The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge

Re-enactors at the Moore’s Creek Battlefield. Image from the National Park Service

On February 27, 1776, Loyalist forces commanded by Colonel Donald McDonald discovered a Patriot encampment near Moore’s Creek that, unbeknownst to them, had been abandoned although the campfires were left burning.

A Loyalist force of almost 2,000 Tories, many of whom were former Scottish Highlanders, prepared to pursue an army believed to be retreating across the narrow bridge over Moore’s Creek.  At the same time, a Patriot force of more than 1,000 men commanded by Colonels James Moore, Richard Caswell and Alexander Lillington greased planks along the bridge and built platforms above the creek to ambush the enemy.

Just after sunrise, the Loyalists, led by Lieutenant Colonel Donald McLeod, stormed the bridge. In the subsequent ambush, confusion gave way to slaughter as 900 Loyalists were killed, wounded or captured.

The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge was pivotal, often referred to as the “Lexington and Concord of the South.” Without Loyalist forces to protect the colonial government of Governor Josiah Martin, the royal system collapsed, allowing Patriot leaders the chance to establish a fledgling state government. The Patriot victory also denied Britain use of North Carolina’s ports, which were logistically significant.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 911 other followers

%d bloggers like this: