Database:   Bear Creek  

Bear Creek

What: Skirmish, Bear Creek, Captain Charles Gholson vs. Col. David Fanning, ?? Oct 1781

Other names:

Where: 35.610302 -79.376207, Bear Creek skirmish, Captain Charles Gholson vs. Col. David Fanning, ?? Oct 1781

Maps: [map notes]

  • NBBAS:Vol. Three p.378.
    Bear Creek, North Carolina
    October 1781

    James Harding lived on Bear Creek on the south side of Deep River. He was a staunch supporter of the Whigs and this made him an enemy of David Fanning. Fanning wanted him dead. Harding was captured by some Loyalists while on a scouting mission and taken to Fanning’s camp. Harding was sociable and pleasant, which surprised the captors. Upon entering the camp Harding immediately approached Fanning and shook his hand. He told Fanning that he was glad that now he had a chance to join his force. He also told him that he had been trying to get away from the Whigs for some time, and now he finally had the chance. Fanning could detect no insincerity or deception, so he let Harding stay in the camp. While in the camp Harding became a friend to Fanning’s group and they all liked him very much.

    Harding told Fanning of a company of Chatham County Militia under the command of Captain Charles Gholson on the other side of Deep River. Harding convinced Fanning that he could lead the Whigs into an ambush. Fanning agreed and sent Harding off to meet Gholson’s militia.

    When Harding met with the Gholson he made a different arrangement with him. Gholson’s men were to lie in ambush and wait for Harding to lead Fanning to the ambush site.

    The next night Fanning rode to the ambush site with Harding at his side. Both men were in good spirits. When they reached the ambush site Harding gave the signal and dashed towards the hidden Whigs. Gholson’s men fired a volley into Fanning’s column, killing and wounding several of them. Fanning was able to escape the ambush.

  • Sherman, "Calendar..." Search for bear creek (2 locations). To avoid future long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution n/l, Search for bear creek. 0 returns (through 9-2006).

  • RevWar75   listing. 10/1781 Bear Creek. Draw.

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Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley

Confidence level: See above.