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North Carolina and the American Revolution: Battles and Skirmishes
Item 11 of 15
This is a contributing entry for North Carolina and the American Revolution: Battles and Skirmishes and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The historical marker for the Battle of LIndley's Mill is located at SR 1005 (Greensboro-Chapel Hill Road) at SR 2338 (Stockard Road) east of Eli Whitney, Alamance County. The largest engagement of the Tory War was the Battle of Lindley's Mill on 13 September 1781, an ongoing civil conflict following Lord Cornwallis' invasion of North Carolina. After the victory on 1 September by David Fanning, Loyalists were encouraged to rally in large numbers. He had received approval from Major James H. Craig for a raid on the capital at Hillsborough. The Whigs were led to believe that the Loyalists were going to attack Gen. John Butler's camp at Deep River. Fanning's army was sent to Hillsborough, undetected on the foggy morning of 12 September 1781. After a brief skirmish, the town was captured along with about 200 prisoners that included Governor Thomas Burke. While plundering their spoils, his men opened the liquor stores. By noon the unruly column left Hillsborough bound for Wilmington. Butler rode to intercept the Loyalist force at the ford of Lindley's Mill in present day Alamance County. On a plateau overlooking Stafford's Branch, Butler and Col. Robert Mebane laid an ambush. On 13 September the unsuspecting Loyalists were crossing the branch when a volley tore into the ranks. Fanning rode ahead to organize a flank attack on the Whigs, who stubbornly held their position but were eventually routed. More than 250 were killed and wounded on both sides, were buried and cared for by Quakers living in the area. This hard-fought battle was the bloodiest of the North Carolina War, with more casualties for the number engaged than at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The Hillsborough raid and the ensuing battle proved to be a turning point, with the Loyalists expecting the Whigs to give in; quite the opposite happened. Angered by the raid on Hillsborough and the loss of the battle, the Whigs redoubled their efforts to win the war.

North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program

Battle of Lindley's Mill