Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
In early 1776, Maj. General William Howe ordered Maj. General Henry Clinton to sail south to rendezvous with Commodore Sir Peter Parker. Parker had sailed from Cork, Ireland with Lt. General Charles Cornwallis and seven regiments of the British Army. Clinton and Parker would meet off of Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
Generals Clinton and Cornwallis would then invade the Southern colonies, capturing the important port city of Charleston, South Carolina. British expectations were that there were large numbers of Tories clamoring to the British cause against the few upstart Rebels. Some of these Tory forces were also expected to rendezvous with General Clinton at Cape Fear.
On February 20, 1776, 1,600 Scottish Highlanders set out from the Cross Creek area about 100 miles from the coast under the command of Brigadier General Donald MacDonald. On February 26, they learned that 1,000 Rebels were waiting with two cannon at Moore's Creek Bridge, which was six miles ahead. General MacDonald was now too ill to actively command. A council of war was held where MacDonald recommended caution, but the younger officers wanted to attack.
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