Wednesday, April 29, 2009


One last thing today: I am learning a little Geography- being confused by Tarboro and Farmville. But I am looking for Edgecombe county Revolutionary history and I don't know much about it.

I found this old book with a google books search "History of Edgecombe County, North Carolina" printed in 1920. It is pretty detailed.

It basically says Edgecombe was a bread basket for the revolution with the support for war against Britain available, but muted. "The military operations in the county, as in almost every other county in the colony, were carried out by the energetic minority" Most of the people were uncomfortable with a total separation with England, although they had political disagreements over quit-rents and taxes for more than a generation.

The Tories were active along with the Patriots. There was a bump up in fear of Britain after slaves were told to make an uprising by the British and then again after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse when Cornwallis and Tarleton moved north.

Tarleton was on the look out for food. Edgecombe had supplied much of its stores to SC during the invasion in 1780 by the British. This book records that of the six NC brigades and 1000 militia in Charleston when it fell, 700 troops were from Edgecombe county. Edgecombe sent food to her men. Nothing much was left when Cornwallis moved north for his troops to acquire. Lt. Col. Tarleton, true to his reputation, spared nothing, and the fire and sword promised to the western counties in September 1780 was delivered to the eastern counties in 1781. The county " now became the stage for a reign of terror. "

Tarleton took what food was remaining in the county and decided to move against Halifax where provisions were stored for the continental soldiers. Gen. Sumner was there and hearing that Tarleton was on the way, informed Gen. Greene in a letter he was retreating from Halifax to Warren county with the stores.

Militia from Edgecombe, Pitt and Northhampton rallied to meet the British at Swift creek and Fishing Creek to stop the British. Court documents and all manner of records, deeds, etc were quickly collected at Tarboro. The militia was hastily organized and no match for Tarleton's mounted dragoons. The were defeated at Swift Creek and fell back to Fishing Creek until overrun and Tarleton had a clear path to Halifax. "These two skirmishes on Swift and Fishing Creek were the first and last appearance of the main army of the British in Edgecombe."

So the British were in Edgecombe, right?

It is interesting to read about this "Tory war" The fighting continued after Yorktown and in Edgecombe, the war was not over for at least six more years.

Last important fact - "The local interest and participation of Edgecombe in the Revolution ended in Tarboro in 1787-88.

During this year the (NC) General Assembly met in Tarboro for its first time. During the sitting of the Assembly an act was passed declaring the treaty of peace between the United States and the King of Great Britain to be a part of the law of the land.

The courts of law and equity were again declared to have jurisdiction in all causes and questions. Elisha Battle was elected chairman, and he presided over the rapid and heated debates of the fundamental rules and provisions of the new State government. The adoption and ratification of the Constitution was followed by the first appearance of political parties on decided lines"

So NC is free at last and the first thing people do is divide up and take sides in the political parties. How American can we get?

1 comment:

ilex said...

Hooray, you started your blog!!