George Locke Marker, Charlotte
The monument to George Locke is an 8 ft. cairn made of field stones with a simple granite plaque embedded into it. It commemorates the death of 16 year old Locke who is remembered for being hacked to pieces by British troops under Banastre Tarleton near the spot of the marker. It incorrectly names Locke as a Lieutenant Colonel. After the engagements near Charlotte his commander, Captain Joseph Graham, listed “Lt. Locke and four privates killed,” and news headlines and stories from the dedication name him as a Lieutenant. A transcription from one of the news stories did not include the mistake. No explanation was found for the mistaken rank. A poured concrete base and sidewalk were added to the site in more recent times.
LIEUT. COL. GEORGE LOCKE / KILLED BY / TARLETON’S DRAGOONS / SEPT. 26, 1780 / MECKLENBURG CHAPTER / D.A.R. / 1911
September 26, 1911
35.283360 , -80.764470 View in Geobrowse
The Twin-City Daily Sentinel (Winston-Salem, NC), September 27, 1911
Barefoot, Daniel W. Touring North Carolina’s Revolutionary War Sites (Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher, 1998), 201
Boekelheide, Dan. “Monument Honors University City’s Revolutionary Hero,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), June 28, 2013, (accessed January 12, 2017) Link
Norris, David A. and Barefoot, Daniel W., “Charlotte, Battle of,” NCPedia.org, (accessed January 12, 2017) Link
“Memorial To Lieut. Col. George Locke,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed January 5, 2017) Link
“Monument to Lt. Geo. Locke Unveiled,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) September 27, 1911
“Morrill, Dr. Dan L. “A History Of Charlotte And Mecklenburg County,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, (accessed January 12, 2017) Link
Field stone, masonry, granite
Mecklenburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution
Several hundred people gathered on the 131st anniversary of Locke’s death in a stand of pine trees just off the road lined with autos and vehicles of various kinds. Mrs. Latta C. Johnston, regent of the Mecklenburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, led the ceremony. Mrs. William Reynolds, State Regent of the D.A.R. was present and addressed those gathered and Rev. Dr. John L. Caldwell, President of Presbyterian College was orator for the day. Two young girls, Mary Johnston and Susie Hutchison unveiled the marker.
Locke was killed as American forces were withdrawing in defeat after the Battle of Charlotte. He was hacked to pieces by saber wielding “Green Dragoons” (British Calvary) of Banastre Tarleton who was likely the most hated man in Revolutionary America. Tarleton earned the nickname of “Ban the Butcher,” because of his brutal tactics and execution of prisoners. “Tarleton’s quarter” became a rallying cry for American troops to show no mercy to British troop during times of battle.
The marker is near University City (the area surrounding UNC-Charlotte) in the median of N. Tryon Street just south of its intersection with the connector road from I-85. When dedicated in 1911 this spot was still seven miles from Charlotte proper.
The marker stands at a busy intersection of highway and a street, with only a small wooded area behind it.