The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

accurate genealogical knowledge of date of births, deaths, and services of the different members of this distinguished family. The name has been worthily bestowed one of our loveliest mountain villages, the capital of Transylvania County.

        We have from a reliable source, the names of each of the descendants, and have presented them to our readers, and now shall take them up in these sketches, with such information as we have been able to procure.

        1. Mary Brevard the oldest daughter of John Brevard, married General William Davidson, born 1746--killed, February 1, 1781, whose name is worthy of the memory and gratitude of every true North Carolinian, for he sealed with his life blood, his devotion to the cause of liberty, and independence.

        He was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Lancaster County, and immigrated to North Carolina in 1750.

        He was educated at the Academy at Charlotte. When the war of the Revolution began, the Provincial Congress at Halifax on April 22, 1776, placed the State on a war footing, by raising four additional regiments to the two already in the Continental service. Of the 4th, Thomas Polk was made Colonel, and William Davidson, Major; and forming a part of a brigade which marched under command of Brigadier Nash to join the Grand Army of the North under Washington; it was for three years under the eye of that great chief, and participated in the battles of Brandywine, September, 1777, Germantown, October, 1777, and Monmouth, June, 1778.

        The North Carolina troops were sent in November, 1779, to reinforce the Southern Army, commanded by Major General Lincoln at Charleston.

        There are no particulars recorded of the services of Davidson in the actions of Brandywine, Monmouth, or Germantown, and such has been the carelessness or neglect, as to North Carolina, that the student of history may look in vain, for any statement or notice of the troops of North Carolina, except that General Nash was killed at Germantown, and that Colonels Polk and Buncombe were wounded. But the brigade of North Carolina troops was, unquestionably, a part of the Army, and bravely performed its duty.*

        * Manuscript letter of Governor Graham, 1823; supplement to Lee's Memoirs; Washington's papers; Letters December, 1779-1780 to Lafayette.

        Previous to this event, he had been promoted to the command of a regiment. As he passed through North Carolina, Davidson obtained permission to visit his family, which he had not seen for nearly three years. The delay produced by this visit, saved him from captivity, for on his arrival at Charleston, he found it so closely invested that he was prevented from joining his regiment. Lincoln surrendered May 12, 1770. Davidson returned home and raised troops to suppress the Tories, who, encouraged by the approach of the British, had become daring, desperate and dangerous. At Calson's Mill, he encountered a strong force of Tories, gave them battle and a severe engagement occurred in which Davidson was dangerously wounded by a ball passing entirely through his body; this kept him from the field for two months. On his recovery he immediately went into active service, now promoted to be a Brigadier in place of General Rutherford, who was taken prisoner at Camden. He was active with Sumter and Davie, in checking the advance of the British troops. To that intent he posted his command at Cowan's Ford, on the Catawba. At daybreak, February 1, 1781, the British Army, under Lord Cornwallis, commenced crossing. The picket of General Davidson, challenged the enemy, and receiving no answer, fired.

        Lord Cornwallis had his horse killed under him; Colonel Hall was killed, also three privates, and thirty-six wounded. General Davidson, in
Page 240 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS