The American Revolution in North Carolina

Ray's Mill Creek

July 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Philip Alston
Loyalist Cdr:

Kenneth Black
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

1
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Original County: 

Cumberland County
Present County:

Moore County

Col. Philip Alston was a Patriot commander in Cumberland County who had a reputation of being ruthless to anyone he perceived as being a Loyalist. His home was in what is now Moore County. Col. Alston pursued Col. David Fanning after he raided Chatham Court House on July 17th.

While passing by the home of Thomas Taylor, Col. Alston heard a remark that infuriated him. What the comment was has not been passed down for posterity, but he shot Thomas Taylor dead on the spot.

Col. David Fanning stayed that night at Kenneth Black's home as he rode to Wilmington to deliver his prisoners taken at Chatham Court House. Black accompanied him part of the way the next day as his guide. When they parted, Black gave him his horse for the tired one Fanning was riding.

As Black returned home he encountered Col. Philip Alston and his Patriot Militia. He attempted to escape on the worn-out horse, but he was quickly wounded, and fell off the horse. He begged for his life, but the Patriots cracked his head with the butt of a rifle. He did not die, and was later able to tell Fanning who his attackers were.

Col. Alston did not continue his pursuit of Col. Fanning. On his return home he stopped at Deep River at the home of Loyalist Col. Hector McNeill and accused the old man of stealing one of his slaves. Col. Alston threatened to hang him if the slave was not returned. Mrs. McNeill had her own slave track down the missing one of Col. Alston's and return him.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. Philip Alston - Commanding Officer

Cumberland County Regiment of Militia - Unknown number of men

Kenneth Black

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