Biographical Sketch of Elijah Alexander

Elijah Alexander, son of William Alexander, blacksmith, was born in Mecklenburg county, N.C., in 1760. In 1819, he moved to Maury county, Tenn., where he died at a good old age. In March, 1780, Colonel Thomas Polk called out detachments from the nearest companies of militia to serve as a guard over the public powder placed in the magazine in Charlotte. He then volunteered for three months under Captain Thomas Alexander.

After Cornwallis crossed the Catawba River at Cowan’s Ford, on the 1st of February, 1781, at which place General Davidson was killed, a call was made for more men to harass the progress of the British army. For this purpose, a rendezvous was made at the “Big Rock” in Cabarrus county, under Colonel William Polk, Major James Harris and Captain Brownfield. At this time, the small-pox broke out in camp, from the effects of which Moses Alexander, a brother of Governor Nathaniel Alexander, died. After the battle of Guilford, on the 15th of March, 1781, General Greene returned to South Carolina to recover full possession of the State. He then joined his army under Captain James Jack (the bearer of the Mecklenburg Declaration to Congress in 1775) and in Colonel Thomas Polk’s regiment. The command marched from Charlotte, along the “Lawyer’s Road,” to Matthew Stewart’s, on Goose Creek, and thence towards Camden, to fall in with General Greene’s army. They halted at the noted “Flat Rock,” and eat beef butchered on that wide-spread natural table. The command then marched to Rugeley’s Mill, where it remained a week or more. After this service he returned home and was honorably discharged.



Hunter, C. L. Sketches of Western North Carolina, Historical and Biographical. 1877.

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