The American Revolution in North Carolina

Guilford Dudley

Private in the Halifax District Minutemen - 1775-1776
Private in the Halifax County Regiment - 1780
Private in the NC Light Horse Regiment - 1781
Major in the NC Light Horse Regiment - 1781
Lt. Colonel in the NC Light Horse Regiment - 1781
Colonel in the NC Light Horse Regiment - 1781-1782

In 1775, Guilford Dudley was a Private under Capt. Christopher Dudley (his father) and Col. Nicholas Long in the Halifax District Minutemen. This unit participated in the battle at the Great Bridge, VA on 12/9/1775 and at Norfolk, VA on 1/1/1776. In February of 1776, this company also marched southward towards the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, but were too late. They were then ordered to escort some prisoners to the Halifax Jail. On 4/10/1776, all Minutemen regiments were disbanded.

In June of 1780, Guilford Dudley was a Private under Capt. Samuel Lockhart, a Continental officer leading a company of the Halifax County Regiment of Militia, and this unit was at the battles of Little Lynches Creek, SC (8/11/1780) and Camden, SC (8/16/1780). Capt. Lockhart was captured at the battle of Camden, but Guilford Dudley retreated with many others to Charlotte, then Salisbury, then Hillsborough.

In February of 1781, Guilford Dudley joined under Col. James Read (a Continental Captain given command as a Colonel of Militia) in the newly-created NC Light Horse Regiment, hastily created in Halifax County, North Carolina. It is assumed that Dudley was a Private soldier at this time, but his superior officers were not named. He asserted that he was "out on detachment" during the battle of Guilford Court House on 3/15/1781 (most of his regiment was actually in the battle of Guilford Court House on that date).

On 3/22/1781, Guilford Dudley was commissioned as a Major under Col. James Read in the NC Light Horse Regiment.

On 3/30/1781, Guilford Dudley was promoted to Lt. Colonel under Col. James Read in the NC Light Horse Regiment. This regiment participated in the battle of Hobkirk's Hill, SC on 4/25/1781, and Col. James Read was wounded in this engagement. Lt. Col. Guilford Dudley led the regiment in a skirmish with the British at Sawney's Creek, SC on 5/8/1781. While escorting the baggage wagons home, Lt. Col. Guilford Dudley was ambushed by Loyalists at Legat's Bridge on 5/13/1781, but he escaped capture and made it to Hillsborough.

On 5/22/1781, Guilford Dudley was commissioned a full Colonel over the NC Light Horse Regiment since James Read was convalescing from his earlier wound. His own statements do not mention any service past September of 1781, but other records indicate he continued to serve well into 1782, and possibly later.

Col. James Read returned to active duty after his wound healed, and he took over the NC Light Horse Regiment once again. It is not known what unit Col. Guilford Dudley led after Col. James Read's return, or if they "shared" leadership of the NC Light Horse Regiment.

It is quite interesting that his last two commissions were provided by Brig. Gen. John Butler, who was over the Hillsborough District Brigade of Militia - Guilford Dudley was from the Halifax District.

Guilford Dudley was born on 4/17/1756 in Caroline County, VA, the son of Christopher Dudley and Elizabeth ? His parents moved to Halifax County, NC in November of 1763, and he continued to live there until 1785. He married Anna Bland Eaton on 5/23/1784 in Halifax County, NC, and they had ten (10) known children. They moved to Fayetteville, NC, then to Virginia, then to Tennessee. Guilford Dudley died on 2/3/1833 in Franklin County, TN.


Click Here for an online copy of Guilford Dudley's federal pension application (W8681), dated 10/12/1832, which contains his own words about his military service during the American Revolution, which are quite extensive (23 pages).

If anyone has a better biography of this man, please send it to this Author via e-mail or snail mail, and it will be added here, with full credit given.



© 2013 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved