May 12, 1780 was a terrible day for
the entire Southern Department of the Continental Army, including
the NC Continental Line. Brigadier General James Hogun surrendered
814 NC Continentals on that fateful day, and most were placed
on prison ships or sent to St. Augustine, FL. Many remained in
captivity for over a year, with some still captive after two
years. Over 1,200 NC Militiamen also surrendered that day, but
most were quickly paroled and sent home to await their exchange.
For details of which NC units participated
and which units were captured, click
With the NC Continental Line decimated,
the few officers who were at home, either sick or recruiting,
were now faced with the daunting task of recreating entire new
regiments solely from raw recruits who did not really want to
serve. It took well over a year to rebuild and retrain.
In the meantime, North Carolina commissioned
its second Major General over all NC Militia - ex-Governor Richard
Caswell - on April 10th. Major General Caswell had just started
marching a farily sizeable Militia contingent southward when
he learned of the Fall of Charleston. He quickly turned around
and went back to Cross Creek. Others under his command turned
around and went to Wilmington.