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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    General William Davidson Killed, Charlotte

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • City

    Charlotte

  • County

    Mecklenburg

  • Description

    This memorial to where General William Lee Davidson was killed is made of stone and masonry with a bronze plaque attached. It is formed by two pillars of dark stone connected by an arch. The area above and below the arch were then filled by light colored stone and the two pillars are also capped by the lighter stone. The bronze plaque is attached to the area beneath the arch. It has a depiction of a hornets nest in relief with hornets in flight. A hand on the plaque points toward the direction where General Davidson was killed. The plaque also gives the date of the founding of Davidson College which was named after the general. Another hand points in the college’s direction.

  • Inscription

    COWAN’S FORD, CATAWBA RIVER / WHERE / THE REVOLUTIONARY HERO, / GEN’L. WILLIAM LEE DAVIDSON / WAS KILLED IN ACTION FEB. 1, 1781 / BORN AT / LANCASTER, PA. / 1746 / DAVIDSON COLLEGE / FOUNDED 1837 / ERECTED BY / EDWARD LEE BAXTER DAVIDSON

  • Dedication Date

    Circa 1925

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.425550 , -80.916750 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Davidson, Chalmers G. “Davidson, William Lee,” NCPedia.org, (accessed January 23, 2017) Link

      Graham, William Alexander. "General William Lee Davidson," (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Battle Ground Co., 1906), (accessed May 25, 2012) Link

      Miller, Ernest. “Davidson Lays New Chambers Building Capstone,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), December 9, 1928

      “E.L. Baxter Davidson House,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, (accessed January 11, 2017) Link

      “General William Lee Davidson Was Killed," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed January 23, 2017) Link

      “General William Lee Davidson,” The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), April, 19, 1971, (accessed November 29, 2015) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze and field stones

  • Sponsors

    Edward Lee Baxter Davidson

  • Subject Notes

    General Davidson was killed in a delaying action skirmish known as the Battle of Cowan’s Ford. Although technically a defeat this action delayed the British long enough for the Patriot army under General Nathanial Greene to escape to Guilford Courthouse and prepare for the battle that was a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

    Edward Lee Baxter Davidson was proud of his ancestry and also placed and paid for several markers in the Charlotte area to relatives who were prominent during the American Revolution including General William Lee Davidson and Major John Davidson. He was a member of the North Carolina Historical Society and served as a District Vice President of the Sons of the American Revolution.
    The General William Lee Davidson Grave is located at the cemetery of Hopewell Presbyterian Church, at 10500 Beatties Ford Road Huntersville, NC 28078.
    Davidson College, County and City are all named for General William Davidson.

  • Location

    The maker is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Beatties Ford Road and Brown Mill Road near Charlotte. This intersection has historically been known as Hicks Crossroads since 1871 when W. M. Hicks bought a 2.25-acre parcel of land and established a store on that tract.

  • Landscape

    The memorial marker stands on a sidewalk with a few trees planted on a gas station lawn.

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