Alamance Battleground, North Carolina

Alamance Battleground preserves the site of an 1771 battle between armed farmers from the North carolina backcountry, called “Regulators,” and the colonial militia led by royal governor William Tryon. The Regulators had a number of grievances against the colonial government. These grievances were not yet, as they would be in a few years, with the form of the government itself, but rather with official abuses such as excessive taxes, dishonest sheriffs, imposition of illegal fees, and even the scarcity of money with which to pay the taxes and fees they owed. The association of “Regulators” was formed in the backcountry in 1768 to address the farmers’ grievances to officials in the eastern part of the colony. When their appeals to the government failed, the Regulators refused to pay taxes and fees, resisted administration of the law, and disrupted court proceedings. Governor Tryon mustered the militia, and marched against the Regulators in the spring of 1771. On May 16, the militia confronted about 2,000 Regulators on the banks of Alamance Creek in the heart of the backcountry. The relatively undisciplined Regulators were completely unable to hold their own against the colonial militia (who were about to prove in a few years that they could not stand in the field against real professional soldiers). The militia lost nine killed and sixty-one wounded; Regulator losses were much greater. Tryon executed seven of the fifteen prisoners he took. Many Regulators moved on to other frontier areas beyond North Carolina. Those who stayed were offered pardons by the governor in exchange for pledging an oath of allegiance to the royal government. Alamance Battleground is preserved today with a granite monument that was erected as a memorial in 1880. The park grounds also contain the Allen House, a log dwelling characteristic of the frontier, built by backcountry farmer John Allen around 1780 for his family. The house was moved to Alamance Battleground and restored after John Allen’s descendants donated it to the state of North Carolina in 1967.

Alamance Battleground is located in Burlington, North Carolina 27215. Burlington is in central North Carolina, off Interstate 40/85 between Durham and Greensboro. From Interstate 40/85 in Burlington take N.C. 62 south (exit 143). Follow the directional signs on N.C. 62 for approximately six miles. The site entrance is located on the right.

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park , Connecticut

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park preserves the remains of a Revolutionary War fort that was the scene of a famous and controversial attack by British forces under the notorious Benedict Arnold. On September 6, 1781, Arnold’s forces landed near Groton, Connecticut and advanced against the fort, which was garrisoned by about 150 colonial militia and local men under the command of Colonel William Ledyard. The British regulars quickly captured the fort. What happened next is a matter of controversy. The Americans claimed that Ledyard gave up his sword in surrender, only to be immediately killed along with 88 of his men. The British version of events makes no mention of the massacre or the manner of Ledyard’s death. Whatever the truth about the massacre, the entire battle had lasted only 40 minutes.

The fort is located at the corner of Monument St. and Park Ave., in Groton, Connecticut 06340 (exit 87 off I-95).

Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina

After the secession of the southern states in late 1860 and early 1861, the federal government retained possession of several forts in the territories of the seceded states. The new president, Abraham Lincoln, considered retaining possession of these forts to be a concrete way to assert continuing federal sovereignty over the states that had declared their secession. The forts also became the issue that led to the actual outbreak of war. Unwilling to tolerate the challenge, forces of the new Confederacy opened fire against Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861. After 34 hours of fighting, the Union garrison surrendered the fort. From 1863 to 1865, the Confederates themselves withstood a 22 month siege by Union forces at Fort Sumter. During that siege, most of the fort was reduced to brick rubble. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948, and has been reconstructed to its 1861 appearance.

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