Moores Creek National Battlefield

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Moores Creek National Battlefield
Moores Creek National Battlefield is a United States National Battlefield managed by the National Park Service. The park commemorates the 1776 victory by 1,000 Patriots over about 800 Loyalists at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. The battle dashed the hopes of Province of North Carolina Royal Governor Josiah Martin's hopes of regaining control of the colony for the British crown. The Loyalist defeat ended British plans for an invasionary force to land in Brunswick Town, North Carolina. North Carolina voted to declare independence from the British on April 12, 1776, shortly after the victory at Moore's Creek. The park was established as a National Military Park on June 2, 1926 and was redesignated as a National Battlefield on September 8, 1980.

1776 battle
Loyalists, mostly Scottish Highlanders, many of whom did not have muskets and were wielding broadswords, expected to find only a small Patriot force on February 27, 1776. Before the arrival of the Loyalists, the Patriots removed the planks from the bridge that crossed Moore's Creek. After removing the planks of wood, they smeared the remaining crossing beams with lard. This forced the Loyalists to cross the bridge in single file. As the Loyalists advanced across the bridge, Patriot shots rang out and dozens of Loyalists fell into the creek below, including their commanders. At the time, the creek was an estimated six feet deep. One commander was Colonel Allan Macdonald, the husband of Flora MacDonald of Highland lore who aided Bonnie Prince Charlie following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746. Stunned, outgunned and leaderless, the Loyalists retreated in confusion, and many surrendered. 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 Sullivan's Island near Charleston, South Carolina, a few months later, ultimately led the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence on July 4, 1776.

Park
Throughout park, remnants remain of the 1776 road traveled by Patriot and Loyalist forces. A 1-mile (1.6-km) trail with wayside exhibits leads through the battlefield and across Moores Creek. The historic bridge site is located along the trail. The park offers a visitor center with exhibits and audio-visual program, a 0.3-mile (500 m) colonial forest trail, and a picnic area.