William Lee Davidson (1746–1781) was a North Carolina militia general during the American Revolutionary War.
==Origins and education==
William Lee Davidson was born in 1746 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His father moved with his family to Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1750, and William, the youngest son, was educated at Queen’s Museum (later Liberty Hall) in Charlotte.
Active in the war from its inception as adjutant to General Griffith Rutherford during the Snow Campaign in December 1775, he was promoted to major of the Fourth Regiment of the North Carolina line in 1776. He marched with the North Carolina line to the north and was at the Battle of Germantown, after which he was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the Fifth Regiment of the North Carolina line. At Valley Forge with Washington, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Daniel Morgan and others, he became friends with most of the influential military commanders in the Continental Line. Left without a command he had been ordered out for the purpose of preventing the British from crossing the Catawba. Griffith Rutherford appointed Davidson his second in command. Severely wounded at the Battle of Colson’s Mill on July 21, 1780, he did not participate in the Battle of Camden at which Rutherford was captured. Davidson was promoted to brigadier general and given command of Rutherford’s Salisbury District militia. He participated in resisting the entry of Lord Cornwallis into Charlotte in late September 1780. Davidson was killed at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on February 1, 1781 while opposing the re-entry of Cornwallis into North Carolina. General Davidson was trying to rally his men as the lead British and German elements arrived on the near bank. He was killed within minutes as the engagement unfolded. Davidson’s body was recovered by fellow officers later that evening after the battle; and was buried at Hopewell Presbyterian Church located on Beatties Ford Road North of Charlotte.
* Davidson County, North Carolina and Davidson County, Tennessee.
* The town of Davidson, North Carolina.
* Davidson College in North Carolina. His sword once hung in one of its halls.
Congress voted $500 for a monument to him, but it has never been erected.