The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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1812. He was notorious for his criticism on military matters. In one of his works severely blamed Lord Cornwallis for the failure of the British arms in America and he assumed to criticise the military character of the Duke of Wellington.

        He died January 25, 1833, without issue.*

        * Cornwallis' Correspondence. 54 I have a perfect gem of art in a full length portrait of this officer, by Sir John Reynolds, copied by Sully from the original in London.

        On the field of Guilford, fell Colonel Wilson Webster, one of the most gallant and efficient officers in the British army. He came to America with Lord Cornwallis, and was very active in the operations in New Jersey in 1777. In 1779, he commanded at Verplanek's Point, and resisted successfully the attack of General Robert Howe. He commanded the right wing of the British army at the battle of Camden, South Carolina.

        He was severely wounded at the battle of Guilford, and died a few days afterward, at Elizabeth town, in Bladen County, where he was buried. His remains, a few years ago, were disinterred; of this event an interesting account was given at the time, from the gifted pen of Mrs. Hugh Waddell.

        His father was an eminent physician of Edinboro, Scotland. The following letter to his father, from Cornwallis, does justice to his merits, and credit to head as well as the heart of the writer:


"April 23d, 1781.


        "It gives me great concern to undertake a task, which is not only a bitter renewal of my grief, but must be a violent shock to an affectionate parent.

        "You have for your support the assistance of religion, good sense, and an experience of the uncertainty of all human happiness. You have for your satisfaction that your son died nobly for the defense of his country, honored and lamented by his fellow soldiers, that he led a life of honor and virtue, which must secure him everlasting happiness.

        "When the keen sensibilities of the passions begin a little to subside, these considerations will give you real comfort.

        "That the Almighty may give you fortitude to bear this severest of trials, is the earnest wish of your companion in affliction, and your faithful servant,


        David Caldwell, D. D., born 1725, died 1824, was so patriotic and so distinguished "in his day and generation," that he richly deserves our remembrance and gratitude.

        He was a native of Pennsylvania; born in Lancaster County, March 22, 1725.

        His early education was neglected, his father having apprenticed him to learn the trade of a house carpenter, and this he followed for four years after his term of apprenticeship had expired. He was moral, studious, and early became a member of the Presbyterian church. He resolved to become a minister of the gospel, and after being prepared for college, he entered Princeton, where he graduated in 1761. He was sent by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, in 1765, to North Carolina as a missionary, which was to be the field of his labors and usefulness; he settled in this county. He was a sincere patriot and so decided in the cause of his adopted home, that he was severely persecuted by the tories and the British in 1781. They ravaged his farm and burned his houses.

        He studied medicine and combined the two characters of the divine and the physician. In the unhappy times of the Regulation troubles, he did all in his power to alleviate the oppressions imposed on this impoverished people by the hands of cruelty and extortion. He was a member of the provincial congress at Halifax, which formed the state constitution, and of the convention at Hillsboro, called to consider the Constitution of the United States, July 21, 1788. These were the only officies he ever held of a political nature. For years he conducted at his house a classical school, at which some of the first men of this age were
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