Christoper Newport University is a place of learning and a place of history. Hampton Roads Virginia is full of history every where you look this region has shaped United States history and made it. The Newport News dockyards produced ships for World War II. Williamsburg Virginia was the first capitol of Virginia and Yorktown was the final victory of the American Revolution. However, this article is not to focus on those aspects, but a pecular battle known as The Skrimish at Water's Creek, or the Battle of Noland if you listen to the popular blabbering of Students on the Noland Trail.
The Skrimish at Waters Creek occured in late 1781. In the closing days of the war General Cornwallis sent around 300 british forgers to Newport News to gain supplies. Alerted by the raid, Captain Francis Mallory organized a resistance that ambushed the forgers at Tompkins Bridge. During the battle Mallory was mortally wounded and British captain Brown was injured as well. The battle held off the British forgers and was able to stop them from gaining valuable munitions. Also, Francis Mallory should be explored in a broader context.
His example at organizing a militia to oppose British forgers is particularly important because he is like other great partisan revolutionarys in the war. Like the Grey Ghost of South Carolinia who is explored in the film The Patriot starting Mel Gibson, Mallory was able to organize a group of Hampton buthers, blacksmiths, and yeomen farmers to fend off British Regulars during this battle.
There are many examples of partisan warfare in the American Revolutionary War, but I perfer the example of Francis Mallory and his partisan raiders above all others, because unlike other partisans they organized only when there was a threat of incoming danger. Like Paul Rivere and other great legends these men should be remembered, but often are not because they are an historical footnote.
In recent years the section of the battle has been closed off and made into a nature trail called the Noland Nature Trail. A man-made lake, Lake Maury has flooded most of the original battlesite, included the creek, this battle was named after. This has led to a popular new name of the battle, "The Noland Battlefield" While there is only one marker here and it refers to the Skrimish at Waters Creek, the actual name of the battle, at CNU a popular movement is underway to get a new historical marker placed on the trail for the American and British soldiers who died that day in 1781. In my opinion this plaque should reference the popular new name of the battle, The Noland Battlefield, because the site is now called Noland. While the area wasn't called Noland during the Revolutionary War, it now is, and the entire location of the battle has been flooded by lake Maury. There should be some kind of marker on the nature trail that reconizes that while this battle was called "Skrimish at Waters Creek" it is now on the Noland Trail and should be remembered as "The Noland Battle"