report by George Washington Chapter President Paul Walden
Paul Walden, President, George Washington Chapter, presented a wreath at Commemoration of the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge on February 25. A total of thirty nine SAR, DAR, CAR and other societies presented wreaths at this event, which due to the spring-like weather, attracted a large crowd. In addition to the wreath laying event, the day also included battle re-enactments, musical performances by bagpipe and fife and drum corps, and guided tours of the battle site. As part of this commemoration, the Lower Cape Fear Chapter hosted a dinner the previous evening at the Cape Fear Country Club, where President General Tomme and his wife gave an interesting presentation---in period attire--- on life in the eighteenth century.
The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought near Wilmington in present-day Pender County, North Carolina on February 27, 1776. The victory of North Carolina Revolutionary forces over Southern Loyalists helped build political support for the revolution and increased recruitment of additional soldiers into their forces.
Loyalist recruitment efforts in the interior of North Carolina began in earnest with news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Patriots in the province also began organizing Continental Army and militia units. When word arrived in January 1776 of a planned British Army expedition to the area, Josiah Martin, the royal governor, ordered the Loyalist militia to muster in anticipation of their arrival. Revolutionary militia and Continental units mobilized to prevent the junction, blockading several routes until the poorly armed Loyalists were forced to confront them at Moore's Creek Bridge, about 18 miles north of Wilmington.
In a brief early-morning engagement, a charge across the bridge by sword-wielding Loyalist Scotsmen was met by a barrage of musket fire. One Loyalist leader was killed, another captured, and the whole force was scattered. In the following days, many Loyalists were arrested, putting a damper on further recruiting efforts. North Carolina was not militarily threatened again until 1780, and memories of the battle and its aftermath negated efforts by Charles Cornwallis to recruit Loyalists in the area in 1781.