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

February 15, 1779

June 1, 1779

December 31, 1779

May 12, 1780

August 16, 1780

September 10, 1780

August 10, 1781

April 24, 1782

June 15, 1782

January 15, 1783

May 15, 1783


On January 27th, the NC General Assembly hastily convened in Halifax. On February 7th, they abolished the "Board of War" and put in its place a new "Council Extraordinary" with very similar responsibilities. Also during this session, the General Assembly authorized two new regiments of Light Horse, one to be raised in the Halifax District and led by Major (soon to become Colonel) James Read; and one to be raised in the Hillsborough District and led by Col. François DeMalmedy. Many historians consider these to be Militia, but again, since both regiments contained officers and men from all across the State, most consider these units to be State Troops.

Also on February 7th, the NC General Assembly re-instated Major General Richard Caswell as the leader of all NC Militia units. However, since his health was not all that good, he maintained a low profile for the remainder of the war. By now, Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) William Lee Davidson had been killed at the battle of Cowan's Ford (2/1/1781) and the field officers in the Salisbury District decided to select their own leader - Brigadier General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina. Pickens had been recently promoted due to his heroic actions at the battle of the Cowpens, SC, but he had not had time to assemble his brigade because he had joined Major General Nathanael Greene and Brigadier General Daniel Morgan in their famous "Race to the Dan" (see below). With plenty of North Carolina officers ready and willing to serve under him, he accepted command of the Salisbury District Brigade of Militia on a temporary basis. It is unclear if this command was sanctioned by any North Carolina civil authorities - the NC State Records are silent on this subject. Brigadier General Andrew Pickens led the Salisbury District Brigade of Militia for most of February, but returned to South Carolina in early March of 1781 to build his own brigade of Militia.

On February 8th, the NC General Assembly authorized a new company of Militia in Onslow County to protect a new salt works project there.

In the meantime, the Continental Congress sent a new commander for the Southern Department, and he arrived in North Carolina in early December of 1780. Major General Nathanael Greene replaced Major General Horatio Gates, who was recalled to the northern theater. The NC Continental Line was still in great disarray with very little recruiting effort going on, even eight months after the Fall of Charleston, SC. There just aren't enough experienced officers available to do very much, and those who are available have only recently been freed up from leading Militia units. Only to be called to do the same again soon.

With British Lt. General, Charles Lord Cornwallis stationed in Hillsborough, after losing the "Race to the Dan" against Major General Nathanael Greene and Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, all North Carolina Militia units were being hastily filled, and many were soon led by Continental officers again, most begrudgingly.

However, the British had the foresight to take Wilmington so they would have a port with which to receive provisions and ammunition. Major James H. Craig took the town on January 28th without a fight, and he occupied the town until mid-November.

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