Tag Archives: Moores Creek National Battlefield

Moores Creek National Battlefield – Happy Anniversary!

Moores Creek NB
Moores Creek NB

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.

Moores Creek
Moores Creek

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.

Moores Creek National Battlefield

Moores Creek - the creek

National Park units are hidden every place. I set myself a minor goal to visit all the units in North Carolina. So on my way to New Bern, I took a detour to Moores Creek National Battlefield.

It was about 103 deg. according to my car thermometer when I arrived at the battlefield outside of Currie, in the North Carolina sandhills, about 20 miles west of Wilmington.

I knew I was on the right track when I reached Gen. Howe highway, NC 11. Gen Howe was the commander of the British forces in America during the American Revolution.

Moores Creek is a small park, about 88 acres but it makes the most to attract folks to this out-of-the-way park. Moores Creek commemorates a 3-minute battle (no typo here, three minutes) between the Loyalists and the Patriots on Feb. 27, 1776.

Loyalists marched to join the British who were going to sail into Wilmington harbor but to do that, they had to cross Moores Creek. They were arrogant enough to offer to pardon the renegades, the Patriots, and offered them an ultimatum. Disband and you’ll be all right.

Moores Creek - patriot memorial“No,” said the Patriots and the next morning they set a trap for the Loyalists.

Over 30 Loyalists died and one Patriot. The one Patriot got his own memorial, shown to the left.

The mile-long History Trail has six memorials and a couple of cannons. And of course, you get to walk across a reconstructed bridge over Moores Creek.

Moores Creek - Memorial to localsThere’s also a memorial to two locals (shown to the left) and one to the Loyalists. That shows that we’re so over the American Revolution. We’re all friends now.

Moore Creek - volunteer LarryLarry, a volunteer at the Battlefield, wears a dark green polo shirt with the NPS Volunteers-in-the-Parks patch. I’ve never seen this VIP uniform so I took his picture.

So was it worth the detour? If you’re into the American Revolution or into NPS sites, of course.