Moores Creek National Battlefield
"King George and Broadswords!" shouted loyalists as they charged across partially dismantled Moores Creek bridge on February 27, 1776. Just beyond the bridge nearly a thousand North Carolina patriots waited quietly with cannons and muskets poised to fire.
The loyalists, mostly Scottish Highlanders wielding broadswords, expected to find only a small patriot force. As the loyalists advanced across the bridge, patriot shots rang out and dozens of loyalists fell, including their commanders.
Stunned, outgunned and leaderless, the loyalists surrendered, retreating in confusion. Wagons, weapons and British sterling worth more than $1 million by today's value were seized by the patriots in the days following the battle.
This dramatic victory ended British authority in the colony and greatly influenced North Carolina to be the first colony to vote for independence. The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, coupled with the Battle of Sullivans Island near Charleston, SC a few months later, ultimately led the 13 colonies to declare independence on July 4, 1776.
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From Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC
From Flickr user Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC