Rockfish Creek.

What: Skirmish, BG Caswell vs. Maj. Craig 2 August 1781

Other names:

Where: 34.71684 -77.97965, Rockfish Creek

Maps: [map notes]


  • Rockfish Creek (Duplin/Pender Co.) NC
    Rockfish Cr Rockfish Cr lgd

  • Per PJO: " This is another Rockfish Creek. This Rockfish Creek is the dividing line between Duplin County and Pender County and is located here: USGS Wallace East (NC) Topo Map 34.71684 -77.97965 (WGS84/NAD83).
    In the Mouzon 1775 map it shows the roads in NC. The road then, from Wilmington, pretty much follows Highway 117 today.

  • NBBAS:Vol. Three p.306-307.
    Rockfish Creek, North Carolina
    Craig’s Punitive Expedition
    2 August 1781

    In August Major James Craig announced that anyone who refused to take an oath of allegiance to the King would forfeit his property and his life. Since no one would come to him in Wilmington, he decided to go find the Whigs in the countryside. As Craig left Wilmington Colonel James Kenan and his Duplin County Militia were waiting behind breastworks lining Rockfish Creek. General Caswell’s militia had also reinforced Kenan at the ambush site.

    There was a short, intense fight until the militia ran out of ammunition. When the British brought up their artillery and fired the militia decided they had enough and withdrew. Craig’s cavalry charged and the militia ran. Gordon’s dragoons rode them down and took thirty prisoners.

    Craig remained in Duplin County for ten days and burned down the homes of anyone who did not take the oath of loyalty. During this stay in Duplin County 300 Loyalists came in and joined his army. When Craig marched to New Berne small mounted parties of Whigs darted among his column, striking whenever possible. There were no pitched battles though, because the Patriots did not have the ammunition to make a stand.

  • Sherman, "Calendar...". p.423-424. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75   listing. 8/2/1781 Rockfish Creek (Rock Creek) . British victory.

    Related sites:

    Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley.

    Confidence level: 1