The American Revolution in North Carolina

Cox's Mill

June 8, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. John Collier
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. David Fanning
Killed:

0
Killed:

2
Wounded:

Unk
Wounded:

6
Captured:

0
Captured:

6
Original County: 

Randolph County
Present County:

Randolph County

In June of 1781, Capt. David Fanning established his headquarters at Cox's Mill in what is today Randolph County, North Carolina. The mill had been founded in 1760 and the surrounding community was named for it. It was near the mouth of Mill Creek, on the west side of the Deep River.

On June 8th, Capt. Fanning learned that Col. John Collier was gathering his forces ten miles away to come after him again. Col. Collier had about 160 militiamen with him.

That night, Capt. Fanning set out with forty-nine men to make a pre-emptive strike on Col. Collier. Unfortunately, his guide was captured as the Loyalists approached the Patriot's camp. Col. Collier's sentries fired upon the Loyalists when they were thirty paces from them.

The Patriots then took shelter in the houses and outbuildings of a farm they had camped near. For the next four hours there was a gunfight in the dark until the Loyalists withdrew at dawn. Capt. Fanning's guide was executed that morning. Fanning had lost two men killed, six wounded, and six captured. The Loyalists retreated to Deep River and left their wounded with friends along the way.

Capt. David Fanning decided that his area of operations was now too dangerous to continue any military actions. He broke apart his militia and told them to await his order to rise again when the conditions were more favorable. He then headed for the wilderness of the Uwharrie Mountains.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. John Collier - Commanding Officer

Randolph County Regiment of Militia detachment of five (5) known companies, led by:
- Capt. William Cole
- Capt. William Gray
- Capt. William Griffin (Chatham County)
- Capt. Mark Patterson (Chatham County)
- Capt. John Taylor (Orange County)

Capt. David Fanning - Commanding Officer

49 Loyalists

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