The American Revolution in North Carolina

Bacon's Inlet

February 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Major John Cain &
Major Samuel Leonard
British Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Brunswick County
Present County:

Brunswick County

On January 28, 1781, the British seized the town of Wilmington without firing a shot. Major James H. Craig quickly assessed the needs of his troops and soon sent out foraging parties to help feed his men and their horses. Sometime in February of 1781, Major Craig sent out a couple of row galleys down the Cape Fear River with instructions to bring back some local cattle he had seen grazing along the marshlands during his recent trip up from Charlestown.


In his 1833 pension application affadavit, James Holden (R5122) asserted:

"....that while at Bacon's Inlet on the Coast in Brunswick County, North Carolina, some of the British landed from what were then called row galleys, who fired upon the men under Colonel Cain, but immediately retreated to their boats."


In his 1836 pension application affadavit, Charles Tharp (R10479) asserted:

"... news was brought by one Robert Bell that the enemy were killing cattle on the marsh here at Bacon's Inlet, that a part of the Lockwood's Folly Company this declarant being one was marched down there under Major Samuel Leonard to drive them off – that a small skirmish ensued when the enemy retreated to their row galleys and went out at the Inlet."

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Brunswick County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Major John Cain and Major Samuel Leonard

Unknown number of men

Unknown Commander with unknown number of men.

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