The American Revolution in North Carolina

March 10, 1775

September 15, 1775

October 25, 1775

November 28, 1775

December 22, 1775

February 27, 1776

May 15, 1776

June 15, 1776

November 30, 1776

December 31, 1776

February 15, 1777

May 1, 1777

August 1, 1777

October 15, 1777

December 20, 1777

May 10, 1778

August 17, 1778

June 1, 1779

December 31, 1779

May 12, 1780

August 16, 1780

September 10, 1780

February 15, 1781

August 10, 1781

April 24, 1782

June 15, 1782

January 15, 1783

May 15, 1783


On November 18, 1778, Governor Richard Caswell commissioned the state's first Major General over all North Carolina Militia - Major General John Ashe. Once again, rumors of a British invasion of either North Carolina or South Carolina prompted North Carolina to put its entire Militia force on alert. Men were raised all across the state in late 1778 with orders to remain vigilant until the British invasion materialized. Major General Robert Howe was ordered to leave the Southern Department of the Continental Army and to march northward, he was being replaced by Major General Benjamin Lincoln.

On December 22, 1778, Major General Benjamin Lincoln wrote to Governor Richard Caswell to let him know that 40 British ships had just passed Charlestown and headed for Savannah, GA. The British brought over 3,000 men under Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell and it took them virtually no time at all to seize Savannah. By the end of the year, NC Militia units from the Hillsborough District and the Salisbury District were in South Carolina. More NC Militia from the Wilmington District and New Bern District marched into South Carolina in early January of 1779 under Major General John Ashe. With Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford now in South Carolina, the NC General Assembly commissioned Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) Matthew Locke to oversee the remaining elements of the Salisbury District Brigade of Militia back home.

In January and February of 1779, the NC General Assembly created eight (8) new counties - Franklin, Gates, Jones, Lincoln, Montgomery, Randolph, Rutherford, and Warren. Two (2) counties were abolished - Bute and Tryon. There were now 47 counties and 47 regiments of Militia.

In January, the NC General Assembly established the NC State Regiment as State Troops to patrol only within the State to keep Loyalist uprisings down now that the British were once again a threat. The remaining three companies of NC Light Dragoons were removed from the NC Continental Line and supposed to be disbanded, but the NC General Assembly decided to keep them semi-active as State Troops until they could decide how best to use them.

With the recent promotion of John Ashe to Major General, John Alexander Lillington was officially commissioned as the new Brigadier General over the Wilmington District Brigade of Militia on February 4th. Most agree that he had been acting in that capacity since John Ashe's promotion in November of 1778.

In the northern theater, Col. James Hogun's 7th NC Regiment dissolved due to the expiration of enlistments, but the remnants were consolidated into the also dissolving 3rd NC Regiment under Lt. Col. Robert Mebane. Since the British had seized Savannah and were now threatening South Carolina, the previously furloughed "New Levies" were re-activated. These plus new recruits were the basis for reconstituting the previously-defunct 5th NC Regiment and 6th NC Regiment.

On January 9th, the Continental Congress commissioned two new Brigadier Generals for the NC Continental Line. James Hogun was given the 1st NC Brigade in the northern theater under General George Washington. Jethro Sumner was given the 2nd NC Brigade in the southern theater under Major General Benjamin Lincoln.

© 2014 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved