At the time of the Revolutionary War, about one third of the American colonists were Patriots straining for independence. Another third were Tories or Loyalists, faithful to British rule. The remaining third were unconcerned. This division, and the turmoil and bitterness implicit in it, held true in Davie County and much of the Piedmont, even though North Carolina was one of the first colonies to work for independence.

On October 14, 1780, occurred the first of two battles near the Shallow Ford crossing of the Yadkin River. The site is in Yadkin County about three miles up the river from the Davie-Yadkin line, and while neither battle was in Davie County, each involved and affected Davie County people. This first engagement, entirely a Patriot-Tory fight, is known as the Battle of Shallow Ford or Battle Branch and occurred a short distance west of the ford in present Yadkin County. Apparently, the Tories in the Yadkin River area, taking advantage of the fact that many of the Patriot forces had gone toward Charlotte to help stop Cornwallis, rose in force to overrun the area. The Tory forces, numbering some 300, were commanded by Colonel Gideon Wright of Surry County. After passing through Bethabra, this Tory army headed for the Shallow Ford and Rowan County, intending to pass through the present Davie. Near the Shallow Ford in Yadkin County, the Tories were attacked by Major Cloyd with approximately 160 Virginia and Carolina militia. Fourteen or fifteen (the records differ) Tories were killed and four were wounded. The others fled.