February: An Important Month in the History of the American Revolution

When one thinks of the American Revolution, February is not the month most often to come to mind. Yes, July 4th is celebrated as our nation’s day of Independence but two-hundred and forty-two years ago this month, one of the most important battles was fought in North Carolina. Yes, in North Carolina, well below the Mason-Dixon Line, the Southern colonies were involved from the beginning in fighting for freedom.
This small but decisive fight, known as the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, ended with American forces defeating the British, to go ahead and give away the ending. The Royal Governor at the time, British Colonel Donald McLeod was instructed to march his 1,600 Loyalist troops from Cross Creek to the coast, to rendezvous with other Redcoats and Loyalist in Brunswick, North Carolina. Patriot Commander Richard Caswell and 1,000 troops arrived at Moores Creek Bridge before the British and were postioned, ready and waiting for the British. Although McLeod had been informed of the Patriots in advance, the expectation was it would be a small force and plans were not altered. The Patriots swiftly conquered the British Loyalists and had their surrender in hand!
This victory resulted in the end of British authority in North Carolina, not to mention a great boost to morale for the Patriot fighters. Within two months of this triumph, North Carolina would become the first colony to vote in favor of independence from Britain. Only three months later, the United States would ratify the Declaration of Independence. Today, you can visit the site of the Moore’s Creek National Battlefield in Currie, North Carolina at the National Park.