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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memoir "Narrative of Colonel David Fanning" concerning the Revolutionary War
Fanning, David, 1756?-1825
June 24, 1790
Volume 22, Pages 180-239

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Detailing Astonishing Events in No. Ca.,
FROM 1775 TO 1783.


Courteous Reader:

Whoever thou art, the Author being only a Farmer bred, and not conversant in learning, thou may’st think that the within Journal is not authentic. But it may be depended upon on that every particular herein mentioned is nothing but the truth: Yea, I can boldly assert that I have undergone much more than what is herein mentioned.

Rebellion according to the Scripture is, as the Sin of Witchcraft; and the propagators thereof, has been more than once punished; which is dreadfully exemplified this day in the now United States of America but formerly Provinces; for since their Independence from Great Britain, they have been awfully and visibly punished by the fruits of the earth being cut off; and civil dissention every day prevailing among them; their fair trade, and commerce almost totally ruined; and nothing prospering so much as nefarious and rebellious Smuggling. Whatever imperfections is in the within, its hoped will be kindly overlooked by the courteous Reader, and attributed to the Author’s want of learning.

I do not set forth anything as a matter of amusement, but what is really, justly fact, that my transactions and scenes of life have been as herein narrated during the term of the Rebellion; and that conduct,

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resolution, and courage perform wondrous things beyond credibility, the following of which laudable deeds will give them, are exercised therein the Experience that I have gained.

In the 19th year of my age, I entered into the War; and proceeded from one step to another, as is herein mentioned, and at the conclusion thereof, was forced to leave the place of my nativity for my adherence to the British Constitution; and after my sore fatigues, I arrived at St. John River; and there with the blessing of God, I have hitherto enjoyed the sweets of peace, and freedom under the benevolent auspices of the British Government—which every loyal and true subject may enjoy with me, is the wish of the Author.


King’s County,
Long Beach,
New Brunswick.
June 24th, 1790.

PSALM 37 & 37.

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright! for the end of that man is peace.”


Col. Thomas Fleachall of Fairforest, ordered the different Captains to call the musters, and present two papers for the inhabitants to sign. One was to see who was friends to the King and Government; and the other was to see who would join the Rebellion.

The first day of May, Capt. James Lindley, of Rabern’s Creek,

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sent to me, as I was a Sergeant of the said company, to have his company warned to meet at his house 15th of said month. I did accordingly, and presented two papers; there were 118 men signed in favour of the King, also declared to defend the same, at the risk of lives and property, in July 1775. There was several advertisements set up in every part of said district, that there was a very good prespetearing minester to call at the Different places, to preach, and Baptise children.

But at the time appointed, instead of meeting a Minister, we all went to meet two Jews by name of Silvedoor and Rapely; and after making many speeches in favour of the Rebellion, and used all their endeavors to delude the people away, at last presented Revolution papers to see who would sign them; they were severely repremanded by Henry O’Neal and many others. It came so high, that they had much adue to get off, with their lives. The Rebels then found that we were fully determined to oppose them. They began to embody in the last of said month; to compel all to join them, or to take away our arms. Our officers got word of their intentions. I then got orders from the Captain to warn the Militia to assemble themselves at Hugh O’Neal’s mill; which was done by several Captains’ companys, and continued for several days under arms; and then both parties was determined on this condition, that neither parties should intercept each other. This continued for some time, until the Rebels had taken Thomas Brown, who after that had the honor to be Colonel of the Regiment of the East Florida Rangers, at Augusta. They burnt his feet, tarred, feathered and cut off his hair. After that he got so he was able to set on horseback, he came to our poast, and the Rebels then began to embody again. Col’n Fletchall found a large camp, and marched from the Liberty Springs to Mill Creek on our way towards Ninety-Six; Twelve miles from Ninety-Six the Rebels found that they were not strong enough for us, and sent an Express to Col’n Fletchall to come and treat with them, which said Fletchall did. But the terms of their treatment I did not know. We were all dismissed until further orders. In a short time after the Rebels took Capt. Robert Cunningham and carried him off to Charleston. Our party was then informed of his being taken off in the night time, and by making inquiry after him, we got information of a large quantity of Ammonition, that was there, on its way to the Cherechee Nation for Capt. Richard Paris to bring the Indians down into the

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settlement, where the friends of the Government lived, to murder all they could. We intercepted the amonition and took Capt’n R. Paris, who swore to these facts. We there formed a large camp, and Col. Fletchall being so heavy, he gave up the command to Maj. Joseph Robinson.

In the month of Nov’r 1775, the South Carolina Militia, of which I was at that time Sergeant, under the command of Major Joseph Robinson, laid seige to a Fort, erected by the Rebels at Ninety-Six; commanded by Col. Mason: which continued for the space of three days, and three nights—at the expiration of which time the Rebels were forced to surrender, and give up the Fort and Artillery. Major Robinson then ordered the Militia to the North side of the Saluda River, and discharged them, for eighteen days. Afterwards orders were issued for every Captain to collect their respective companies at Hendrick’s Mill, about 20 miles from Ninety-Six; The Rebels having received intelligence of our intended motion, they immediately marched before us; and took possession of the ground, which prevented our assembling there. But about 300 of our Men met at Little River and marched from thence to Reedy River; and encamped at the Big Cane Break, for several days. The Rebels being informed of our situation, marched unexpectedly upon us, and made prisoners of 130 of our men; the remainder fled into the woods and continued there, with the Cherichee Indians until the 18th Jan’y 1776; when I was made a prisoner by a party of Rebels commanded by a Captain John Burns; who after detaining me four days, repeatedly urging me to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, stript me of everything, and made me give security, for my future good behaviour, by which means I got clear; On the 10th of May 1776 hearing the Rebels had issued a proclamation to all friends of government, offering them pardon and protection, provided they would return to their respective habitations and remain neutral, this induced me to return to my home, where I arrived on the 15th of June.

On the 20th, the Rebels being apprehensive of the Cherichee Indians breaking out, despatched several emissaries among the Loyalists, for to discover their intentions. One of which was Capt. Ritchie, who came to me, and told me he was a friend to Government, and some time before left the Indian Nation, and then wanted a pilot to conduct him to the Indian Nation again. I agreed to conduct

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him to any part of the country he wanted for to go, provided he would keep it secret. This he promised for to do. But immediately he went and lodged information against me, and swore that I then had a company of men, ready in order, for to join the Indians. In consequence of this, I was made prisoner again, on the 25th, by a Capt. John Rogers, and thrown into close confinement with three centinels over me. On the 1st of July, the Indians came down into the back country of South Carolina, and killed several families; at which time, the rebel camp being in great confusion, I made my escape, and went to my own house at Rabirn’s creek; but finding a number of my friends had already gone to the Indians, and more disposed so for to do, I got twenty-five men to join me; and on our arrival at Parishies plantation, on Reedy River, in the Indian land, we formed a junction with the Indians, on the 16th inst., in the evening; the militia and the Cherickees to amount to 260 surrounded the fort built with logs, containing 450 of the Rebels. After a smart fire on both sides for two hours and a half, we retreated without any injury except one of the Indian Chiefs being shot through the hand. I then left the Indians and pursued my way to North Carolina; where, on my arrival, I was taken up again, and close confined; but was rescued by my friends, three different times. After which I made my escape good. I then endeavored for to go home again; and after experiencing numberless hardships in the woods, I arrived the 10th of March, 1777, at Rebun’s creek, South Carolina.

I was made prisoner again on the 11th, by a Capt. Smith, bound hand and foot, and carried under guard, towards Ninety-Six gaol; after marching twelve miles, the company halted for the evening, and watching an opportunity, I cut the ropes I was bound with, and stript myself when the guard was asleep. I threw myself out of the window and returned back to Reburn’s creek, by a different way, from that which they had carried me prisoner. I was obliged now for to secret myself in the woods, and was supplied with provision by some Quakers, and other Loyalists, in the neighborhood.

A company of Loyalists, of which I was one, was then raised by a Richard Parish, and it was determined to go to Mobile, and join the British army. One of the company proving treacherous, gave information to the Rebels, who raised a body of troops for to suppress us. They took me, with five more prisoners, and carried us to Ninety-Six gaol, on the 5th August, 1777. Captain Parish escaped with some

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Loyalists, belonging to the company, and made his way good to the British army at Mobile, in West Florida. Myself, with five others, who were taken, remained in close confinement, until November following, and we were tried for our lives, on a charge of High Treason, for rising in arms against the United States of America; but were acquitted and went home. The fees and expenses of my confinement amounted to £300, Virginia money, allowing dollars at six shillings each, which I paid, and was then ordered back to the gaol for the rent of the room.

On the 1st of March, 1778, Capt. John York, of East Florida, received orders from the commander-in-chief for the Loyal Militia, of Georgia, and South Carolina, to assemble themselves. Accordingly they were embodied.—The majority of the people chose me their commanding officer, we took a number of prisoners, furnished ourselves with horses, and marched to Savannah river on the borders of Georgia, (two miles above Augusta). Capt. York, who was our pilot, then got discouraged, and would not suffer any of the militia to proceed with him back to East Florida except three men; we were then under the necessity of returning home, upwards of one hundred miles, through the rebel country; and betake ourselves to the woods as formerly. During our retreat, we were persued by three hundred rebels; but we got back home to Reburn’s creek safe. When the Rebels found we were returned, they raised a body of men for to take us; and for the space of three months kept so constant a look out that we were obliged for to stay in the woods; six weeks of which time I never saw a man, except Samuel Brown (who was afterwards killed at Tiger river,) that shared my sufferings; we lived entirely without either bread or salt, upon what we killed in the wilderness. We determined, let the consequences be what they would, to proceed to the settlement of Green River, North Carolina, where we rested ourselves at a friend’s house, about a week. Here we parted. I then proceeded to Tiger river, where I arrived safe on the 1st of June, 1778. Myself, and Samuel Smith, now associated, and were taken by a company of rebels commanded by a Capt. Goiry. We made our escape the second night, by bribing the sentinel, and parted company. I met with one of the horses belonging to the rebels, about a mile from the house I had escaped from, and mounted him. They persued me through the woods by the horse’s tracks, upwards of seventy miles, and came to Reburn’s Creek where I lived. They were anxious to

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recover their horse from me, and promised for to return one of the four they had taken from me, if I would deliver up the said horse. This being agreed upon, I went with them for to receive my own horse back; when we had advanced 30 miles we came near to where a rebel fort was; I desired them to go, a little out of the way, and avoid it, which they had promised to do before we proceeded on our journey. One of them laid hold of my horse’s bridle, and told me to surrender myself a prisoner, for they were determined to confine me in the Fort, or carry me to Ninety-Six gaol, about 80 miles off. They said I was not in that damned tory country at that time. I, therefore, after some conversation, concluded to submit for to be disarmed at the time, as they threatened blowing a ball through me every instant, if I did not surrender; which I did. On my arrival at the Fort, I was stript of my clothes, and confined close ’till morning, when they tied my legs under a horse’s belly, and took me before a magistrate to commit me to gaol. However I was admitted to bail for my good behaviour. On my return to the people, who took my horse, and clothes, and asking for them, I was retaken before another magistrate, and committed to gaol, under a stronger guard. On my proceeding towards the gaol, the guard was particularly careful about securing me; and in order for to do it, the more effectually tied me with a rope, to a stout fellow who was one of them. When I found him asleep, I took the opportunity to cut myself loose with a knife (or rather with a pair of horse fleames) which was accidentally left lying in the road, and throwing myself out of the window made my escape, and took to the mountains for shelter. I continued there for some time, when Col. Mills of the Loyal Militia on knowing where I was, proposed at several meetings, we had, to raise a company; which we did, of 500 men, for the purpose of going to St. Augustine. One of the company proved faithless, and gave information to the Rebels, who immediately embodied themselves, and took Col. Mills prisoner, with 16 of the company, and carried them off to Salisbury Jail. Myself with 14 more persued about 20 miles with an intention of rescuing them, until we were in sight of Gilbert Town; where the Rebels had a guard; and finding we could not affect our purpose at that time, our numbers being so small, and theirs increasing, we returned back. The Rebels persued us all night, and in the morning, we perceived them within shot of us; we fired upon them, which they returned; and continued skirmishing in the woods about an hour;
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when they retreated. What injury we did them we could not tell; on our part we suffered no loss. Here our party separated. I made way for Holsten River about 140 miles through the woods—I had proceeded about 40 miles on my way, when I was met by three men; one of which knew me. He came to me, with seeming friendship, and on taking my hand, called his companions to assist him in securing me; which they did; and made me a prisoner. They tied my hands behind my back, and feet to each other under the horse’s belly and took me to Ninety-Six Jail again, where I was closely confined for 17 days. During my confinement I got acquainted with a friend to the government, who lived there, by talking to him through the grates; He furnished me with two files and a knife, by which means I cut through the iron bars and escaped. I returned again to Reburn’s Creek and after remaining some time in the woods there, I was advised by friends for to make peace with Capt. Gillian, who commanded a company of Rebels on the Indian lines. He said I durst not be seen by any one of the Rebel party, I got one of my friends to go to him, and desire him to meet me alone, at a particular place, and give him my word I would not injure him. We met accordingly, and passed our words for not to disturb or injure each other. We continued our meetings, in the woods, generally, every day, or two, for the space of a month; until we were discovered by some of his company; who threatened for to have him punished for treating with me; however he still met me, now and then; and introduced a friend of his to me; who he told me I might depend upon. One day, I observed an alteration in their behaviours, and asked them when at some distance, if he meant for to keep his word with me. He replied “by all means.” We were all on horseback, and I had my rifle across my saddle. When we were going to part, as I expected, he suddenly seized my rifle; and the man who was with him seized hold of my horse’s bridle, he presented his rifle to my breast and told me I was his prisoner, or a dead man. I was under the necessity to surrender, and they carried me again to my old quarters at Ninety-Six, where we arrived on the 11th of Oct’r, 1778. I was stripped entirely naked, thrown into irons and chained to the floor. I remained in that situation until the 20th of December following, when I again made shift, for to get my irons off, and having sawed one of the grates some time before, I again escaped by means of fellow prisoner, who supplied me with some old clothes, of which I made a rope to let me
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down; I received a fall in getting down, but luckily did not hurt myself. The Gaoler heard me fall, and presented a musket at me, out of a window; but I avoided him. He alarmed the guard and they persued me; but however I got clear off. I found myself much hurt by a fall I got in their chasing me. I got back to Reburn’s Creek; but was taken in three days; and again introduced at Ninety-Six. I was chained and ironed as before, in the centre of a room 30 feet square; forty-five from the ground, the snow beating in, through the roof, with four grates open night and day. I remained in this state eleven days; I got my chains off in the night of the 12th; The Gaoler did not chain me down again; but I had still part of them remaining on one of my legs, which weighed seven pounds and three quarters. I continued loose in Gaol until the 13th of February, 1779, when I took a bar out of the window, in the night, and prised one of the planks out of the floor of the Room, and from thence went downstairs; I found the door fast, secured; but I went to a breach, I had formerly made in the back of the chimney, and got out. One of my fellow prisoners escaped with me, and we kept together for some time after. We found a number of Horses grazing in a field belonging to a company of Rebels, under the command of Capt. Fair; who that night come into Town. We mounted each of us, and rode off to Reburn’s Creek. On our way, we stopped at a house, and furnished ourselves with a Rifle and a pair of Pistols; we also supplied ourselves with clothing. By this time, the neighborhood was alarmed and the Rebel militia sent in pursuit of us. They laid several ambuscades, but without effect, and continued embodied, for six months. I was so fortunate as for to escape; but my companion was taken. The day after, he was taken, I was riding through a piece of timbered woods, when I discovered a party of men—they discovered me, and pursued on full speed for seven miles; but I was lucky enough to escape them; but my Horse falling, threw me, and I unfortunately lost my rifle. An advertisement was, then, made public, for apprehending me; and a reward of Seventy silver dollars, and Three Hundred paper ones, was offered to take me. This made me very cautious, notwithstanding which I was betrayed and fired upon by a party of Rebels, in number, sixteen; I received two bullets in my back; one of which is not extracted. I luckily kept my seat in the saddle, and rode off. After proceeding 12 miles I turned my horse into the woods, and remained there eight days; having no support
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but herbs, except three eggs; my wounds, at that time being troublesome and offencive, for the want of dressing, I got my Horse again, and moved about twelve miles to a friend’s house; where on my arrival, I made a signal, which they knew, to acquaint them, of my being alive—a young girl of fourteen years old, came to me; but when she came near enough to see me, she was frightened so at the sight, she run off. I persued after her on horseback, telling her who I was; She said she knew it was me, but I was dead; that I was, then, a spirit and stunk yet. I was a long time before I could get her to come to me. I looked so much like a rack of nothing but skin and bones, and my wounds had not been dressed, and my clothes all bloody. My misery and situation was beyond explanation, and no friend in the world that I could depend upon; However, these people seeing me in that distrest situation, took the greatest care of me, and drest my wounds. My horse having been seen by some of the Rebel party, They concluded I was not killed; and wrote several letters which they gave one of my friends, offering to treat with me; and advising me to surrender; threatening at the same time, in case I did not, to banish eight families of my friends out of South Carolina. A limited time was given for my answer, but it had expired, before that I received the letters; in consequence of which, their threats were put into execution; and the people’s property was taken from them, and they confined. On the receipt of my letter, the people were liberated, but their properties were still detained.

The second day, after, I treated with the Colonel of the Rebel Militia, and had an express sent off to Gov. Rutledge at Charlestown, about a week after his answer came back with a conditional pardon for that which I had done, should be forgotten, and that I should live quietly and peacefully at home; and be obliged to pilot parties through the woods as occasion might require.

Before I excepted of these conditions, I advised with my friends, and company, who all approved of it, as it conduced both to their ease, and safety.

I remained at home a year and twelve days, and was repeatedly urged for to except of a company in the Continental service, which I always refused.

After the reduction of Charlestown, myself and one William Cuningham, concluded for to embody a party of men, which we affected.

We determined for to take Col’n Williams, of the Rebel Militia,

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prisoner, and then to join Capt. Parish, who was to raise a company and assist us. Col’n Williams got notice of it and pushed off; and though we got sight of him, he escaped us.

We now found ourselves growing strong, and numbers flocking daily to us.

I then took the King’s proclamations and distributed them through the country, for upwards of a hundred miles.

Capt. Parish had command of the party, and marched up to Ninety-Six, which he took command of, without firing a shot, where I found him again. The day after, we marched about 12 miles, to Gen. Williamson’s at Whitehall; who commanded a fort with 14 swivels, and two companies of provincial troops. On our approach, he met us, about three miles of the Fort, attended by several officers, requesting he might discharge the troops, and have protection for himself and them.

We granted him what he requested; and took possession of the Fort, and their arms, which they piled up; after that they marched out of the garrison.

Three days after that, Col. Pickins, with 300 men, marched out and laid down their arms.

General Robert Cunningham, of the Loyal Militia, now took the command; and formed a camp.

We kept scouting parties, through the country, and had many skirmishes; but none of consequence.

After the British American troops, had taken possession of Ninety-Six, I continued scouting on the Indian lines, until Col. Innis forwarded his march up to Musgrove Mill, on the Innoree River, I then joined them with a party of fourteen men.

The following morning the pickets were attacked by a party of Rebels. Col. Innis ordered us to advance and support them, which we did, and followed them until we arrived where the main body lay, under Col. Williams. Col. Innis was unfortunately wounded, with several other officers.

We engaged them for some time, and then retreated about a mile and a quarter; where we encamped and in the night, marched off towards Ninety-Six, under command of Capt. Depister.

The next morning I, and my small party returned back to the Indian lines. We continued scouting on the lines, for some time, until I met with Capt. Parish, of the British American South Carolina

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Regiment, who gave me a list of some soldiers that he had permission for to visit their families in the country, on the return from Florida to Ninety-Six. I was desired by him for to go to give them notice for to joint their regiments. On this expedition, I fell in with Major Ferguson’s party, which was defeated five days afterwards. The Rebels after that, began to be numerous and troublesome; and little or no regulation amongst us, I made the best of my way to Deep River, North Carolina, where I remained until the month of February, 1781.

I was, during this time, discovering the disposition of the people; being informed that Lord Cornwallis was marching that way, I kept my intentions secret, until I received certain accounts. I then caused this advertisement to be published, and used all my influence to get all the Loyalists to join me, and defend ourselves, when occasion might require. A true copy of which is here set forth.


“If any of his Majesty’s loyal and faithful subjects, able and willing to serve in the Royal North Carolina Regiment commanded by Col. Hamilton, are hereby requested to repair to his encampment. The Bounty allowed for each man, is three Guineas; and the terms of engagement are that he shall serve during the Rebellion, and within the Provinces of North and South Carolina, and Virginia only; that during his service he shall be entitled to Clothing, Pay, Provisions, and all the advantages of his Majesty’s Regular, and Provincial Troops, and at the end of the Rebellion, when he becomes discharged, of course, he is to receive as a reward for his services during the war, a free grant of Land agreeable to his Majesty’s proclamation.”

Of his persuing Gen. Greene, as far as Hillsboro, this struck such a terror on the Rebels, and was so pleasing to us, that we immediately disarmed the disaffected and embodied about 300 men under the command of Col. Pyles. He fell in with a party of Rebels (Col. Lee’s dragoons) and lost 20 men killed beside the wounded, that died afterwards. At this time I was with a small party at Deep River, where I took two Rebel officers, prisoners and several soldiers. I then directed my march where I left Col. Pyles and came in a little distance of the Dragoons, that had cut him up, when I was informed of his misfortune by some of his party that had fled; we then separated

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into small parties and took to the woods for some time.

The day Lord Cornwallis defeated Gen. Greene at Guilford, I was surprised by a Capt. Duck, with a company of Rebels, where I sustained a loss of all our Horses, and arms; we had one man killed on each side.

The day following, myself, and three more of the company, furnished ourselves with arms, and persued the Rebels, who we discovered had gone to their respective homes with their plunder. We visited one of their houses and found the horses which had been taken from the friends of the Government; and discovering one of the said party in an out house. I fired at him, and wounded him in the neck with buckshot; but he escaped. We then mounted ourselves, and turning the other horses into the woods, we returned back to Deep River. We kept concealed in the woods and collected 25 men, having scouts out continually until we proceeded to Dixon’s Mill, Cane Creek, where Lord Cornwallis was there encamped. On our arrival there his Lordship met us, and asked me several questions respecting the situation of the country, and disposition of the people. I gave him all the information in my power, and leaving the company with his Lordship, I returned back to Deep river in order for to conduct more men to the protection of the British arms.

Two days following, I returned to the army at Chatham Court House, after being surprised and dispersed by the Rebel Dragoons; on my bringing in 70 Loyalists, I joined my company again and went with his Lordship, to Cross Creek, and as we had lost most of our horses, we determined to return to Deep River, and join his Lordship when on his way to Hillsborough. General Greene followed his Lordship as far as Little River, and then returned to Ramsey’s Mills on his way to Camden; his men marched in small parties and distressed the friends to Government, through the Deep River settlement; I took 18 of them at different times, and paroled them, and after that we were not distressed by them for some little time; after a little while some of us had assembled at a friend’s house, where we were surrounded by a party of 14 Rebels under the command of Capt. John Hinds; we perceived their approach and prepared for to receive them; when they got quite near us, we run out of the door of the house; fired upon them, and killed one of them; on which we took three of their horses, and some firelocks—we then took to the woods and unfortunately had two of our little company taken, one of which

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the Rebels shot in cold blood, and the other they hung on the spot where we killed the man a few days before. We were exasperated at this, that we determined to have satisfaction, and in a few days I collected 17 men well armed, and formed an ambuscade on Deep River at Coxe’s Mills, and sent out my spies. In the course of two hours, one of my spies gave me information of a party of Rebels plundering his house, which was about three miles off. I instantly marched to the place and discovered them in a field near the house. I attacked them immediately, and kept up a smart fire for half an hour, during which time we killed their Captain, and one private, on the spot—wounded three of them, and took two prisoners besides eight of their horses well appointed, and several swords. This happened on the 11th of May, 1781. The same day, we persued another party of Rebels, and came up with them the morning following; we attacked them smartly and killed four of them on the spot, wounded 3 dangerously and took one prisoner with all their horses, and appointments. In about an hour after that, we took two men of the same party, and killed one more of them; the same evening we had intelligence of another party of Rebels, which were assembling about 30 miles off in order for to attack us; as I thought it best to surprise them where they were collecting, I marched all night and about 10 o’clock next morning, we came up with them; we commenced a fire upon each other, which continued for about 10 minutes when they retreated; we killed two of them, and wounded 7, and took 18 horses well appointed; we then returned to Deep River again. I still kept the company together, and waited for another opportunity, during which time, I took two Rebel soldiers and parolled them, who gave me information of a Col. Dudley coming from Gen’l Greene’s camp at Camden, with baggage.

I mounted my men and set forward in search of them; and I concealed my men by the side of the road; and I thought the time long; according to information I had from the soldiers—I took one man with me, and went to see if I could make any discovery. I rode a mile and a half, when I saw Col. Dudley with his baggage. I then wheeled my horse, and returned to my men; where I came within a hundred yards of them. Dudley and his Dragoons were nose and tail and snapped their pistols several times. I then, ordered a march after them, and after marching 2½ miles I discovered them, and immediately took three of them prisoners, with all the

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baggage and nine Horses. The baggage I divided among my Men, which agreeably to Col. Dudley’s report was valued at £1,000 sterling. I returned to Coxe’s Mill and remained there till the 8th June; when the Rebels embodied 160 men to attack me, under the command of Cols. Collyer and Balfour. I determined to get the advantage by attacking them, which I did with 49 men in the night, after marching ten miles to their encampment. They took one of the guides, which gave them notice of my approach. I proceeded within thirty steps of them; but being unacquainted with the grounds, advanced very cautiously. The sentinel, howerver, discovered my party, and firing upon us, retreated. They secured themselves under the cover of the houses, and fences; the firing then began; and continued on both sides for the space of four hours; being very cloudy and dark—during which time I had one man killed, and six wounded; and the guide, before mentioned taken prisoner; whom they killed next morning in cold blood. What injury they suffered, I could not learn. As the morning appeared, we retreated, and returned again to Deep River; leaving our wounded men at a friend’s house, privately.

The Rebels then kept a constant scouting, and their numbers were so great, that we had to lay still for some time; and when Collier and Balfour left the settlement, he and the said Colonel Dudley, before mentioned, took the place with 300 men from Virginia. He took a negro man from me and sold him at public auction for 110 pounds; the said negro was sent over the mountains, and I never saw him since. At length they all began to scatter; and we to embody. William Elrod being jealous of my taking too much command of the men, and in my absence, one day, he pursuaded them that I was a going to make them regular soldiers, and cause them to be attached to Col. John Hamilton’s Regiment; and vindicated it, by an advertisement, that I had handed to several of the Loyalists; that I thought had the greatest influence with the Loyalists. He so prevailed with the common sort, that when I came to camp I found most of my men gone; I then, declared I never would go on another scout, until there was a Field Officer. The majority chose me. They, then, drew up a petition to the commanding officer of the King’s troops.

A general meeting of the Loyalists was now called, in order, for to appoint a commanding officer of the Militia; it was still determined

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that I should be the person. I accordingly set off, for Wilmington, being 160 miles, with a petition of the people, to the officer commanding, at that post, for his approbation. On my arrival there, Major Craig, who commanded, treated me, with every respect, and approved of said petition; and gave a commission as Col. of the Randolph and Chatham Militia—a copy of which is hereunto annexed.

“By James Henry Craig, Esqr., Major in his Majesty’s 82d Reg. commanding a detachment of the King’s Troops in North Carolina, &c., &c., To David Fanning, Esqr.

These are to appoint you, to be Colonel of the Loyal Militia, in Randolph, and Chatham Counties, who are directed to obey you, as such, in all lawful commands, whatsoever; and you are authorized to grant commissions to the necessary persons of known attachment to his Majesty’s person, and Government, to act as Captains and subalterns to the different companies of the Militia aforesaid. As Colonel, you are hereby fully impowered to assemble the militia, and lead them against any parties of Rebels, or others; the King’s enemies, as often as necessary, to compel all persons whatsoever to join you—to seize and disarm, and when necessary to detain, in confinement, all Rebels or others, acting against his Majesty’s Gov’t; and to do all other acts becoming a King’s officer, and good subject.

Given at Wilmington, this 5th July, 1781.

Major, Commaning the King’s Troops.”

On the 12th July, I returned from Wilmington, and ordered a general muster; and then gave the following commission to the gentelmen herein after named of their respective companies.

Colonel of the Loyal Militia of No. Ca.

To —— Greeting:

Having received sufficient testimony of your Loyalty and Zeal for his Majesty’s Service and relying on your courage and good conduct I do hereby appoint you to be —— of a company in the district of ——. You are, therefore, diligently and carefully to discharge the duty of such; obeying all orders and directions, which you may receive from time to time, from any superior officers, in his Majesty’s Service, and all others. The inferior officers of his Majesty’s subjects, of that and every other company

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are directed and requested to obey you as —— of said company.

Given under my hand at Coxe’s Mill this ——, 1781

DAVID FANNING, Col. Com’g his Majesties Loyal Militia, &c.
1. John Rains, Capt. 16 July, (promoted Major 13 Oct,) 1781.
William Rains, Lt.
Thomas Donnelly, Ensign.
John Spinks, Ser. Maj.
2. Geo. Rains, Capt. In Charleston at the peace.
Ebenezer Wollaston, Lt. do.
Robt. Rains, Ensign in N. C.
3. Wm. Finnacon, Capt. in N. C., now.
Rich’d Bird, Lieut do.
Cornelius Latham, Ensign do.
4. Michael Robbins, Capt. last account in N. C.
William Hillis, Lt. in Florida at the peace.
Daniel Brown, Ensign. Killed in N. C. by the Rebels.
5. Robert Turner, Capt. in N. C.
Absolem Autrey, Lt. in Florida.
Wm. King, Ens. joined the Rebels.
6. Stephen Walker, Capt., murdered.
Frederick Smith, Lt., hanged at Hillsboro, for his loyalty.
Wm. Hunsucker, Ens., do. do.
7. Jos. Currie, Capt. In Florida at the peace.
Benj. Shields, Lt. in N. C.
Jas. Rains, Ens. in S. C.
8. Thomas Dark, Capt. Hanged at Hillsboro for his loyalty.
Wm. Hoocher, Lt. Murdered by the Rebels.
Henry Ramsour, Ens. In Charleston, S. C., at the peace.
9. Wm. Lindley, Capt. Murdered by the Rebels.
Wm. Poles, Lt. Went to Penns.
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Wm. McPherson, Ens. In Charleston.
10. Sam’l Dark, Capt. At last account in N. C.
James Ellett, Lt. Drowned in Florida.
Thos. Ellett, Ensign. In Florida.
11. Benj. Underwood, Capt., late in New Brunswick.
Fred Smith, Lt., in N. C.
12. Wm. Deaton, Capt.
Killed in battle on the day after the rebel, Gov. Burke was taken.
Wm. Carr, Lt. In West Indies.
John Erwen, Ens. Florida.
13. Martin Kendrick, Capt. N. C.
Thos. McDowell. Rebel Capt.
Wm. Brown. Joined the Rebels.
14. Rich’d Edwards, Capt. Killed in battle.
Edward Edwards, Lieut. Killed 13th Sept.
Thos. Estwick, Ensign.
15. Stephen Holloway, Capt. Killed in battle.
John Hastings, Lieut. Now in N. C.
Ab’m Nelson, Ens.
16. John Cagle, Capt. Hanged by the Rebels at P. D.
Jacob Mauney, Lieut. In N. C.
Wm. Dunn, Ensign.
17. Meriday Edwards, Capt. East Florida.
Reuben Shields, Lieut. N. C.
Wm. Hancock, Ens.
18. Alex. McIver, Capt.
Murdock Martin, Lt. England.
19. Wm. McCloud, Capt.
Alex’r McLoud, Lt.
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20. Wm. Price, Capt. Killed by the Rebels.
Wm. Fanning, Lt. Hanged.
21. Wm. McKnight, Capt. Murdered.
Stephen Phillips, Lt. In S. C.
22. Abner Smally, Capt. In Burke Co., N. C.
Jos. Hodge, Lt. Murdered by the Rebels.

Those gentlemen had their appointment from Major Ferguson in So. Ca., in July, 1780, but joined all according to their dates.

On my return to Deep River I immediately caused a general Muster of the Loyalists, which I collected to the amount of 150 men, but finding them deficient in arms I discharged all except 53, which I appointed fully; out of which, I collected from the whole, and ordered the rest, to be ready to join me when I called for them, I, also, gave the foregoing commissions, to the different officers set forth, who rendered many services to the British Government, during the late war, who singulared themselves with me in the interior parts of that rebellious Country, and subdued the greatest part of the Province; so far that the wirst of the Rebels come to me, begging protection for themselves, and property. The exertions of myself. and the other officers had the whole country under the protection of the British Government, until long after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and the evacuation of Wilmington; and after all the British Troops was called to their different posts on the Sea shore.

I continued acting in the interior parts of North Carolina, and was like to obtain a truce with the Rebels in the heart of the country. Those people have been induced to brave every danger and difficulty during the late war, rather than render any service to the Rebels—their properties real and personal, taken to support their enemies—the fatherless and widows stripped, and every means of support taken from them—their houses and lands and all personal property taken, and no resting place, could be found for them. As to place them in their former possessions, is impossible—stripped of all their property, driven from their Houses—deprived of their wives and children—robbed of a free and mild government—betrayed and deserted by their friends, what can repay them, for the misery? Dragging out a wretched life of obscurity and want, Heaven, only, which smooths the rugged paths, can reconcile them to misfortune. Numbers

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of them left their wives and children in North Carolina, not being able to send for them; and now in the West Indies and other parts of the world for refuge, and not returned to their families yet. Some of them, that returned, under the act of oblivion passed in 1783, was taken to Hillsboro, and hanged for their past services that they rendered the Government whilst under my command. I am fully sensible of the good designs that Government intends for the Loyalists in so repeatedly renewing the act. I can solemnly declare that, I think, Major John Rains, and Capt. George Rains two of the diservingest officers that ever acted in America during the late war, either in provintial or Militia; and to my certain knowledge John Rains had two Mills burnt; Three dwelling Houses and besides a barn, and property totally taken away. I have given a direct account of the officers opposite their names as I possibly can; also their promotions and deaths. What I have set forth, I will further vindicate. Besides other officers of other counties that joined me at different times, and places, as I shall refer to, in other parts of my Journal; in particular Col. Arch McDugald and Samuel Andrews who joined me several times. Given at King’s County, New Brunswick, Nov. 29th, 1789.

The Rebels on the same day held a general muster at Chatham Court House, about twenty-five miles, where I had assembled, and the day following were to call a court-martial for the trial of several Loyalists, who had refused to bear arms, in opposition to government. Upon receiving this intelligence I proceeded, towards the Court House, 17 miles, that night, with the men I had named; and the morning following, by 7 o’clock, I arrived there. I surrounded the place, where they were. I expected to find members of the Court Martial, but they had dispersed the evening before, and were for to meet at 8 o’clock. I then posted pickets on every road, and within the space of two hours, took 53 prisoners—among them, the Colonel, Major and all the militia officers of the county, except two, who had not attended; and also one Continental Captain, with three of their delegates to the General Assembly. I immediately marched them to Coxe’s Mill, and parolled all except 14, who I knew were violent against the government. Those I conducted to Wilmington and delivered to Major Craigg. I then represented to Major Craigg that with his approbation, I would establish certain regulations for the conduct of the militia; which he approved of; and he was obliging

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enough, on my giving them to him to correct, and confirm; the following rules, which were printed and distributed in the country.

Rules and Regulations for the well governing the loyal Militia of the Province of North Carolina.

1st. No person to be admitted a militia man until he takes the Oath of Allegiance to his Majesty, which is always to be done before the senior officer of the Regiment on the spot.

2d. All persons once enrolled, in a Militia company, and having taken the oath above mentioned, will be considered as entitled to every priviledge and protection of a British subject, on being detected joining the Rebels, will be treated, as a deserter, and traitor.

3d. Every militia man is to repair, without fail or excuse, except sickness, at the time appointed, to the place assigned by his Col’n or Capt. with his arms, and accourtrements, and is not to quit his company, on any pretence whatever, without the knowledge and permission, of his Captain or commanding officer.

4th. The Col’n of every County has full power to call his Regiment together, and march them when necessary for his Majesty’s service; the Captain of each company has also power, to assemble his company, when any sudden emergency renders it necessary, and which he is to report as soon as possible to his Colonel.

5th. Mutual assistance is to be given on all occasions; but so it is impossible to give positive directions on this subject, it is left to the discretion of the Colonels of Regiments, who must be answerable that, their reasons, for not affording assistance when required, are sufficient.

6th. When the militia of different counties are embodied, the senior officer is to command; Colonels of Regiments are immediately to determine, the present rank of their Captains, in which, regard is to be had to seniority of commission or service. In case of vacancies; the Colonels may grant temporary commissions, till recourse may be had to the Commanding Officer of the King’s troops.

7th. The men are to understand, that in what relates to the service they are bound to obey all officers, though not immediately belonging to their own companies.

8th. Court Martials may be sit by appointment of the Colonel or Commanding Officer; and must consist for the trial of an officer, of all the officers of the Regiment he belongs, except the Col’o or Commanding officer, and for the trial of a non-Commissioned officer or Private, of 2 Captains, 2 subalterns and 3 privates—the latter to

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belong to the same company, as the person to be tried. The oldest Captain to preside; and the sentence of the Court, to be determined by plurality of votes; and approved by the Commanding Officer.

9th. No Colonel is to supercede an officer pithout trial; but he may suspend him ’till he can be tried.

10th. Quiting camp without permission, disobedience of orders, neglect of duty, plundering, and all irregularities and disorder to be punished at the discretion of a Court Martial, constituted as above mentioned; and by the approbation of the Col’n or Commanding officer; who has power to pardon, or remit, any part of a punishment, but not to increase or alter it.

11th. Every man must take the strictest care of his arms, and ammunition; and have them always ready for service.

12th. When the Militia is not embodied, they are at all times to be attentive to the motions of the Rebels; and immediately to acquaint the nearest Officer of any thing he may discover, who is to communicate it to his Col’n or other officers as may be requisite.

13th. It is the duty of every person professing allegiance to his Majesty to communicate to the Commanding Officer of the nearest British port any intelligence he can procure of the assembling or moving of any bodies of Rebels. Persons employed on this occasion shall always be paid.

14th. Col’ns of Regts. may assembly any number of their men, they think necessary to be posted in particular spots of their districts—their time of service on these occasions is to be limited; and they are at the expiration to be relieved, by others. Great care is to be taken that no partiality is shown, that each take an equal proportion of duty; for which purpose alphabetical rolls are to be kept, by which the men are to be warned. Every Capt. to keep an account of the number of days each man of his company serves.

The strict observance of the above regulations, is strongly recommended as the best means of the King’s faithful subjects manifest superiority over the rebel militia; and insure them, that success their zeal and spirit in the cause of their country entitles them to expect.

Head Quarters, Wilmington, 25 Sept., 1781.

I thought proper to administer the following oath of Allegiance unto those people I was dubious of.

“I, A. B——, do swear on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God to bear true allegiance to our

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Sovereign Lord, King George the 3rd; and to uphold the same. I do voluntarily promise for to serve as Militia, under any officers appointed over me; and that I will when lawfully warned by our said officers assemble at any place by them directed in case of danger; in the space of 8 hours. I will go with my arms and accoutrements in good order, to suppress any rebels or others, the King’s enemies; that I will not at any time do, or cause to be done any thing prejudicial to his Majesty’s government; or suffer any intercourse or correspondence with the enemies thereof; that I will make known any plot, or plots, any wise inimical to his Majesty’s forces, or loyal subjects, by me discovered, to his majesty’s officers contiguous, and it shall not exceed six hours, before the said is discovered, if health and distance permit. This I do solemnly swear and promise to defend in all cases, whatsoever. So help me, God?”

I then returned to the head of Little River, on my way to Coxe’s Mill, where I was informed by two men, who informed me that the Rebels had separated into two small parties, thinking I should never return from Wilmington; I passed on and got intelligence of Col. Alstine lying on the banks of Deep River, with a party of 25 men. We marched all that day and the night following; and just as the day dawned, we advanced in three divisions, up to a house, they had thrown themselves into. On our approach, we fired upon the house, as I was determined to make examples of them, for behaving in the manner they had done, to one of my pilots, by name, Kenneth Black. They returned our fire, and the action continued upwards of three hours, when after killing four of them, and wounding all the rest, except three, they sent out a flag to surrender. Col. Alstine’s lady begging their lives. On her solicitation, I concluded to grant her request; and after the capitulation I gave the following paroles to Col. Philip Alstine and his men.

“I do hereby acknowledge myself a Prisoner of War, upon my parole, to His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, and that I am hereby engaged till I shall be exchanged, or otherwise released therefrom, to proceed immediately to my plantation on Dunnam’s Creek, Cumberland County (or elsewhere) No. Carolina, there to remain; or within five miles thereof—and that I shall not in the mean time, do, or cause anything to be done, prejudicial to the success of his Majesty’s arms; nor have any intercourse or hold correspondence with the enemies of his Majesty—and that upon a summons from his Excellency,

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or other Person having authority thereto, that I will surrender myself up to him or them, at such time and place as shall hereafter be required.


Cumberland County,
Deep River, July 29th, 1781.
David Fanning, Col’o Com’g Loyal Militia.

In the course of this affair, we had two men killed, and four wounded, who afterwards recovered. A party of Rebels appeared in sight a little time after the firing began; but they did not approach to afford Col. Alstine any support. When the action was over, they ran off; and our horses being quite fatigued, rendered it impossible for me, to pursue them. I then pursued my route to Coxe’s Mill, where on my arrival I gave twelve hours leave to the men; after detaching a sufficient number for the necessary guards, to go to their respective homes. Immediately after that, I heard that a wagon loaded with salt for the use of the rebel army had passed about 12 hours. I took eight men with me, and after a chase of 16 miles I overtook her, and conducted it back to Coxe’s Mill. On my return I found that Major Rains, had been attacked by a party of 150 rebels; who had attempted to secure the Fort of Deep River, at Coxe’s Mill; however it was without success. He had one man wounded, and several horses, in the attack. On my approach, they retreated. They then sent a flag with offers of peace. I returned for answer, “I was determined to make peace with the sword—or otherwise till they should become subjects of Great Britain.” My men now being collected to the amount of 140, who by this time were well armed, and hearing nothing further from them, the next morning, we marched to the place, where I had been informed they were; but found them gone off. I discovered some of their scouts, but on firing on them, they took to the woods. I heard, that they had marched and joined another party of 250 men, commanded by Colonels Paisley and Balfour. Upon which I returned to Coxe’s Mill; I sent out spies that night, who returned before morning and informed me that the two rebel parties had joined, being about 400 in number and encamped at Brown’s plantation, about two miles up the River on the opposite side. I dispatched a flag to them, acquainting them as before, of my determination, in support of Government, and proposed a meeting of both

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parties to determine the matter by force of arms; at the same time acquainting them, that the ill treatment of some prisoners they had taken a little while before, had determined me to retaliate in case, an end was not put to it; I directed the flag to Major Cage, who commanded at the time before, and I received the following answer.

“Sir, I received yours by a flag, and can assure you that I should be as sorry as any person living to misuse a prisoner; but at the same time, I think that it is my duty to oppose my enemies, and if any of your men should fall into my hands I shall endeavor to use what influence I can to have them treated as prisoners; and I hope you will do the same. I must also inform you, that I am not the commanding officer; if I was, I should immediately return you an answer; As your letter was not directed to the commanding officer he will not undertake it. You will direct to him; Colonel O’Neal is Commander at present.

I am, Yours, &c., &c.

Aug. 2d, 1781.
To Col. David Fanning.

I also received a message from Col. O’Neal that whenever they met, they would fight me, but not by an immediate appointment; I directly ordered a march and proceeded to the place where I was informed by the Bearer of the Flag they lay encamped; but on my arrival there, they had marched off; and from intelligence I had procured, I had reason to suppose they had gone to Salesbury to get reinforced, by General Rutherford. I then concluded to go, to Wilmington for a supply of ammunition; finding my stock began to grow low. I got to Cross Creek on the 11th of August; and early in the morning following crossed the Cape Fear River, when Maj. Samuel Andrews joined me with his company and scouted through all the rebel settlements, on the north side of the River; and took a number of prisoners, arms and horses. I also discovered where 25 barrels of salt were concealed; designed for the rebel army. I distroyed it; and then marched down the side; and came to a plantation belonging to a Capt. Robertson—which I burned; From thence I marched to his brother’s Col. Robertson, which served in the same manner. On my march, I took several prisoners, whom I parolled, except 20; those I delivered to Capt. Leggett, then commanding at Wilmington; where I arrived on the 24th. Having got supplied with ammunition, I proceeded up the country on the 26th.

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On my arrival at Elizabethtown, I found Col. Slingsbee, of the Loyal Militia of Bladen county, with a number of paroled rebels in his camp. I disapproved of keeping them, there, and told him I thought it imprudent and unsafe. The event proved so; for that night they, having some arms concealed, fired upon his camp, and wounded him mortally. Five Captains were also wounded, some of whom died afterwards of their wounds. The day following I arrived at McFalls mills about 60 miles, where I dispatched 90 of my men back, to render assistance, on receiving the unfortunate accounts of Col. Slingsbee’s misfortune; but it was too late; as the rebels had taken to the woods and got off.

I had information of the rebel, Col’n Wade with 450 militia, was, then, on his march to attack Col. McNeal, who had assembled 70 of the Loyal Militia of Bladen, and they lay on the side of Drowning Creek. I instantly dispatched an express, to know his situation, and offering assistance; in three hours, I received for answer, he would be glad to see me and my party. I marched directly, and by daylight, arrived with 155 men. Our pickets were fired upon; and retreated into camp, having exchanged shots with those of the Rebels. We had information that they were crossing a bridge on Drowning Creek, about three miles off, when the pickets fired upon them; and that there was 420 men crossed the bridge. I immediately ordered all my men to arms, and counted them; which in number was 225, horse and foot; I then marched immediately to attack them; when I formed my little party I left great vacancies in order to appear as numerous as possible, and to prevent their turning my flanks. We attacked them at 11 o’clock; and engaged them an hour and a half; on my ordering a charge; they retreated. We pursued them 7 miles and took 54 prisoners; 4 of which died that night. On our return we found 19 dead; and the next day, several came in and surrendered, all of whom were wounded, and we had reason to suppose that several died in the swamps, by accounts, we received from those who came in afterwards. Our loss was only 5 men wounded; one of which died; and 5 Horses killed; besides a few wounded. We took 250 horses; most of which was loaded with effects they had plundered from the friends of the Government; and as I had formerly ordered that whoever found concealed goods, of any kind should keep them; I also now ordered that every man should keep what he had taken that day, after mounting and equipping

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those 50; who were not mounted in the action. I then parolled the prisoners, except 30, which I sent to Wilmington, under a guard of Col. McNeal’s men. Then with my party, I marched that evening to Little River, 16 miles from McFalls Mill; where the party returned, which had gone to Col’n Slingsby’s assistance. The day following, I arrived at Coxe’s Mill, where I issued the following advertisement; and circulated it through the country:


This is to let all persons know, that do not make ready and repair immediately to camp, that their property shall be seized, and sold at public sale; and if they are taken, and brought into camp they shall be sent to Wilmington, as prisoners, and there remain, as such, in the provost; and be considered as Rebels; also, if any rebel is willing to surrender and come in he shall reap the benefit of a subject.

Col’o Com’g loyal Militia.

Camp Coxe’s Mill, 6th Sept., 1781.

On the 9th of Sept. I was joined by Col’n McDugald of the Loyal Militia of Cumberland County, with 200 men; and Col. Hector McNiel, with his party from Bladen of 70 men; and in consequence of my advertisement I had also 435, who came in; and many found me afterwards.

I had previously determined within myself to take the Rebel, Governor Burke of North Carolina and I had a conversation with Major Craigg, on that subject. I now thought it a favourable opportunity, as I found myself at the head of 950 men of my own regiment; exclusive of McDugald and McNiel’s regiments. I acquainted Major Raines, of my resolution, who approved of it. The rebel General John Butler, and Col. Robert Maybin of the Continental line, lay within 40 miles of our encampment, on the Cape Fear River. It was supposed by my officers, that I intended to attack them. After marching 16 miles to Rocky River, I went a little distance out of my road, to a friend’s house, for intelligence, of the situation of the Rebels; during which time, the guide led my little army about two miles out of the way, towards General Butler. On my return, I was under the necessity of making my intentions known; and immediately directed my march to Hillsboro; I pushed all that

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day and the following night; At 7 o’clock on the morning of the 12th we entered the town in three divisions, and received several shots from different houses; however, we lost none and suffered no damage, except one man wounded. We killed fifteen of the rebels, and wounded twenty; and took upwards of two hundred prisoners; amongst them was the Governor, his Council, and part of the Continental Colonels, several captains and subalterns, and seventy one continental soldiers out of a church. We proceeded to the Gaol, and released thirty Loyalists, and British soldiers; one of which, was to have been hanged on that day. About 12 o’clock, I left Hillsboro; and proceeded Eighteen Miles that night towards Coxe’s Mill; in the morning I pursued my march about Eight miles further, to Lindley’s Mill on Cane Creek; where Gen’l Butler and a party of rebels had concealed themselves. Col’n McNeal, who had the advance guard, had neglected to take the necessary precautions for our safety, and by information of Capt. McLain, Cumberland county, Little River; and as soon as I had discovered the situation, we were in, and having so great a number of prisoners, I left my station, and pushed for the advanced guard; on my coming up with Col’n McNeal, I inquired the reason of his neglect; and before he could answer, we were fired upon by the rebels. They killed Eight men, among them was Col’n McNeal, who received three balls through him, and five through his horse. I then ordered a retreat back to where we left the prisoners and after securing them, I made the necessary preparations to attack the enemy; and after engaging them four hours they retreated. I lost twenty-seven men killed, and sixty, so badly wounded, that they could not be moved; besides thirty slightly, but so that they could keep up with the main body. At the conclusion of this action, I received a shot in my left arm, which broke the bone in several pieces; my loss of blood was so great, that I was taken off my horse, and led to a secret place in the woods. I then sent Lieut Woleston, to my little army, for Col’n Arch McDugald, and Major John Rains and Lt. Col’n Arch McKay, to take command; to send to Wilmington for assistance, as I was not able to take my command. I also desired that Major Rains return as soon as he could leave Col. McDugald; as I thought he might be the means of saving me from the hands of my enemies. These gentlemen conducted themselves in such a manner, I think they deserve the applause of every loyal subject, both for their valor and good conduct, as Col’n Maybin and
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Butler pursued them all the way until they met Major Craigg coming to their assistance. They made their march good for 160 miles and never lost one prisoner, but introduced Thos. Burke, their Governor, and his regiment of rebels, to Major Craigg; who very well accepted them; and Major Craigg introduced his Excellency, and Regiment, to the Provost Master. I am informed by letters from Col. Arch. McDugal, dated 6th of Aug., 1789, that no provision has been made for him yet. Also Major Rains, the 2nd of Oct’r, 1789. But I am in hopes when the Government comes to be informed, of the many services that they have done, they will consider them, and make some allowance for them. I am personally acquainted with their services. Major John Rains, was the first man, that took up arms within North Carolina; and the last man with me, and took an active part in command in six and thirty skirmishes in N. C. (also Capt. George Rains).

At the departure of my little army, I was left with three men; and in four days 17 more came to my assistance. I made enquiry respecting the loss of the Rebels, in the late action; and found that the inhabitants had buried 24, and that the wounded they had left were 90, besides those that went off and that my party had taken 10 prisoners. Of the number of the killed was Col’o Luttrell, and Major Knowles, who were inveterate enemies to the Loyalists.

The party we had engaged I found consisted of four hundred Continentals under the command of Col’o Maybin and Gen’l Butler. In twenty-four days I found myself able to set up, and then dispatched four of my Captains Hooker, Rains, Knight and Lindly, to Wilmington for a supply of ammunition; and before their return, I had sent out, and embodied 140 men, during which time I heard of a quantity of leather, which was prepared for the use of the rebel army, and was ordered for Gen’l Green’s quarters at Camden. I went to the place, and finding the leather agreeable to my information, I took enough thereof to equip the company completely, and ordered the rest to be destroyed. On my return to Brush Creek, near where I had been secreted during my illness, occasioned by my wounds, I sent out spies for discovery. Two of them returned, in less than an hour, with the information of six hundred rebels, who were advancing for to attack me. But they proved no more than 170. Their accounts disheartened a number of my men. From my being in so weak a state, they apprehended I would not be able, to command them. However, they lifted me on my horse, and I formed my men

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there in two ranks and showed two fronts, as they appeared both in my front and rear; the fire continued for nearly an hour. I lost three men killed, and three badly wounded. The rebels had one killed and several wounded. Then they retreated; and rallied and attacked again, after retreating, about a mile, which was so unexpected, that I concluded they had been reinforced. I then retreated; but without loss, except my baggage. I, then, separates my men in small parties, until the arrival of the four officers, I had dispatched for ammunition, to Wilmington, who brought the following letter from Maj’r Craigg, with 5,000 cartridges:

“Wilmington, 13th Oct., 1781.

“Dear Sir:

Your letter gave me infinite satisfaction from the favourable accounts, it contained of your health, and the probability of your soon being restored to that service, in which you have done so much to your honour. I beg to accept for myself, and convey to those of your officers whom I have not yet seen, my warmest thanks for their gallantry and good behaviour. I enclose you the commission you desider for Major Rains, who I am persuaded will endeavour to answer your warm recommendations. I have been unfortunate enough to lose the list of medicines you sent for; however I desired the Surgeon, to send you such as he thinks, most likely to be serviceable to you; though from his not being acquainted with your case, is all by guess—I am much concerned to find the probabilities of your people suffering from want of attendance or necessaries. Nothing shall be wanting in my power, either in that respect or that of salt for their relief. I am not at liberty to explain myself in a letter, but I hope that I shall very soon have it in my power to assist you with greater care than at present. The moment I returned here, I was informed of the circumstances of the stallion you mention. I determined it in your favour, and took him away from Mr. Campbell, or rather from a gentleman whom he had sold him to. He has been with my horses ever since, and never rode. I now send him to you by Capt. Lively.

The long northerly winds have prevented any arrivals from Charleston, so that we are totally without news.

I am with much regard,
Your most ob’t faithful servant,
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The following is a copy of the letter I received of Colonel Edmond Fanning of the King’s Americans:

(This letter is lacking in the Mss. Ed.)

The names of the Officers of Cumberland county who acted under Colo. McDugald, as they were commissioned in their different companies; who were with me, at the taking of Hillsboro:

Archibald McDugald, Colo.
Archibald McKay, Lieut. Colo.

The names of the Officers of Bladen county who acted under Lt. Colo. Hector McNeal.

Hector McNeal, Lt. Colo.
John Watson, Major.

The names of the Gentlemen Officers who came as Volunteers from Wilmington, for recreation, and to explore the country, and was at the taking of Hillsborough with me:

Alexander McCraw, Capt. of Gov’r Martin’s Regt.
Daniel McDonald, Lieut, do. do.
Malcom McKay, Ensign do. do.
John McKenzie, Capt.
Hector McNeal.
Charles Campbell.
James Dawson.

Sometime after the receipt of the foregoing letter I intercepted an express bound for Gen. Greene’s Camp, which was at that time near the lines not far from Charleston; amongst which was Lord Cornwallis’s capitulation, which I have since lost. We continued in small parties until Major Craigg evacuated Wilmington, when one day I took a man with me to go for intelligence and to provide oats for the party I kept with me. When at a house I spied a party of thirty rebels, coming towards said house; where I was. We instantly mounted, and rode off. On my return to my men, I ordered sixteen of them, to mount; and went back to the house we had left, but found them gone off. I pursued them about sixteen miles; when we came up with them. We killed three of them and wounded two; who I took prisoners. I had no loss or accident on our part.

I had now certain intelligence of Major Craigg’s evacuating Wilmington; and that the rebels in consequence of it, had separated into small parties, and returning home; and for the space of fourteen or fifteen days, I fell in with, and took more or less of them every day.

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During which time I had information, of a Capt. Kennedy and his party, who had taken a number of horses and a quantity of household furniture. I followed him about five miles, and after a smart firing, took him and eight of his party, with the booty they had plundered. He gave intelligence that a Capt. Lopp with a party of sixty men, who had been discharged by Gen’l Rutherford were on their way up the country. The said Capt. Kennedy (Cannady) all the time of our attacking Lopp stood and looked on; and as he declared that he would not make his escape neither would he let any of his men interfere, if we drove off Capt. Lopp, I left him in a house with only two men, to guard Eleven, and found them all there. The guard informed me that he would not let any of his party make their escape. He proved so much to his honour, that I gave him up one of his horses, saddle, and bridle; and paroled him with all his men. I had at this time but thirteen men, with me at a House near the road where they were to pass. I mounted my men, and placed them in concealment along the road. On their coming up, I ordered them to fire, and then to charge; which we did, three times, through them; they immediately dispersed through the woods; it being nearly dark, we could not tell what injury they suffered.

On the 10 of Dec’r, Colo. Isaacs came down from the mountains, with a party of Three Hundred Men; and formed his camp at Coxe’s Mill, in the settlement I had formerly ranged in; in order to take me; where he continued nearly three months, during which time the following proclamation was issued.

“State of North Carolina.

By the Hon. Alexander Martin, Esq., Speaker of the Senate, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said State.

Whereas divers of citizens of this State, have been deluded by the wicked artifices of our enemies, & have revolted and withdrawn themselves from the faith and allegiance, which before God, they plighted to owe their country, and treacherously have taken up arms against the same; being convinced that they have been betrayed by false hopes, supported by deceit, and now find themselves deserted by our feeble and despairing enemy, and left unprotected to the vengeance of the State, to inflict those punishments due to their crimes; and in tender compassion to the feelings of humanity to spare

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such who are willing to return, and to stay the hand of execution, in the unnecessary effusion of blood of citizens who may be reclaimed, I have thought fit to issue this my proclamation of pardon to such of the above persons, who may surrender themselves before the 10th day of March next, on this express condition, that they immediately enlist in the Continental battalions; and render a personal service for twelve months after the time of their rendezvous at head-quarters, and having faithfully performed the same for the said term, it shall be deemed as having expiated their offences and be entitled to, and be restored to the priviledges of citizens. All Officers finding men of this class, guilty of murder, robbery, and house breaking, to be precluded, from the above, notwithstanding; and I do hereby require the Honourable the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law, of Oyer and Terminer, and general jail delivery, and all officers, civil and military, within the State to take notice of this my proclamation and govern themselves accordingly. Given under my hand and seal of arms at Halifax this 25th of December, 1781, and is the sixth year of our Independence.

By his Excellency’s command.
John Hawkins, Dy. Sec’y.

“God save the State.”

During Colo. Isaac’s stay at Coxe’s Mill, he ravaged the whole settlement, and burnt and destroyed a number of houses belonging to the friends of Government. They frequently applied to me privately for advice. I recommended it to them if possible, to remain, neutral; and make their peace; as it was entirely out of my power for to protect or relieve them. A Capt. Stinson of this party took one of my men, named David Jackson, and hung him up without ceremony. A few days before Colo. Isaac’s departure from Coxe’s Mills, he sent out notice for the friends of the government to meet him, and he would give them protection agreeable to proclamation; But on their assembling, he made them prisoners of war; and marched them under a strong guard to Salisbury Gaol. Not many days after they broke out, and knocking down the Sentinel, made their escape; except one, who was shot in the attempt.

Two Captains in each County were appointed by Colo. Isaacs on

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his leaving Coxe’s Mill, to keep the friends of Government down; and were going with their own men, continually through the country.

During all this time I was in the woods and kept moving with a small party as occasion required. One evening, I had assembled thirty men, at a friend’s house, and sent out spies. They soon returned with the account of a party of rebels within four miles of us, distressing and plundering our friends. We immediately set forward to render our assistance, and got within a half a mile of them; I, then, sent out to get information how they were situated, and by break of day came upon them. We retook seven horses which they had carried off, with a large quantity of baggage. We wounded two of them mortally, and several of them slightly; we came off without injury except two horses wounded. The day following, we pursued them, to Cumberland county, and on my way, I burnt Capt. Coxe’s house, and his Father’s. I had also two skirmishes and killed two of the rebel party. On my return to Little River, I heard of a Capt. Golson; who had been distressing the Loyalists; and went in search of him, myself; but unfortunately I did not meet him; but fell in, with one of his men, who had been very assiduous, in assisting the rebels. I killed him. I mounted a man of my own on his horse, and returned back. I then took Capt. Currie and the man of my own before mentioned, and I went with a design of burning Capt. Golson’s house; which I did; and also two others. In my way, I fell in, with a man, who had been very anxious for to have some of my men executed. I sent him word for to moderate and he should have nothing to fear, but if he persisted, I would certainly kill him. He took no notice of this; but persisted, for several months, and on observing me that day, he attempted to escape; but I shot him.

Two days after, Capt. Walker, joined me which made four of us, and hearing that one Thompson, a Rebel and Magistrate, had taken up a horse belonging to me, I went to claim him; He gave him up without hesitation, and upon examining what arms he had, he owned to one rifle, which I took from him; He also informed me, that the rebels were willing to make peace with me on my own terms, and would allow me any limited bounds I would require provided I would not be troublesome to them. I therefore concluded after consulting Capt. Walker and Currie, to demand the following terms, which I forwarded by a prisoner, I had taken; and in order to convince them

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that my intentions were sincere, I released him, for that purpose, though he had been the means of murdering several.

Terms required by Colo. David Fanning from Govr. Burke, forwarded to him by Lawyer Williams, and Capt. Ramsay, of 1st battalion of North Carolina Continentals.

1. That every friend of the government shall be allowed to their respective homes unmolested.

2d. That they shall be under no restrictions of doing, or causing to be done any thing prejudicial to his Majesty’s service.

3d. That they shall not be under any obligations to act in any public station, or ever to take up arms, or be compelled to do any thing injurious to his Majesty’s good government.

4. That they shall not pay or cause to be paid, any taxes or money so levied by new laws during the continuance of the present war, to support any new army by their industry. If these terms are granted I request that they may be immediately conveyed to me, at my quarters by a flag of true, appointed for that purpose, and by such Officers, as I can rely upon, from your hands and seals.

If these terms are not granted you may depend my sword being continually unsheathed; as I am determined, I will not leave one of your old offenders alive, that has injured his Majesty’s Government, and friends, who would have been of service to your country in a future day and I do hereby recommend it to you to govern yourselves accordingly.


Jan’y 7th, 1782.
To Mr. James Williams and Capt. Wm. Ramsay.
To be forwarded by them to the Commander in Chief for the time being on the Hillsboro’ district.

I received the following answer from Lawyer Williams:

Chatham, Jan’y 8th, 1782.


I received yours by Mr. Riggan at the Court House, on Sunday last, and immediately wrote to Gen’l Butler on the subject of your surrender. His answer is, That he cannot receive you himself but

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will directly write to the Governor. As soon as he receives, his answer, he will transmit it, to Maj. Griffith, who will send it to Winsor Pearce’s on Deep River. If I obtain liberty, I will bring it myself. In the meantime I would recommend a moderate conduct as the best step to bring matters to an accommodation. The bearer, Mr. Riggan, has executed the trust you reposed in him. I therefore, hope, you will restore him his property. For your civility to me, when I was a prisoner, I will do any thing I can in honour. Concerning your surrender Col’o Ray and Col’o McDugald, have surrendered and gone to Charlestown. I am informed by Col’o Thackston, I am exchanged with a number of other prisoners, at Charlestown under a Cartel which is renewed. You may depend as soon as I get the Governor’s answer, you shall know it.

I am, Sir, Your most Ob’t servt,
Col’o David Fanning.

I also received another letter from Capt. Ramsay by another conveyance.

Jan. 8th, 1782.


I saw a letter to Mr. Williams and observed what you say concerning my case. As to breaking my parol, that I am clear of; as Major Craigg a few days before he left Wilmington sent a party of dragoons to where we were paroled at the Sound and ordered us under the main Guard; whence I made my escape; which I am certain you will not blame me for; as you are well acquainted with my honour; when I was taken prisoner, I had it in my power to escape many a time; but as long as I was treated like a gentleman, or agreeably to the rules of war, I would rather suffer death, than forfeit my honour. I observe what you say, concerning your parole; but the kind treatment I received at your hands, you may rely on it, any thing Mr. Williams or myself can do for you, in honour, shall not be wanting. Your letter I understood is transmitted to the Governor, who I make no doubt will comply with your request. For my part I wish for nothing else but peace.

I am Sir your humble servant,
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I lay neutral, until I got further accounts and on the 15th Jan. 1782; Messrs. Williams, Clark, and Burns, were kind enough to wait on me at Mr. Winsor Pearce’s in respect to my former proposals which I had requested of them, with the letter as follows:

15th Jan., 1782.


Agreeable to your request I have received order to offer you a parole on the terms you desired; thirty miles east and west; fifteen miles north and south. Hammond Coxe’s Mill to be the center of your bounds; should you be inclined to go to Charlestown at a future day, let me know it, and I will endeavour to get you that liberty, when I see the Governor.

You mentioned being waylaid, you may be assured that I know nothing of it. Mr. Williams, Mr. Clark and John Burns, are the gentlemen that are kind enough to wait upon you with this Flag, and a blank parole for you to sign; and they will give you a certificate for your security against any of the American troops to remain as prisoners of war, in the bounds specified. You may rely on it, nothing dishourable shall be done on my part; and I have the greatest reason to believe that you will act on the same principles. No inhabitants of this county shall be molested either, in person or property, who have not been guilty of wilful murder, or plundering; it is the duty of every honest man to bring all such to justice in order to restore harmony and peace once more to our country.

I am your obedient humble servant,
To Col. David Fanning,
per flag.

Also the following letter was left at Mr. Pearce’s by the three gentlemen before mentioned:

Tuesday morning.


Agreeable to Capt. Ramsey’s letter left for you, we came up to Mr. Pearce’s, when we made no doubt of seeing you. I have seen his instructions to parole you, and you may depend that no trap is meant for you, to any of our knowledge, Ray and McDugald were received in the same manner, and no man offered to molest them. Our orders were to have returned last night, and the light Horse

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under the command of Capt. Ramsey kept back, until our return; Therefore we cannot possibly stay any longer. If you incline to accept the terms offered, which Capt. Ramsey cannot alter, you will meet us at Baalam Thompson’s with as many of your men as you please; as can be received according to the terms you propose: and are your obt. servts.

Col’o David Fanning.

In the course of this correspondence, endeavouring to make peace, I had reason to believe they did not intend to be as good as their words; as three of their people followed Capt. Linley; and cut him to pieces with their swords. I was immediately informed of it, and kept a look out for them. Five days after their return, I took them and hung them, by way of retaliation, both on the limb of the same tree; the third made his escape. After this Coln. Alston, who was a prisoner of war, at this time, came to me, at Genl. Butler’s request, to know if I was willing to come to any terms. I asked the reason why the Governor had not answered my letter, and what was the cause of their behaviour to Capt. Linley: I, then, with a number of my Officers, set down, and wrote the following letter to General Butler:

“Sir, On Friday the 7th of Jany, last I wrote to Mr. Williams, the terms I was willing to come under; he wrote for answer that he could not comply with my terms, until he had the approbation of the Governor. On Wednesday the 11th inst. a flag was to meet me at Winsor Pearce’s, with a letter. But on its approach, it was waylaid by a Capt. Golston with a party of men which had more the appearance of treachery than a wish of peace. Had not the gentleman (Mr. Baalam Thompson) acted as honourable, for the minute he arrived he let me know it, and declared himself innocent. This gave me reason to think that he he would act with honour; still on the 15th inst., Messrs. Williams, Clark, and Burns; the three gentlemen that were kind enough to wait upon me, with a blank parole, and letter from Capt. Ramsey—who mentioned in his letter that my request was granted by the Governor; in the mean time, the gentlemen waiting on me at the place appointed, there came around a company from the Hawfield’s, commanded by Capt. Scorely, which

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plainly and evidently appeared to me, there was nothing but treachery meant. On Sunday the 10th of Feby I fell in with the rear of Capt. Golston and Capt. Hinds, and following their trail, came on them at dark. After some firing that night I rode off, and came on them next morning, and we came on terms of peace, till I could write to their superior officer, for which I consulted my officers, and we joined hand and heart to comply with the terms hereunder written.

“We the Subscribers do acknowledge ourselves Subjects to his Britanic Majesty, as you are well assured of our fidelity, zeal, and loyalty, to his Majesty’s government. As it has been daily the case that we have been distroying, one anothers’ property to support and uphold our opinions, and we are hereby willing to come to a session of arms, not under six months, nor exceeding twelve; conditions underwritten.

1st. Our request is from Cumberland twenty miles N. & S.; and thirty miles E. & W.: to be totally clear of your light Horse.

2d. Request is for everv man that has been in actual arms, in a permanent manner, in order to establish a British government, (except those who have diserted from a regular troop that has voluntarily listed themselves, them do we obligate to deliver up) each and every man shall have a right to withdraw themselves in said district.

3d. If any of our men should go out of said district to plunder, or distress, or murder any of the American party, we will, by information made to me, Maj’r Rains, or any of the Captains return their names; if the request is grated, they shall immediately be apprehended and sent by any officer appointed by you to be tried by your own laws.

4th. If any of your party shall be catched plundering, stealing or murdering, or going private paths, with arms signifying as if they were for mischief, these are to be left to our pleasure to deal with as circumstances agreeable to our laws. All public roads to be travelled by any person, or company unmolested, if he behave himself as becomes an honest man, or any Army or company or wagons keeping the public roads.

5th. Every person that has been in actual arms in manner aforesaid, in order to support or establish a British Government, shall not be interrupted of their arms, provision, person, or property. If any one residing within the said district, who are subject to the

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States should want provisions, or any other article from, by sending to either to the officers that I shall appoint for that purpose, or use we will send a sufficient guard to see, them safe and out unmolested. Quakers excepted from anything whatever.

6th. That I will not, in the mean time, disturb or distress any person, or persons abiding by your laws in said district. All back plundering shall be void; as it is impossible to replace or restore all the plunder on either side.

7th. Our request is to have free trade with any port with waggons, or horseback without arms; with a pass from any appointed Officer for salt or any of the necessaries and use. Except the two Coxe’s mills to be free from any incumbrance of all parties belonging to the Americans.

8th. Any of my men that has been returned a Continental without taking the bounty, that has been in actual service as above mentioned shall return in said district.

9th. If our request is granted as above written I request it may be sent to me by 8th of March; as I may forward to my further determinations; if I cannot have any request granted. I shall exact and point out every deplausible measures in order to suppress every person in arms against his Britanic majesty. I am your most obedient humble ser’t. Given under my hand and arm as aforesaid.

Col. Com. Loyal Mi.;
WM. PRICE, Capt;
To John Butler, Gen’l of Hillsboro District.
Pr favour of Col. Philip Alston.

Mount Pleasant, 5th March, 1782.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of 26th of last month was handed to me last night. I have observed the contents. Had you proposed that you and the men now in actual service with you would have taken a parole to

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some certain bounds, until you could have been sent to Charleston, to be exchanged, I should have entered into that business. But your propositions are many, and some of them uncustomary in like cases. I conceive it out of my power—However as his Excellency Governor Burke is now at Halifax I will send him your letter with the proposals to him by express. This is now the 5th day of March; of course, it must be several days after the 8th before his answer can come to hand; in the mean time it may be as well to postpone the desperate measures, you have in contemplation.

I am your obed servt.,
B. G. for Hillsb’o district.

P. S. If you would not choose to be confined in bounds any length of time, it might be contrived so that you might be sent off immediately under an Escort of my appointing to General Greene. He has promised to have all such exchanged which I send to his quarters.


About the 7th of March 1782 Capt. Walker and Currie, of the Loyal Militia fell in, with a party of Rebels, and came to an engagement, and fired for some time, ’till the rebels had fired all their ammunition; and then, wished to come to terms of peace between each party; and no plundering, killing or murdering should be committed by either party or side; which was concluded upon by each Colonel, for such certain limited bounds; which was to be agreed upon by each Colonel; and if they could not agree, each party was to be neutral until matters was made known, respecting the terms which they had to agree on. Soon after my men came to me and informed what they had done; we received the rebel Col. Balfour’s answer; that “there was no resting place for a tory’s foot upon the Earth.” He also immediately sent out his party, and on the 10th, I saw the same company coming to a certain house where we were fiddling and dancing. We immediately prepared ourselves in readiness to receive them, their number being 27 and our number only seven; We immediately mounted our horses, and went some little distance from the house, and commenced a fire, for some considerable time; night coming on they retreated, and left the ground. Some time before, while we were treating with each other, I had ordered

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and collected twenty-five men to have a certain dress made which was linnen frocks, died black, with red cuffs, red elbows, and red shoulder cape also, and belted with scarlet, which was a total disguise to the rebels, which the red was all fringed with white fringe, and on the 12th of March, my men being all properly equipped, assembled together in order to give them a small scourge, which we set out for. On Balfour’s plantation, when we came upon him, he endeavoured to make his escape; but we soon prevented him, fired at him, and wounded him. The first ball he received was through one of his arms, and ranged through his body; the other through his neck; which put an end to his committing any more ill deeds.

We also wounded another of his men. We then proceeded to their Colonel’s (Collier,) belonging to said county of Randolph; on our way we burnt several rebel houses, and catched several prisoners; the night coming on and the distance to the said Collier’s, was so far, that it was late before we got there. He made his escape, having received three balls through his shirt. But I took care to distroy the whole of his plantation. I then persued our route, and came, to one Capt. John Bryan’s; another rebel officer. I told him if he would come out of the house, I would give him parole; which he refused, saying that he had taken parole from Lord Cornwallis, swearing “by God! he had broken that and that he would also break our Tory parole.” With that I immediately ordered the house to be set on fire, which was instantly done. As soon as he saw the flames of the fire, increasing, he called out to me, and desired me to spare his house for his wife’s and children’s sake, and he would walk out with his arms in his hands. I immediately answered him, that if he walked out, that his house should be saved, for his wife and children. When he came out, he said, “Here, damn you, here I am.” With that he received two balls through his body: He came out with his gun cocked and his sword at the same time.

The next day following being the 13th March, was their election day to appoint Assembly men, and was to meet at Randolph Court House. I proceeded on in order to see the gentlemen representatives; On their getting intelligence of my coming they immediately scattered; I prevented their doing any thing that day.

From thence I proceeded on, to one Major Dugin’s house, or plantation, and distroyed all his property; and all the rebel officers’ property in the settlement for the distance of forty miles.

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On our way I catched a commissary from Salisbury who had some of my men prisoners and almost perished them, and wanted to hang some of them. I carried him immediately to a certain tree, where they had hung one of my men by the name of Jackson, and delivered him up to some of my men, who he had treated ill when prisoners; and they immediately hung him. After hanging 15 minutes they cut him down. In the meantime there was about 300 rebels who had embodied themselves and came after us; On account of the rainy weather our guns would not fire on either side. We were obliged to retreat, on account of their numbers being so much superior. We had received no damage. About the 8th of Apl, a certain Capt. Williams came into the settlement, and sent an old woman to me, and informed me that he had arrived from Governor Burke that instant; and had come in order to see me; which by her description, I and my little party immediately met him, and he informed me, that he had come to know if I was willing to come upon the terms I had already presented; and requested to have from under my own hands a true copy of them; that the Governor would do everything in his power to have the same agreed upon by his Council and Assembly: for which purpose the said Williams was sent from the Governor. He also told me, that the Governor had said that any thing I should do, or cause to be done, from the character, he heard from the British at Charlestown, that he had not the least doubt, they would assent to;—that he wished, to make peace with me;—saying that if I was taken a prisoner, and killed; that 100 would certainly lose their lives for it; and he looked upon it much better to come to terms of peace—that he heard in Charlestown, I was killed; which occasioned him to run away from Charlestown; Upon which I gave him a copy of the articles which I wished to comply to. With which he ordered the Light Horse to depart to their different stations, till they received orders from the Governor and Council.

As I was obliged to lay neutral until I received their answer, which was to be upon terms of honour on both sides, as the different captains commanding the light horse, wrote to me respecting the same; as appears from the following letters:


I received a few lines this day, from Cap’t Edward Williams, informing me, that you and he, had come down yesterday, and signified that you and he are upon terms of compromising matters, on conditions,

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that I will stop the County light horse from persuing you—You may rest assured, that it is my desire to be at peace with all men—Cap’t Riddle and his company are at the Court House. I have ordered him to stand there, until further orders; and will send after Cap’t Golston and desire him also; I shall set off this morning to the Assembly, and if it is in my power to do, or cause anything to be done, that shall cause peace and harmony over the land, you may rest assured that I will do my best; and second Cap’t Williams, though he gave me no account of your proposals; and am

With respect your humble serv’t,

Ap’l 9th, 1782. To Col’o David Fanning.

Camp at McCan, Ap. 10, 1782


I received orders from Major Griffith concerning some terms between you and him and shall withdraw my men and Cap’t Golston’s as we are both together, and will not proceed any further after apprehending you or yours, unless you come into our county doing mischief, until further orders.

From your humble serv’t,
To Col’o David Fanning.

Hoping you nor yours will not interupt any of the inhabitants of Chatham until matters are further settled.



I received your letter which gave me great satisfaction to hear that you, and some of the officers, have come upon terms of peace; which is all I could crave; but I should be glad with one of the officers in company, to meet you and have some conversation together, and be upon honour. If we can come upon terms agreeable to both, I should immediately march my company home. I shall be at Mr. Mullins’, this evening at two o’clock; and if you can meet us and converse across the river, or any other place you will choose.

I am, Sir, Your ob’t,
Captain of Light Horse.

Ap’l 12th, 1782.
Col’o David Fanning.
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Ap’l 17th, 1782.


I, as an officer in the behalf of the State of North Carolina, have turned out, in order to suppress any persons disturbing the peace of said State; but when I arrived at Deep River, I understood that you, and Cap’ts Williams, and Dougan, were about to make a treaty of peace; which I approve of very well; and withdrew my troop toward home. But my great surprise, on my way, I learned that your men, were robbing the peaceful and inoffensive people of Cane Creek, and Rockey River; which wicked conduct, and the great desire, I had, for the welfare of my Country, induced me to stay, a little longer, and endeavor to stop such robbery. I therefore wish to inform you that I did not pretend with any view of making you any way dishonourable, but many persons are owing true allegiance to the laws of this State, are running at large; and call you their officer. As I hope you a gentleman, and will not protect any vagabond, I will thank you, to let me know every particular of your Treaty; what bounds you have; and upon the honour of a gentleman, I will not interrupt any person within said bounds, that is of good character with you. I would recommend, that you order Joseph Currie, and Blair, to return the widow Dixon’s property, which they robbed her of; and I will not write to the Governor concerning it, as you want peace. He would think very little of your honour, if he heard your men were robbing his people, after you had petitioned to him.

I am, Sir, in behalf of the State,
To Col’o David Fanning.

About the 18th of April Captain Williams, came to me, again, at Fork Creek and informed me that the original articles of treaty had been laid before the Governor, and Assembly; and they were upon a conclusion of the terms I wanted; but were prevented by a Colonel, who came from over the mountains and was one of the Assembly, who did everything against it. Their objections were; the articles respecting the Continental soldiers taken up, and they could not allow any passports for any of the friends of the government to have any correspondence or connections with the British. Every other article they were willing to grant. Their Assembly continued on the business for three days; as Mr. Williams informed me. My answer was that “I would forfeit my life, before I would withdraw

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any one of the articles, that I had presented, as I wished to hold the same connection with the British, as formerly;” I likewise told him that I had understood, that they had picked out twenty four of their best horses, and men, from Virginia in order to persue me, and my answer to Mr. Williams was “they might do their best and be damned” as I was fully determined to still support my integrity, and to exert myself in behalf of the King and country more severer than I ever did.” With this Mr. Williams departed.

I then set out for Chatham, when I learned a wedding was to be that day. On my way I took one prisoner, before I came to the house. There, being but five of us, we immediately surrounded the house in full charge. I ordered them, immediately out of the House; three of my men went into the house and drove them all out one by one; I caused them all to stand in a row to examine them, to see if I knew any of them that was bad men. I found one, by the name of William Doudy, concealed up stairs. One of my men fired at him; as he was running from one house to the other; he received the ball in his shoulder. I then having my pistols in my hands, discharged them both at his breast, with which he fell, and that night expired. I then paroled the rest, on the 25th.

I concluded within myself, that it was better for me to try and settle myself, being weary of the disagreeable mode of living I had borne with for some considerable time. For the many kindness and the civility of a gentleman who lived in the settlement of Deep River, I was induced to pay my addresses to his daughter, a young lady of sixteen years of age. The day of Marriage being appointed;—on making it known to my people, Cap’t William Hooker, and Captain William Carr, agreed to be married with me. They both left me to make themselves, and their intended wives ready. The day before, we were to be coupled, the Rebels, before mentioned, with those good horses, attacked us (Cap’t Hooker’s horse being tied so fast he could not get him loose,) they caught him and murdered him on the spot. Myself and Cap’t Carr, were married and kept two days merriment. The Rebels thought they were sure of me then; however I took my wife and concealed her, in the woods with Cap’t Carr’s, and caused an oration to be put out, that I was gone to Charlestown. In order to be convinced, the Rebels sent a man in, as a spy, with two letters from Gen’l Leslie with instructions for me

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to enlist men for the service which I knew was forged, in order to betray me and from the person or Commanding Officer of the Rebel light horse. The following is one of which I gave Gen’l Leslie, that had his name signed to it:

Charlestown, 20th Jan., 1782.

Dear Colonel,

Altho I have not had the happiness of being acquainted with you, yet I can applaud you very much, for your spirited conduct and activity. The only objection I have to your conduct, is your being too strenuous with those who have been subjects to his Majesty, whom the Rebels have overcome and forced them to comply with their laws. If you would let them alone, the severity of the Rebels would cause them to return to their allegiance again. But Sir since you have made so brave a stand already, pray stand steadfast to the end, and we shall be well rewarded at the last. Try to spirit up your men, and enlist, if possible, three hundred men this spring, ready to join three hundred more; which shall be put under your command; and as many more as you can get, and you be Brigadier General of them. We shall, I hope in the month of May land 1,300 troops in North Carolina, 300 of your corps, 1,600 in the whole, to act upon the defensive, until you are reinforced.

Keep good discipline among your troops, and keep out fellows, who will do nothing but plunder. They are but false dependence, and will not fight, but only corrupt good men. Every man you enlist for 12 months, shall receive ten guineas; and a full suit of clothes; as soon as we land our troops, and they appear under your command ready for action. I can assure you, tis your fame and worthy actions has, through and by Maj’r Craigg given, reached his Majesty’s ears, and I expect perhaps by the next packet boat you will get a genteel present from our gracious Sovereign. So hoping that you will be in the way of your duty, I will take leave of you, without mentioning your name, or subscribing mine, lest this might miscarry—the man who is entrusted with the care of this, dares not at present be seen in it; but a friend and send it to the man as is

Sir yours
—— ——
To Col’o Fanning in No. Ca.
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Dear Sir:

I would come to see you myself, but am afraid of the rebel light horse. I have a great many things to acquaint you with and a good deal of good news, but dare not write for fear of miscarriage. If you have any desire of seeing me you must come soon away, instantly. Don’t let the bearer know the contents of the letters—the fewer trusted the better. In the mean Time,

I am your friend and serv’t,

Ap’l 29th, 1782. To Col’n Fanning.

My answer was in Maj’r Rains’ name as follows:


I am very sorry to think that there is so many damned foolish Rebels in the world, as to think Col’o Fanning would be ever deceived by such damned infernal writings, as I have received from you. Col’o Fanning has gone to Charleston, and is not to return here ’till he comes with forces sufficient to defend this part of the country. I would have you to disband; and be gone immediately; for if I ever hear of any one of your people coming with any thing of the sort, I will come and kill them myself. I am in behalf of his Majesty’s armies,

Major of the Loyal Militia.
To Jos. Wilson.

On the 1st of May 1782 I heard a wagon being in the road, I imagined she was going down to market, as I heard of a number of wagons which was to proceed down with liquor to the market. On the 2d I mounted and persued the wagon, which I heard of the day before; as I was about setting out for Charleston I concluded to have a frolic with my old friends, before we parted. After riding about ten miles, I overtook the said wagon, which belonged to a certain man who had been taken prisoner and paroled by the British; and had broken his parole. In the mean time, I was examining his papers I set a centinel over him. He knowing himself guilty, expected nothing but death. He took the opportunity, and sprung upon my riding mare, and went off with my saddle, holsters, pistols, and all

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my papers of any consequence to me. We fired two guns at him; he received two balls through his body but it did not prevent him from sitting the saddle; and make his escape. I took the other man, and caused him to take me to the man’s plantation; when I took his wife, and three negro boys, and eight head of horses. I kept his wife for three days in the woods; and sent the man to see if he would deliver up my mare, and property, containing my papers; for which he wrote me the following insolent letter:

Sir, Col’o Fanning, I hope that you do not blame me for what I did. Hoping you will have mercy on me, as I am wounded, and let my wife come to me. Your mare shall be returned to you without fail. Your mare I don’t crave, and I hope you don’t covet mine. I beg that you will have pity on my wife and children. The negroes and horses I am willing you shall keep until you get your mare. I have sent to a Doctor. But the mare will be back to night. No more, but you may depend on my word.


I also received the following letter from Edw’d Williams, on the snbject of the Mare:


These few lines comes, to let you know that I have this day seen Mr. Hunter; he is badly wounded and desires you would let his wife come to him immediately: As to the rest of his property, you are welcome to keep, until such time’s you get your mare returned, which shall be as soon as possible, as she has gone at this time after the Doctor. But she shall be returned to you, with all speed, as soon as she returns. Mr. Hunter also is very ill.

I am your ob’t humble servant,
To Col’o David Fanning.

On the 7th of May, finding I could see no opportunity of getting my mare, notwithstanding she was one of my principal creatures, and a mare I set great store by, and gave One Hundred and ten guineas for her. I was obliged to let loose all his horses, except one, as they were of no account to me, in the situation I was in; the negroes I kept; I then proceeded to Major Rainey’s truce land in Peedee in South Carolina, where I had made a truce with the Rebels, some time before; and I continued there until June, when I

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left my wife, horses and negroes; as I was entirely a stranger to the situation of the country and roads, I was obliged to procure a pilot to proceed to Charlestown, I could not get one for less than 20 guineas. After my departure I fell in with the rebel dragoons commanded by Colo. Ballie, from Virginia. I was with them for about an hour; and informed them that we were some of the rebel party then on our way to General Marion’s head quarters. They never discovered otherwise; it being in the dusk of the evening. We fell in the rear, and went into the woods and struck our camp, and promised them we would see them next morning. However we proceeded on that night, and arrived at Herald’s point on the 17th June, and I immediately procured a passage to Charlestown, when I immediately applied for a flag; to send after Mrs. Fanning and property. The flag had left Charlestown two days, when she came in, as Maj. Rainey, had applied to General Marion, for a pass for her, to proceed to Charlestown; He would not let her have any of our property, not even a negro to wait on her.

Soon after the Loyalists, That had got to Charlestown from different parts of the world hearing that the Southern Colonies were to be evacuated by the British forces, called a meeting to point out some measures to try to hold some foothold in the country, until we got some part payment for our property which we were obliged to leave if we ever left the country. Hand bills were printed and stuck up throughout the town for the Loyalists to choose their representatives to represent our situation and the desire we had to support ourselves and property. It was proposed that 25 Gentlemen should be chosen a committee for that purpose. The day was appointed to take the vote. I was chosen amongst others; and drew up a petition and sent to Sir Guy Carleton, Commander in Chief; praying the liberty of keeping the town and artillery, as they then stood on the works; and despatched two gentlemen off with our petition; Our request was not granted. I have hereunto set forth the names of the gentlemen representatives:

Col’o Ballingall,
Robert Williams, Esq.,
Col’o Robt. Wm. Powell,
John Gailliard, Esq.,
John Rose,
Maj. Wm. Greenwood,
Jas. Johnston, Esq.,
Lt. Col’o Dupont,
Col’o Gray,
Col. Cassels,
Col. Pearson,
Col. Philips,
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Maj. Gabriel Capers,
Lt. Col’o Thos. Englis,
John Hopton, Esq.,
Robt. Johnston, Esq.,
John Champniss,
Andrew Millar, Esq.,
Col’o David Fanning,
Col’o Hamilton,
Wm. Carson,
Dr. Wm. Charles Wells,
Col. Thomas Edgehill,
Col. Sam’l Bryan,
Doct. Baron.

I continued in Charlestown until the 5th of Sept. and my horses having got recruited, and one of my negroes having made his way good through the country, came down to me; I then set out for the country again, on account of my misfortune of losing my Mare, which was of great value to me. I went up to the settlement again, to the man I sent to Hunter before; and, he informed me, that Hunter refused five negroes for the mare, and would not return her. He also, went to where, I left one of the negroes and took him and sent him over the mountains to keep him out of my way. I continued in the settlement until the 22d of the month, trying to get her but was disappointed in my hopes. Knowing that Charlestown was to be evacuated, I was obliged to return; and as I was on my way, I understood my mare was at a certain place, about 125 miles from Charlestown; being about half the distance from where, I then was; and my riding horse was so particularly known, I sent a man up to the house and he was known; they directed us the wrong way, and immediately sent word to where my mare was: I found out, we was wrong; and took through the woods, and to a house within half a mile, where they had word of my coming and was making ready to go to their assistance. On seeing us come up, he immediately left his horse, and was running off through a field; he turned around and presented his piece and snapped; but she missed fire; With this, I ordered one of my men to fire at him, who shot him through the body, and dispatched his presence from this world. The other two men that was at the house did not run; and informed me that they had received word of my coming a half an hour before I arrived; and also that there were men lying in ambush ready to attack me. With this, as the man who had my mare had gone off with her, and having only two men and my negro that set out with me from Charlestown, also two little negroes that I had for my mare, I thought it was my best way to proceed to Charlestown; and on the 28th Sept. I arrived

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at Charlestown, where the shipping was ready for me to embark for St. Augustine.

East Florida.

We whose names are hereunto subscribed do hereby certify that Col’o David Fanning, late of the Province of No. Ca., acted in the station of Col’o of Militia of that Province, and was of the greatest service to his Majesty, in suppressing the rebels during the late rebellion in North America; that he is worthy of every loyal subject; both for his valour, and good conduct;—that after he with his men took the town of Hillsborough, dispersed the rebel council, and took a great number of prisoners, was on that day wounded in the left arm—that finding the town of Wilmington evacuated by the British troops, and his wound not yet well, he for the safety of his people divided them, into small parties, and continued a long time in the back woods—that after many skirmishes in No. Ca. in the month of June 1782 he with the utmost difficulty made his way through many interruptions of the enemy, to the province of South Carolina; where his Majesty’s troops then lay; and that he was obliged to leave the province, where he lived and his property, which we are informed was considerable; and, that, he is now without the means of subsistence, having lost his all, for and on account of his services and attachment to his Majesty’s person and government.

St. Augustine,
20th Sept., 1783.
Lt. Col’o Comg R. N. C. Regt.
Captain R. N. C. Regt.
Capt. S. C. Regt.
Capt. S. C. Regt.
Capt. R. N. C. Regt.
Lt. S. C. Regt.

Schedule of the property of Col’o David Fanning late resident of the province of No. Ca. but now of the province of East Florida, lost

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to him on account of his Zeal and Attachment to the British Government and never received any part or parcel thereof or any restoration of the same, viz.:

550 acres of land in Amelia County in the Province of Virginia with a dwelling House and other necessary buildings, a large apple and Peach Orchard, and large improvements
550 acres of land near said plantation heir to the estate of my father and some improvement with a dwelling House
3 Saddle Horses
12 plantation Horses, three unbroke
2 negro Slaves
Debts, notes, bonds &c

Personally appeared before me, one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, St. Augustine Province of East Florida, Lieutenant Charles Roberson, Niell McInnis, and Philip Whisenhunt; Refugees, of said East Florida; who being called upon by the within mentioned Col’o David Fanning, to value the within mentioned property, who being duly sworne; and maketh oath upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God; that the within mentioned property, are well worth the sums affixed to each article, as near the value as possible, if the same was to be sold, to their own knowledge and the best information they could get.

Sworn at St. Augustine
this 25 Nov., 1783, before me,

I took my passage and landed in New Brunswick on the 23d Sept., 1784, and went to Halifax to his Excellency, the Governor Carlton to know how I should get land, but he had not arrived, so returned on the 7th Nov’r and in August I received the following letter from Col’o John Hamilton in answer to mine in regard to my claim:

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Dear Sir,

I received yours of the 9th Feb., 1785, a few days ago and notice the contents. I am sorry to inform you that your claims are not yet given in, but I expect the office for receiving Claims will be opened again by act of Parliament this session; when you may depend proper care shall be taken of yours. I am sorry to hear of your losses. I hope you are now agreeably settled, and making something for your family. I think if you can leave your business in proper hands, a trip to this country would be of service to you; tho’ I don’t think you would get half pay. The Government would settle an annuity on you for life; which cannot be done without you coming here.

If you come you may depend on all my interest in your favour, and I cannot help thinking it worth your while to come home.

I am dear Sir your humble servt,

May 10th, 1785.

In a short time after I heard that there was another act of Parliament passed to receive claims for losses and services, also that the Commissioners had arrived at Halifax. On the 20th March, I set out for Halifax, and presented a copy of my claim, as follows:

To the Honourable Commissioners appointed by act of Parliament, further to enquire into the losses and services of the American Loyalists:

The Memorial of David Fanning, late Col’o of the North Carolina Militia, humbly showeth; That your Memorialist is a Loyalist from North Carolina; who uniformly and religiously adhered to his duty and loyalty to the best of Sovereigns; for which he suffered persecution, and many other inconveniences—that your Memorialist, by a warrant from Major Craigg of the 82d Reg’t then commanding at Wilmington was placed at the head of the Militia of that province—that, your memorialist during the late war, did command from one to nine hundred and fifty men; with whom he was engaged in six and thirty skirmishes in North Carolina, and four in South Carolina; all of which were of his own planning and in which he had the honour to command—that your Memorialist killed many of the Rebels—and

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took many of them prisoners. Among the latter were, Governor Burke, his council, and many officers of distinction in the Rebel army—that your Memorialist was during that time, twice wounded, and fourteen times taken prisoner: That, on the conclusion of peace, your Memorialist settled two hundred and fifty souls in East Florida; and having took refuge in several parts of his Majesty’s remaining possessions in America, finally settled in the province of New Brunswick where he now is, in great distress, with his family. That your Memorialist, in consequence of his said loyalty, to his Sovereign; and the many services rendered him; and attachment to the British Government, had his property, real and personal, seized, confiscated, and sold by rebel authorities—Your Memorialists therefore that his case may be taken into consideration; in order that he may be enabled under your report to receive such aid or relief as his case may be found to deserve.


St. John, March 1st, 1786.

When I presented my claim to Peter Hunter, Secretary to the Commissioners; he gave me no kind of satisfaction, and on my asking him if I could could under an examination, he told me to be gone, he did not think the Commissioners would receive my claim. When I found I could get no hearing at Halifax, at that time, I returned home with a full resolution never to trouble myself any more. At the time of being in Halifax I met my old friend, Cap’t John Leggett, of the Royal North Carolina Regiment, who said he would speak to the Commissioners in my favour. He also gave me a copy of the following letter from Lieut. Col’o Arch McKay:

London, Nov. 15th, 1785.

Dear Captain:

Ever mindful of your good will and the kindness you showed unto me since I had the pleasure of being acquainted with you, induces me to write you a few lines at present informing you of my success since I came to England, knowing you would be glad to hear of the provision made for me. When I came to England, I got a hearing by the Commissioners of American claims, and they granted me Thirty pounds, yearly for temporary subsistence. I, then laid a memorial to Sir George Young, for Captains half pay; but I must confess I thought my chances for that bad enough, as I was not acquainted

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with any of the Generals who commanded in America; but since it was only amusement to try, I got a certificate from Col’o Craigg, and another from Col’o Hamilton; and laid them in with the memorial, it was with a good many others, a long time from Office to Office; at length they allowed me Seventy pounds sterling, yearly, for life for my services in America, exclusive of the Thirty pounds. Upon the whole I do not repent coming to London, as things have turned out.

I wrote to Cap’t McNeil this morning, not thinking I should have time to write to you, before the Ship sailed; and I had not time to write him so fully, as I could wish; but I will mind better next time.

I intend to spend next summer in Scotland, if every thing turns out here to my expectation. I would be glad to get a long letter from you concerning your new settlements. You will please to write to me, under cover to Messrs. John and Hector McKay, No. 5, Crown Court, Westminister; and if I am in Britain I shall be sure to get any letter that may come for me. After my jaunt to Scotland I hope to do myself the honour to call and see you on my way to New Providence, where Alex’r and Malcom McKay are gone.

I am, Sir, with due respect,
Your sincere friend & humble serv’t,
To Capt. John Leggett.

I returned home and continued until the 27th June, 1787; when I was entering the suburbs of the city of St. John, I accidentally met Ensign Henry Niss, with a letter, from the commissioners, desiring me to attend immediately for an examination. I still retained my opinion; but on informing Col’o Joseph Robinson he prevailed with me, after a long persuasion, to call and see the Commissioners; which I did; in company with Col’o Robinson: I was treated with every civility and all attention paid to me. After my examination they gave me the following certificate:

Office of American Claims,
St. John, 2d Feby., 1787.

We do hereby certify, David Fanning has undergone an examination on oath before us, as an American sufferer from No. Ca. We are satisfied by his own account, and by the evidence he has produced,

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that his exertions in support of the British Government, as Col’o of the Chatham, and Randolph County Militia, during the late troubles, in America, have been very great and exemplary;—that he has been severely wounded in several engagements and has in other respects been a great sufferer; though from particular reasons, it will not be in our power to make him any considerable allowance in our report. We therefore recommend him as a proper person to be put on the half pay list as Captain, and to have an annual allowance from the Government equal to that half pay.


After this I received a letter from my Agent and found I had lost property to the amount of £1625 S 10 according to an appraisement of three men acquainted with the property. But, as it was not like a coat taken out of my hand, or gold taken out of my pocket, I could not get anything for my losses. I lost 24 horses; and only reported 15; one of which cost more than all I ever got from the Government; and six head of cattle, £289 for property sold at the commencement of the war, and the land which I was heir to and for which I refused many times £3000 Virginia currency. But because I turned out in the service of my King and country in the 20th year of my age, and my exertions were very exemplary, I have lost my all, for and account of My attachment of the British Crown—only Sixty pounds received which would not pay the expenses I have been at to obtain it.

I can prove what I have here wrote to be facts, and the world will be able to judge after reading this narrative; and observe this Act of oblivion passed in N. Carolina in the year 1783 which is hereunto annexed—which is enlarged and improved in the London Magazine which will be found on page 607, vol. I, from July 1 to Dec. 1, 1783.

The act of Pardon and Oblivion is there quoted, passed 17th May, 1783, signed by

Speaker of Senate;
Speaker of Commons.

The proviso to the first section declares that “Nothing therein contained shall extend pardon to Peter Mallett, David Fanning and

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Samuel Andrews—or any person guilty of deliberate and willful murder, robbery, rape, house breaking or any of them.”

This narrative concludes—“Many people is fools enough to think, because our three names is particular put in this Act, that we are guilty of the crimes set forth.—But I defy the world to charge me with rape, or anything more, than I have set forth in this Journal.

All his Majesty’s subjects or others that wishes to know the truth of any thing further than I have set forth, let them make enquiry of those gentlemen whose names I have struck in; examine the letters of the Rebels, and the recommendations of the Officers who have been acquainted with me in person and with my services in the time of the late war.

Although I have been exhibited from receiving any benefits from the laws of the State, all I desire is to have the liberty of commanding 30,000 men in favour of the British government. I flatter myself that there would be no doubt of my putting many of them to swing by the neck, for their honesty, as John White did, after stealing 150 horses in North Carolina.

The Narrative of David Fanning
Major Robinson took the command
The first time my being taken
My going to the Indians
John Tork in East Florida
Colo. Mills taken
Gilliam took me
My wounds dressed
Treaty with the rebel, Colo. Williams
The reduction of Charleston
Colo. Innis’ Engagement in South Carolina
Went to Deep River, North Carolina
Col. Hamilton’s advertisement
A skirmish with Duck
Joined Lord Cornwallis
A skirmish with Capt. John Hinds
The Three Skirmishes
-------------------- page 238 --------------------
The Skirmish with Collier, and Balfour
My appointment from J. H. Craigg
A copy of the commission, I gave
The names of the different Officers
Chatham taken
The Regulations of the Loyalists
The oath to the Loyalists
Engagement with Col. Alston
Copy of a parole
Major Gage’s letter
Col. Slingsby wounded
The Engagement with Wade
McDougald and McNeal join me
My advertisement
Hillsborough taken, (Gov. taken prisoner)
Colo. McNeal killed, and myself wounded
Skirmish with O’Neal
J. H. Craigg’s letter
2 Colo. Edmund Fanning’s letter
Capt. John Leggett’s letters
Colo. Mcdougal’s list of Officers
Colo. McNeal’s list of Officers
The Volunteers from Wilmington
Different skirmishes with Rutherford’s men
Rebel proclamation
And Col. Isaacs from the mountains
Skirmishes with the Rebels
Golston’s House burnt and two Rebels killed
Terms required by me of the Rebels
Williams’ answer
Ramsey’s Letters
Williams, Burns, & Clarke’s letter
Capt. Linley murdered, and two men hanged for it
Col. Alston came to me
My articles presented again
General Butler’s letter
Walker, and Currie’s skirmishes with the Rebels
Balfour killed
Bryan killed
-------------------- page 239 --------------------
Rebel Commissary hanged
Capt. Williams from Gov’r to me
Griffith’s Letter
Rosur and Golston’s Letters
Capt. Dugin’s and Guin’s letter
The answer from the Assembly
Myself married, & Capt. Hooker killed
The forged letters
My answer in Major Rains’ name
My riding Mare taken
Hunter and Williams’ letter
My arrival in Charleston
The names of the gentlemen Committee in Charleston
2Rebel proclamation
Embarked for East Florida
2Major Devoice’s Articles
A certificate of my services signed by officers in East Florida
An estimate of my property
2King’s Speech
2My speech to the Inhabitants
2Myself and others set out for East Florida
2My arrival at New Providence
Col. Hamilton’s letter
My Memorial to the Commissioners
Lieut. Colo. McKays’ letters
Commissioners’ certificate
Memorial for half pay to Sir George Young
2My letter to George Randal
The Rebel Act of oblivion
2Rebel Petition
2Mr. Branson’s letters
2William Teague’s letter

2 The subjects named in these are not to be found in the text.

Note.—This unique Index is by the hand of Fanning himself, the paging only being changed.—Ed.