PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - In the past couple of weeks, officials at two civil war battlefields in our area have sponsored events to remember conflicts that took place there.
This weekend, the staff and volunteers at the National Park Services' Moores Creek Battlefield will observe the brief fight that took place there in February, 1776, a battle that helped lead the colonies away from British rule.
After the battles in Lexington and Concord, soldiers loyal to the King began a British Army expedition to the South. A Patriot militia was mobilized and blocked several routes of the British Army, until there was only one route left for them to pass thru this area. And that was over the Bridge at Moores Creek.
In a pre-dawn mist, more than 700 Scots and Regulators arrived at Moores Creek, and began their advance across the bridge timbers, with eighty picked men, each armed with a broadsword. With bagpipes playing, they charged forward towards the Patriot lines.
Holding their fire until the enemy had crossed, the Patriot militia opened fire with muskets and two small cannon. Firing at close range, they cut down the Loyalists.
The Patriots had also removed some of the planking on the bridge, causing more difficulties for the Loyalists. The battle was brief, but important.
"So for us to kick out the Royal Governor and spoil some plans for the British Army down here in the south really led to the rest of the colonies starting to get the idea that freedom was possible," said Jonathan Grubbs, a Ranger with the National Park Service.
As they have done for years, this weekend, reenactors will gather at Moores Creek National Battlefield, to tell visitors of the significance of the battle and the important role North Carolinians played in the fight for freedom.
"We will be firing Mother Covington and her daughter, which is a swivel gun, then we will also have the musket demonstrations as well, so it will be very interesting, and we'll have the Patriots here, as well as the Loyalists," said Grubbs.
Though the battle was a small one, lasting only about three minutes, the implications were large. The Patriots victory at Moores Creek, the first victory of the American Revolution in the south, ended British rule in the colony called North Carolina, which then went on to become the first Colony to call for independence from England.
The Moores Creek National Battlefield in located on North Carolina Highway 210, near the town of Currie, in Pender County.
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