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History of Waynesville NC, 28786

Colonel Robert Love, founder of the town of Waynesville, NC, was a Revolutionary War soldier who served under "Mad" Anthony Wayne.  Love named the town in hornor of his Commander Wayne.

July 26, 2014 by Rick Morris

Waynesville, NC was founded 1810 by revolutionary war soldier, Colonel Robert Love, who named the town after his former commander, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (image). 

Love was an American Revolutionary War soldier from Virginia.  He was born in 1760 in Augusta County, Virginia.  He joined the Virginia Militia in 1776, out of present-day Wythe County.  As a member of the North Carolina legislature, Love represented Washington County (now in Tennessee) for one year - 1879.  In 1792, he was elected to the North Carolina state senate.

Love once challenged a man to a duel after an argument broke out over the matter of a horse race.  Both were duelists, but the man he challenged declined to partake.  That man would later become the President of the United States.  His name... Andrew Jackson, who would never turn down another duel.

In 1789, Colonel Robert Love was a delegate to the Fayetteville convention and voted in favor of ratifying the Constitution.

In 1809, Love, now a wealthy man and the first elected Justice of the Peace for Haywood County, donated the land where the courthouse currently rests.  His original donation was for a courthouse, jail, and town square.  He sold lots to help pay for the Courthouse construction.  The area was called Mount Prospect.  Shortly thereafter, the new town was renamed "Waynesville". 

Love died in 1845 in Waynesville, NC and is buried in the town's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Monument in Waynesville, NC honoring the spot where Waynesville founder Colonel Robert Love and future Presidnet Andrew Jackson almost settled an argument with a duel.Anthony Wayne (1745 - 1796) was a U. S. Army General and Statesman. He had a fiery personality and a short temper - thus the nickname "Mad Anthony".  He quickly rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

During his early years, Wayne served with the Continental Army's invasion of Canada, at the aid of Benedict Arnold.  IN 1977 he was promoted to Brigadier General and served as commander of the Pennsylvania Line. 

Later he lead the attack at the Battle of Monmouth against the British. He was awarded a medal by Congress for leading a three-column, light-infantry, night-time bayonet attack and victory at Stony Point.

Wayne survived a mutiny (over pay and conditions) in 1781 while commanding the Pennsylvania Line.  That same year, he led another fearless bayonet charge, this time with Marquis de Lafayette's advance forces at Green Spring (Virginia). 

Picture of "Mad" Anthony Wayne.  Having been surrounded via a trap set by the British (Cornwallis), he ordered his men to fix bayonets and attacked the much larger British forces, winning the battle.  The victory earned Wayne great respect and significantly improved his reputation for being "Mad". 

In 1783, after negotiating a peace treaty with the Creek and Cherokee tribes, way was promoted to Major General (2-star) and provided a gift of land from Georgia. 

After serving for one year in the Pennsylvania state legislature, Wayne retuned to Georgia to live on the land awarded him.  He was a delegate to the state convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution. 

During the early 1790s, Wayne was recalled by President George Washing to head up a new military force called the Legion of the United States.  His job, form an Army and quell the Western Indian Confederacy.

In forming the new Army, Wayne established the first "basic training" for American soldiers.  The new soldiers were sent to Ohio to form "Fort Recovery".  A victory against the British-backed Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Ohio ushered the state into the Union in 1803.

Wayne died from gout in 1796 while returning from a trip in Detroit to Pennsylvania.  He was buried at Erie, but was disinterred in 1809 and moved to a family plot in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

In 1995, the towns of Waynesville and Hazelwood merged, and became Waynesville NC 28786.

"Mad" Anthony Wayne, for which Waynesville, NC is named, statue in Valley Forge National Historical Park.

 

What to See & Do in Waynesville NC

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