Loyalists

Loyalists in Formation
Loyalists in Formation

NPS Photo/ Nate Toering

Loyalists
Meet the Loyalists of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. Loyalists are those colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. These Loyalists sometimes called Tories opposed the Patriots who supported the Revolution.

The Loyalists who fought at Moores Creek were made up of 1,400 Highland Scott Immigrants, and 200 backwoodsman who were known as Regulators. When war breaks out in North Carolina in the summer of 1775, Royal Governor Josiah Martin devises a plan to retake the colony by force. Looking to take advantage of the late Regulator Rebellion in North Carolina in 1771, that pitted backwoodsman known as Regulators against then Royal Governor William Tryon and the Colonial Assembly. The Colonial Assembly, dominated by the Sons of Liberty who would later become known as Patriots, made the Patriots the natural enemy of the Regulators when war breaks out. Governor Martin’s hope was that these Regulators would rally to the Royal Standard, but when the Governor fails to appear at Cross Creek in early February of 1776 nearly 3,000 former Regulators returned home, leaving the Highland Scotts to contend with the Patriots.

Loyalist Commanders in the Moores Creek Campaign

Join us below for some short videos about the Loyalist commanders in the Moores Creek Campaign.
 
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Duration:
4 minutes, 42 seconds

A Commander's Minute featuring the two principal Loyalist commanders in the Moores Creek Campaign, Gen. Donald MacDonald and Lt. Col Donald McLeod.

 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 20 seconds

Commander's Minute about Loyalist Officer Allen MacDonald, husband of famed heroine Flora MacDonald.

 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 20 seconds

Join Ranger Jason Howell for the next Commander's Minute as he discusses Lt. Colonel Alexander McLean.

Last updated: February 27, 2021

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