The American Revolution in North Carolina

William Richardson Davie

Lieutenant in the Rowan County Regiment of Militia - 1779
Captain in the NC Light Dragoons Regiment - 1779
Major in the 2nd Mecklenburg County Regiment of Militia - 1779-1780
Major over the Independent Corps of Light Horse - 1780
Colonel over the NC State Cavalry-Western District - 1780
Commissary General for NC State - 1781-1782

On April 5, 1779, the NC General Assembly appointed William Richardson Davie as a Lieutenant of Light Horse under Capt. Robert Bartley and Col. Francis Locke in the Rowan County Regiment of Militia.

In May of 1779, Capt. Robert Bartley was Court-Martialed for "intemperance" and William Richardson Davie was promoted to Captain to take his place. Soon thereafter, Capt. William Richardson Davie was assigned to Col. Francois DeMalmedy in the hastily-created NC Light Dragoons Regiment. He led his company at the battle of Stono Ferry, SC on June 28, 1779, where he was badly wounded.

Some historians claim that Capt. William Richardson Davie was in the South Carolina Militia, probably in the Camden District Regiment of Militia. However, this Author tends to think this information is incorrect.

On November 7, 1779, the NC General Assembly created the 2nd Mecklenburg County Regiment of Militia, and they soon appointed William Richardson Davie as a Major under Col. Caleb Phifer.

After the town of Charlestown, SC was surrendered on May 12, 1780, Maj. William Richardson Davie was given command of his own unit - the Independent Corps of Light Horse - which was probably authorized by Col. Caleb Phifer (records unclear who authorized this unit). Maj. William Richardson Davie led this unit towards the battle of Ramseur's Mill, but they were too late to participate in the battle. He also led this unit at the first battle of Hanging Rock, SC on July 30, 1780 and the second battle of Hanging Rock, SC on August 8, 1780. Some claim his unit was attached to Col. Robert Irwin of the Mecklenburg County Regiment of Militia.

On September 5, 1780, the NC General Assembly appointed William Richardson Davie as Colonel/ Commandant over the newly-created NC State Cavalry-Western District. Col. William Richardson Davie led the NC State Cavalry-Western District at the battles of Wahab's Plantation, SC (9/21/1780), and, Charlotte (9/26/1780). This regiment was disbanded in December of 1780.

In January of 1781, the NC General Assembly appointed William Richardson Davie as the new Commissary General for the State, replacing Thomas Polk, who had resigned in late 1780. He held this position until the NC General Assembly disbanded the Commissary Department in May of 1782. Records indicate that this was considered by most to be a Continental position - some claim he continued with the rank of Colonel, others claim he was promoted to Brigadier General. Available records indicate that William Richardson Davie was on staff to Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene at the battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.

William Richardson Davie, the son of Archibald Davie and Mary Richardson, was born on June 20, 1756 in Cumberland County, England. His parents removed to what became Lancaster County, South Carolina in 1763 - just south of the NC/SC state line and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He studied at the Queen's Museum (later Liberty Hall) in Charlott, and went to the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), where he graduated with honors in 1776.

After leaving Princeton, Davie studied law in Salisbury under Spruce McCay. In the spring of 1779, he was appointed as a Lieutenant in the NC Militia (see his service record above). After the war, Davie gained notoriety as a circuit court lawyer and orator - his home was now in Halifax County. He was elected to the NC House of Commons between 1786 and 1798. He was elected as Governor of North Carolina in 1798. In 1799, President John Adams appointed him as a special envoy to France.

In 1782, William Richardson Davie married Sarah Jones, and they had six known children. He died in 1820 at his home - Tivoli - in what is now Chester County, SC.

In 1836, the North Carolina General Assembly created Davie County and it was named in honor of William Richardson Davie.


Click Here for a decent online biography of William Richardson Davie provided by Wikipedia.com.

Click Here for another online biography of William Richardson Davie provided by northcarolinahistory.org.

Click Here for another online biography of William Richarson Davie provided by NCPedia.org.



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