The American Revolution in North Carolina

Randolph County Court House

March 13-14, 1782


Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. Archibald Murphy
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. David Fanning
Killed:

1
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

1
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Randolph County
Present County:

Randolph County

Early in the morning of March 13th, Col. David Fanning rode to the Randolph County Court House. Elections were scheduled for this day and he hoped to capture all of the Patriot leaders. Warned that he was coming, the leaders did not show up and the election did not occur.

Col. Fanning moved on, putting the torch to the property of known Patriot officers within forty miles.

The Loyalists rode to Major Thomas Dougan's plantation on Deep River. Dougan was not at home, but his property was destroyed.

Upon leaving that location, Fanning's men caught Lt. Col. Archibald Murphy of the Caswell County Regiment of Militia with several Loyalists in a wagon being taken to Salisbury to be hanged. Col. Fanning asked the condemned men what should be done with Lt. Col. Murphy - and he was immediately taken to a tree and hanged.

Within fifteen minutes, a force of about 300 Patriots, led by Capt. Joseph Clark, rode towards them. Capt. Clark pursued, but the Loyalists had better horses and they could not be caught. It rained during this pursuit, so none of the weapons would work anyway.

One of Fanning's men, John Dugan, stayed behind to rob Lt. Col. Murphy's corpse. Capt. Clark caught up to him and wounded Dugan. He convinced Capt. Clark that he was dying, and as soon as the Patriots left he jumped up and ran away.

In April, Col. Fanning was again asked by Governor Thomas Burke to remain neutral while his demands were being considered. A temporary truce went into effect. Governor Burke was not being totally honest - the governor simply wanted a cease fire while the General Assembly met in Hillsborough. When it wrapped up, Governor Burke sent notice to Col. Fanning that the legislature had turned down his proposal.

Furthermore, Governor Burke authorized Major Thomas Hogg (a Continental officer) and the North Carolina State Regiment to take an expedition into the Deep River settlements to keep Col. David Fanning occupied. However, this expedition did not happen due to an argument between Major Hogg and Major Bennett Crafton over who would be in charge.

The North Carolina State Regiment eventually did conduct operations along the Pee Dee River - later in June of 1782.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Caswell County Regiment of Militia led by Lt. Col. Archibald Murphy (killed), with unknown number of men.

Randolph County Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Joseph Clark, with unknown number of men

Col. David Fanning - Commanding Officer

Unknown number of Loyalists

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© 2012 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved