Moores Creek National Battlefield in Southeastern North Carolina offers touring of an American Revolutionary War battlefield.
Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Moores Creek National Battlefield
- About Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Is Moores Creek National Battlefield worth visiting?
- History of Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Things to know before your visit to Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Details about Moores Creek National Battlefield
- National Park Map
- Where is Moores Creek National Battlefield?
- Getting to Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Best time to visit Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Weather and Seasons
- Best Things to do in Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Hiking in Moores Creek National Battlefield
- How to beat the crowds in Moores Creek National Battlefield?
- Where to stay when visiting Moores Creek National Battlefield
- Parks Near Moores Creek National Battlefield
At the time of the American Revolution, the residents of North Carolina were divided by their loyalties.
British commanders relied on residents who were loyal to the crown to help fight the patriot rebellion.
About Moores Creek National Battlefield
On February 27, 1776, a force of Loyalists forces tried to cross a bridge at "Widow Moore's Creek" on their way to meet with British troops.
A patriot force was waiting for them and had dismantled the bridge planks and greased the support girders.
When the Loyalists first arrived armed with broadswords and tried to cross the bridge they were met with musket and artillery fire.
The Loyalists quickly retreated. Patriots were able to capture Loyalist troops, weapons, and money.
This win ended the British hopes of a quick victory in the south.
This Battle of Moores Creek marked the last broadsword charge by Scottish Highlanders and the first significant victory for the Patriots in the American Revolution.
Is Moores Creek National Battlefield worth visiting?
Yes, Especially if you are nearby. The park offers beautiful walking trails and shares information on Revolutionary War history.
History of Moores Creek National Battlefield
The Moores Creek National Battlefield preserves the site where, in 1776, the Patriots and Loyalists fought each other during the American Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge on February 27th, 1776, was an American victory that would lead the first colony to vote to break away from the British Crown.
The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge began when the British Loyalists of North Carolina tried to cross the bridge over Moores Creek.
The Loyalists were on their way to the North Carolina coast to meet up with forces from Boston and Britain to invade the Southern colonies.
Both sides were aware of the position and movements of the other around Moores Creek bridge.
However, the Loyalists believed a much smaller militia would be waiting for them. The Loyalist General MacDonald took a miscalculated risk that resulted in their defeat.
North Carolina was a deeply divided colony. The western region supported the Patriot's cause, while the settlers in the east, remained loyal to the British Crown.
In 1775, the British Crown believed North Carolina was the perfect colony from which to launch a British invasion.
The British governor of North Carolina, Josiah Martin, wanted to regain control of the colony.
Forced to flee the colony after attacks by the Patriot militia, Josiah Martin organized the Loyalist call to arms from exile off the coast of North Carolina.
General Donald MacDonald responded to the governors request and amassed a force of 1,600 Loyalists from the area.
In August of 1775, the Patriots became aware that the Loyalists were gathering forces. In return Colonel James Moore, the head of the Colonial Militia did the same.
Before The Battle
Moore instructed Colonel Richard Caswell to gather men to intercept the Loyalists before they could meet up with the British forces arriving at the coast.
Moore set up a blockade in Wilmington while Caswell and his 1,000 strong militia marched from New Bern to position themselves along the Black River, hoping to block MacDonald's advance.
MacDonald and his force, made up of Scottish Highlanders, marched from their camp at Cross Creek (modern-day Fayetteville) towards Wilmington on February 10th, 1776.
Aware of the Patriot Col. Moore's forces blocking their path through Wilmington, MacDonald went east to avoid Moore's blockade.
MacDonald was aware that Caswell was attempting to block his crossing of the Black River.
MacDonald believed that he and his 1,600-strong force could cross at Moores Creek Bridge.
Caswell had moved his men into a defensive position on the other side of the bridge.
Here he had constructed earthworks on the east side of the river bank and hidden the canons in the woods.
Battle of Moores Creek Bridge
MacDonald was aware that Caswell’s force was across the bridge and had even sent a courier to advise the Patriots to lay down their weapons.
The Patriots refused to surrender. The courier returned to MacDonald, where he reported on the size of the Patriot forces and their position.
The courier had not seen all of the Patriot forces, making MacDonald's decision to cross Moore Creek Bridge a fatal mistake.
On February 27th, after receiving false information the previous day, MacDonald made his attempt to cross Moores Creek Bridge.
Just after midnight, MacDonald and his men marched towards Moores Creek bridge.
Meanwhile, the Patriots had moved into their strong defensive position on the river's east bank.
Upon arriving at the bridge, the Loyalists believed the Patriots had left their camp on the western bank. The Loyalists then attempted to cross the bridge.
A British Retreat
As the Loyalists crossed the Moore Creek bridge, a Loyalist commander famously charged upon the Patriot position to the yell of “King George and broadswords!”.
The concealed Patriots opened fire on the Loyalists as they charged onto Moores Creek bridge.
The Loyalists were no match for the Patriot's cannon and musket fire, so the Loyalists had no choice but to abandon their advance and retreat.
The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge was brief but fierce, with an estimated 50 Loyalists being killed or wounded.
The Patriots did not let their momentum fizzle. Instead, they pursued the retreating Loyalists to make sure they could not regroup to mount another attack.
The patriot victory at the site preserved at the Moores Creek National battlefield was important to the Patriots'
cause. The Loyalists' defeat here meant they lost any hope of controlling North Carolina again.
And in fact, just two months later, North Carolina became the first colony to vote in favor of independence from British rule.
Things to know before your visit to Moores Creek National Battlefield
$0.00 - There is no entrance fee to visit the park.
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Learn more about National Park Passes for parks that have an entrance fee.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
Eastern Time Zone
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times
Cell service is limited in the park.
Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Visitor Center is closed on Sunday and Monday
There is no WiFi available in the park.
Insect repellent is always a great idea when outdoors, especially if you are around any body of water.
We use Permethrin Spray on our clothes before our park trips.
Make sure to bring your own water bottle and plenty of water with you. Plastic water bottles are not sold in the park.
There is a nice size parking lot in front of the visitor center.
There is no place to get snacks or food in the park. There is a picnic area available.
There are no gas stations within the park.
Drones are not permitted within National Park Sites.
National Park Passport Stamps
National Park Passport stamps can be found in the visitor center.
Moores Creek NB is part of the 2001 Passport Stamp Set.
Electric Vehicle Charging
The closest EV Charging Stations are in Wilmington.
Details about Moores Creek National Battlefield
Size - 44.3 acres
Check out how the park compares to other National Parks by Size.
June 2, 1926 - Established as a National Military Park
September 8, 1980 - Redesignated as a National Battlefield.
In 2021, Moores Creek NB had 60,727 park visitors.
In 2020, Moores Creek NB had 58,786 park visitors.
In 2019, Moores Creek NB had 77,006 park visitors.
National Park Address
40 Patriots Hall Dr., Currie, NC 28435, United States
National Park Map
Where is Moores Creek National Battlefield?
Moores Creek National Battlefield is located 20 miles NW of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Estimated distance from major cities nearby
Wilmington, NC - 20 miles
Raleigh, NC - 107 miles
Durham, NC - 132 miles
Greensboro, NC - 183 miles
Charlotte, NC - 193 miles
Chesapeake, VA - 222 miles
Norfolk, VA - 223 miles
Virginia Beach, VA - 240 miles
Washington DC - 349 miles
Estimated Distance from nearby National Park
Congaree National Park - 213 miles
New River Gorge National Park - 396 miles
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 349 miles
Hot Springs National Park - 985 miles
Shenandoah National Park - 340 miles
Gateway Arch National Park - 929 miles
Cuyahoga Valley National Park - 653 miles
Where is the National Park Visitor Center?
The visitor center is located at the entrance to the park and trails.
Getting to Moores Creek National Battlefield
Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
Albert J Ellis Airport (OAJ)
From Highway 17, follow US 421 to NC 210, then West on NC 210
From Interstate 40, take exit 408 (NC 210) West at Rocky Point.
From Interstate 95 North, take exit 13-A for NC 74 East towards Wilmington.
From Interstate 95 South: take exit 81-B for I-40 East towards Wilmington. ·
From Fayetteville, North Carolina, take Interstate 95 South to Exit 13-A
Best time to visit Moores Creek National Battlefield
The best time to visit the park is spring and fall when the temperatures are comfortable.
That being said you can easily visit year round and enjoy this great park.
Weather and Seasons
During the spring and summer months, temperatures can sore into the 90’s with high humidity.
During the fall and winter, the climate is temperate with temps anywhere from the ’30s to the low 80’s.
Best Things to do in Moores Creek National Battlefield
We suggest planning at least a few hours to visit the park especially if you want to walk around the trails and see the monuments.
The visitor center offers interpretive exhibits including a 10-minute film, "In the Most Furious Manner", a battlefield map, period weapons, and a park store.
You can pick up a Junior Ranger Program at the visitor center.
The majority of the junior ranger program is based inside the visitor center.
It is filled with great information and provides the opportunity to dive deeper into the park.
On August 15, 1907, the Moores Creek Monumental Association unveiled the Women's Monument. Also known as the Slocumb Monument.
That inscription reads:
TO THE HONORED MEMORY
OF THE HEROIC WOMEN
OF THE LOWER CAPE FEAR
Living History Events
Check the park's Facebook Page for updates on their living history programs depicting the events that occurred at Moores Creek.
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Moores Creek National Battlefield is a stop along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.
Hiking in Moores Creek National Battlefield
Always carry the 10 essentials for outdoor survival when exploring.
There is a 1-mile long trail system through the park. The trail is amazing!
It is soft and easy to walk. The views are gorgeous and you can step back in history as you explore the monuments and Moores Creek Bridge along the trail.
How to beat the crowds in Moores Creek National Battlefield?
We did not encounter any crowds while visiting the park. There is a lot of room to maneuver around any crowds.
Where to stay when visiting Moores Creek National Battlefield
There are no National Park Lodges within the park.
The majority of lodging can be found in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Click on the map below to see current rates during your visit to the area.
There are no National Park Campgrounds within the park.
Nearby camping includes
Fulcher's Landing Campground - Sneads Ferry, NC
This campground offers RV and Tent Sites, a waterfront, playground, and more.
Barefoot RV Resort - North Myrtle Beach, SC
This campground offers lodging and RV sites, a pool, cable tv, and more.
Carolina Pines RV Resort - Conway, SC
This campground offers lodging and RV sites, a waterpark, pool, dog park, and more.
Check out other campgrounds on CampSpot.
Parks Near Moores Creek National Battlefield
Kings Mountain National Military Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Check out our National Park Checklist of every park by state!