The Battle of Deep River

July 29, 1781 at Deep River, North Carolina

Facts about the Battle of Deep River

  • Armies - American Forces was commanded by Col. Philip Alston and consisted of about 26-30 Soldiers. British Forces was commanded by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and consisted of about 25-50 Soldiers.
  • Casualties - American casualties were about 4 killed and 18 wounded/captured/missing. British casualties were about 2-8 killed and 4 wounded.
  • Outcome - The result of the battle was a British victory.

Battle Begins

On July 29, a Loyalist force, commanded by Colonel David Fanning, came to the "House in the Horseshoe" at the horseshoe bend of Deep River. The house was occupied by a Patriot force, commanded by Colonel Philip Alson. The house was Alston's house. The Loyalists captured two sentries, who were asleep, at the front gate but another sentry woke up and sounded the alarm. All of the Patriots ran into the house, barricaded themselves inside, and prepared for an attack from the Loyalists.

The fight evolved into a seige. After two hours, fanning agreed to give command to a British officer named McKay. McKay's plan was to rush the house and break in the doors as the rest of the Loyalists laid down an intense covering fire.

As McKay leapt over a fence rail, Alston's men fired a volley, hitting McKay in the head and wounded most of the men that had followed him. Fanning then got a free Negro to set fire to the house. Alston saw the two men talking and suspected what the plan was. As ther black man began to start the fire, he was shot and severely wounded.

Fanning got an oxcart and filled it with hay. he was going to set the hay on fire, roll it next to the house, and cause the house to catch on fire. Alston saw this going on and decided to surrender his force.

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