The American Revolution in North Carolina

Legat's Bridge

May 13, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. John Fletcher,
Col. Guilford Dudley
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. David Fanning
Killed:

4
Killed:

1
Wounded:

3
Wounded:

0
Captured:

1
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Bladen County
Present County:

Hoke County

aka Rockfish, aka Legget's Bridge.


Capt. David Fanning learned from his scouts that there was a force of Patriots thirty miles away and they were assembling to come after him. He again took seventeen men and they rode all night to make a pre-emptive strike on the Patriots.

At ten o'clock the next morning, he struck the camp of Capt. John Fletcher, with 25 Cumberland County Regiment militiamen. The Patriots returned fire for about ten minutes, then retreated, leaving behind four killed and one captured. Capt. Fletcher took three wounded men with him. Capt. Fanning also captured eighteen horses - he only had one man wounded, who later died - Daniel Campbell.

After this engagement, Capt. Fanning learned that Col. Guilford Dudley was coming from Major General Nathanael Greene's camp in Camden (SC). Col. Dudley had served with distinction at the battle of Hobkirk's Hill (SC) and had been discharged by Greene on May 10th. His men were returning home with their baggage wagons and had light cavalry escorting them.

Capt. Fanning placed his men in an ambush site on the side of the road and waited. After a long time, he decided to go see where Col. Dudley was, so he took one man and they rode off. After about a mile and a half, they encountered Col. Dudley with his baggage wagon. Capt. Fanning turn and sped back to his men with Patriot dragoons hot on his heels.

When Capt. Fanning reached his men, the Patriots tried to fire their pistols, but they misfired. Fanning's men rose and fired, killing five Patriots, the rest fleeing. Fanning's men pursued them for about 2-1/2 miles and captured three of Col. Dudley's men, the baggage wagon valued at "1,000 Sterling," and nine horses. He decided to break off the pursuit and take his cargo to Cox's Mill. Within the baggage were mostly the possessions of Col. James Read of the NC Light Horse Regiment.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Cumberland County Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. John Fletcher

NC Light Horse Regiment detachment led by Col. Guilford Dudley, with unknown number of men

Capt. David Fanning, with 17 men

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