The American Revolution in North Carolina

The NC State Regiment
Also known by a few contemporaries as the "State Legion"

Date First Established:


Lt. Colonel:

January 1779

Col. John Herritage

Lt. Col. Richard Nixon

Date First Disbanded:



October 1779

Maj. John Allen

Not Known

Date Re-Established: 


Lt. Colonels:

 July 10, 1781

Col. Benjamin Williams
Col. Joel Lewis

< Probably only Lt. Colonels

Date Disbanded Again:

Known Majors:


January 10, 1783

Maj. John Allen
Maj. Bennett Crafton
Maj. Samuel Crafton
Maj. Baron DeGoebeck
Maj. George Farragut
Maj. Charles Gordon
Maj. Samuel Jones
Maj. Joel Lewis
Maj. James Augustus Tabb

Not Known

Miscellaneous Players:

William Whitfield - Commissary


Robert Williams - Surgeon

Known Captains:

Shadrack Allen

Henry Bond

Benjamin Caswell

Samuel Caswell

John Cleveland

Joseph Scott Cray

Thomas Dudley, Jr.

William Dunn

William Easler

Gideon Edwards

Thomas Evans

George Farragut

John Farrar

William Fonveille

John Garland

Robert Gillespie

Charles Gordon

John Grainger

James Herrin

William Herritage

Armwell Herron

John Hodges

John Hunt

Samuel Jones

William Jones

Nicholas Long, Jr.

Alexander McMennamy

Alexander Mebane

John Mebane

? Morgan

? Morris

Tilmon Patterson

Maurice Raiford

William Randall

Jacob Rayford

George Samuel

Joseph Sessions

James Shepperd

James Augustus Tabb

George Thoroughgood

DeBaron Toller

Swan Trouton

William Twitty

Bryant Whitfield

Needham Whitfield


William Windham


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

William Bass


Titus Jennings Turner

A History of the NC State Regiment (State Troops):

In January of 1779 (most likely on 1/22), the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the creation of a new regiment of men from all over the state for the purpose of subduing a growing Loyalist sentiment. John Herritage, a former NC Continental Captain from Pitt County was selected as the leader of this new regiment. The men were not to leave the state.

On May 24th, Governor Richard Caswell writes to Col. John Herritage of the NC State Regiment:

"You are required to proceed with your regiment from your present encampment to Webber's Bridge, on Trent, near which you will find corn in Major Hill's warehouse belonging to the public. There you had best unload some of your wagons and carry about 20 barrels of corn to Mr. Hatches, or Mr. Neal's mills, have ground, spread to cool, and then put up in casks to be carried on… I think you had best take the whole by water to Mr. Neal's mill and get one-half ground and carry the remainder by water for your horses to Fort Caswell, 2 or 3 miles below New Bern, where you are to march your regiment and encamp 'till you receive further orders."

Governor Caswell continued to likewise order Col. Herritage to obtain as much pork and firearms as he can in New Bern, and to assist Commissary Hardy Bryan in removing the Public Stores out of New Bern to Fort Caswell and other locations along the rivers. He ended by reminding the Colonel to deploy sentries at all locations. It is quite apparent that the state was on high alert and concerned about a potential British invasion from the south.

On June 7th, Governor Richard Caswell transmitted orders to Col. John Herritage of the NC State Regiment for him to remember to discharge any Militia under his command as soon as they have served three months. He also requested that Col. Herritage to call upon all county Colonels in the New Bern District and remind them to furnish their new drafts as soon as possible.

On July 8th, Governor Richard Caswell wrote to Col. John Herritage of the NC State Regiment, instructing him that his regiment is no longer needed at Fort Caswell, especially since the local forage was destroyed and corn was so scarce. The NC State Regiment was ordered to return to Kingston, and on their march they were to retrieve, "all the arms and ammunition at Pollock's Bridge conveyed to the southern states for the use of the army." The governor also demanded a current return from Col. Herritage.

On July 18th, Governor Richard Caswell wrote to Col. John Herritage of the NC State Regiment that he was displeased with an incomplete return from Col. Herritage, and that this needed to be fixed-today-including corrections about the number of absentees, and to add in the Light Horse. The governor then ordered the NC State Regiment to march at nine o'clock tomorrow morning to the tanyard, where new orders will be waiting.

On July 19th, Governor Richard Caswell wrote again to Col. John Herritage and now ordered him to Johnston County with a company of Light Horse. He was to inquire of Col. John Smith whether an attempt had been made to break the jail at Smithfield. The governor has heard a rumor that the British prisoners currently held there have escaped. The governor then described that many unlawfuls were assembling at the Little River Bridge and stirring up people to oppose the laws and to refuse to be drafted:

"You are therefore to halt your regiment in the neighborhood of Little River Bridge, and call on the justices contiguous in the counties of Johnston, Nash, Edgecombe, and Dobbs, and let them know your regiment is ready to assist the civil power in apprehending these offenders, and, if they appear in arms, with design to carry their traitorous designs into execution, you are at the utmost hazard to apprehend and secure them, and, if such persons, who may assemble in arms, do not surrender to the civil power, but do not openly and avowedly oppose the same, you are, after using every means to bring them to justice, in the last instance, when every other means fail, to fire upon, and, at any rate, conquer and subdue them." [minor edits]

The governor then asked Col. John Herritage to keep him apprised of the situation via expresses and to do his best to avoid spilling blood, if at all possible. He reminded the Colonel to post sentries and remain vigilant. If there were too many insurgents for his troop, let him know and he will call out the Militia. The governor ended with orders that if these rumors turn out to be false, then return to Smithfield and relieve the Militia currently guarding the British prisoners there.

On August 25th, Governor Richard Caswell wrote to Col. John Herritage of the NC State Regiment:

"There is, as I am informed, ten or twelve deserters in Dover, in Craven or Jones County assembled, who, in the most daring manner, openly declare they will not serve in the character of soldiers, to which they have been appointed, either by their own voluntary act, or have been drafted, agreeable to the laws of their country, and bid defiance to the powers civil and military of the state…you may with great facility dispatch detachments after the above-mentioned and other deserters, and, having apprehended any of them, you are to keep them under guard until you report their names, what service they belong to and from what county, to me." [minor edits]

Both houses of the NC General Assembly agreed to disband the NC State Regiment on October 20th.

On July 10, 1781 the NC General Assembly issued "An Act for raising Troops out of the Militia of this State for the Defense Thereof, and for Other Purposes." This Act recreated the old NC State Regiment (State Troops), and highlights of this law include:

- Whereas it is necessary to raise troops for the better security and defense of this state and to prevent the distresses caused by frequent drafts from the battalions of Militia.
- The Colonel or Commanding Officer of every Battalion of Militia shall, on or before August 13th, shall call together all Field Officers and Captains and divide said Battalions into classes of 40 men each. Within 20 days after that, the Colonel shall call a General Muster, and if each class do not furnish a volunteer, then he shall proceed to draft one man from each class.
- Each class shall be of equal value based on the value of taxable property.
- All new recruits shall appear at the designated location on or before September 20th. If already on active duty, they have 40 days after discharge to show up.
- The troops raised by virtue of this act shall serve for 12 months. Troops shall be officered-Lt. Colonel/Commandant, two Majors, eight Captains, eight Lieutenants, eight Ensigns. This regiment shall not be marched out of the state, with limited exceptions.
- Any person harboring, concealing, or abetting any soldier deserting from these troops, shall be deemed a Continental soldier during the war.
- Colonels of each battalion shall make out two identical returns of all soldiers, specifying name, age, size, complexion, color of hair and eyes, where born, and name of Captain from company taken. Provide these returns by October 11th at each rendezvous location.
- Each class to also provide one blanket, two pairs of stockings, two pairs of shoes, two shirts, two leather stocks, one pair of buckskin or thick cloth breeches, one pair of linen coveralls, one waistcoat lined, one coat of thick woolen cloth lined with linen, with cape and cuffs of white cloth, one strong hunting shirt, one good woolen hat of a middle size, and also five yards of strong linen for tents. If these items are not provided, then each class may have their property seized to pay the costs to acquire them.
- All substitutes must be approved by the officer who receives the men.
- All men, officers and soldiers, to receive same pay as those on the Continental Line.
- All taxable property (with exceptions) shall be subject to a tax of three pounds upon every hundred pounds of value.
- All Militia officers who execute this Act are entitled to pay and rations. Those failing to execute are subject to a fine of ten thousand pounds.
- All Sheriffs that have to levy any warrants are allowed five percent for his services.
- No British deserter, Hessian deserter, apprentice, Indian, sailor, or negro slave shall serve as a substitute.
- If a recruit for these new State Troops does not appear or send acceptable substitute shall be deemed a deserter and also be deemed Continental solider for the duration of the war.
- Any person who delivers up a delinquent or a deserter shall be entitled to an exemption from a three-month tour of duty.
- One hundred of the men are to be commanded by a Major, three Captains, three Lieutenants, and three Cornets, exclusive of those already described, shall be Light Horse. Each County Colonel to purchase or impress from his county two horses, two saddles, two bridles, two hats or two leather caps, two swords, two pistols and two pairs of boots and spurs, and shall deliver these to the designated rendezvous locations.
- Each man entitled to the same allowances as those drafted agreeable to an earlier Act passed at Halifax in February of this year.
- All men who faithfully serve will then be exempted from all military duty the next twelve months. Those who furnish a substitute shall be exempt while said substitute is on active duty, no longer. As soon as substitute is discharged he is immediately subject to the next draft.

On July 11, 1781, the General Assembly agreed to appoint officers for the newly-recreated (on July 10th) NC State Regiment: Lt. Col. Benjamin Williams, 1st Major Joel Lewis, and Major Baron DeGloback over the light horse. Two days later, on July 13th, they appointed 2nd Major Bennett Crafton. The next day, on July 14th, they appointed the company officers.

On August 23, 1781, Col. Benjamin Williams of the NC State Regiment wrote from Halifax to Governor Thomas Burke:

"Sir, your Excellency's orders of 23rd inst., with the commissions for the officers of the [NC] State Regiment I have the honor to have before me.

"It is my earnest wish that these gentlemen I am honored with the command of should be immediately conveyed, to effect which I am inclined to think not less than twelve horsemen may be necessary. But upon reflecting that the gentlemen reside in all quarters of the state a doubt arises whether they can meet, so as to again rendezvous the eleventh of next October.

"Upon looking over the law for raising state troops, I find no provision for officer's clothing, tents, pay for the army, no way pointed out by which colors, drums & fifes, camp kettles, necessary tools, wagons & teams, are to be obtain'd. In the arrangement of the officers I see no Chaplain, Surgeon, Muster Master, or Commissary appointed; offices I hope your Excellency may judge necessary.

"In the present position of the state, could recommend Warren or Granville counties a fit place to rendezvous the regiment." [minor edits]

On October 5, 1781, Acting Governor Alexander Martin and his Council of State evaluated a request from Col. Benjamin Williams of the NC State Regiment for equipment. They concluded that the governor shall call upon the Colonels in each county to furnish arms and accoutrements from their respective counties for the recently-recreated NC State Regiment, which was still not functioning, even though the General Assembly authorized its recreation, three months earlier, in July.

On January 31, 1782, Alexander Martin, Speaker of the Senate and until now the Acting Governor, wrote from Salem to Governor Thomas Burke, also at Salem, to get him up to speed on current events, which included the following about the NC State Regiment:

"The state troops [NC State Regiment] will merit your particular attention to draw men out to the Southern army if practicable where they are wanted, and may render service immediately. They amount to about 200 horse and foot now in Franklin [County] under the command of the [Maj.] Baron DeGloback. Major [Bennett] Crafton & [Maj. Joel] Lewis have not received their commissions as I wish to have that corps under Continental officers if possible. There is a charge against Major Crafton, which, if true, he ought, in my opinion, to be dismissed the service of employing the men to take up deserters and delinquents, and when taken to sell for large sums of money certificates of their delivery to Continental officers to such Militia men as will purchase them to excuse them from a tour of duty."

On February 15, 1781, Governor Thomas Burke wrote from Halifax to Major Joel Lewis of the NC State Regiment:

"Sir, you will immediately repair to this place and be prepared to give me the best account that can be procured of the troops ordered to be raised from the State Legion [NC State Regiment] which I shall immediately arrange, and send on duty. I request you will lose as little time as possible." [minor edits]

The next day, on February 16th, Governor Thomas Burke transmitted orders from Halifax to Major Bennett Crafton, also of the NC State Regiment:

"Maj. Crafton, or the senior officer of the rendezvous of the State Troops [NC State Regiment] in Warren County, will immediately make me a return of the strength, condition and state of equipment of the troops who have appeared there, from what counties and what are the deficiencies. Major Crafton himself will attend me with it at this place, or in his absence the senior officer." [minor edits]

On February 28, 1782, Major Bennett Crafton of the NC State Regiment wrote to Governor Thomas Burke:

"Sir, on my return to camp last evening, I found the camp out of provisions. I this morning sent to the Commissioner of Franklin County who was ordered by his Excellency [Acting] Gov. [Alexander] Martin to furnish me with all necessaries for the men and horses until ordered from this station. He has refused to furnish me with anything further. I am at a loss what to do on this occasion and would be glad if you would send me some orders and let me know in what manner I am to be supplied with provisions, &c., as I have not one ounce of any kind on hand.

"There are, since I was down with you, ten men who have joined the regiment from New Bern District. When I was at Halifax I did not receive the several articles that I much need that I did not mention in the memorandum I gave you, viz: drums and colors and fifes, pots, and fifty men." [minor edits]

On March 13, 1782, Governor Thomas Burke wrote to NC Continental officer, Major Thomas Hogg:

"Sir, It being resolved that all of those people who were in arms with the enemy or who committed hostilities against the people of this state under color of British authority be made prisoners of war, except a few of the more atrocious, unless they will faithfully serve twelve months in the Continental Line of this state, I request you to take upon you the conduct of an expedition for this purpose.

"I propose putting under your command the State Troops [NC State Regiment], of which you will find a return enclosed, and to reinforce them with detachments of Militia if you think it necessary..."

As can be seen in the above, Governor Thomas Burke had had enough of Col. David Fanning, and it was evident that he placed no great trust in the NC State Regiment nor in the Militia. He had called for the General Assembly to convene in April at Hillsborough, and he did not want the Loyalists to once again seize that town. He also had a strong desire to see the man that caught him in Hillsborough in September of last year, Col. David Fanning, to himself now be caught and imprisoned for his treasonous activities of the past year.

On March 16, 1782, Governor Thomas Burke wrote from Halifax to Major Joel Lewis of the NC State Regiment:

"Sir, Maj. [Thomas] Hogg, of the Continental Line of the troops furnished by this state, is appointed by me to conduct an expedition, in which the State Legion [NC State Regiment] is to be employed. You will, therefore, be so good as to put your corps under his command and receive his orders. I wish you an agreeable and successful trip."

On March 24, 1782, Governor Thomas Burke wrote from Halifax again to Major Thomas Hogg of the NC Continental Line:

"Dear Sir, I have just received a letter from Major [Bennett] Crafton complaining of my taking from him, as he calls it, the command of the State Troops [NC State Regiment]. He surely has no right to command an expedition to which I do not deem him equal and for which he is not at all qualified. I intended that the whole corps, officers and all, should be under your command, but I cannot perceive that that deprives him of anything. I have written to him in peremptory terms requiring him to do his duty under your orders or to retire with permission or in arrest at his election. I enclose you a copy of the orders which he says you have mislaid. Should he decline, pray give them to the next officer in rank who is present, and send forward the troops as soon as possible. The Assembly will doubtless be unwilling to meet before you are advanced." [minor edits]

On March 26, 1782, Governor Thomas Burke wrote from Halifax two letters to Major Bennett Crafton of the NC State Regiment:

"Sir, I have received yours of yesterday. Enclosed you have a copy of my orders by Major [Thomas] Hogg, whom I have appointed to command an expedition in which the State Troops [NC State Regiment] and others are to be employed. If you, Sir, are the officer now commanding the detachment of those troops at Franklin [County], I expect you will obey my orders without disputing them. If you do not choose it you will consider yourself at liberty to retire from the service or in arrest for disobedience of those orders.

"Your having a commission in the State Troops neither entitles you to the sole command of those troops nor to the conduct of any expedition in which they may be employed, and if you do not choose to perform your duty under the command of such officer as I judge proper to entrust with the conduct of an expedition, be assured I will not suffer the public business to be deranged or delayed while officers are disputing about frivolous distinctions. I want the service of the troops immediately, and I judge that service essential. I, therefore, insist that upon receipt of this you immediately proceed in your duty, agreeably to the rank you bear, under the orders of Major Hogg, or that you leave the command to the next officer in rank in either of the views above mentioned. Should you decline the service you will give the orders to the next officer." [minor edits]

"Sir, You will deliver back to Colo. [Robert] Burton, the State Quarter Master, the 115 guns & bayonets inserted in your return and receive from him 141 stand of arms, agreeable to the enclosed order, for the State Troops [NC State Regiment] at present under your command. You will cause the men to be arranged in companies and properly organized and put in the best order you can for service. As fast as these men join you you will make return of them to me and you shall have orders for arms and such other equipments as we can furnish." [minor edits]

Also on March 26th, Governor Thomas Burke wrote from Halifax to Major Baron DeGloback, previously of the NC State Regiment Light Horse:

"Sir, I have this day received your letter enclosing your commission, the resignation of which is accepted.

"I had found it necessary, after long expecting you, to put you in arrest for not obeying my orders to repair to me at Halifax, which orders were delivered to you at Edenton on the second of this month. The letter containing the order of arrest bears the date of 23rd of this month, but I suppose by your letter you have not received it, and as I do not deem it necessary to proceed any farther, your resignation, also rendering it inexpedient, you are to consider that arrest as now void.

"As I am entirely uninformed as to your conduct during your continuance in the State Corps [NC State Regiment] it is impossible for me to give any certificate relatively thereto. All I can say is, that I know of no charge against you except what I have above mentioned, which I doubt not you can explain to your friends in such a manner as to prevent any suspicion of disgrace.

"As to your resignation, I do not consider you as dishonored thereby." [minor edits]

On April 18, 1782, Governor Thomas Burke transmitted orders to Major William McCauley of the Orange County Regiment of Militia:

"Major McCauley will be so good as to take a convenient position for an encampment for the Militia under his command a little in the rear of the encampment of the State Troops [NC State Regiment], either to the right or left, as he may find it most convenient and safe. The troops are to be hutted in regular order, and are never to be from their encampment without leave; nor is any officer to sleep out of camp without permission. The Major himself is not included in this order, because of his necessary attendance as a member of the General Assembly. The troops may be paraded on the plain in the rear of my house at 12, and thence, after being reviewed, march to their encampment." [minor edits]

On June 8, 1782, Governor Alexander Martin wrote from Williamsborough in Granville County to Major Joel Lewis of the NC State Regiment:

"Sir, having received information from Brigadier General [Francis] Marion of South Carolina of his intention to cross Pee Dee at Mars Bluff on the 17th of this inst., and march with his brigade to -- bridge on Drowning Creek, where he will be ready to act in conjunction with the troops of this state in reducing Major [Micajah] Gainey [SC], and the Tories under his command to obedience, with whom he had formed a truce until the 17th of this instant.

"I have informed General Marion in the letter herewith sent to be forwarded by you of our readiness to cooperate with him in such a necessary undertaking. You will therefore send the letter which accompanies this by some safe hand to General Marion wherever he may be, at the same time informing him you will be ready to form a junction with him, or act separately as the case will require, at such time and place he will assign you; in the mean while you are to take position on the head of Drowning Creek, until you hear from the General, where you will issue copies of the proclamation enclosed you, filling up the blank of the date at the time of issuing the same. You will also issue copies of the same after you have joined General Marion, giving ten days from the date which will respect the citizens only of North Carolina. You will give me every necessary intelligence of your movements and occurrences.

"I have received Major [Bennett] Crafton's letter of the second of this instant, and am sorry you have not yet obtained any clothing. I am going to Halifax where I shall use every effort to procure them. Your letters will find me on my way, after my being at Halifax, to Salisbury between the 20th and the last of June-afterwards at Salisbury. Fields I have ordered to join my corps." [minor edits]

On June 9, 1782, Governor Alexander Martin wrote from Williamsborough to SC Governor John Mathews:

"Sir, I am honored with your letter of the 18th of May, relative to the intended expedition under [Brig.] General [Francis] Marion against the Tories of Pee Dee and Drowning Creek and am happy to inform your Excellency that it will be in our power to co-operate with General Marion, having for this purpose ordered the State Legionary Troops [NC State Regiment], consisting of 250 men under the command of Major Joel Lewis now on Deep River, to march to Drowning Creek and join the General where he shall direct, and act jointly or separately as he shall judge proper.

"By the advice of the Council [of State] a proclamation will issue as soon as the troops arrive in the settlement of those people, notifying such of them as are citizens of this state to surrender themselves in ten days, renew their allegiance, and serve twelve months, in the Continental battalions. On this consideration they will be pardoned and restored to every privilege of citizens; precluding those guilty of murder, robbery, house burning, and crimes not justifiable by the laws of war. On their refusal, such as are taken will be considered prisoners of war (excepting as aforesaid) and liable to exchange, if the enemy will exchange them for our captive Militia and other citizens in Charlestown; otherwise they will be subjected to the penalties of the treason law.

"I flatter myself General Marion will meet with every desired success, and soon reduce these people to obedience, so essentially necessary to the good of both states." [minor edits]

On the same date (June 9th), Governor Alexander Martin wrote to SC Brigadier General Francis Marion:

"Sir, I am favored with two of your letters, one addressed to Governor [Thomas] Burke of the 13th of April and one to myself of the 20th of May respecting the Tories on Drowning Creek and Pee Dee [River], and another from Governor [John] Mathews on the same subject. I beg leave to inform you I highly approve of your intentions, and am happy that it is in the power of this state to cooperate with you in this undertaking. Accordingly I have ordered Major Joel Lewis, or the commanding officer of the State Legionary Troops [NC State Regiment] now on Deep River in Randolph County, immediately to proceed with that corps consisting of 250 men to Mr. Amy's [Thomas Amis] on Drowning Creek, where he will receive further information from you, and act as you will judge most conducive to the service. I have enclosed him a proclamation respecting such of those people who may be citizens of this state and joined them, which you'll please to have attended to. If you think it necessary to have more men, Colonel [Thomas] Owen of Bladen County is directed to furnish you with what number you may require to the amount of his regiment.

"Please to favor me with every intelligence of moment in the meanwhile." [minor edits]

On June 26, 1782, Governor Alexander Martin wrote from Nutbush in Granville County to Major Bennett Crafton of the NC State Regiment:

"Sir, I have heard nothing of the State Troops [NC State Regiment] since my dispatches by Captain Tabb to you, but expect by this time you have formed a junction with [SC Brig.] General [Francis] Marion, and wish that your conduct with regard to the North Carolina Tories be uniform with the General's towards those in South Carolina. The proclamation I enclosed you was by the advice of the Council [of State], which was to draw off such refugees of this state who had settled themselves among the truce people; but should few have surrendered under the terms held forth in the ten days, you are not to issue any more after the expiration of the said term, but conform yourself entirely to the instructions and orders of General Marion. I know not whether Major [Joel] Lewis has joined you who had my orders at the same time with you. I lately heard he was at Salisbury.

"I am endeavoring to procure you clothing, and have directed Colonel [William Richardson] Davie to purchase from Hunter Banks and Company, merchants at Petersburg [VA], the number of suits wanting. No clothes have yet been purchased as the service has expired and the sense of the Assembly not fully had, tho' the state officers have a right under the law to claim all the allowances of the Continental. There being no blue clothes or any other proper in Halifax, I wish to hear everything of moment from you; reports of a peace may have reached you but all this is an artifice of our enemies to lull us into security, to give them an opportunity to strike a blow at our allies, or at ourselves with more success than heretofore. [British Maj.] General [Alexander] Leslie proposed some overtures of a truce with [Maj.] General [Nathanael] Greene, but the General hath rejected them, as not coming in the proper channel, Your letters will find me in Salisbury or in that district from the 1st of July to the end of August." [minor edits]

On August 15, 1782, Capt. Joshua Hadley of the NC Continental Line wrote from Cross Creek to his commanding officer, Brigadier General Jethro Sumner:

"Sir, Capt. [Robert] Raiford has directed me to meet at Duplin immediately, in order to receive the eighteen months men to be delivered there, in consequence of which I have ordered the men from this county, to march thither today, & expect to get to Duplin Court House on Sunday next. Captain [Joseph Thomas] Rhodes is now in Duplin & I beg leave to make known to you, that there are now in this county a number of delinquents & deserters, who with a little trouble & the assistance of some State Horse [NC State Regiment], who have been lately ordered into this neighborhood might be collected..."

On October 24, 1782, Governor Alexander Martin wrote from Hillsborough to Capt. Robert Gillespie of the NC State Regiment, Light Horse:

"Sir, you will proceed from hence into the county of Bladen, and know of the sheriff of that county whether he has apprehended Jared Irwin and others who caused the late riot at Bladen Court House, in consequence of a warrant directed to him from the judges of the Superior Court for this purpose. If he hath not done any thing on that business, you will inform him you are detached from me to aid him in the execution of that warrant if the same be necessary. That you will do your utmost to support the civil government of the state in that county jointly or separately with the Militia officers of the same should you find your interposition necessary which you will manage with prudence and address as some Tories have done mischief on the Raft Swamp; you will make inquiry and proceed against them accordingly, under which color & pretence your march into Bladen must be made and conducted, without alarming the rioters. When apprehended, the sheriff has my orders to take them before one of the judges of the Superior Court to pass examination & obey his pleasure, you will observe strict discipline and regularity, no marauding, plundering, beating prisoners or killing them but in the act of taking or making their escape, on the severest penalties. You will rendezvous at this place the 15th of January, and make report of your proceedings. At the same time bring forward all the public horses that they may be returned to their owners, or sold agreeable to the advice of Council [of State], which you will advertise the counties of, where you pass." [minor edits]

On April 23, 1783, the General Assembly resolved to fix the dates of promotions for certain officers of the now-defunct NC State Regiment because Col. Benjamin Williams had resigned on November 5, 1781. They conclude that Joel Lewis should have been promoted from Major to Colonel on that date. On April 25th, Governor Alexander Martin explains:

"Gentlemen, the Governor, with the advice of the Council [of State], actuated with the principles of economy, from the small number and short duration of the State Legionary Troops [NC State Regiment], made an arrangement of the officers agreeable to what was thought the sense of the last Assembly, and did not draw into service the full train of officers that would have been necessary had that corps been completed agreeable to the act passed at Wake Court House. Since the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel [Benjamin] Williams several gentlemen received their first appointments, to-wit., in May and June last, and some have withdrawn themselves from the service without resignation. This renders it somewhat difficult to adjust the promotion of that line at present. I am, however, ready to comply with the sense of the honorable the General Assembly, but request their further pleasure as to the arrangement, that all the gentlemen officers concurred and the public receive satisfaction. Whether those who have withdrawn themselves and not returned to the service be entitled to the promotion intended, whether those who have received their first appointments in May and June last are to have rank and draw pay from the first of November, whether those taken from the ranks and were substitutes receive full pay and whether all the commissions are to be of longer duration than the tenth of January last, when that corps were generally discharged."

On May 6, 1783, a special committee of the House of Commons, led by Thomas Person, reported out on this subject:

"That Joel Lewis be promoted to the rank of Colonel Commandant from the 5th of November, 1781; Bennett Crafton, First Major from the same date; Samuel Jones, Second Major, ditto; Charles Gordon, First Captain, ditto; Swan Trouton, Second Captain, ditto; George Farragut, Major of the Horse from the 1st May, 1782; James Augs. Tabb, Major of ditto from 1st Sept., 1782; that Charles Gordon be promoted to the rank of Major from the time of Major [Samuel] Jones' absenting himself from the camp the 1st August, 1782.

"That those who have withdrawn themselves from service shall not be entitled to pay any longer than they were in actual service.

"That those who have voluntarily accepted of commissions shall receive pay in their different ranks from the dates of their commissions.

"That those who were commissioned out of the ranks shall not draw pay otherwise than privates. That all those hereby recommended to promotion, which were originally appointed as officers in the State Regiment, only draw pay according to their several ranks by their first commissions to the 5th day of November, 1781, on the resignation of Colonel [Benjamin] Williams, and that they draw pay from that time according to their several promotions from the 5th of November, 1781, to the eleventh of October, 1782, which time your committee conceives the service expired by the law under which the same was raised. All which is submitted."

As can be seen, Governor Alexander Martin acknowledged that the NC State Regiment was essentially discharged on January 10, 1783, while the House of Commons was of the opinion that the regiment should have been disbanded on October 11, 1782, when the law expired authorizing this unit.

Once again the rank of Lt. Colonel causes more confusion to historians. Earlier records along with this one clearly indicate that Benjamin Williams was a Lt. Colonel/Commandant over the NC State Regiment, but Joel Lewis is designated as a Colonel/Commandant. Was Benjamin Williams actually a full Colonel (as Thomas Person notes above), or was Joel Lewis actually only promoted to a Lt. Colonel?

Recent records found indicate that Joel Lewis was only promoted to Lt. Colonel. He and others seems to have called their regiment the "State Legion," since it included both infantry and cavalry. Most in the NC government simply called this group the "State Regiment" or the "State Troops" during the time of its existence. Subsequent historians are fairly silent on the entire group, much less on its true name.


Known Battles / Skirmishes:



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