The American Revolution in North Carolina

6th North Carolina Regiment

Date Established:

Commanders:

Original Officers:

April 15, 1776

Col. John Alexander Lillington
Lt. Col. William Taylor
Col. Gideon Lamb

Col. John Alexander Lillington
Lt. Col. William Taylor
Maj. Gideon Lamb

Known Lt. Colonels:

Known Majors:

Lt. Col. William Taylor
Lt. Col. Gideon Lamb
Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle

Maj. Gideon Lamb

Maj. John Baptiste Ashe

Known Regimental Adjutants:

Benjamin Coffield

Bennett Crafton

William Noble

Known Quarter Masters:

James Johnson 

Robert Nelson

Daniel Schaw

Miscellaneous Players:

John Cheesborough - Paymaster 

Charles Dixon - Paymaster

Thomas Hart - Commissary

Peter Mallett - Commissary

William McClure - Surgeon

William Moseley - Paymaster

Robert Wilson - Surgeon

-

Known Captains:

Andrew Armstrong

John Baptiste Ashe

Francis Child

Arthur Council

Thomas Donoho

George Dougherty

William Glover

John James

Archibald Lytle

Griffith John McRee

George Mitchell

Benjamin Pike

Jesse Saunders

Philip Taylor

Thomas White

-

Daniel Williams

-

Known Lieutenants - Captain Unknown:

Thomas Armstrong 

Benjamin Bailey

John Hart

John Owens

-

Joseph Richardson

Known Ensigns - Captain Unknown:

John Cheesborough 

Thomas Dudley

Joseph Richardson

Known Sergeants - Captain Unknown:

 Robert Griffin

-

Robert Nelson

Known Corporals - Captain Unknown:

None

-

Known Privates / Fifers / Drummers, etc. - Captain Unknown:

Robert Cartwright 

Thomas Cartwright

John Franklin

Samuel Prise

Anthony Wiles

John Willibough

Brief History of Regiment:

The 6th North Carolina Regiment was authorized April 15, 1776 and assigned to the Southern Department on May 7, 1776.

The 6th North Carolina Regiment was organized during the Spring and Summer of 1776 at Halifax, NC. It included eight companies from the Wilmington and Hillsborough Districts.

On February 5, 1777, it was removed from the Southern Department and assigned to the Northern Department. On July 8, 1777, it was assigned to the NC Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.

On May 29, 1778, Continental Congress ordered the reorganization of all NC regiments due to low numbers in their ranks. The 6th NC Regiment was folded into the 1st NC Regiment. Most historians claim that this was now the end of the 6th NC Regiment, but those assertions are not correct.

With the Legislative authorization of the "New Levies" in 1778, many enlisted men were assigned to the various North Carolina Continental regiments and sent northward. It was soon decided that most men were not needed in the Northern Theater and they were furloughed, with orders to be available when recalled. When the British seized Savannah, GA in late 1778, it was decided to recall all available "New Levies," and these were hastily assembled into the newly-resurrected 5th NC Regiment and 6th NC Regiment by February of 1779. All were marched to South Carolina to join up with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, the new commander of the Southern Department.

All company officers of the newly-resurrected 6th NC Regiment were considered to be Militia and none are ever found on any NC Continental rolls. However, many enlisted men do show up in some NC Continental rolls. This situation caused much controversy when men later applied for Federal Pensions in the early 1800s.

Since the "New Levies" were only required to enlist for nine months, the 6th NC Regiment simply dissolved in late 1779, never to be resurrected. With news that the British were sailing south and expected to go after Charlestown once again, the North Carolina leaders decided it was more expedient to recruit new Militiamen instead of Continentals, a mistake they didn't realize until long after Charlestown was captured by the British on May 12, 1780.

The two highest-ranking field officers of the defunct 6th NC Regiment - Col. Gideon Lamb and Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle - continued in service long afterwards. Col. Gideon Lamb continued to help recruit Continentals in the Edenton District, his home, well into 1781. He died on November 8, 1781.

Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle led Militia units at the Seige of Charlestown in late 1779 and early 1780, and he was most likely captured when Charlestown surrendered (records are unclear). He was later captured by the notorious Loyalist, Col. David Fanning, at Hillsborough on September 12, 1781. He was exchanged on February 9, 1782. Soon thereafter, Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle was given control of the 4th NC Regiment upon the total reorganization of the North Carolina Continental Line.

When the Continental Congress resolved that North Carolina reduce the number of men in the field under Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene to be effective on January 1, 1783, Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle was given control of the last remnants of the NC Continental Line, ostensibly called the 1st NC Regiment. This last unit was furloughed on April 23, 1783 and sent home.


Formation of North Carolina's first two continental regiments was authorized by the Provincial Congress in 1775, in response to a proposal by the Continental Congress to form a Continental Army. After the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge and later British forays in the lower Cape Fear region in the Spring of 1776, the Continental Congress resolved that North Carolina could raise two additional regiments - the NC Assembly decided to raise four more regiments.

Thus, the 6th North Carolina Regiment was formed on April 15, 1776. It was formed with eight companies from men from the Wilmington and Hillsborough Districts, which made up nearly one-half the state, including much of the backcountry. They were organized at Halifax, NC, under the command of Colonel Alexander Lillington, who had led part of the Militia of the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776.

When ready to march north to join the main army, they were instead called south to defend Charlestown against a suspected second assault in 1776 (after the first attack was repulsed in June). On December 31, 1776, Colonel Lillington resigned due to ill health. He was replaced by Colonel Gideon Lamb on January 26, 1777. The British did not return in 1776. The NC Line spent a miserable winter near Charlestown without the supplies promised by South Carolina.

The 6th NC Regiment marched north in the spring of 1777 and joined the main army, led by Brigadier General Francis Nash. They were in the battles of Brandywine Creek and Germantown in Pennsylvania, being at the Chew House in the latter and serving as rear guard for the American withdrawal during which Brig. Gen. Francis Nash was mortally wounded. They were noted by one diarist as having captured sixteen guns during the attack, but having had to abandon them in the retreat.

They wintered at Valley Forge in Brigadier General Lachlan Macintosh's Brigade (GA). The NC troops were noted by Washington to be the poorest supplied of all the destitute men there. Their desertion rate was ten percent, the lowest in an Army that averaged 18 percent. It was a long way home.

In the reductions of 1778, the 6th NC Regiment was merged with the lst NC Regiment, assuming the lower regimental number. The supernumerary officers of the 6th NC Regiment were sent home to NC to recruit.

Date(s):

Known Battles / Skirmishes:

9/11/1777

Brandywine Creek (PA)

10/4/1777

Germantown (PA)

3/3/1779

Briar Creek (GA)

6/20/1779

Stono Ferry (SC)


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