The American Revolution in North Carolina

Isaac Gregory

Lt. Colonel in the Pasquotank County Regiment of Militia - 1775
Colonel over the 2nd Pasquotank County Regiment of Militia - 1775-1777
Colonel over the Camden County Regiment of Militia - 1777-1779
Brigadier General over the Edenton District Brigade of Militia - 1779-1783

On 9/6/1775, Isaac Gregory was commissioned as a Lt. Colonel under Col. John Lowery in the Pasquotank County Regiment of Militia. Several sources assert that this regiment was at the battle of Great Bridge, VA on 12/9/1775.

On 12/22/1775, Isaac Gregory was commissioned as Colonel/Commandant over the newly-created 2nd Pasquotank County Regiment. There are also later records of this appointment on 4/22/1776, but this was merely a reconfirmation of the initial appointment. The NC General Assembly went through the motions of reconfirming all County field officers in April of 1776, as well as appointing new ones and naming new brigadier generals.

On 5/9/1777, the NC General Assembly established Camden County out of Pasquotank County, and Isaac Gregory became the Colonel/Commandant over the Camden County Regiment of Militia, which was essentially just a renaming of the existing 2nd Pasquotank County Regiment of Militia.

On 5/15/1779, Isaac Gregory was commissioned as a Brigadier General over the Edenton District Brigade of Militia, replacing Brig. Gen. William Skinner who resigned on 5/10/1779 upon his return from the Purrysburg, SC expedition. This position was first given to John Pugh Williams of Bertie County, but he declined to serve three days after his appointment. Brig. Gen. Isaac Gregory retained this position until the end of the war.

Brig. Gen. Isaac Gregory led the Edenton District Brigade of Militia at the battles of Little Lynches Creek, SC (8/11/1780) and Camden, SC (8/16/1780), where he was severely wounded after his horse fell and he was bayonetted twice. The British captured him, but their doctors said he would not live, so he was paroled and permitted to go home. Thomas Benbury was appointed as Brig. Gen. (Pro Tempore) during his convalescence. Isaac Gregory returned to active duty in November of 1780.

In 1781, rumors ran wild about Isaac Gregory's participation in a treasonous affair with the British army in Virginia, but it was soon learned that this was a simple hoax precipitated by a British officer. It turns out that the same British officer provided information to prove Gregory's innocence after he learned how badly his hoax had turned out. Although clearly proven innocent, this false charge haunted Isaac Gregory for the remainder of his life.

Isaac Gregory was born c.1737 in Pasquotank County, NC, the son of William Gregory and Judith Morgan. Isaac Gregory married Elizabeth Whedbee and they had two known daughters, Sarah and Matilda.

He served as the Sheriff of Pasquotank County for eight terms in the 1770s. In 1773, he was one of the trustees charged with building St. Martin's Anglican Chapel in neighboring Currituck County. In early 1775, Isaac Gregory was a member of the House of Commons during the last Colonial Assembly convened by Royal Governor Josiah Martin. Isaac Gregory served in the NC Provincial Congresses during 1775 and 1776. He was also elected to the State Senate for ten terms between 1778 and 1796. Some sources assert he was also a member of the House of Commons, but this Author has not found this information to be accurate.

Isaac Gregory married a second time to Sarah Lamb, and they had two sons and three (or four) daughters. He died in April of 1800 of an unspecified illness at his plantation home Fairfax Hall, which survived until the 1980s, but is now often referred to as Fairfield or Fairfield Hall.

Click Here for an online link to the book entitled, "Three Hundred Years Along the Pasquotank, a Biographical History of Camden County," by Jesse Forbes Pugh (1957). This book contains a fairly comprehensive biography of Isaac Gregory, among others, and can be purchased at several online retailers. However, most online retailers list the book, but have none in stock.

Click Here for a short online biography of Isaac Gregory provided by William S. Powell.

Click Here for some more online biographical information about Isaac Gregory and the creation of Camden County, NC. It contains a few more details of Gregory's injuries sustained at the battle of Camden, SC.

Click Here to view two photos of his home in Camden County, NC, provided by the Library of Congress.

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

© 2013 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved