Great Bridge - Moore's Creek Bridge
Lord Dunmore's offer to free slaves

1775 and 1776

In November 1775, the British governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, offered to free black slaves who took up arms on Britain's side. From 1,000 to 2,000 blacks joined Dunmore. In December, the patriots defeated a force led by Dunmore at Great Bridge, south of Norfolk. Dunmore fled Virginia the following summer.

North Carolina's governor, Josiah Martin, also hoped to crush the rebellious colonists by force. He urged North Carolinians loyal to Great Britain to join him. More than 1,500 colonists answered Martin's call and marched toward the coast to join British troops arriving by sea. But on the way, these colonists took a beating from patriot forces at Moore's Creek Bridge, near Wilmington. British troops under General Clinton had sailed southward from Boston. However, they failed to arrive in time to prevent the defeat at Moore's Creek Bridge on Feb. 27, 1776.

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