Moore’s Creek National Battlefield commemorates the victory of the Patriots over the Loyalists at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776. Located in near Currie in the Wilmington area in Pender County and managed by the National Park Service, the United States National Battlefield was established as a national military park in 1916 and designated as a National Battlefield in 1980.
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History of the Battle
Moore’s Creek National Battlefield honors the soldiers who fought in the 1776 Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, which, together with the Battle of Sullivan Island, were the first open battles of the American Revolution. The battle raged between Loyalists, who were mostly Scottish Highlanders, and Patriots around Moore’s Creek Bridge and saw massive losses on the Loyalists side, who lost their commander, became stunned and outgunned and retreated in confusion. The dramatic victory ended British command and authority in the colony and pushed North Carolina to vote for independence. This battle and that of the Battle of Sullivan Island led the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from the British on July 4, 1776.
Moore’s Creek National Battlefield National Park features remnants of the battle fought between the Loyalists and the Patriots, including the road they traveled in 1776. A one-mile trail dotted with information displays and exhibits winds through the battlefield, across Moore’s Creek, past the historic bridge site, and around the park, telling the story of the battle along the way. The park also features a visitor center with a variety of exhibits and displays about the battle and the role it played in American history and an audio-visual program for guests to enjoy. There is also a gentle 300 m colonial forest trail to explore and a picnic area to have lunch.
There are two hiking trails at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield, both of which are gentle and easy to walk and provide an invaluable and exciting educational experience. Laid out to give visitors a chance to walk the grounds of the battlefield and get a feel for the terrain on which the battle was fought, the hiking trails are an ideal way to explore the park and learn more about the fight.
The History Trail is a one-mile looped trail that takes about an hour to walk and features stops along the way with information panels and displays. The Trail begins behind the Visitor Center and follows the historic Negro Head Point Road where several panels explain the events of that day and the men that fought in the battle.
The Tarheel Trail is a short nature trail of around three miles that describes the process of extracting pine tar and pitch from the Longleaf Pines that once dominated the area and how it was used in the battle and the war. The Tarheel Trail forms a horseshoe shape and can be combined with the History Trail for a longer, more informative walk. Both trails are flat and easy to walk with direction markers and information panels along the way. Trail maps can be found on the park brochure which can be collected from the Visitor Center.
There are two picnic areas at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield, a small one with three tables just outside the Visitor Center and a larger space for summer gatherings at the end of Patriots Hall Drive. The smaller of the two has a few tables and is ideal for a quiet lunch, while the larger area can be used for family gatherings and get-togethers and features around 15 picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a covered pavilion that can be rented for events.
Moore’s Creek National Battlefield is located on Patriots Hall Drive in Currie, North Carolina and is open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Areas of access with the park include the Earthworks and Battlefield, the Widow Moore’s Creek Bridge, and the History and Tar Heel trails, as well as picnic areas and restrooms.
The Moore’s Creek Battlefield Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Center features a Ranger staffed information desk, a Museum with informative exhibits and displays about the park, the battle site and the history of the war, and a theater room where a short introductory film called ‘In the Most Furious Manner’ is shown. There is also a small bookshop and gift store.
40 Patriots Hall Drive, Currie, NC 28435, website, Phone: 910-283-5591
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