"King George and Broadswords!" shouted loyalists as they charged across partially dismantled Moores Creek bridge on February 27, 1776. Just beyond the bridge nearly a thousand North Carolina patriots waited quietly with cannons and muskets poised to fire.
The loyalists, mostly Scottish Highlanders wielding broadswords, expected to find only a small patriot force. As the loyalists advanced across the bridge, patriot shots rang out and dozens of loyalists fell, including their commanders.
Stunned, outgunned and leaderless, the loyalists surrendered, retreating in confusion. Wagons, weapons and British sterling worth more than $1 million by today's value were seized by the patriots in the days following the battle.
This dramatic victory ended British authority in the colony and greatly influenced North Carolina to be the first colony to vote for independence. The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, coupled with the Battle of Sullivans Island near Charleston, SC a few months later, ultimately led the 13 colonies to declare independence on July 4, 1776.
Throughout the park, remnants remain of the 1776 road traveled by patriot and loyalist forces. A 1-mile trail with wayside exhibits leads through the battlefield and across Moores Creek. The historic bridge site is located along the trail.
The park offers a visitor center with exhibits and audio-visual program; a .3 mile colonial forest trail, and a picnic area.
The park holds an annual observance and commemoration of the battle. The event is held on the last full weekend of February and features a living history encampment, tactical demonstrations, folk singing, and a formal commemoration program including a speaker, military band, and wreath laying ceremony.
The park is approximately 20 miles NW from Wilmington, North Carolina. The park is located on N.C. 210 about three miles west of U.S. 421. The park also is accessible from I-40 by taking NC 210 west about 15 miles to the park.