The American Revolution in North Carolina

Kingston

August 21, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. James Gorham
British Cdr:

Major James H. Craig
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

Unk
Wounded:

Unk
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Dobbs County
Present County:

Lenoir County

After "punishing" New Bern for two days, Major James H. Craig headed back home and essentially returned the way he came - which once again took him through Kingston, the seat of Dobbs County. Col. James Gorham and his Patriot Militia was waiting for the British.

Col. Gorham had 150 men, while Major Craig had 32 Regulars from the 82nd Regiment and 78 from the NC Independent Dragoons, missing one captain that had been killed in New Bern. Capt. Robert Gillies had taken command of the Dragoons after the death of Capt. John Gordon. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Col. Goham's men had found some alcohol and were easily dispersed when they left their flank open.

Major Craig then camped at Bryant's Mill that night and burned four houses in the neighborhood, including the home of ex-Brigadier General William Bryan. Major Craig was not yet finished plundering, but he received intelligence that Continental Major General Anthony Wayne was on his way from Virginia with 500 men to join up with Major General Nathanael Greene in South Carolina.

Major Craig quickly marched all of his men back to Wilmington. His sudden departure gave local Patriots a chance to strike back at the strengthening Loyalists in the area. Those who lost their homes during Major Craig's raid immediately took their revenge by burning the homes of all known Loyalists in the area.

Major Craig decided that this raid had been very successful, but he had actually lost almost thirty men killed, wounded, or captured.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. James Gorham, Pitt County Regiment of Militia - Commanding Officer

150 men

-

Major James H. Craig - Commanding Officer

82nd Regiment - 32 men

NC Independent Dragoons, 78 men led by Capt. Robert Gillies



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