The American Revolution in North Carolina

William Graham

Colonel over the Tryon County Regiment of Militia - 1775-1779
Colonel over the Lincoln County Regiment of Militia - 1779-1781

On September 9, 1775, the NC Provincial Congress appointed William Graham as Colonel/Commandant over the Tryon County Regiment of Militia. He led the Tryon County Regiment of Militia at the battle of Great Cane Brake, SC on December 22, 1775; in the infamous Snow Campaign, SC from December 23 to December 30, 1775; at the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776; in an indident at Cross Creek on March 20, 1776; and, in Brig. Gen. Griffith Rutherford's Cherokee Expedition of 1776 along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

On February 8, 1779, the NC General Assembly created Lincoln and Rutherford Counties out of the abolished Tryon County, and soon therafter they appointed William Graham as Colonel/Commandant over the newly-created Lincoln County Regiment of Militia. He led the Lincoln County Regiment of Militia at the battles/
skirmishes at Thicketty Fort, SC (7/26/1780); Wofford's Iron Works, SC (8/8/1780); and Graham's Fort (his) in September of 1780.

Col. William Graham arrived one day too late for the battle of Ramseur's Mill (6/20/1780). One source asserts that he did participate in the battle of Ramseur's Mill, but this is an error - even in his own pension application it is clearly spelled out that he was not in attendance because he was riding with Brig. Gen. Griffith Rutherford, who, among many others, was also too late for that battle - some say two hours late, some say one day late.

One of Col. William Graham's family members got very sick just before the battle of Kings Mountain, SC (10/7/1780) and he was forced to miss that famous battle. He did arrive the day after the battle and helped escort some of the prisoners northward.

On January 31, 1781, Brig. Gen. (Pro Tempore) William Lee Davidson arrested William Graham for intoxication. On February 1, 1781, the NC General Assembly dismissed him for taking a bribe and securing a discharge for a prisoner taken earlier at the battle of Kings Mountain, SC. He was replaced by Col. Joseph Dickson.

William Graham was a delegate to the Third Provincial Congress of August 1775 in Hillsborough; and, the Fifth Provincial Congress of November 1776 in Halifax. He was one of forty signers of the Tryon Resolves on August 14, 1775.

William Graham, the son of Archibald Graham and Margaret Shed, was born in 1742 in Augusta County, VA. He died in March of 1835 and is buried in what is now Cleveland County, NC.


Click Here to view/download an online copy of William Graham's Federal Pension Application of 1832.

Click Here for a photo and brief writeup about the NC Historical Marker about William Graham's Fort.

Click Here for a decent online biography of William Graham provided by C. L. Hunter.



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