On today in 1781, American Brigadier General William Lee Davidson dies in combat wanting to avert General Charles Cornwallis’ army from crossing the Catawba River in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Davidson’s North Carolina militia, numbering amongst 600 and 800 males, create camp on the other side of the river, hoping to thwart or at the very least slow Cornwallis’ crossing. The Patriots stayed back from the banks of the river to be able to cease Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tartleton’s forces from fording the river at a definite point and surprising the Patriots with a rear attack.
At 1 a.m., Cornwallis began to move his troops toward the ford by daybreak, they are crossing in a double-pronged formation-one prong for horses, another for wagons. The noise of the rough crossing, throughout that your horses were forced to plunge in a lot more than their heads in the storm-swollen stream, woke the sleeping Patriot guard.
The Patriots fired upon the Britons because they crossed and received heavy fire in exchange. Almost instantaneously upon his arrival at the river bank, General Davidson took a rifle ball to the center and fell from his horse his soaked corpse was found late that evening. Although Cornwallis’ troops took heavy casualties, the combat did tiny to slow their progress north toward Virginia.
General Davidson was the son of Ulster-Scot Presbyterian immigrants to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The family members moved in 1748, 2 yrs quickly immediately after William’s birth, from what was then named Rowan (now Iredell) County, North Carolina.
In 1835, Davidson’s son, William Lee Davidson II, gave the Concord Presbytery land which to produce a college in his father’s honor. The college was named Davidson College.