of Lindley's Mill
John Daffron stated he fought
at the battle of Lindley’s Mill. Here is what I found on it.
On an early morning in September
of Loyalist Col. David Fanning raided Hillsborough with six hundred loyalist
soldiers. Thomas Burke of Orange Co. had recently been elected Governor
by a Whig Assembly and the third Whig Governor of North Carolina. He was the
first to be taken prisoner by the British along with several other military and civil officials. All were aroused from their beds and placed under arrest. These captives were first thrown into the Hillsborough
jail while Tories plundered the town. Later that afternoon, Tories began transporting captives to British-occupied Wilmington.
“RW pensioner William Allen stated in his pension application that the troop for which he belonged
was raised for the purpose, as he understood, of marching to join General Green in the high hills at Santee River thence to
march into South Carolina to place then call Ninety Six, now Cambridge, but while
at Hillsborough preparing to go on this expedition, the Tories under the command of Fanning and the British under Col
McDougan (this should be Col. Hector McNeil) came upon us and took three hundred of us prisoner among whom was
Governor Burk. He saw Col. Lytte wounded by a sword in the head by Fanning, this transaction took place
at Hillsborough as above stated on the 4th of Sept. 1781. That night
we remained near Hillsborough and were carried next morning by the British and Tories on to a place called Lindley’s
watched from concealment. He could not reach his horse so he set out on foot
through high weeds for Hawfields, his home , to warn the people.
Hawfields was Whigs territory. General Butler had no problem raising 300 to 350 militia to respond to Mebane’s
At about 10:00 am the Whigs
were waiting on the brow of the hill, above the hollow leading to Hawfields. Once
across Hawfields , Fanning would be in Tory country. Near Lindley’s Mill the Whigs ambushed the Tory column. When rifle
fire started, the Loyalists escorting the Governor halted. Colonel McNeill called for retreat, but after one his men accused
him of cowardice, he reversed his order and called for advance. He was quickly
shot down. McDougal took his place, urging the men forward.
Colonel Fanning, crossed
down creek from the battle and came up on the rear of the hill, taking the Patriots
by surprise. The
battle continued for the next four hours. Still the Whigs were outnumbered two
to one, The battle finally came to an end when the Tories threatened to Assassinate Governor Burke and the captives. The Tories departed.
The Whigs lost 24 dead, and 90 seriously wounded. Major John Nalls of Bear Creek was shot towards the end of the
battle. Colonel Lutteral of Haw River was wounded , but managed to stay in his saddle until his horse reached
a farm house a ˝ mile from the battle scene. As he lay dying in an upstairs room, he wrote his name in his own blood across
the wall. His mark remained there for many years.
The Tories lost 27 dead and 60 seriously wounded.
Col. Fanning was wounded
This battle closed the war
in North Carolina.
Others who fought
in this Battle. (Taken from Pension records.)
had to say about the Battle of Lindley's Mill in 1832 in his pension
"Next morning we all marched to
the battleground at Lindley's Mill and helped to bury the dead. Depondent counted 31 dead on the ground, besides several
other that were at Lindley's Mill and at the widow Laughlin's. Colonel Literal died at the Coller House.
We then pursued Fannin and met a party of British on a bridge called Liviston on a creek who were sent out to cover
rear. We engaged this party of about 300 in number and after an engagement of about one quarter of hour we were compelled
to retreat. We were commanded at this place by General Butler who overtook us before we reached Livinston
Bridge. I then left Captain Grishom and joined Capt. William Douglass and
marched back to Orange.
John Petty - “Served under both Capt Clark and Cholsom. He recalled being in the battles of Can Creek, N.C. and Lindley’s Mill in 1781”
Captain James Kell “in the year 1781 he was elected Captain of a Militia Company in Orange County….marched
them to Ramsay’s Mill on Deep River where he joined General Butler he marched from there to near Cox’s
Iron Works where they remained near two weeks, from there over Haw River over
the Redfield ford where they remained two or three weeks, then marched to intercept Col. Fanning & fought him at
Lindley’s Mill. – After the Battle of Lindley’s Mills marched
to Haw River under Col. Mabry and General Butler & continued in that section until the tour expired.”
: “…entered the service for three months under Captain Abraham
Allen who was commanded by Colonel Maybrane, under the command of Brigadier General Butler. He was marched through Hillsbrorough North Carolina, then across Haw River to Lindley’s Mill were
he was in an engagement with the Tories under the command of Colonel O’Neal who was killed. …from Lindley’s Mill he marched to a place called Cross Creek where the Tories had taken refuge
in the swamps, where he wa again discharged after serving three months as orderly sergeant.
The claimant further states
that in the engagement at Lindley’s Mill, Col. Littrell and Major Nolls were killed by Tories.”
Col. John Pyle Sr.
& Dr. John Pyle Jr. were both Loyalists during most of the Revolution. Jr.
tended the wounded and dying after the battle of Lindley’s Mill, which was fought in the vicinity of his house.
– “was in the battle of Lindley’s Mill”
Samuel Shepherd - “in battle at Lindley’s Mill”
Henry Howell –
“fought at Lindley’s Mill”
Pension Application of William Mitchell
This declarant entered this expedition in Capt. McMullen's company of mounted
Col. William Moore's regiment and Genl. Butler's Division. A day or
two before we got up with Butler a sharp conflict took place between our troops under the Command of Col. Mebane
(who was a regular officer who on being ordered from one place to another had called to
see his father who lived in Orange [County] and he took the
command at the request of the troops, the principal field officers Taylor
and Butler being absent upon some other duty however they were [?]) and the Tories under Fanning at Lindley's Mill
where some thirty or forty of the Tories were killed and several of our little force were also killed
and wounded. The Tories retreated before our main army could come up with them. Butler got up within a mile of them one night
before he knew
it, when he learned his new position, he became desperately alarmed (for
he was a poor officer) and broke up his camp and marched off
at right angles from Fanning's route and
continued his forced march all night and until late the next day when we crossed
the Cape Fear River at Everett's ford where we encamped several days. Butler then turned our course immediately down the Cape
Fear River for Wilmington to Brown's Ferry on Cape Fear River where we crossed over and there encamped two or three days. We
received reinforcement of Col. William Moore's Regiment, though our company was known and understood as being part of Moore's
Regiment yet it did not join him until we crossed the river at Brown's ferry. Here Butler broke up his camp believing himself
strong enough to
cope with Fanning and set out on a forced march to overtake him although Fanning
a reinforcement of about 300 British soldiers under the command of Major Craig we
overtook him at __ swamp
his declarant's brother Lieut. David Mitchell was officer of the day. The
action was brought on under very auspicious circumstances. Butler took another panic supposing Fanning to have artillery and our Soldiers retreat; they
have cannon and we cannot stand them and he, Taylor & Moore ran off with all who pursue their flight and but for the ____and disinterested
of Col. Robert Mebane of whom this declarant already spoke the whole army would have been probably cut to pieces at the swamp.
But he rallied one hundred & fifty or two hundred of the troops and put them in order of battle and resisted the pursuit
of Fanning who finding that a hard [?] conflict had again ensued supposed that Butler's
force had fallen back to that point intentionally and thus he was induced to fall back in his turn and night closed the scene. We then traveled
18 miles before we overtook our field officers; who were encamped in the plantation of Capt. Lucas where the depleted army encamped several
days. We then took up the line of march for home and when we got in the neighborhood of Fayetteville, then called Cross Creek,
this declarant attached himself to Col. Taylor's Regiment from Granville County who was then encamped near Fayetteville
and in a short time the Col. heard that there was a small detachment of Tories encamped on Little River some 25 or 30 miles off Col.
they should be broke up there and Capt. Kell (who was then a private) was chosen to conduct the expedition
and volunteers were beat up for and some thirty, forty or fifty volunteered among whom was this declarant; a forced march was made
the Tories were found and just as we were in the act of surrounding them they discovered us and broke for a swamp. We fired on them as they ran and
took one of them that we executed and took the most of their arms and all their horses most of which had been stolen before
the Whigs and a good deal of plunder. We then returned to camp where this declarant received ___________.