In the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge in North Carolina on February 27, 1776, during the Revolutionary War (1775-83), American forces defeated the British. The victory ended British authority in North Carolina and provided an important boost to Patriot morale.
More to Explore
This Day in History
On this day in 1782, American Colonel William Crawford marches his army towards the Ohio River, where General George Washington has charged him with…
During the American Revolution, Great Britain's 13 American colonies rose up in insurrection and won their independence.
On January 17, 1781, General Daniel Morgan and a mixed Patriot force routed British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and a group of Redcoats and Loyalists at the Battle of Cowpens.
On August 16, 1780, American General Horatio Gates suffered a humiliating defeat at Camden, South Carolina.
In 1773, a group of Massachusetts patriots, protesting the monopoly on tea importation, seized 342 chests of tea and threw them into Boston harbor.
Did You Know?
Richard Caswell, who led the Patriots to victory at Moores Creek, later served as North Carolina’s first and fifth governor.
Battle of Moores Creek Bridge: February 27, 1776
Responding to the call by Josiah Martin, North Carolina’s royal governor, British Colonel Donald McLeod began marching 1,600 Loyalists from Cross Creek, North Carolina, toward the coast, where they were supposed to rendezvous with other Loyalists and Redcoats at Brunswick, North Carolina. When Commander Richard Caswell (1729-89) and some 1,000 Patriots arrived at Moores Creek Bridge, near present-day Wilmington, ahead of the British Loyalists, Caswell positioned his troops in the woods on either side of the bridge, awaiting the British with cannons and muskets at the ready. The British learned of the Patriot troops at Moores Creek in advance, but, expecting only a small force, decided to advance across the bridge to attack. The British Loyalists shouted, "King George and Broadswords!" as they moved across the bridge; they were swiftly cut down by a barrage of Patriot musket and cannon fire.
The British Loyalists quickly surrendered, giving the Patriots a victory and an important morale boost. The victory also aborted British plans to land a force at Brunswick, and ended British authority in the colony.
Battle of Moores Creek Bridge: Aftermath
Within two months of the American victory, on April 12, 1776, North Carolina became the first colony to vote in favor of independence from Britain.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up
Classroom Study Guides
Classroom companion for the new HISTORY series Vietnam in HD.
Teacher's Guide to the program covering the last few weeks of the Civil War, from President Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration, to the surrender at Appomatox, the assassination of Lincoln, and the final laying down of arms by the Confederacy.
Jefferson is an insightful 2-hour presentation on HISTORY which examines his many identities and asks viewers to answer for themselves: who was the real Thomas Jefferson, and what is his most lasting legacy in our world today?