The American Revolution in North Carolina

Henry Rhodes

Lt. Colonel in the Onslow County Regiment of Militia - 1775-1777
Colonel in the Onslow County Regiment of Militia - 1777-1780

On 9/9/1775, Henry Rhodes was commissioned as a Lt. Colonel under Col. William Cray in the Onslow County Regiment of Militia. Lt. Col. Henry Rhodes participated in the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on 2/27/1776.

During the 4Q of 1777, Henry Rhodes was commissioned as a Colonel in the Onslow County Regiment of Militia, alongside Col. William Cray. When Col. William Cray died on 12/18/1778, Col. Henry Rhodes became Colonel/Commandant of the Onslow County Regiment of Militia, a position he retained until his own death in the 3Q of 1780.


From "The Commonwealth of Onslow - A History," by Joseph Parsons Brown (1960) (edited):

Henry Rhodes began his public carer as almost all public citizens did in the early life of the county, by being appointed a Justice of the Peace, which office was then a much more important one that it is generally considered to be now, because the county government was then principally in their hands.

Prior to the Revolution, the counties maintained an organization of militia which met in their respective communities at stated times, and all of which came together at the courthouse four times annually at the opening of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Each local unit wa in charge of a captain or other subordinate officer, while the general muster at the courthouse was in command of a Colonel.

In 1773, while William Cray was at his peak in the legislative halls, Henry Rhodes was Sheriff of Onslow and held at the same time most other county offices.

Prior to 1775, the Legislature consisted of an upper house called the Council, and a lower house of Commons. Henry Rhodes was elected to the House of Commons first in 1775, the last session under Royal Governor Josiah Martin. Rhodes was then a delegate to the 2nd Provincial Congress, which met at New Bern in April of 1775, and later at the Third Provincial Congress in Hillsborough during August of 1775. He was also a member of the Provincial Council of the Wilmington District. During 1776, Henry Rhodes was a member from Onslow on the North Carolina Constitution commission.

After the death of William Cray in late 1778, Henry Rhodes was elected to take his place as Senator from Onslow County, a position he held until his death in 1780. He is buried in an unmarked grave at Rhodes' Point on New River. In his will, he mentioned his wife, Elizabeth [Ward], his sons Woodhouse and Henry, and daughters Sarah Ward, Elizabeth Fonville, Alice, Mary, and Henrietta.


Another source indicates that Henry Rhodes was married twice. His first wife's name was Mary Woodhouse. Children by his second wife, Elizabeth Ware, were Henry (died as a young man) and Henrietta.

Click Here for an online biography of Henry Rhodes provided by William S. Powell.

Click Here for a photo and brief writeup about the gravesite memorial of Henry Rhodes.

If anyone has a more complete 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.



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