Where was a Revolutionary War Battle fought in Waxhaw?

The Waxhaw’s Colonial Settlement

Long before Waxhaw was a town, it was part of the colonial “Waxhaws Settlement,” which encompassed present day Waxhaw, Mineral Springs, Marvin, Weddington, Wesley Chapel in NC and Lancaster and Buford in SC.  This area became home to Scots-Irish and German immigrants beginning in the 1750s, prior to the Revolutionary War.

The residents of the Waxhaws Settlement aggressively opposed British forces during the Revolutionary War.

The Revolutionary War Battle

On September 20, 1780, Col. William Richardson Davie (1756-1820) camped near Providence Presbyterian Church (located near 485 and Providence Road, Charlotte) with his regiment; including Capt. James Walkup (1724-1798), of the Waxhaws Settlement, who often served as a guide for Davie.

Elizabeth Gillan and Sarah Tesley appear suddenly on horseback from the Waxhaws and rush to Col. Davie to tell him the British have set up camp near Walkup’s Plantation. (Located on present day Walkup Road in Waxhaw, NC; where corn is still grown.)

Walkup Road
Walkup Road today – near the Revolutionary War Battle site

Hearing this news, Col. Davie, 400 men of his regiment, and 50 Indians immediately ride south to the Waxhaws to Walkup’s.

As they approach the British camp the next evening, Col. Davie sends William Davidson to lead a group of men through the cornfield to take the British-occupied Walkup house. Col. Davie leads another group of men to the British camp for a surprise attack.

Col. Davie’s strategy worked with 15 British dead and 40 wounded. He secured 96 horses and 120 muskets for the return to camp.

Following the Battle

As for the Walkup House, it was burned in revenge when the British learned that Capt. Walkup was part of Col. Davie’s regiment. The home had become occupied by the British while Walkup was serving the Continental army with Capt. Davie. Capt. Walkup’s wife and children were prisoners in their home during the British occupation.

Walkup Home
The old home of Col. W. W. Walkup, a descendant of Capt. James A. Walkup, built in 1869 near the site of the “Battle of Walkup’s Plantation” of 1780.

 

Local lore claims that the family hid pewter plates and goblets in the well so the British couldn’t find them to make more rifle balls.

 

Kris B. Morefield
Board Member, Museum of the Waxhaws

 

Sources:

Memoirs of Henry Lee
Global Gazetteer of the American Revolution, “Wahab’s Plantation.”
U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889 – 1970

2 thoughts on “Where was a Revolutionary War Battle fought in Waxhaw?”

  1. Anyone have any idea as to what happened to the monument placed by the DAR that used to stand about 200 yards from the house? A shame it was removed. Years ago the stone dam of the old Walkup’s Mill were still very visible on Waxhaw Creek….maybe 1/4 mile or so from the house site. I am a long term history buff who was raised a couple of miles from the site.

    1. I don’t know when or why the monument was removed. We should probably put up another one. This battle should be remembered.

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