October 14

This Day in History

American Revolution

Oct 14, 1780:

Patriots sting Loyalists at Shallow Ford, North Carolina

In the early morning hours of October 14, 1780, a contingent of approximately 350 Patriot troops from the North Carolina and Virginia militias engages a group of British Loyalists, numbering between 400 and 900, at the Shallow Ford crossing of the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

In the previous two weeks, British Loyalists had begun to overrun the area, thanks to an absence of Patriot forces, who had marched north to defend Charlotte from the British army. Upon hearing of the Loyalist uprising, Major Joseph Cloyd headed to the area with members of the North Carolina and Virginia militias. At the Shallow Ford crossing, Cloyd spotted the Loyalists, who had just crossed the Yadkin River and were headed west toward present-day Davie County.

Although they were severely outnumbered, Cloyd ordered the Patriot forces to attack; they gained the advantage when Loyalist leader Colonel Samuel Bryan was killed early in the battle. Without a leader, the Loyalists became disorganized and, realizing that defeat was imminent, they retreated across the Yadkin River, ending their reign of terror over the area. The Patriot militia lost one soldier killed and four wounded while it is believed that the Loyalists lost 14 killed.

The Battle of Shallow Ford is considered one of the most important battles for the Patriot cause to take place in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War. It lasted just under 90 minutes.

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