Capt. Thomas Caldwell, of Irish parentage, was born in the eastern part of Mecklenburg county, (now Cabarrus), in 1753. He early espoused the cause of liberty, and entered the service in 1775, in Capt. John Springs’ company as a private, and marched to the protection of the frontier settlements from the murderous and plundering incursions of the Cherokee Indians.
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He again joined the service in Capt. Ezekiel Polk’s company and marched against the Tories in South Carolina, near the post of Ninety-Six. In 1776, he volunteered under Captain William Alexander, Colonels Adam Alexander and Robert Irwin, General Rutherford commanding; marched to the Quaker Meadows, at the head of the Catawba River, and thence to the Cherokee country, beyond the mountains. After severely chastising the Indians, killing a few, and laying waste their country, causing them to sue for peace, the expedition returned.
In 1870, he was appointed Captain by General Thomas Polk to assist in opposing the advance of Lord Cornwallis.
After Cornwallis left Charlotte, in October, 1780, he raised a company, placed himself under Colonel Williams, of South Carolina, and fought under him and Colonel Lee, at Pyles’ defeat, on Haw River. He also acted for some time as Quartermaster, at the Hospital, in Charlotte.
In 1781 he volunteered under Colonel Davie, and was with him at the battle of Hanging Rock.
This was Captain Caldwell’s last important service.
The distinguished physician, Dr. Charles Caldwell, also of Irish parentage, and nearly related to Captain Thomas Caldwell, was born in the immediate vicinity of Poplar Tent Church, in Cabarrus county, on land now owned by Colonel Thomas H. Robinson, a worthy son of Dr. John Robinson, D.D., who so long and faithfully proclaimed the gospel of salvation to this congregation. No vestige of the family mansion now remains, but its site is easily recognized at the present time by a large fig bush, growing at or near where the chimney formerly stood, as a lingering memento of the past, and producing annually its delicious fruit.
Although this eminent physician, in his ardent pursuit of material Philosophy, wandered for many years “after strange gods,” until much learning made him mad; yet, it is pleasing to know, in his maturer age, and under calm reflection, the early gospel precepts so impressingly instilled into his youthful mind by his pious parents, yielded at length their happiest results, and that he died at the Medical College of Louisville, in Kentucky, in 1853, full of years and of honors, and in the faith of his fathers, many of whom sleep in the graveyard of Poplar Tent Church.