Beattie's Ford


After riding north all day September 27, 1780, from Tusckaseegee Ford, the patriot militiamen under colonels Thomas Sumter and William Graham reached Beattie’s Ford (also Baty, Beatty, and Beatie). There they received a reply to their earlier express sent to advise General William Lee Davidson of their intentions to join him. Davidson sent word that a large force of militia was gathering at Quaker Meadows from both the west and the east of the mountains with the intention of confronting British Major Patrick Ferguson. Davidson had learned this from a communication sent to him by patriot Colonel Charles McDowell, who had ridden ahead of the march of Overmountain Men to make just such preparations. This news from General Davidson changed the militiamen’s plans. Sumter and Graham decided to ride west and to join with Campbell, Shelby, and Cleveland. They crossed back to the west side of the Catawba River at Beattie’s Ford and made camp.

[Beattie's Ford is not an official site along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, but it is part of the story told about patriot militia pursuing British Major Patrick Ferguson to what became the Battle of Kings Mountain.]

Images Show

Beattie's Ford on the Catawba River

Beattie's Ford was a prominent and convenient crossing point on the Catawba River for travelers journeying west from Salisbury to Ramsour's Mill (in today's Lincolnton).. | Source: base map: detail from "A Map of North Carolina from the best authorities" 1794 by Harrison source: [View Additional File Details]

Beattie's Ford Bridge

When Lake Norman was created in 1963, Beattie™s Ford Bridge was removed. It carried NC Hwy 73 across the Catawba River. Today, on the west side of the lake, Old Highway 73 is called Unity Church Road. | Source: “Beatties Ford Bridge (Under Lake Norman),” Davidson College, Archives and Special Collections, Available at:, accessed Dec 29, 2014. [View Additional File Details]

Beatty's Ford Park

Photographs by Randell Jones

At the water™s edge along Unity Church Rd. (Old NC Hwy 73) is Beatty™s Ford Park, which enables visitors a view of the lake from a spot close to the historic crossing point. The former Beatties Ford Bridge was close to three miles upstream from Cowan™s Ford Dam. [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones (, “Beattie's Ford,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed February 28, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​66.​
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