalist Militia, but Lt. Guyon defended the blockhouse and drove the Patriots off. Col. Taylor had one man killed and one man wounded. Later that same night, a small party of fifty Patriot riflemen sole fifty horses from the British and Loyalists still encamped at Polk's plantation.

On January 16, 1781, the Board of War appointed Col. William Richardson Davie as Superintendent Commissary General of Provisions and Supplies for the state, a new position with the goal of streamlining this effort all across the state. He no longer commanded any Militia units or State Troops.

Date(s):

Known Battles / Skirmishes:

9/21/1780

Wahab's Plantation (SC)

9/26/1780

Charlotte

10/9/1780

Polk's Mill


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