The Battle of Cross Creek during the American Revolutionary War
By Jeannette Holland Austin Profile
Cumberland County was taken from Bladen County in 1754 and a court house and jail were erected in Choeffington (near Linden). In 1760, the North Carolina General Assembly elected to establish a town on a tract of one hundred acres along the Cape Fear River, one mile from Cross Creek named Campbellton. But three years later the site of the town was relocated. The residents of Cross Creek disliked the new location and petitioned the legislature to relocate the public buildings to Cross Creek. But only the jail was moved. It was not until 1778 that the General Assembly annexed Campbelltown with Cross Creek and relocated the court house there. In June 1775, the "Liberty Point Resolves" was adopted by the citizenry endorsing the cause of the patriots against Great Britain. The Southern Campaign included much of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In fact, the Tories concentrated many of their skirmishes and battles around North and South Carolina. As they captured Charleston and Savannah, guerrilla militia forces took to the back country attempting to prevent the British from occupying more territory. Thus, Cross Creek soon became a hotbed of wartime activity, not only for the Patriots but also for Loyalist sympathizers in the region. Cross Creek was the rendezvous site of the Highland Scots fighting for Great Britain in 1776 when that army marched to Moore’s Creek Bridge, only to be defeated by the Patriots. Two years later the county court issued orders to about four hundred citizens suspected of being Loyalists across Cumberland County to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Provincial government. Soon afterwards Lord Cornwallis marched his troops from South Carolina towards the Guilford Court House. They passed through Cross Creek and a skirmish waged between local patriots and the Loyalists favoring the British. The next time that the army of Lord Cornwallis passed through the region, they were following the retreat of the patriots from the bloody battle of Guilford Court House. And then four months later, David Fanning raided Cross Creek with his band of Tories and captured several Patriots.
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