The North Carolina Visitor Center




Colson's Mill

What Happened 229 Years Ago at Colson’s Mill?

Celebrate the 229th anniversary of the Battle of Colson’s Mill on Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m. at the Fork in Norwood, NC as we commemorate the battle that took place there on July 21, 1780.

This event will be held in conjunction with the Fork Front Country Sporting Festival which is scheduled for Sunday, July 19.

 Stewart E. Dunaway, author of several books pertaining to the Revolutionary War period in NC, will share information about the significance of the Battle of Colson’s Mill.  A formal wreath-laying ceremony will be conducted by members of the Yadkin River Patriots Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colson’s Mill Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution to commemorate the battle that took place within the borders of what is now the Fork Farm, south of Norwood, NC.  Later in the morning, tours will be conducted by volunteers from the Stanly County Historic Preservation Commission and Museum.

It all began in the spring of 1780. General Cornwallis’ victories in South Carolina had created enough excitement in North Carolina to inspire a loyalist force to emerge in the Yadkin River Valley under the leadership of Colonel Samuel Bryan.

About June 30, Bryan and nearly 800 men began marching south down the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Valley toward Cheraw, there to join up with General Cornwallis.

American General Griffith Rutherford ordered his adjutant, Colonel William Lee Davidson, and about 200 men to pursue the Tories, and a race ensued down the Yadkin River Valley.

Believing themselves to be out of harm’s way and close enough to Cornwallis’ headquarters to prevent attack, Bryan’s Tories pitched camp near an inn and a mill on the Cheraw Road called Colson’s.

However, Colonel Davidson had no intention of letting the loyalists escape, and on the morning of July 21 he surprised the enemy and drove the loyalists into the woods – and back to their homes.  Davidson thus denied Cornwallis an addition of nearly 1000 troops and effectively broke any remaining loyalist sympathies along the Yadkin River Valley.

Bring the whole family.  This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of Stanly County and enjoy the Front Country Sporting Festival.


For more information about programs and activities of the Stanly County Museum

Contact: Jonathan Underwood

The Stanly County Museum