The American Revolution in North Carolina

4th North Carolina Regiment

Date Established:


Original Officers:

April 15, 1776

Col. Thomas Polk
Col. James Armstrong
Lt. Col. Henry "Hal" Dixon
Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle

Col. Thomas Polk
Lt. Col. James Thackston
Maj. William Lee Davidson

Known Lt. Colonels:

Known Majors:

Lt. Col. James Thackston
Lt. Col. Henry "Hal" Dixon
Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle
Lt. Col. John Armstrong

Maj. William Lee Davidson
Maj. John Armstrong
Maj. Thomas Harris
Maj. Charles McLean

Maj. Thomas Donoho
Maj. George Dougherty
Maj. Pinketham Eaton

Known Regimental Adjutants:

William Covington

Thomas Pasteur

William Slade


William Williams


Known Quarter Masters:

Jonathan Conger

John Curry

William Douglas

Joseph Graham

William Standfast

Jesse Steed

Miscellaneous Players:

Hezekiah Alexander - Paymaster

James Atkins - Chaplain

Joseph Blythe - Surgeon

Hugh Boyd - Surgeon

Robert Duncan - Paymaster

Solomon Halling - Surgeon

Daniel Mallett - Commissary

Peter Mallett - Commissary

Thomas Pasteur - Paymaster

William Pasteur - Surgeon

Ransom Southerland - Commissary

William Usher - Surgeon

Known Captains:

John Ashe, Jr.

Alexander Brevard

John Campbell

Benjamin Carter

Samuel Chapman

William Temple Coles

George Dougherty

Thomas Evans

William Ferrebee

William Goodman

Thomas Harris

Curtis Ivey

James Kerr

Micajah Lewis

William Lytle

John McLane

James Mills

Elijah Moore

Roger Moore

John Nelson

Joseph Phillips

Matthew Ramsey

Joseph Thomas Rhodes

William Saunders

James Scurlock

Anthony Sharpe

Robert Smith


James Williams


Known Lieutenants - Captain Unknown:

Hezekiah Alexander

William Alexander

Whitmel Blount

John Campbell

Thomas Clark

Benjamin Dillon

Charles Dixon

William Ferrebee

John Hill

Kadar Parker

William Slade

Nathaniel Brice Williams

Known Ensigns - Captain Unknown:

James Campbell

Joseph Eagle

William Slade

Known Sergeants - Captain Unknown:

 James Ballentine

Jonathan Conger

Malachi Jolly


Isaac Williamson


Known Corporals - Captain Unknown:




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

James Anderson

William Cooper

Samuel Ector

Hugh Forsyth

Major Grisham

John Hamilton

Joseph Harrison

Benjamin Joiner

Edward Morris

Anderson Nunnery

John Patterson

James Primm

Lewis Richards

Cornelius Ryan

John Scott

Charles Smith

Simon Terrell

Jeremiah Walker

Brief History of Regiment:

The 4th North Carolina Regiment was authorized on March 26, 1776 and assigned to the Southern Department.

The 4th North Carolina Regiment was organized on April 15, 1776 at Wilmington. It included eight companies from the Salisbury, Edenton, and Wilmington Districts.

On February 5, 1777, it was removed from the Southern Department and re-assigned to the Northern Department. On July 8, 1777, it was assigned to the NC Brigade, an element of the Northern Department.

June 1, 1778, it was removed from the Northern Department and re-assigned to the Southern Department - but it was still stationed in Valley Forge, PA. The regiment was so depleted that it was sent home to recruit new men, and Col. James Armstrong of the now-defunct 8th NC Regiment was assigned to lead the 4th NC Regiment. Col. Thomas Polk was never consulted about the new arrangement, and he begrudgingly accepted the position of Commissary General for the State of North Carolina upon his return to the state.

In the Fall of 1778, the 4th NC Regiment was re-organized at Halifax, NC, with nine (9) companies, mostly coming from the recently-approved "New Levies," which were only required to enlist for nine months.

When the British from East Florida invaded Georgia in 1778, it was decided that the 4th NC Regiment would remain in the Southern Department, soon to be attached to the newly-reformed NC 2nd Brigade, which was led by Brigadier General Jethro Sumner. The newly-recreated NC 2nd Brigade included the 4th NC Regiment, the 5th NC Regiment, and the 6th NC Regiment, all hastily reconstituted in late 1778 and early 1779.

The new NC 2nd Brigade was attached to Major General Benjamin Lincoln upon his arrival in South Carolina in late 1778, and it was soon engaged against the British Army in Georgia and South Carolina. Most of the 4th NC Regiment again dissolved after the "New Levies" nine-month tenure was fulfilled in late Summer/early Fall of 1779. Col. James Armstrong and all other active officers were sent back home to once again refill all companies.

In early 1780, the British returned to South Carolina and this time they brought enough men to successfully take Charlestown. The 4th NC Regiment was not there - all officers were still in North Carolina recruiting. With the Fall of Charlestown and the capture of the 1st NC Regiment, the 2nd NC Regiment, and the 3rd NC Regiment, North Carolina leaders decided to ignore refilling the Continental units and focused almost entirely on raising a large number of Militiamen instead. During the second half of 1780, the 4th NC Regiment remained in limbo - all officers were considered to be on active duty, but all were deeply discouraged by the lack of new recruits. They simply stayed at home until things improved. Some officers resigned, others limped along with recruiting for their Continental units, and others helped their neighborhood Militia units to get organized.

After the capture of Charlestown, British Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis succeeded in in taking most of South Carolina, including routing the Patriots again at the Battle of Camden, SC, and seizing many outposts in the backcountry. In September, Lord Cornwallis invaded North Carolina, only to give it up and return to South Carolina. However, after the Battle of the Cowpens in mid-January of 1781, he decided to take the action back to North Carolina.

From January 18th to May of 1781, Lord Cornwallis and his deteriorating British Army wreaked havoc on the North Carolina population, and the few NC Continentals under Major General Nathanael Greene mostly led North Carolina Militia units, which did very little to slow the British down. In May, Lord Cornwallis decided to go into Virginia, and Major General Nathanael Greene decided to go back into South Carolina. North Carolina was ordered to renew their efforts and hurriedly re-instated all four Continental regiments, including the 4th NC Regiment.

From April to August of 1781, the 4th NC Regiment was reconstituted, with detachments being hurriedly sent to South Carolina to support Major General Nathanael Greene. As men were recruited, they were assembled and marched southward, usually with no uniforms and with no arms or ammunition. They met at the High Hills of the Santee in South Carolina and drilled until a semblance of a regiment could be recreated. Col. James Armstrong had retired as of January 1781, and upon the new incarnation, Lt. Col. Henry "Hal" Dixon was given command of the regiment. The new 4th NC Regment was soon in action at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina on September 8, 1781. During this engagement, the NC Continental Regiments suffered greater losses than any other of the units engaged.

After Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781, the NC Regiments diminished rapidly as enlistments expired and it became evident that the war was drawing to a close.

On February 2, 1782, the entire North Carolina Continental Line leadership was settled after many years of squabbling over which officer should have been promoted when. Effective on this date, Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle was given command of the 4th NC Regiment, even though he was still considered to be a prisoner of the British on parole.

Near the end of 1782, most of the NC troops were ordered home. Effective January 1, 1783, all remaining NC Continentals were consolidated into a single regiment, ostensibly the 1st NC Regiment, essentially eliminating all other NC Continental regiments, including the 4th NC Regiment. By June of 1783, these remaining troops were furloughed at James Island, SC while awaiting the final signing of the peace treaty with Great Britain.

The 4th North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Line was officially disbanded on November 15, 1783.


Known Battles / Skirmishes:


Fort Moultrie #1 (SC)


Fort George/Bald Head Island


Brandywine Creek (PA)


Germantown (PA)


Briar Creek (GA)


Stono Ferry (SC)


Siege of Savannah (GA)


Guilford Court House (one unit)


Eutaw Springs (SC)

© 2012 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved