The Waxhaws region is in the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, southwest of the Uwharrie Mountains. The region encompasses an area just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Lancaster, South Carolina; and from Monroe, North Carolina in the east to the Catawba River in the west. The region is generally forested and hilly, but not mountainous. One town in the region has taken on the name, but it is only one site in the region.
Originally known as "the Waxhaw Settlement", the area was named for its first inhabitants, the Waxhaw Tribe. The Waxhaw were almost annihilated by Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no immunity. Secondly, they were destroyed and dispersed by the Yamasee War of 1715, which nearly emptied the region of Native inhabitants.
During the American Revolution, settlers in the Waxhaws fiercely resisted the British, notably under the command of Col. William Davie. British commander General Cornwallis briefly occupied the city of Charlotte - which was then and still is the largest city/settlement in the Waxhaws region - but was driven out soon afterward by hostile residents and local settlers from the surrounding areas. Cornwallis later wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion," and Charlotte still bears the nickname 'The Hornet's Nest.'
The region's most important battle of the Revolution did not involve locals. In what became called the Waxhaw massacre, a Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton severely defeated a force of about 350 Virginian Continentals under Abraham Buford. The battle took place at what is now Buford, South Carolina.
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, was born and raised in the Waxhaws. The exact site of his birth is uncertain; Jackson claimed that it was in a cabin on the South Carolina side of the border. A strong local tradition says that he was born north of the border. James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States, was also born in the Waxhaws district, in the vicinity of what is now Pineville, North Carolina.
During the American Civil War, Sherman's army came through parts of the region.
- "Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial". Archived from the original on 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Louise Pettus. "The Buford Massacre".