The American Revolution in North Carolina

Cole's Bridge #2

March 31, 1781

Patriot Cdr:

Col. Thomas Wade
Loyalist/British Cdr:







Original County: 

Richmond County / Cumberland County
Present County:

Richmond County /
Moore County

One source asserts that this event happened on April 1, 1781.

In a letter of April 2nd, Col. Thomas Wade (Anson County Regiment of Militia), at Haley’s Ferry on the Pee Dee River, wrote to Major General Nathanael Greene that he had conveyed supplies from Cross Creek (Fayetteville) to Haley's Ferry down river. He tried to move his men quickly by forced marches to keep these supplies secure.

Nevertheless, his 95 North Carolina militiamen were attacked near Cole's Bridge, on Drowning Creek (now the Lumber River), by 300 Loyalists and 100 British soldiers (all of whom were presumably mounted) who had pursued them.

Col. Wade’s Patriots were routed. Some of his men, who were captured and paroled, reported that his casualties were three killed, two wounded, and seven taken prisoner, and, in addition slaves, wagons, and all of the horses were taken. Col. Wade was now left with only 20 militiamen. The British casualties were four killed.

Some meal, much of it damaged, and some of the boats Major General Greene had engineer Thaddeus Kosciuszko to build earlier were already at Haley's Ferry, where they were being guarded by some locals. In the same letter, Col. Wade requested wagons to send the meal to Major General Greene, which Greene provided on his entrance into South Carolina.

Col. Wade later complained that the men Major General Richard Caswell had sent him were poor soldiers and he asked for better in future if the supplies and provisions in his charge were to be kept secure.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Anson County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Col. Thomas Wade, with one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. William Cole

Unknown - Commanding Officer

~300 Loyalists + ~100 British Soldiers, unit unknown

© 2011 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved