The American Revolution in North Carolina

Thomas Polk

Colonel over the Mecklenburg County Regiment of Militia - 1775
Colonel over the 2nd Battalion of Salisbury District Minutemen - 1775-1776
Colonel over the 4th NC Regiment - 1776-1778
Commissary General for the NC Continental Line - 1780

On September 9, 1775, the NC Provincial Congress appointed Thomas Polk as Colonel/Commandant over the Mecklenburg County Regiment of Militia. Col. Thomas Polk led his regiment at the battle of the Great Cane Brake, SC (12/22/1775) and in the infamous Snow Campaign, SC (12/23-12/30/1775).

On December 21, 1775, the NC Provincial Congress created the 2nd Battalion of Salisbury District Minutemen and appointed Thomas Polk as Colonel/Commandant while he was still in South Carolina on active duty against Loyalists. He led the 2nd Battalion of Salisbury District Minutemen in the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776. All Minutemen regiments were disbanded on April 10, 1776.

On April 15, 1776, the NC Provincial Congress appointed Thomas Polk as Colonel/Commandant over the newly-created 4th NC Regiment (NC Continental Line). He led the 4th NC Regiment against British forces at the skirmish known as Fort George on Bald Head Island on September 6, 1776. He led his regiment at the battles of Brandywine Creek, PA (9/11/1777) and Germantown, PA (10/4/1777).

Due to dwindling numbers of troops, the 4th NC Regiment was folded into the 2nd NC Regiment on June 1, 1778, and Col. Thomas Polk was sent home to recruit new men and refill the ranks of the Continental Line. He resigned his commission on June 26, 1778 and retired from active duty to resume civilian life.

Sometime in the Fall of 1780, Thomas Polk was appointed as Commissary General for the NC Continental Line and he ran this department mostly from his plantation in Mecklenburg County, but also at the town of Salisbury, NC. Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates indicated that he was not pleased with how Thomas Polk was handling the provisioning of his Continental troops after the debacle at the battle of Camden, SC, so Thomas Polk soon resigned and again returned to civilian life. Soon after Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene took command of the Southern Army in December of 1780, he offered to appoint Thomas Polk as a Brigadier General if he would resume his duties as Commissary General for the Continental Line. However, the NC General Assembly would not agree to the rank of Brigadier General and offered only the rank of Colonel. Thomas Polk declined this offer and remained a civilian at his home in Mecklenburg County.

Thomas Polk was a delegate to the Colonial Assembly from 1766 to 1771. Gov. William Tryon appointed him as a Captain of Militia during the War of Regulation. Thomas Polk participated in the NC/SC state line survey of 1772.

On May 31, 1775, Thomas Polk signed the Mecklenburg Resolves. He was a delegate at the Third Provincial Congress of August 1775 at Hillsborough. He was elected to the Council of State in 1783 and 1784.

Thomas Polk was born c.1732 in Cumberland County, PA, the son of William Polk and Margaret Taylor. In 1755, he married Susanna Spratt, and they had eight known children - Thomas, William, Ezekiel, Charles, Margaret, Mary, Martha, and James. Thomas Polk died at his home in Mecklenburg County, NC on June 26, 1794 (some sources assert he died on January 25, 1794).


Click Here for a decent online biography of Thomas Polk provided by Wikipidia.com.

Click Here for a decent online biography of Thomas Polk provided by NCPedia.org.

Click Here for a photo and brief writeup about the headstone of Thomas Polk provided by findagrave.com.



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