Huggins Plantation


In June 1780, patriot Colonel James Williams, escaping from the advance of the British Legion into the Ninety Six District, served for a while as an officer under Thomas Sumter. After a few weeks, he asked to separate from Sumter’s command and to take a few men and some supplies so he could work his way back toward his home region near Ninety Six. Williams soon joined up with Colonel Charles McDowell at Cherokee Ford. From there, he joined in an expedition with Colonel Isaac Shelby of North Carolina’s Overmountain region and Colonel Elijah Clarke of Georgia’s backcountry (Wilkes County) against a mustering of loyalist at Musgrove’s Mill. After the patriot victory there, these patriot militiamen learned of the British victory at Camden. These men had to ride hard into North Carolina to escape the British advance. They took with them about 70 loyalist prisoners. After reaching Gilbert Town, Shelby and Clarke each rode to their respective homes. They asked Williams to escort the prisoners to Hillsborough. When Williams arrived there and reported on the battle, he was highly lauded for the victory for which he reported he was only partially responsible. Nevertheless, the praise thus lavished garnered for him a commission by Governor Rutledge to requisition supplies as needed. On September 8, it also earned him a commission from North Carolina’s governor Abner Nash to recruit militiaman in Caswell County. (Caswell County was created from the northern half of Orange County in 1777; it included today’s Caswell and Person counties.) Williams had been there recently delivering some of his household goods to his brother to keep safe in the face of marauding Tories in the Little River district.

Two of William’s South Carolina officers, Colonel Thomas Brandon and Major Samuel Hammond, were also recruiting militiamen in Rowan County, North Carolina, particularly among those who had withdrawn from South Carolina and Georgia in the advance of General Cornwallis and the emboldening of Tories in the backcountry. On September 23, Major Hammond issued “A Call to Arms: Beef, Bread & Potatoes.” He established a camp for the rendezvous of these displaced militiamen. Recruits were to assemble at Huggins Plantation a “few miles from Capt. Brannon’s Tavern, near the road leading westwardly to Torrence’s Crossroads.” That site is today in Iredell County, which was carved from Rowan County in 1788.

Current research shows three landowners named Huggins not far from a crossroads near the Torrence Tavern. (Accounting for name changes to geographic sites across generations, these facts are plausible evidence.) That road led to Beattie’s Ford across the Catawba River. Another road nearby led northwest to Sherrill’s Ford. The Huggins land was in the headwaters of Rocky River and Coddle Creek. Today that land would be just northeast of downtown Mooresville, to the south of North Main Street (NC Hwy 152) as it runs out to NC Hwy 150.

[Huggins Plantation 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

Huggins Plantation location near Mooresville

Three property owners named Huggins lived in the headwaters of Rocky River and Coddle Creek. These may have been the "Higgins Plantation" where militiamen from South Carolina and Georgia rendezvoused for enlisting under Colonel James Williams during September 1780. [View Additional File Details]

Torrence's Crossroads

Torrence's Crossroads was near Torrence's Tavern which was burned in 1781 by Lt. Col. Banaster Tarleton. This location at the intersection of Langtree Rd. and NC 115 southwest of Morresville, is a landmark referenced by Major Samuel Hammond in relation to the camp for refugee militiamen at Huggins plantation. The marker is across NC 115 from the Mt. Mourne Fire Department. [View Additional File Details]

Huggins Plantations east of Mooresville, NC

The "Higgins" plantations were probably property owned by three Huggins families in the headwaters of Rocky River and Coddle Creek east of today's Mooresville. The mustering site for militia refugees was probably to the south (left in this photo) of NC Hwy 152 from NC Hwy 150 into Mooresville.. | Creator: photo by Randell Jones [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones (, “Huggins Plantation,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed January 20, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​69.​
View a Random Story
Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | NextX

Share this Story