Detailed Revolutionary War battle plan, showing Lord Cornwallis' march crossing the Catawba River at McCown's Ford (now Cowan's Ford) and on towards Salisbury, along with the position of the Americans and their subsequent flight.
Above the main crossing at Beatties Ford, a detachment under Colonel Webster is also shown crossing the river. From Stedman's History of the . . . American War.
The Battle of Cowan's Ford was a battle in the Southern Theater of Cornwallis's 1780-1782 campaign, that eventually led to the British Army's surrender at Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War. It was fought on February 1, 1781, at Cowan's Ford on the Catawba River in northwestern Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, between a force of about 5,000 British and fewer than a thousand Americans who were attempting to slow the British advance across the river.
The American general William Lee Davidson was killed in this battle. Oral tradition has it that a local Tory guide fired the fatal shot. Late that evening Davidson's naked body was found. His corpse was evidently robbed by British soldiers, a fact established in 2001, when Davidson's wallet was brought back from England where it had been held in the Public Records Office in London since the Revolution.