Thomas Wade

Commander of the Anson County Militia


N.C.-born Thomas Wade owned and worked land in Virginia and South Carolina, but around age 50 moved to his wife’s home county of Anson in North Carolina. He bought a tavern near the courthouse and more land, and became a court justice. Active in rebel organizations just before the war, he was elected to the Provincial Congress and helped create the local Patriot militia. He was its commander from March 1776 through the end of the war. Much of that time he was a colonel in the multi-county Salisbury District, and a member of the state Board of War. As such he worked close to home suppressing Loyalist (“Tory”) activity, supervising prisoners, helping the poor, and gathering supplies for the Continental armies. Wade’s home at Mt. Pleasant (near modern Wadesboro) was raided and used as a headquarters by local Tories in 1780, who stole a large amount of money and crops. He was most active militarily as part of the Tory War after the main British army in the South left for Virginia. In 1781, angered by the killing of a captured boy he had befriended, Wade led his company in avenging the death by killing many of the Tories involved and destroying their properties. Wade was a leader at the battles of Beattie’s Bridge, Raft Swamp, and Lindley’s Mill. After the war he was in the state General Assembly and was sheriff of Anson County. He died of illness three years after the war ended, and is buried at Mt. Pleasant.

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