Guilford Battle List R-Z

List of Patriot Participants ~ “R” through “Z”

The Greensboro Library has compiled a list of soldiers in the battle.

You may submit a known participant’s name, but please give the following information: (1) name, (2) dates & places of birth & death, (3) county & state of residence at the time of the battle, and (4) references to documentation. Submissions should be  less than 50 words in length. The text of a pension application or other lengthy document can be submitted to the NCGW Archives, and the name can be linked to that item. Thank you!

Those who died in the battle, or soon afterwards as a result of their wounds, will be shown with their names in red.

JOHN RANKIN ~ fought in a group led by Captain John Forbis who lived on the Alamance with neighbors Allisons, Kerrs, Paisleys, Wileys and others. Presbyterian minister David Caldwell said “I have frequently heard the bravery of two very young men on that day spoken of. The men were John Rankin and John Allison. A number were assembled in the morning at the house of Allison’s father, mostly females and old men. Allison’s house was about two miles to the left of Greene’s army and when the big guns began to fire, these young men sprang to their rifles. The females, divining their intention, laid hold on them, and, crying and shrieking begged them not to go; but they freed themselves from the hold of their friends, and ran to join their companions. They fell in with Col. Campbell’s mountaineers and fought with them until they retreated, after which they were fired at by a company of British regulars, but escaped unhurt.” [“The Old North State in 1776,” Vol. 1 & 2, by Caruthers, pp. 141 & 146; “Life of David Caldwell,” by Caruthers, pp. 230-34]

LEWIS RICKS ~ “Lewis Ricks was born in 1741 in Nansemond Co. VA. He died on 15 Mar 1781. Drafted into the Army of the Revolution, he was killed in the Battle of Guilford Court House. Lewis was a Quaker and did not believe in shedding human blood, and it was said by his brother William, who was in the battle with him, that he stuck his gun into the ground and went into the battle without his arms, and that was the last seen of him by his brother….” (unsourced family story)

WILLIAM RICKS ~ see listing for his brother Lewis

AMOS ROBERTS ~ see information

JAMES SCALES ~ see information

CAPT. ARTHUR SCOTT ~ see: pension application

ISHAM SHARP ~ see information

ROBERT SHAW ~ see pension application

CAPT. ANTHONY SINGLETON ~ in command of the six-pounder cannons astride New Garden Road, in the center of the first American line of battle. (p. 9, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

JAMES SMITH ~ see pension application:

CAPT. JOHN SMITH ~ of the First Maryland Regiment, killed Lt. Col. James Stuart of the Second Battalion, Queen’s Guards, “during the hand-to-hand fighting on the third line field.” [pp. 68-69, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker]

JOHN SMITHWICK ~ of Martin County, NC; declaration made before court 7 June 1832 that he served as a private in cavalry at Battle of Guilford Courthouse; pension certified 13 March 1833. [No source citation given.]

JOHN SPENCE ~ died 1791 in Greensville County, Virginia. John Davis of Greene County, Ohio, returned to Greensville County in 1835 to visit relatives, and gave depositions on behalf of the heirs of John Spence, stating Spence enlisted in 1779, was in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, was at Deep River, then Petersburg, and returned to Greensville County after the Yorktown siege of Cornwallis. Deposition names John, Delila, & Bart Spence as heirs of John Spence. (Greensville County, Virginia, Order Book 9, pages 231 & 245)

JOSEPH STARKEY ~ see: pension application

BRIG. GEN. EDWARD STEVENS ~ born 1745 in Culpepper County, Virginia. He was one of the two commanders – the other being Robert Lawson – of the 1200 Virginia militiamen in the second line, posted in the forest about three hundred yards to the rear/east of the first line. Stevens was severely wounded during the battle, but recovered and rejoined the army at Yorktown. He served eight years in the Virginia legislature following the War. A marker was erected at the park in his honor. (pp. 37-39, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

GEORGE STEWART ~ of Guilford County was a son-in-law to Thomas Major who died in Guilford County in 1789. George is found in land records with wife named Mary and/or Martha. At least one pension record of another Revolutionary War soldier said he was in the unit of Capt George Stewart at Guilford Courthouse.

RICHARD TALIAFERRO ~ “Among Winston’s ‘Surry County Boys’ were Richard Taliaferro and Jesse Franklin. Both had ridden horses to Guilford Courthouse and had tied them nearby. When the final retreat began, both men ran for their mounts. Franklin made good his escape, but Taliaferro was killed by pursuing British cavalry. Richard Taliaferro was probably the last American casualty of the battle of Guilford Courthouse.” (p. 78, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker) According to Jesse Brock’s account, Richard Taliaferro was killed before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse …. []

CAPT. JAMES TATE ~ c1742 – 1781; commander of a company of Virginia militia from Augusta County, which was supporting Lee’s cavalry in the skirmish at the first American line at New Garden Road. Tate was killed that morning, and originally buried where he fell, but his remains were moved to the park in 1891, and a marker placed there. p. 12, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

BENJAMIN THACKSTON ~ c. 11 Apr 1758, Lunenburg County VA – 26 Apr 1832, Prince Edward County VA; fought at Guilford Courthouse as a dragoon with Capt. Thomas Watkins’ Troop of Dragoons from Virginia.  Parents were James and Mary Thackston. Married Elizabeth Ann Chambers on 7 Feb 1782, and had 11 children.  company info source & pension application

JOHN THOMPSON ~ from Botetourt County, Virginia. Records in the National Archives state he served at the Battle Of Guilford Courthouse, according to a descendant.

ADAM TOLAND, drummer ~ from New Castle County, Delaware, he was the drummer for Capt. Kirkwood’s company of light infantry in the Continental Army. His brother John was killed at Guilford Courthouse. Adam survived the war. pp. 60-62, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

PVT. JAMES TOLAND ~ from New Castle County, Delaware, he belonged to Capt. Kirkwood’s company of light infantry in the Continental Army. pp. 60-62, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

MAJ. ST. GEORGE TUCKER ~ a 29-year-old native of Bermuda and militia officer with Lawson’s Virginians, he wrote a letter home to his wife which described some of the events of that day. He later became a successful lawyer, judge, writer, and inventor. [“Guilford Courthouse: Nathanael Greene’s Victory in Defeat, March 15, 1781,” by John Hairr; pp. 107-108]

ANDREW WALLACE ~ c.1757, Lexington, Rockbridge County VA – March 1781, Guilford County NC; fought and died at Guilford Courthouse. He appears in numerous family works as a casualty, and is listed in “Known Military Dead During the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783,” by Clarence Stewart Peterson, as a Captain from Virginia.

PVT. JOHN WADKINS/WATKINS ~ was an orphan and raised in Guilford County by his aunt Rachel Wadkins/Watkins. He fought at Guilford Courthouse and also at Cowpens, and died c. 1841 in Habersham County, GA. He married Cynthia Loftis, daughter of John Loftis. They moved from Guilford County to Newberry Co., SC, with her family, and were married there about 1794. They moved to Habersham County about 1811. A Revolutionary War pension application was made in 1855 in Habersham County, GA, by his widow. Pension application: (

LT. COL. WILLIAM WASHINGTON ~ 1752 – 1810; Continental Army 3rd Virginia Dragoons cavalry field officer and battlefield commander; General Greene called Washington “his arm,” indicating his reliance on him; Washington was a second cousin, once removed, of General George Washington. “At Guilford Courthouse, Washington’s cavalry, numbering fewer than one hundred men, were brigaded with Kirkwood’s Delaware company and Col. Charles Lynch’s company of Virginia riflemen to cover the right wing of the first line. When that position gave way, they fell back to a similar position on the second line, before retiring to their final station on the right flank of the third line. When the Second Maryland gave way on the American left, Washington launched a thundering counterattack, riding over the red-coated Guardsmen an instant before the First Maryland struck the British flank. Only blasts of Cornwallis’s cannons saved the redcoats from destruction.” (pp. 73-76, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker) See:

CAPT. THOMAS WATKINS ~ Watkins’s company, a mounted unit recruited in Prince Edward County, Virginia, rode in Washington’s cavalry charge at Guilford Courthouse. (p. 75, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

ISAAC WHITE ~ born 4 Jun 1752, Kent Co. DE; died 18 Aug 1819, Washington Co. TN; married 12 Oct 1775, Guilford Co. NC, Sarah Vaughn.  Sarah was b. 1755, Hanover Co. VA, dau. David Vaughn & Susannah (Wall?).  They had 11 children, of which the first three (Mary, David, William) were born in Guilford.  Isaac lived near the courthouse, possibly across the street, and served in the 1st Division of Capt. William Bethell’s company of NC Militia.  Capt. Bethell gave him a note of introduction dated March 1782, when he moved his family to TN; this note, which refers to his past “very active” service in the 1st Division, has been interpreted to mean that he served in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, and he probably did.

LT. FREDERICK WILLIAMS ~ born c. 1748, died 1831; married Nancy McNabb in Guilford in 1774; reported to have said he served as part of Continental Line in Battle of Guilford Courthouse and other battles in NC.  See:  pension application.

COL. JOSEPH WILLIAMS ~ of Panther Creek Plantation, Surry County, NC. Born 27 Mar 1748, Hanover Co., VA. Married Rebecca Lanier. Member of the 4th NC Provincial Congress. Signer of the Halifax Resolves. Led troops at the Battle of Moore’s Creek, during the Overhill Expedition against the Cherokees allied with the British, and was in command of North Carolina Rifles under Col. Winston at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Led the NC troops in 1782 protecting the Boundary Expedition that surveyed what ultimately became the far western NC-VA and TN-KY boundaries. He resigned his commission as a Colonel in the NC Legion April 1782. Died 11 May 1827, Stokes County, NC.

COL. OTHO HOLLAND WILLIAMS ~ leader of the Maryland Brigade. [“Guilford Courthouse: Nathanael Greene’s Victory in Defeat, March 15, 1781,” by John Hairr; p. 78]

JOSEPH WINSTON ~ “Born June 17, 1746 in Louisa County, Virginia, … moved to Surry County, NC. In 1775 he represented that county in the NC Provincial Congress and was appointed major of the Surry militia. The Surry County contingent was part of the large force of NC militia that served with Greene’s army at Guilford Courthouse…. Winston’s riflemen were among the last troops engaged with the British, holding their hilltop position even after Greene’s Continentals had left the field…. He died in Surry County, NC, on April 21, 1815.” (pp. 77-78, “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park,” by Thomas E. Baker)

SILAS P. WOOTEN ~ appears several places in NC records in late 1700’s. Born 1758-1759 according to information that he gave 16 Jan 1826 on Revolutionary Pension application. Claimed to be 67 years old. Stated he fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Application supported by Anthony Hall and Thomas Lovelady. Lovelady stated: “Wooten enlisted in Halifax County Virginia under Captain Bowyers and Colonel Campbell, that … Wooten served out his full term of enlistment and that he served about two or three months longer and that the said Wooten was in the Battle at Guilford in March, 1781. Wooten stated that he enlisted in January, 1780. That he served honorably through the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and was discharged by Colonel Campbell on April 1, 1781 in Caswell County North Carolina.” (DAR Patriot Index:) Service: VA. Rank: Private. Residence: Halifax Co, VA. Spouse: Phebe Worth. Died 25 Feb 1846, Lawrence Co, KY. Pension #: *S40730, Service Source: *S40730.

HENRY YORK ~ born 6 August 1732. [no further info or source given]

JEREMIAH YORK ~ brother to Henry & Samuel. [no further info or source given]

SAMUEL YORK ~ brother to Henry & Jeremiah. [no further info or source given]