Ongoing Research Projects
Is Joseph Crankfield, Hezekiah's father?
Is Josiah in the Iredale Co., NC letters the same as Joseph?
Was Hezekiah born in Ireland or England?
Dutchman's Creek Research
In reference to the known land transfer of Hezekiah Cranfield where he was given 200 acres of land, tract #2339, July 7 1794 on Dutchman's Creek next to Thomas Cain and John Beeman's, land book #14 page 558 or page 658 along with several other land transfers, I began attempting to find any information I could online. Here are some interesting things I found:
As North Carolina and Virginia were facing a British invasion in May of 1780, both states were solely dependent on calling out their militia. North Carolina managed to raise two companies of Continentals (sometimes called "drafted militiamen" in time for Guilford Courthouse. Virginia sent quite a few men too. Hezekiah is listed as a parolee under Rowan County, NC. According to the National Park Service's Order of Battle, Butler's Brigade included Rowan County men, so I conclude the Hezekiah was on the front line. Below you will find where Hezekiah must have stood in this battle.
Tradition has it that during the Revolutionary War, British General Charles Cornwallis pursued American General Nathaniel Greene through North Carolina to the Yadkin River, south of Davie County, near Salisbury. The American troops had crossed the Yadkin, ahead of Cornwallis, during heavy rains and a rising river. Looking for a more suitable place to cross, Cornwallis led his men north into Davie County. There, they encountered "Dutchman's Creek". The British had built a ford (which is still there), crossed Dutchman's Creek, and marched across the property which is called Pudding Ridge Golf Course today. This golf course is located between Mocksville and Winston-Salem, in the heart of Piedmont, North Carolina and located just four miles from I-40, exit 174. General Cornwallis was heard to remark that the rain soaked soil, on the ridge near Dutchman's Creek, reminded him of English pudding. Thus the name "Pudding Ridge" was established and remains to this day.
Cornwallis then made his way on through Davie County, into neighboring Yadkin County, and finally crossed the Yadkin River at Shallowford, near Huntsville. Greene attacked Cornwallis on March 15, 1781 in Guilford County, near Greensboro, and they fought the historic "Battle of Guilford Courthouse"
The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, which began as a rifle and cannon battle, became a battle of hand-to-hand combat. Sword and bayonet fighting became so intense that Cornwallis gave orders for cannon loads of "grape shot" to be fired into the battle -- just to break it up.
From the War of the Revolution - Ward & Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by Boatner we find: There were two North Carolina brigades of about 500 men each under Brigadier Generals Pinketham Eaton and John Butler. American General Greene placed these men in the first line across the main road along the edge of the enclosed clearing and behind a zig zag rail fence, so that the enemy would have to cross 500 yards of open ground to reach the fence and the militia. When Greene had formed his troops, he walked along the front of the North Carolina militia in the first line and asked that they fire just two rounds before they quit the battle. "Light-Horse Harry" Lee did not know Greene had authorized the North Carolina militia to desert. To our infinite distress and mortification he says the North Carolina militia took to flight, a few only of Eaton's brigade excepted (Captain Forbes's Company) who clung to the militia under Campbell manfully maintained their ground.
There were 536 American men captured in that battle, one of which was our Hezekiah Cranfield. See document from the National Park Service when you click on the Records button on this site's home page. We tend to think of all Revoltionary War soldiers as being in their teens and twenties. Interestingly, as we think of Hezekiah Cranfield as being a bit too old to be in the Revolution, we find that the upper age for service in the Revolution was 50 years, and there may have been many who were older.
http://georgehoward.net has some neat old maps of North Carolina that might be found useful. I found Dutchman's Creek on an 1843 map on the left side, including mention of the "horseshoe" that is where the Boone family had settled, that we often wonder so much about. I found the area again on an 1800 map, but it doesnt name it, it is just shown there.
Dutchman's Creek is in the present day Yadkin and Davie counties of North Carolina.
On a web page no longer existant, it said that land grants by King George II were first issued in the area around 1750. In 1754, a land grant was issued to Dutchman James Kuykendall in the Mount Holly locale known as Dutchman's Creek.
In the National Forest web site, there is Dutchman's Creek Trail, marked with yellow blazes, starts at the same point as the Uwharrie Trail and was constructed as a loop system to be used as an alternate route when hiking the southern portion of the Uwharrie Trail. Dark Mountain on the northern portion of the trail offers an excellent western view. Camping areas along the trail include Woodrun Camp, Yates Place, West Morris Mountain and other primitive camps. Old house places, cemeteries, and gold mines exist along or near the trail. Hikers can thank an old-time trapper's son, Joe Moffit of Asheboro for this trail. He blazed it almost 25 years ago. Moffit grew up in the Uwharries during the Great Depression and learned to live off the land at an early age. Moffit was a scoutmaster when he started the Uwharrie Trail project in 1972 to help his Boy Scouts earn their Eagle rank. They completed the 33-mile path in 1975 and founded the Uwharrie Trail Club. There are plenty of streams in the forest, but all drinking water should be treated with a water purification kit to prevent trail diarrhea. Ticks plague the forest and can be kept at bay with repellent or the new mesh clothing on the market. Always keep a watch for the trophy timber rattlesnakes and copperheads that live in these woods.
Would it be too much to presuppose that Hezekiah might be buried in old of these old abandoned cemeteries or that his house was somewhere within these woods?
Holman's Ford About this time, Daniel Boone moved sixty-five miles west from the Yadkin settlement near Dutchman's Creek, "choosing his final home on the upper Yadkin just above the mouth of Beaver Creek. Colonel James M. Isbell's grandfather, Martin, told him that Daniel Boone used to live six miles below James M. Isbell's present home near the bank of the Yadkin River, on a little creek now known as Beaver Creek, one mile from where it flows into the Yadkin River, near Holman's Ford. The Boone house was in a little swamp and canebrake surrounding the point of a ridge, with but one approach - that by the ridge. The swamp was in the shape of a horse-shoe (*note horseshoe shape in Dutchman's Creek and named that on several maps) with the point of the ridge projecting into it. The foundations of the chimney are still there, and the cabin itself has not been gone more than 52 years. Alfred Foster who owned the land showed Col. Isbell the cabin, which was still there during his boyhood, and he remembered how it looked. His grandmother, the wife of Benjamin Howard, knew Boone well as he often stayed with her father, Benjamin Howard, at the mouth of Elk Creek, now Elkville.