Solomon lewis, a great Tory and Indian
fighter and soldier at the battle of Guilford Courthouse. Lewis was born
in 1750 in Bladen county Nc. In 1779, Lewis joined the Nc Militia in
Surry county Nc under the command of Col. Armstrong. For the next 9
months, Lewis fought Tories and Indians. For 3 months,Lewis served as an
Indian spy with the job of scouting out Cherokee Indian Villages.
Indians in North carolina had started
out peaceful. In 1775, a shawnee delegation came to the Cherokee, and
asked them to join them in raids of he White man settlements west of the
Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, but the Cherokee refused. In july
1776, Dragging Canoe attcked the Watauga settlements starting a war that
would last for over 3 years
The year 1780 was a big year for Lewis.
Lewis met his first wife and had twin daughters. Lewis's first wife is
unknown. Also In 1780, Lewis joined the command of Benjamin Cleveland.
For the next year, Lewis would participate in over 100 Tory skirmishes,
and help capture the most Tories captured in NC. Although Cleveland was at
Kings Mountain, Lewis doesn't mention Kings Mountain in his pension so its
unclear whether he was there or not.
In 1781, Lewis joined with other Nc militia
groups under the command of Nathaniel Greene, commander of the Continental
army in the Southern campaign. In February 1781, Greene wrote Thomas
Jefferson, governor Of Virginia a letter saying" We stand ten chances to
one getting defeated by British should we ever engage them. Should we be
defeated, all the Southern states will fall.
On March 12, 1781, Greene decided to engage
the British at Guilford Courthouse. Lewis was part of the 1000 Nc militia
under the command of brigadier General John Butler and Col. Thomas Eaton.
the Nc militia was the first line of defense located behind a rail line
with woods to their rear.
In the center of the first line was two
small artilery pieces, probably two 3 Pounder cannons also nicknamed
Grasshoppers because they hopped like grasshoppers when fired. they could
fire on the British while they crossed the open fields. The front left
flank was supported by Henry lee's Cavalry legion's, and Col.
Richard Campbell's Continentals. The right front flank was supported by
William Washington's cavalry, and a group of Continental sharpshooters
under the command of Col. Charles Lynch.
On March 15, 1781, the battle of Guilford
Courthouse took place. the Nc Line fired two volleys at the British and
then fled during a bayonet charge when teh British kept coming towards
them. Greene would end up losing this battle only because he was the first
to leave the field of battle. Historians say that Greene could have won
thee battle if he had performed more aggressive maneuvers such as throwing
both front flanks agaisnt British Commanders Ohara and Leslie during a
period of battle confusion which would have destroyed most of the British
At the end of the battle of Guilford
Courthouse, 93 British soldiers were killed, 413 wounded and 26 captured.
Although Greene officially lost the battle he had wounded one- third of
teh British army. Also no Southern state would fall due to this defeat as
Greene had previously feared would happen.
Lewis moved back to Surry county Nc after
this battle. In 1790, lewis Married Catherine Moon and had 1 child from
this Union. By 1810, lewis had moved to Claiborne county TN. In 1832,
Lewis would apply for a Revolutionary war pension for his service in the
On March 6, 1843, at the age of
93,Lewis died and was buried at Rogers cemetery located in Speedwell Tn.
Lewis lived a long and fruitful life. During his lifetime, Lewis protected
settlers aginst Indians , helped stop Tory domination of western North
Carolina, and participated in one of the bloodiest battles that the
British would ever engage in. The British demise at Guilford courthouse
kept other southern states from falling under British control, and help
lead to an American Victory at Yorktown.