Battle of Alamance – North Carolina

Alamance County, North Carolina.

As a college student, I fancied myself as a historian, though it was clearly misplaced. Having let whatever skills in that area I had atrophy over the last five decades or so, I am always amazed to find a roadside stop that brings up a historical note that I no longer recall, if I ever heard of it in the first place. Such is my visit to the Alamance Battleground.

In North Carolina, a place long noted for Civil War significance, we visited a battleground of a much earlier time, indeed pre-Revolutionary War earlier. If not the first, this battle fought in 1771, could easily be defined as the first of the American War for Independence. A little research determined that it was fought over many of the same reasons.

In the field, now bisected by a highway that was at the time a road through the area, a large monument to the Regulators stands. The site has an interpretive center with a helpful and knowledgeable tour guide and plenty of self-guided tour plaques. It was there I first learned of The Regulators, a small band of colonists who were not happy with the Royal Governor, William Tryon.

The rebellion was put down hard, including the losses during the battle, a dozen regulators were captured, tried and imprisoned. Six were hung for their crimes against the crown. Even though the colonists lost the battle, it became a model for fighting the British in the war that was to follow. Pugh’s Rock was one of the few areas where a soldier could hide behind to avoid the volleys of shots coming from the small army of colonists who were loyal to the crown. This battle was not against the British, but pitted one colonist against another.

Also on the site, the Allen House is also available for tours. This house, built by John Allen for his wife and family in around 1780, had no windows and was typical of the homes built at the time in this part of the Carolinas. It consisted of one room and a small upstairs loft. At some point, a small storeroom was added by enclosing part of the back porch. The house did not exist on this site but was moved here from nearby Snow Camp, North Carolina and fully restored. The interior of the house includes several artifacts of the time, some of which are featured in the gallery of images accompanying this post.

We visited the site only a few weeks after Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. Though this area is far inland from the battered coast, on our visit to the area, we didn’t see much damage. Indeed, the most damage we saw comprised of several downed trees there at the battleground site.

The site is located on NC-62, near Greensboro. I submit for your review a collection of images captured at the battleground. In most browsers, you can click on an image to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner

4 comments

  1. The battle of Alamance, also something I never heard of before. Once again the Crown is reminded what happens when they over step their bounds. Too bad they never learned the lesson.

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