William R. Davie’s Victorious Assault at Wauchope Plantation

Davie's Attack - Calvary led by William R. Davie attacked and dispersed band of Tories, September 20, 1780, at the plantation of James Wauchope, 3 ~ 1/2 mi. NW.

On September 21, 1780, William R. Davie, in time known as the “Father of the University of North Carolina,” led a surprise attack on British troops southeast of Monroe. Cornwallis had marched into North Carolina days earlier after his victory at Camden, South Carolina.

Familiar with the terrain from his boyhood, Davie found the “lawless marauders” on the plantation of James Wauchope at around 2 a.m. At sunrise, appearing from the corn that grew right up to the house, Davie and his corps of 150 assaulted the band of 300 to 400 Tories, mounted and awaiting their orders to ride. The plan worked and the enemy fled in confusion, but not before setting fire to the house and other buildings.

By Davie’s account, confirmed by reports of Jethro Sumner and William Lee Davidson, 60 Tories were left on the ground, 20 of them dead. No Patriots were killed and only one was wounded.

The attack, also known as the “Battle of the Waxhaws,” was a prelude to the Battle of Charlotte on September 26 and the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7.

Today a large 1869 Greek Revival style house, built by a descendant of Wauchope, stands on the site.

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