The American Revolution in North Carolina

The Generals
General First Unit Served In As a General From To Notes Known Battles/Skirmishes at This Rank
Armstrong, James New Bern District Brigade of Militia 1781 1781 First a Captain of Militia, then in the New Bern District Minutemen. Then, a Colonel over the 8th NC Regiment and the 4th NC Regiment. 2/7/1781, appointed a Brigadier General by Gen. Assy to replace William Caswell who they thought had resigned. On 2/10/1781, BG William Caswell reinstated by Gen. Assy - his resignation was not factual.
Ashe, John Wilmington District Brigade of Militia 1776 1779 First a Colonel over the Volunteer Independent Rangers. 5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  11/18/1778, commissioned a Major General by Gov. Richard Caswell to command all NC Militia.  Found guilty of negligence in command of his troops at the battle of Briar Creek, GA.  Returned home, resigned in May of 1779.  Later, captured by British, died of Smallpox in their prison on October 24, 1781.  From New Hanover County. Briar Creek (GA).
Benbury, Thomas Edenton District Brigade of Militia 1780 1780 10/22/1780 & 10/30/1780, a known BG Pro Tempore.  BG Isaac Gregory took his brigade westward to help with the recent British invasion of Charlotte. Benbury led the district during Gregory's fairly short absence.
Bryan, William New Bern District Brigade of Militia 1777 1779 Was a Colonel over the Johnston County Regiment of Militia.  Jan. 1777, a Brigadier General.  Resigned after the battle of Briar Creek, GA on 4/27/1779 in letter to Gov. Richard Caswell.  William Caswell replaced him. Briar Creek (GA).
Butler, John Hillsborough District Brigade of Militia 1777 1781 Was a Lt. Colonel over the Orange County Regiment and a Colonel over the Southern Orange County Regiment of Militia. May 1777, replaced Thomas Person, who resigned. Stono Ferry (SC), Little Lynches Creek (SC), Camden (SC), Guilford Court House, Lindley's Mill, Livingston's Creek, Brown Marsh.
Caswell, Richard New Bern District Brigade of Militia 1776 1783 Was a Colonel over the New Bern District Minutmen. 5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  First Governor of NC 1777-1780. 4/10/1780, commissioned as the second Major General over all NC Militia. Dismissed in September 1780.  1/31/1781, reappointed as Major General to lead all NC Militia again.  Kept a low profile thereafter. From Dobbs County. Little Lynches Creek (SC), Camden (SC).
Caswell, William New Bern District Brigade of Militia 1779 1783 Was an Ensign and a Captain in the NC Continental Line. Commissioned as a Brigadier General on 5/9/1779.  Took over after BG William Bryan resigned after the battle of Briar Creek (GA). Son of Richard Caswell.   Rockfish Creek.
Davidson, William Lee Salisbury District Brigade of Militia 1780 1781 Was a Major and a Lt. Colonel in the NC Continental Line. September 5, 1780, commissioned as BG (ProTempore) of Militia after Griffith Rutherford was captured at the battle of Camden, SC on August 16, 1780.  He insisted on retaining his Continental commission as well. He was killed at the battle of Cowan's Ford on February 1, 1781. Cowan's Ford (Killed).
Eaton, Thomas Halifax District Brigade of Militia 1779 1781 Was a Colonel over the Bute County Regiment of Militia and the Warren County Regiment of Militia.  Appointed 11/4/1779 as BG Pro Tempore, to replace Allen Jones, away on business.  Re-appointed as BG Pro Tempore in early 1781. Returned to being Colonel over the Warren County Regiment of Militia. Guilford Court House.
Gregory, Isaac Edenton District Brigade of Militia 1779 1783 Was a Colonel of the 2nd Pasquotank County Regiment of Militia then the Camden County Regiment of Militia. Promoted when BG John Pugh Williams resigned 5/15/1779.  Focused on defending the Albemarle Region with ~600 men. Wounded twice at the battle of Camden, SC. Little Lynches Creek (SC), Camden (SC).
Harrington, Henry William Salisbury District Brigade of Militia 1780 1780 Was a Colonel over the Richmond County Regiment of Militia. July 1780, appointed as BG Pro Tempore when Griffith Rutherford left NC to join Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, then was captured at the battle of Camden, SC.  Resigned 11/3/1780, when General Assembly replaced him with BG Pro Tempore William Lee Davidson.  However, he continued to "help out" between Anson County and the coast. Cheraw (SC).
Hogun, James NC Brigade
(Continentals)
1779 1781 First a Major in the Halifax County Regiment of Militia. Then, a Colonel over the 7th NC Regiment.  1/9/1779, a Brigadier General.  Commandant of Philadelphia from January to November 1779. POW at the Fall of Charleston.  Died at Haddrell's Point on January 4, 1781 of ill health. Siege of Charleston (SC).
Howe, Robert NC 2nd Brigade
(Continentals)
1776 1783 First a Colonel over the Brunswick County Regiment of Militia. Then, a Colonel over the 2nd NC Regiment.  Commissioned Brigadier General on April 10, 1776 in the NC Continental Line. Promoted to Major General (10/20/1777) over the Southern Department. Replaced by Benjamin Lincoln on 12/4/1778.  Rejoined the Northern Department under Maj. Gen. George Washington on May 19, 1779, but was incapacitated due to injuries for over a month.  Served until the end of the war. BLWt856-1100. Ft. Moultrie #1, Florida Expedition 1776, many more in northern department.
Jones, Allen Halifax District Brigade of Militia 1776 1783 Was a Colonel over the Northampton County Regiment of Militia.  5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  11/23/1776, given command of the newly-created two Regiments of Volunteers in anticipation of another British invasion of the South.  1781, NC delegate to Continental Congress. While away, Thomas Eaton was BG Pro Tempore until he returned home.
Kenan, James Wilmington District Brigade of Militia 1781 1781 Was a Colonel over the Duplin County Regiment of Militia. 7/1/1781, a Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) of Militia for a short time during the absence of BG John Alexander Lillington. Returned as the Colonel/Commandant of the Duplin County Regiment of Militia. Rockfish Creek. 
Lillington, John Alexander Wilmington District Brigade of Militia 1779 1782 Was a Colonel over the Wilmington District Minutemen. 2/12/1779, replaced John Ashe, who was promoted Major General.  Jan. 1781, had ~600 men.  Same in Aug. 1781. Briar Creek (GA), Heron's Bridge, Webber's Bridge.
McDowell, Charles Morgan District Brigade of Militia 1782 1783 Was a Lt. Colonel in the 2nd Rowan County Regiment of Militia, then a Colonel over the Burke County Regiment of Militia. 5/17/1782, appointed as the first BG for the newly-created district of Morgan. Cherokee Expedition 1782.
Mebane, Alexander NC State 1780 1783 Commissary General with the alleged rank of Brigadier General.
Moore, James NC 1st Brigade
(Continentals)
1776 1777 First a Colonel over the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia. Then, a Colonel over the 1st NC Regiment. Commissioned Brigadier General on April 10, 1776.  Died from gout on April 15, 1777. Another source says he died on 4/22.
Nash, Francis NC Brigade
(Continentals)
1777 1777 Lt. Colonel on 9/1/1775.  4/10/1776, promoted to Colonel. Promoted to Brigadier General on Feb. 5, 1777.  Mortally wounded at Germantown on Oct. 4, 1777, died on Oct. 7th. Brandywine Creek (PA), Germantown (PA).
Person, Thomas Hillsborough District Brigade of Militia 1776 1777 5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  Resigned in May 1777, replaced by John Butler. Born in VA, lived in Granville County.  
Pickens, Andrew Salisbury District Brigade of Militia 1781 1781 Was a Colonel in SC, promoted to Brig. Gen. (SC) after the battle of Cowpens, SC (1/17/1781). After the death of Brig. Gen. (Pro Tempore) William Lee Davidson on 2/1, the Colonels of the Salisbury District "elected" Andrew Pickens to lead them since he was a recently appointed Brig. Gen. in SC with no men to lead.  He was active in February and very early March only, and went home prior to the battle of Guilford C.H. Haw River, Whitesell's Mill.
Ramsey, Ambrose Hillsborough District Brigade of Militia 1779 1781 Was a Colonel over the Chatham County Regiment of Militia. 1779, BG Pro Tempore while John Butler in SC. March 1781, BG Pro Tempore over Salisbury District Brigade of Militia for the battle of Guilford Court House. Back to Colonel. Guilford Court House.
Rutherford, Griffith Salisbury District Brigade of Militia 1776 1783 Was Colonel over the Rowan County Regiment of Militia then the 1st Salisbury District Minutemen. 5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  Captured at battle of Camden on Aug. 16, 1780.  Exchanged on 6/14/1781. Returned to active duty for the duration of the war. Little Lynches Creek (SC), Camden (SC), McDowell's Station, Brush Creek, Brick House, Evacuation of Wilmington.
Simpson, John New Bern District Brigade of Militia 1780 1780 Elected BG (Pro Tempore) in 1780.  Known 8/3/1780. Very short time.
Skinner, William Edenton District Brigade of Militia 1777 1779 Was a Lt. Colonel in the Perquimans County Regiment of Militia. Commissioned 12/20/1777 after the death of Edward Vail, Sr.  Resigned 5/10/1779. 
Smallwood, William NC Militia 1780 1780 9/5/1780, appointed as Major General over all NC Militia.  From Maryland.  This appointment really angered a lot of NC officers. When Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene arrived in December of 1780, he realized the problem and sent Smallwood back home.
Sumner, Jethro NC Brigade
(Continentals)
1779 1783 First a Major in the Halifax District Minutemen. 4/15/1776, a Colonel over the 3rd NC Regiment. Promoted to Brigadier General on January 9, 1779.  Sick and absent during the Siege of Charleston, SC.  In the Fall of 1780, he was pursuaded to take over much of the NC Militia, reporting to Maj. Gen. Richard Caswell.  When Caswell was dismissed in favor of MG William Smallwood (MD), he soon resigned.  In early 1781, Maj. Gen. Nathanael Green convinced him to ressurrect the NC Continentals, which he then led.  His horse was shot from under him during battle of Eutaw Springs (SC). Served until the end of the war. Stono Ferry (SC), Eutaw Springs (SC).
Vail, Edward Edenton District Brigade of Militia 1776 1777 Was a Colonel over the Edenton District Minutemen. 5/4/1776, a Brigadier General.  Died 6/5/1777.  Not replaced until 12/20/1777 - William Skinner.
Williams, John Pugh Edenton District Brigade of Militia 1779 1779 First a Captain in the Edenton District Minutement, then a Captain in the NC Continental Line. 1778, a Colonel in the Bertie County Regiment of Militia. 5/12/1779, a Brigadier General.  Resigned three days later on 5/15/1779.


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