Tuesday, March 15, 2016

240th Anniversary of the Battle of Moore's Creek, NC

Tory recruit and drummer from Cross Creek, enroute to Wilmington.
(I bought the knitted bonnets in Spain...go figure).

    Its been a busy, few weeks...well year for that matter.  So its no surprise that I'm writing about Moore's Creek (A great National Park, with a great staff) two weeks after the fact.  This was our first event on the Crown side and we fell in as Tories on their way from Cross Creek (Fayetteville) to Wilmington, NC.  These transplants from Scotland (veterans and sons of veterans of the rebellion of 1745) were being recruited to rendezvous with the Royal Navy and be transported north to Nova Scotia to be outfitted as a provincial regiment.  By the time they had reached the bridge at Moore's Creek, they had already marched over 90 miles, had few weapons (most who died in the battle were armed with the broadsword and pistols).

Moore's Bridge.  Prior to the battle, the Whigs tore up the boards on the bridge
and greased the stringers.  The Highlanders who actually made it across met with a hail
of cannon fire from a small earthen fort, recently thrown up by the Whig force.

   The battled ended in a Whig victory, but had two important results: Firstly, Wilmington did not fall into Crown hands and the future highland regiment was significantly depleted.  Negatively, the lopsided victory caused North Carolina to rely on militia levies for defense for the remainder of the war, never filling its Continental quota.  Once the war returned to the south, North Carolina was absolutely unprepared.

       While there was no battle recreation at the National Park, the NPS under the guidance of Ranger Matt Woods put on a great event.  The weekend kicked off with wreathlayings at the Scottish Tory and Whig monuments, attended by local Scottish Clan associations and the DAR.

         The rest of the weekend was filled with military demonstrations and colonial folkways-these were the best.  Moore's Creek staff has done a phenomenal job turning the field into an outdoor class room.

The last firing of the gun before its retirement to the museum.

At the outdoor kitchen, demonstrators talked about Colonial
foodways, while demonstrating 18thc baking and cooking techniques.

William Carter and Rick Sheets, horners, were very engaging and had beautiful work.

We were able to observe the making of lantern panes and spoons...as well as picking
up some valuable trade-secrets.

A few sutlers even made it out for the event.

Moore's Creek has a fully functional forge and a robust
blacksmith apprenticeship program...its all taken off in the last few years.

Add to this an 18th c soldier's garden and this really is a great site for an event, field trip
or home school day.

Non-period marshmellow roasting in sub-freezing temperatures.

 We had a wonderful time here, met some great people in the 71st and 84th Highlanders, with whom we fell in, and will certainly be back next year.  Perhaps with a little more kit that just a blew bonnet!

On our way to Wilmington LOL  #Godsavekinggeorge #Downwiththewhigs

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