The American Revolution in North Carolina

William Purviance

Colonel over the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia - 1775-1776

On September 5, 1776, the NC Provincial Congress appointed William Purviance as Colonel/Commandant over the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia. He led the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia at the skirmish known as Fort Johnston #3 on January 27-28, 1776 - where the Patriots under his command kept a British ship from going upriver past Wilmington, a follow-on action after the initial firing on Fort Johnston.

During the famous battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776, Col. William Purviance and his men kept British ships from going upriver past Wilmington. They were stationed along the Cape Fear River at various locations near Wilmington and north of the town at Heron's Bridge.

Col. William Purviance resigned his commission at the end of 1776, and he was soon thereafter replaced by Col. Anthony Ward. 

In about 1754, William Purviance and two brothers left Ireland for North Carolina. He was born on September 4, 1730 in Donegal, Northern Ireland, the son of Samuel Purviance and Lettice Dinsmore. He married Eleanor Rebecca Evans on June 6, 1769, and they had five known children - Letitia Catherine, William John, Samuel Dinsmore, Sarah Isabel, and Frances. He died in 1787 in New Hanover County, NC.


Click Here for some genealogical informaton on the Purviance Family provided by dishmail.net. Go to #28.

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



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