Charlotte’s Place in the Revolutionary War
When it came to support of the British crown, North Carolina was divided. The British and Scottish descendants who lived in eastern North Carolina wanted to remain connected to Great Britain, while the Scots-Irish and German settlers in western North Carolina favored American independence from the crown. In fact, the colony was the first to tell its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from Britain on April 12, 1776 (a date that is memorialized on the state flag and the state seal).
During the Revolutionary War, British and Tory troops arrived in Charlotte under the command of Charles Cornwallis, the commander of the British army in the South. Cornwallis expected to be greeted by loyal followers of the crown when his troops marched into Charlotte on September 26, 1780.
Instead, he was met with opposition when General William Davie and 150 rebel soldiers engaged the British troops in a battle at the Mecklenburg Courthouse. The rebels dispersed but Charlotte’s citizens continued to harass the British troops, leading Cornwallis to declare Charlotte “a damned hornet’s nest of rebellion” when he left the city in October 1780.
Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781—a loss that guaranteed American independence. The Treaty of Paris, a formal declaration of the end of war and a guarantee of the colonies’ independence, was signed on September 3, 1783.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition