The American Revolution in North Carolina

North Carolina Counties - 1779 to 1783

NC Counties 1775 to 1777

NC Counties 1777 to 1779
 

NC Counties 1783
 


As the new state continued to grow - mostly in the piedmont and the mountains - the state legislators somehow managed to respond fairly adeptly to the needs of its citizens. During the May 1779 session, the General Assembly resolved to create eleven new counties and to abolish two old ones. Randolph County was assigned to the Hillsborough District, even though it's parent county, Guilford, remained part of the Salisbury District.

With the Revolution virtually a stalemate in the North, the British decided to open up a new battlefront in the South. By December of 1778, British forces from East Florida and New York managed to seize and occupy Savannah, Georgia. In the spring of 1779, the British set their sights on Charlestown in South Carolina - but, their forces were repelled. The British would return in early 1780 with many, many more troops, and this time they would not fail.

At the Fall of Charlestown in May of 1780, the greatest portion of North Carolina's troops were captured and imprisoned by the British. From then until the end of the war, the government in North Carolina was ever fearful of a British invasion of the Old North State, and as feared Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis invaded after the battle of Cowpens (SC), in January of 1781, to chase after Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan it their famous "race to the Dan River." At the same time, Lt. Gen. Cornwallis ordered Maj. James Craig to go take Wilmington.

After much posturing, the two armies faced each other at the battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. Technically winning, but effectively losing too many soldiers, Lt. Gen. Cornwallis decided to move to the occupied city of Wilmington to rest his men and to decide what to do next. Within two weeks he decided to march his force to join up with other British troops in Yorktown, VA - where he was ultimately defeated in October of 1781.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene returned to South Carolina to rid that state of the remaining British and Loyalists and their many outposts. Additionally, the numerous Loyalist factions within North Carolina finally rose up and let themselves be heard - first while Lord Cornwallis was within the state - then, even after he marched to Virginia.



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