Happy anniversary to Moores Creek National Battlefield. The Battle of Moores Creek in rural eastern North Carolina is celebrating its 240th anniversary today. It could be called the first Patriot victory in the Revolutionary War – February 27, 1776.
The administrative history of Moores Creek says that the battle was to the southern colonies what Lexington had been for the northern colonies. Moores Creek, twenty miles northwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, is a slow-moving black-water creek. Cypress trees, with their characteristic knees, throw off their reflection in the water.
The three-minute battle was between the Loyalist (Americans loyal to the British Crown) and Patriots, those who wanted independence. This victory encouraged North Carolina to become the first American colony to vote for independence.
Moore’s Creek Battlefield Association also has the distinction of being the oldest continuing Friends group in the National Park Service. The group started in 1899 and actually managed the battlefield until they turned it over to the War Department in 1926. We seldom think about how a battlefield site becomes a national park unit. But it was a long time between the battle (1776) and when the land was protected. Individuals and groups have to buy the private land, piece by piece.
I visited this park several years ago, but now it’s on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail route. The park is having a big celebration today for its 240th anniversary. I wonder if there are descendants who can trace their ancestry back to this battle.