Battle of Cowan’s Ford


Research by Aaron Brown

  1. Pension application of William Armstrong, May 20, 1833

In the declaration made by William Armstrong he discusses the battle of Cowan’s Ford and how the battle happened. Cornwallis was at Ramsour’s in Lincoln County where he then crossed in eastern Lincoln County heading towards Charlotte. As Cornwallis got to Cowan’s Ford in eastern Lincoln County he encountered a small patriot militia group led by General William Lee Davidson, who was a well-known General amongst the southern divison of the patriot army. In the battle of Cowan’s Ford, the patriots were attempting to hold of Cornwallis and the British advancement towards Charlotte, and in doing so General Davidson was killed. In his declaration Armstrong says that his regiment was able to out flank the British and slow down their advancement, and that they followed the British all the way into Sailsbury, which is east of Charlotte.

To see the full document, click here.

2. Letter from Joseph Graham to Archibald Murphey, November 27, 1820

This letter is a later recollection of the events that occurred at Cowan’s Ford. The author explains how the British were marching from South Carolina up into North Carolina in hopes of revenging a loss in Charlotte that they had suffered earlier in the war. British forces were in pursuit of General Morgan and Greene in efforts to crush the patriot militia outside of Charlotte. General Greene and General Davidson had a meeting at Beattie’s Ford before a battle at Cowan’s Ford took place the next day near Torrence’s Tavern. In the battle the patriots were not able to hold the line but were able to draw the British forces east.

To see the full document, click here.