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Home North Carolina Montgomery County City of Mount Gilead Historical Markers Colson's Supply Depot

Colson's Supply Depot

NC 109 at Swann Road, Mount Gilead, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 8' 55.3704", -80° 0' 41.6016"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Fortified Revolutionary depot built 1781 to protect supplies and arms of Gen. Nathanael Greene. Trenches are 4 1/2 miles W."
      In January 1781, Nathanael Greene sent orders to Gen. Alexander Lillington of the North Carolina militia to construct a supply depot on a high hill near the east bank of the Pee Dee River. The installation would support Greeneís army as it passed through the area. Greene dispatched Polish engineer, Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, to overlook the construction, and gave Lillington twelve days to complete it.

      The depot stood in the vicinity of William Colsonís mill on Rocky River, and thus became known as Colsonís supply depot. William Colson and his father John operated a tavern, mill, and ferry in the region. Remaining loyal to King George III, the Colson families fled in July 1780 when William Lee Davidsonís Whig militia defeated Samuel Bryanís Tories near John Colsonís ordinary in a fight at Colsonís.

      No description of the structure is known to exist; however, records indicate a stockade was in place, surrounded by trenches. Located on a steep hill, the position maintained a commanding view of the Pee Dee Road (presently the Montgomery-Richmond County Line Road), Colsonís Ferry on the Pee Dee, and the area known as Colsonís Low Grounds to the west.

      The only documented military activity after the construction came shortly after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse when Greeneís army stopped and replenished his supplies en route to South Carolina. The depot remained in active service until the close of the war, when the stores were removed and the post abandoned. Locals began calling the site Fort Hill in the early twentieth-century.

Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. (1886-1890)
Theodore Thayer, Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (1960)
Rockingham Post-Dispatch, September 13, 1962
William S. Powell, Encyclopedia of North Carolina History (2006)
Colson's Supply Depot Historical Marker Location Map, Mount Gilead, North Carolina