As of the date of the first significant
battle within North Carolina during the American Revolution -
the battle of Moore's
Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776 -
almost all North Carolina troops were in state. Col. Robert Howe
and much of his 2nd NC Regiment were marching back from Virginia.
The Minutemen and Militia of the Edenton District remained at
home just in case the British returned to Norfolk, VA.
Col. Richard Caswell of the New Bern
District Minutemen led a large contingent of Minutemen and Militia
to meet up with Col. John Alexander Lillington of the Wilmington
District Minutemen near the widow Moore's plantation in present-day
Pender County. Col. James Moore and a good portion of his 1st
NC Regiment positioned themselves at Rockfish Creek, about sixty
miles up the Cape Fear River.
A total of 134 companies from 20 counties
and five districts, directly or indirecty, participated in the
famous battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on that fateful day. 66
other companies were on their way but were too late. Some of
these were soon engaged in escorting prisoners to Halifax, NC,
but most simply turned around and went back home.