Orton Plantation

Other names::
Orton Mill

Skirmish, 11 May 1776, Maj William Davis vs. MG Clinton

34.05795 -77.944154 Orton Plantation

Maps: [map notes]


  • NBBAS:One P.104-105:
    RevList post:
    Orton Mill and Kendal Plantation, North Carolina
    11 May 1776

    When Henry Clinton had anchored his fleet at the mouth of the Cape Fear River it brought about a period of restlessness. Clinton landed his men onshore and exercised the men every day out of the range of the Americans on the shore. Four companies were on Battery Island; four on Bald Head Island and the rest of the force was near Fort Johnson. Knowing that he might be called upon to take Charlestown Clinton drilled his men in street fighting.

    With the waiting came restlessness. Clinton himself decided to lead a night raid on the bridge at Orton Mill. Early on a Sunday morning the British rowed upstream for fifteen miles with muffled oars. At Robert Howe’s plantation, Kendal Plantation, they pulled into shore. The British wanted to pay special attention to the home of Robert Howe in retaliation to his forming North Carolina militia units early in 1775. The British soldiers made so much noise that the American sentries heard them and killed one British soldier, Private George McIntosh of the 44th Regiment Light Infantry.

    The American sentries were also able to collect their horses and throw open the fences holding in the cattle. Clinton ordered his men to fix bayonets and approach the house.

    The women in the house were treated roughly. One was shot through the hip, and another stabbed with a bayonet. A third was butt stroked with a musket. During the raid the British had several men wounded and a sergeant of the 33rd Regiment taken prisoner. So brutal was the treatment of the women on the Howe Plantation that Cornwallis and Sir Henry Clinton later gave them a financial reimbursement.

    The British then marched on to Orton Mill, where Major William Davis commanded a detachment of 90 North Carolina Continentals. Major Davis discovered the approach of the British and withdrew with his baggage and two swivel guns.

    The British burned Orton Mills then plundered homes along the way on the march back. All they received from this raid was 3 horses and 3 cows.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • May 1776 listing:   5/11/1776 Orton Mill. Shown as British victory. Per O'Kelley.

Related locations:
Widow Colliers