In October, 1832, he was residing in Lincoln County, N. C., aged 73 years and stated that he enlisted in May, 1778, under Capt. Gooden in the Fourth North Carolina Regiment commanded by Col. Archibald Lyttle, a part of the time was orderly sergeant and the balance Quarter Master Sergeant, the term of his service to be 9 months after arriving at the place of rendezvous at Bladensburg in Maryland. They assembled at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, N. C., where he then lived, from thence marched to near Virginia, receiving recruits from the other Counties. The field officers on this march were Colonel Wm. L. Davidson, Major William Polk and Henry Dickson. Capt. Smith Harris and others were all assembled in Caswell County at a place called Moore’s Creek. At this place received the news of the battle at Monmouth, N. J., (June 28th, 1778) and that the British had gone to New York City, and as their services were not wanted at the North, the men became uneasy that the time of their service had not commenced and it was uncertain when it would. A meeting took place which with some difficulty was suppressed. Some officers broke their swords and some soldiers were crippled. “It was afterwards proposed to such of the soldiers as would accept, to take furloughs of which Graham was one,” and he went home to Mecklenburg some time in August. On the 5th November following he was called into the service under General Rutherford (Brigade of Militia) for 5 months, in Col. Lyttle’s Regiment. At the “10-mileen masseand he joined them. From his experience in military duties, he was appointed Adjutant of the Mecklenburg County Militia. The County being on the frontier, with no other force to protect it, a part of that regiment, and sometimes the whole, was retained most of the summer. The foot under General Wm. L. Davidson south-east of Charlotte, the Horse under Colonel Davie, in detachments, patrolled the country as far as Waco and adjoining Counties in the west that were disaffected. On the 25th of September it was reported that the British Army were on the March from Camden, which caused General Davidson to immediately march with his command towards Salisbury and ordering Graham to join Colonel Davie at Charlotte, where he should take command of such inhabitants as the alarm should bring together,
As General Greenne was soon expecting the British to advance in force, arrangements were adopted to raise men to oppose them, and Graham engaged upwards of 50 in two or three weeks, but the principal difficulty was to procure arms, though generally they had rifles and nearly half the swords for the cavalry were made by Blacksmiths and suspended higher up on the body than the later practice, in order to avoid entangling with the limbs when acting as foot soldiers.
After Tarleton’s defeat January 17th, 1781, (At Cowpens, S. C.) the enemy in pursuit of General Morgan came to Cowan’s Ford on the Catawba River, February 1st, 1781, and in the conflict there two of Graham’s Company were killed (As well as General Davidson) and it was the only Company that left the battle ground in order and covered the retreat at the same time. On the 7th of February his Company while hanging on the rear of the British, had a conflict with them, on their march from Shallow Ford, on the Yadkin to Salem, in which they were routed. His Company lost one killed and took five prisoners. After this the N. C. Militia were placed under the command of General Andrew Pickenns of S. C., and Graham’s Company, with others, under Colonel Joseph Dickson, crossed Haw River, were detached by General Pickens in the evening with part of his Company and forty-five riflemen from Rowan and marched in the night of the 17th and at light the next morning, surprised, killed and took prisoners, a guard of an officer, with his 26 men, at Hart’s Mill 1 and 1-2 miles from Hillsboro, where the British army was in camp. The evening of the same day formed a junction with Col. Lee’s Legion and a day or two after this Tarleton with his legion set out over Haw River to join Colonel or Dr. Piles with Pickens and Lee after him, including Graham’s Company, and all the militia, equipped as dragoons, were placed under Lee in rear of his dragoons.
The day after the battle Graham was directed by Lee to take 25 men to ascertain if the enemy were occupying the field and, if they had left, to follow the trail until he actually saw them which he did, on the Salisbury road within half a mile of their headquarters. He dispatched a sergeant with six men to inform Lee, and Graham with the rest of his party moved after dark through the woods in an unsuccessful effort to capture two sentinels who fired at them, but as Graham and his party proceeded a 1-2 mile up the main road met a patrol of cavalry, whom they hailed, then discharged a volley in their faces,
After the battle at Guilford (March 15th, 1781) the enemy having marched to Wilmington and left a garrison there, no militia service was called for in the west until the month of August, 1781, although the Tories under the protection of the British, had possession of the country south of the Cape Fear, until above Fayetteville, Colonel Fanning of the Tories, surprised Hillsboro, taking Governor Burke prisoner. General Rutherford, who was captured at Gates’ defeat, having been exchanged, returned about this time, sent Graham orders to raise a troop of Dragoons in Mecklenburgh and many of those who served the winter before joined the troop. There were but four married men in the troop and he was commissioned as Major in the command of Colonel Robert Smith, who had been a Captain in the N. C. line. The organization consisted of three troops of Dragoons, about 96 men and 200 mounted infantry. Two days thereafter
Graham who was detached by Colonel Smith with one troop of Dragoons and two companies of mounted men, surprised at Alfred Moore’s plantation, a mile below the ferry at Wilmington, and defeated 100 Tories, killed and wounded 12. The next day was in an unsuccessful attack on a British garrison in a brick house that covered the Ferry opposite Wilmington, with one killed.
Graham was afterwards detached by General Rutherford with three Companies, one of which was Dragoons, by Brunswick, over Lockwood’s Folly and Wacamo Rivers, to a place called Seven Oaks, near S. C. line, and was attacked about midnight by the noted Gainey of S. C., who was then under a truce with General Marion, but appears he did not consider it binding in North Carolina. The Cavalry charged defeating them and killed one. Graham had one killed, 2 wounded and four horses killed. This service lasted over three months and was in four battles. He recapitulated his service as follows:
He was born in Chester County, Penn., October 13th, 1759. Removed to Mecklenburg County, N. C., when about ten years old and was present in Charlotte on the 20th of May, 1775, when the Committee of the County of Mecklenburg made the celebrated Declaration of Independence of the British Crown. Since 1792 he has resided in Lincoln County, N. C. He died November 12th, 1836.