Hanging Rock. Making a Connection.

Troiani Prince of WalesDuring the process of researching the Battle of Hanging Rock for our donation, a friend and co worker, Brooks Lyles,made me aware of a member of the SAR Chapter he belonged to, that was related to a man that actually fought there. Brooks, of Leavenworth, KS, member of the Kansas SAR and APG  put me in contact with Mr. Bennett Dickson, ancestor of Capt. David Reid. Bennett did some extensive research on Capt Reid and  presented it to the SAR. He graciously  provided it to us for our blog.

Hanging Rock Captain David Reid

Not only does this give is a connection, but the story of proving the provenance is pretty interesting. Perhaps too we’ve preserved his grave.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.


Thanks very much for reaching out to me. Brooks gave me a heads up. Captain David Reid of Mecklenburg County is my 5th Great Grandfather and was mortally wounded on Aug 6, 1780 at Hanging Rock. He died on the battlefield and was presumably buried on the battlefield in an unknown grave. I am attaching my presentation which was a report on what I learned about the Battle of Hanging Rock and my efforts to have the SAR recognize him as a Patriot of the American Revolution.

Within the family, we have known for years that he was killed at Hanging Rock and it came to a surprise to me that both the DAR and the SAR did not acknowledge him as a Patriot. He was a wealthy land owner and renowned horse breeder in Mecklenburg and served in a Troiani Americam Militiamannumber of local offices, including the Militia. His probate records have survived and are considerable. His contemporaries recalled his contributions and his sacrifice was recognized in Mecklenburg for at least one or two generations. But as time passed, he was forgotten.

One of my challenges was to document that my ancestor David Reid was the same David Reid who was killed at Hanging Rock. I did this by demonstrating where his land was and that he was a member of the Militia. This was necessary because there were several David Reed/Reid in that part of NC and SC. I have other information that I can send if you’d like.

I was likewise surprised when I took a trip to the battlefield. I wasn’t expecting docents, reenactor demonstrations, and curio shops; but when I found the telephone poles that marked the state park, I realized that the world had moved on. I spent 25 years as an Infantry Officer commanding from Platoon level to Battalion. I have visited battlefields across the planet including a few where friendly and unfriendly fire was being exchanged. When I walked the battlefield within the State Park, I thought that something was wrong. The lay of the ground, and the accounts that I had read did not match, and the terrain as described was not tactically sound, even for the era of the Revolution. The chart in my presentation was my interpretation of what the dispositions might have been. Subsequently, I found a map (attached) in the Draper Manuscripts that was drawn when witnesses were still living in the area. This is the most accurate map that I have found and I favor it over my initial attempt. I hope that you have seen it.

Let me know what else might be helpful.


Hanging Rock Battlefield Drawing



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