Soldiers named who fought at the Battle of Shallow Ford

The names of a few of the 800 Patriot and Loyalist soldiers who fought the American Revolutionary War Battle of Shallow Ford, Oct. 14, 1780, were revealed Oct. 17 at the 235th anniversary of the battle.

Ann Brownlee, historian from Salisbury, said about 350 Patriots and about 450 Loyalists battled each other for 45 minutes after an unplanned encounter along the Mulberry Fields Road west of the Yadkin River crossing. The Patriots won and the Loyalists did not gather in such numbers again, said Brownlee.

The battle occurred one week after the Battle of King’s Mountain, which became the turning point of the American Revolution in the Southern Colonies. Shallow Ford became part of the Southern Campaign for American Independence.

Fighting frontier style, soldiers on both sides used trees for cover. Combatants fired at least three rounds, killing as many officers as possible. Loyalist dead included Captains James Bryan and William Lakey, who lived near the Shallow Ford community, now known as Huntsville. Ball Turner, an enslaved man of Color, also was killed. About 12 Loyalists were buried in a mass grave beside the road.

Brownlee began compiling a list of soldiers after she discovered her Patriot ancestor, Capt. Henry Francis, of Montgomery County, Virginia, was killed in the battle and buried on the battlefield. Using Patriot pension records and the help of other researchers, she found 62 Patriots and eight Loyalists, about 10 percent of the actual number.

Andrew L. Mackie, event organizer, challenged attendees to find more names for the 2016 commemoration.

“We have an opportunity to increase our knowledge of the soldiers who fought here,” he said.

Carol Gause, David Cockerham Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution, added her Patriot ancestor, Capt. William Bobbitt, buried Fancy Gap, Virginia. Ann Black, Yadkin County Historical Society, added Loyalist Capt. William Lakey, after finding his cemetery off Forbush Road, and Teresa Driver added her Patriot ancestor, Jacob Hoots/Hutts, buried on near-by Harmon Creek.

Brownlee’s complete list can be found on the Internet at “Battle of Shallow Ford Ann Brownlee” and link onto Soldiers.

The commemoration included a wreath-laying ceremony sponsored by the Daughters, Sons, and Children of the American Revolution. Ramona G. Collins, DAR district director, Elkin, organized the ceremony, and Jim Tatum, Mecklenburg Chapter, SAR, Charlotte, served as honor guard. About 45 people attended the ceremony and toured the battlefield afterwards.

The Yadkin County Historical Society sponsored this event and President Clinton “Oz” Prim, Ph.D, presided over the ceremony, with help from the Jonathan Hunt Chapter, DAR; David Cockerham Chapter, CAR; the Yadkin Valley Chapter, SAR; and local property owners.

The next commemoration will be Oct. 8, 2016, at 10 a.m. in Huntsville. For more information, contact Andrew Mackie, 336-428-8471, or

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