Database

Wahabs Plantation.

What: Skirmish, 21 Sep 1780, *Lt.Col. Davie vs. Maj. George Hanger

Other names:Walkup Plantation, Wauchoupe's Plantation, Battle of the Waxhaws

Where: 34.86084 -80.76265 Wahabs Plantation

Maps: [map notes]

  • 34.86084,-80.76265 Wahabs Plantation (Walkup house)
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google.

    Sources:

    • In discussions of this battle with those from the area, the comment is typically made that the house and grounds where the skirmish occured were not at the site of the existing house but were nearby.

    • NBBAS:Two. p. 309-311. Hanger is given as commander of the loyalists.
      RevList post. No mention of British unit or commander.

    • Mark Boatner, Enclycopedia of the American Revolution, p. 1158, describes the action as against the British Legion, temporarily under the command of George Hanger. This view is also given in his Landmarks of the Revolution.

    • Henry Lee, Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, 1869, p.195, describes the action as against a "part of the loyalists and British Legion, mounted".

    • William Alexander Graham, General Joseph Graham and His Papers on North Carolina Revolutionary History, 1904, p. 249,
      Davie retired before them until near General Davidson's quarters at McAl- pin's Creek, and obtained a detachment of infantry, with which he set out at noon on the 19th, marched in the night, and early next morning attacked a Tory detachment at Wahab's plantation, a short distance from the British camp. The particulars of this affair are well described by Lee (who, I understand, got the account of that and other affairs from General Davie himself).

    • John S. Pancake, This Destructive War, 1985, p.116
      At daylight on September 20 he came upon Tarleton's Legion cavalry and the 71st Regiment at Wahab's Plantation.

    • Dan L. Morrill, Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, 1993, p.98,
      At daylight on September 20, he led his men on a daring strike against elements of the British Legion and the Seventy-first Regiment at Wahab's Plantation.

    • Barefoot: NC, p.152. "The Greek Revival house that stands on the battlefield was constructed in 1869..."

    • Sherman, "Calendar...". Ver.4, 12-2008, p.223-224 (. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".
      20-21 September. [raid-skirmish] Wahab’s Plantation, also Wauchope’s Plantation (Union County,1116 S.C.) When about September 8th Cornwallis moved with his army to Waxhaws, it was on the same ground occupied by Davie in June and July 1780, located on the S.C.-N.C. border. It was a rich country but one much devastated by warfare and neglect; many of the plantations were completely deserted, and a large number of the inhabitants killed, captured or made refugees. Davie had recently been appointed Col. Commandant of all cavalry of North Carolina. He had 70 dragoons and two companies of riflemen commanded by Maj. George Davidson, he was posted twenty-five miles above the British camp at Providence, and fourteen miles south of Charlotte. The 71st Regt. was posted about a half mile in Cornwallis rear, Cornwallis on the north side of Waxhaws Creek. To the east of the 71st were some loyalist light troops and militia, who had been spreading “havoc and destruction.” Davie finding out about this, “formed a design to attack them.” Early morning of 20 September he circled Cornwallis position, coming from the east.1117 Finding the loyalist had moved a few days before, he continued scouting and found them at Wahab’s plantation, a location overlooked by the camp of the 71st. It is not clear who these loyalists were, but references which suggest that horsemen were present among their ranks make it probable that they included Harrison’s Provincials. On the morning of the 21st, Davie surprised and routed them, though he could not follow this up as being too risky. At one point in the fighting, some of the loyalists were surrounded and Davie’s cavalry cut them down; the whigs being unable to take prisoners due to the proximity of the 71st. He did, however, capture some arms (120 stand) and 96 horses, and with the horses Maj. Davidson’s men were mounted. The British suffered 15 to 20 killed, and 40 wounded, while only one of the Americans was wounded. The late arriving British, in retaliation, burned the home of Capt. James Wahab [Wauchope],1118 who himself had acted as a guide for Davie. That same afternoon Davie returned to his camp, having performed a march of sixty miles in twenty-four hours.1119 Davie: “Generals [Jethro] Sumner and [William Lee] Davidson had arrived that day [the 21st] at camp with their brigades of militia[,] both of which However did not amount to one thousand men all on short enlistments, illy armed and diminishing every day. These with Davie's corps were the whole assembled force at that time opposed to the enemy.”1120 Brig. Gen. William Lee Davidson, on possibly Sept. 24 (the date of the letter is not clear) and at “Camp, 8 miles South of Charlotte,” wrote Gates: “I have the pleasure to enform you that Colo. Davie, with a Detachment of Horse and Light Infantry from my Brigade, compleatly surprized a party of Tories on the morning of the 20th Sept., two miles in the rear of the British encampment. Killed, 12; on the ground, wounded, by our best intelligence, about 60, and brought off our prisoner, and the Colo. made good his retreat with 50 Horses, as many saddles, 13 guns, &c.

      1111 COC ~ (Henry Clinton’s) Clinton’s Observations on Earl Cornwallis’s Answer. p. 30.
      1112 CNC volume number 14 ~ The State Records of North Carolina (Walter Clark, editor)6 p. 773.
      1113 CDI ~ (Alexander Chesney) Diary of Captain Alexander Chesney (Samuel C. Williams, editor) from Tennessee Historical Magazine
      1114 PRO. ~ British "Public Records Office". 30/11/80/31-32.
      1115 COC ~ (Henry Clinton’s) Clinton’s Observations on Earl Cornwallis’s Answer. pp. 22-23.
      1116 Some sources, such as McCrady, suggest Lancaster county, but recent scholarship indicates Union to be the area in question.
      1117 Lee says from Cornwallis’ left, or from the west, which Davie points out is incorrect
      1118 His actual name was apparently spelled "Wauchope." DRS ~ (William Richardson Davie’s) Revolutionary War Sketches of William R. Davie (Blackwell P. Robinson, editor). p. 55n.
      1119 LMS ~ (Henry Lee’s) Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department (1869 edition) p. 195, DRS pp. 21-23, SNC p. 104-112, MSC1 pp. 742-743.
      1120 DRS ~ (William Richardson Davie’s) Revolutionary War Sketches of William R. Davie (Blackwell P. Robinson, editor) pp. 21-23, LMS ~ (Henry Lee’s) Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department (1869 edition) p. 195.
      1121 CNC volume number 14 ~ The State Records of North Carolina (Walter Clark, editor) 614-615

    • RevWar75   listing. 9/21/1780 Wahab's Plantation (Waxhaws). American victory.

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    Submitted by: Charles Baxley

    Confidence level: 4