GEN William Lee Davidson

GEN William Lee Davidson

Birth
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Feb 1781 (aged 34)
Cowans Ford, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Huntersville, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 8582004 · View Source
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Cenotaph here

William was the youngest son of George and Margaret DAVIDSON. Later in life he would add the middle name "Lee" (before he met "Light Horse" Harry Lee.)

Was 14 when his father George died, and his guardians were Alexander Osborne and John Brevard (father of his wife Mary.) He was educated in an Academy in Charlotte.

He lived, after the death of his father and before his marrraige, at the home of his cousin, George and Catherine Reese DAVIDSON.

Was Married to Mary Elizabeth BREVARD, was appointed a presiding elder of Hopewell Presbyterian Church along with John H. DAVIDSON. Hopewell began December 10, 1748.

William was a popular officer, well liked by his subordinates and his superiors. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the NC line, and was with General Washington at the battle of Germantown, spent the winter with Washington's army at Valley Forge, and became a close friend of "Light Horse" Harry Lee.

On January 17, 1781 a British cavalry force under Col. Banastre Tarleton had been soundly defeated at the Battle of Cowpens by a colonial force under Gen. Daniel Morgan (mainly militia under Davidson's control). Tarleton was joined by Lord Cornwallis who was moving northward, and the combined British force began a drive to overtake Gen. Morgan and avenge the defeat of Cowpens. Morgan and his regulars retreated northward, paused at the Catawba river, then continued towards Salsibury to join Gen. Nathaniel Green, leaving the militia under General Davidson to defend the fords on the Catawba river.

General Davidson would die contesting the river crossing of the main British army under Lord Cornwallis. He was shot from his horse, felled by a rifle bullet fired by a Tory guide, one Frederick Hager. His death left his wife Mary with seven small children, the youngest only a month old.

Because of his bravery Davidson County and College are named in his memory.

- Mary, his wife would be left with seven small children, the youngest only a month old. She would marry Robert HARRIS and after Robert's death she would move with some of the children to Logan Co., KY.

Children: George Lee, Pamela, Margaret, John Alexander, Jean, Ephraim Brevard, William Lee, Jr.



Inscription

(Modern Large Tombstone Inscription)
TO THE MEMORY OF
GENERAL WILLIAM LEE DAVIDSON
OF MECKLENBURG CO., N.C. BORN IN 1746, YOUNGEST SON
OF GEORGE DAVIDSON OF LANCASTER CO., PA, WHO MOVED
TO MECKLENBURG CO., NORTH CAROLINA, IN 1750.
MAJOR, 4TH REG., NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS,
PROMOTED LIEUTENANT-COLONEL.
SEVERELY WOUNDED AT CALSON'S MILL,
HE WAS PROMOTED FOR BRAVERY
TO THE RANK OF BRIGADIER-GENERAL.
WITH 300 MEN OPPOSING CORWALLIS AND TROOPS,
HE WAS KILLED AT BATTLE OF COWAN'S FORD,
FEBRUARY 1, 1781.
Erected by
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution, 1920.
-----------------------------------------------------------
(Original Old Tombstone Inscription)
Sacred to the Memory of
WILLIAM LEE DAVIDSON
Who departed this life
on the 1st of February 1781...
-remaining lettering mostly illegible-


  • Maintained by: Scott and Priscilla Butler Fraser
  • Originally Created by: Barbara Reid McDonald
  • Added: 31 Mar 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8582004
  • Dan Davidson
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for GEN William Lee Davidson (6 Jun 1746–1 Feb 1781), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8582004, citing Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Huntersville, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Scott and Priscilla Butler Fraser (contributor 46859858) .