Battle of Charlotte

Research by Sarah Safrit

  1. Letter from William Lee Davidson to Horatio Gates, September 26, 1780


This is a very brief letter from General William Lee Davidson to General Horatio Gates on the first day of the Battle of Charlotte. General Davidson notes that at eleven o’clock the British forces marched into Charlotte. The Patriot forces were severely outnumbered by the British. General Davidson was in retreat at this time while Col. Davie was confronting the British forces that had entered Charlotte. There were about 300 reinforcements sent to help Col. Davie. (Image is of Horatio Gates)

To read the complete letter, click here.

2. Letter from Jethro Sumner to Horatio Gates, September 29, 1780


This document is a letter from General Jethro Sumner to General Horatio Gates a few days after the Battle of Charlotte began. General Sumner noted that the British troops were still in Charlotte with about 2,000 soldiers. Sumner’s troops were in retreat but he ordered Col. Davie of the Light Horse and Col. Taylor with 200 Horse to prevent the British from stealing goods from the local people. Sumner also ordered these forces to gather as much information about the strength of the British forces as they could. General Sumner mentions that the Patriot troops killed 22 British soldiers when the British took Charlotte and even more people were wounded. General Sumner was asked for advice from General Gates on how to continue with the Battle of Charlotte. (Image is of Colonel William Davie)

To read the complete account, click here.

3. Minutes of a Continental Army Council of War, November 25, 1780


This document represents the minutes from a Council of War that was held at the Camp at New Providence, North Carolina, November 25, 1780. There were nine military personnel at this meeting. The Commander in Chief, one Major, three Generals, two Colonels and two Lt. Colonels. The Commander in Chief gathered these individuals together to decide where the Continental Army should be placed next. Eight of the nine members agreed that the Army should be placed at or near Charlotte. This document is significant to the Battle of Charlotte because the outcome of this battle was a draw, so these individuals were nervous that the British troops would come back, and this area needed to be protected. (Image of Major General William Smallwood.)

To read the minutes, click here.