Having served the entire Revolutionar War (1775-1781), in Pennsylvania, Valley Forge, New Jersey, Hudson River, NY, and Charleston, SC, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Mebane was killed a few days before the Yorktown victory. The location is believed to have been Williams Township in the northeast corner of Chatham County, NC. He was 36 years old. Here is an eyewitness account testified in court by Private William C. Smith in 1833:
After they were discharged and on their way home Col. Mabane his [Smith’s] captain and several others were going on to Wake County where they all lived, they came across a tory in an old field who Col. Mabane knew and the Col. Swore he would take him or his life. He charge upon him and the tory broke and run and Col. Mabane after him on his horse through the old field, in the field there was a gully and some grape vines had grown over it. Col. Mabane went to charge the gully and his horse got entangled and in it & fell and threw him. The tory turned and shot Col. Mabane as he was getting up and killed him. We buried Col. Mabane and this applicant returned home to Wake County, North Carolina. [Smith:1833:Draper:VV:10:160–161].
The Tory's name was Henry Hightower. He was arrested, tried, and executed. After the war, the state of North Carolina awared Mebane's estate 7200 acres near present-day Nashville, TN [NCSAMARS:1786] [Bockstruck:1996] [Burgner:1990].