The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        Upon the departure of Gov. Ludwell in 1693, the administration of the Province devolved upon him as Deputy Governor.*

        * Martin, I, 134.

His grandson, the subject of our sketch, was left early an orphan, and when Edward Moseley, who had married Ann, daughter of Major Alexander Lillington and the widow of Gov. Walker, (died 1712,) emigrated to the Cape Fear, young Lillington came with him, in 1734. A fine mansion, known as Lillington Hall, about 40 miles above Wilmington, on the New Berne road, is still standing, and an engraving of it is delineated in Lossing.

        When the notes of preparation for the war with the mother country were heard, Lillington responded gladly to the call.

        He was early known as an active and decided Whig, and co-operated with Ashe in opposition to Gov. Tryon. We have seen his letter, offering, with Ashe and Thomas Lloyd (see ante, page 40,) to protect from insult the person and property of the Governor.

        By the State Congress, which met on 21st August, 1775, at Hillsboro, to put the State in military order, he was appointed colonel of the Wilmington district, and Caswell for the New Berne district. Together, these gallant officers, with their forces, fought (February 27, 1776,) and won the battle at Moore's Creek Bridge, over the Scotch Tories, which has been fully described, with its important consequences.*

        * See Wheeler, I, 76.

The State deeply appreciated his services, for the Provincial Congress that met at Halifax on 4th of April following, appointed him colonel of the 6th Regiment of North Carolina troops on the Continental establishment. He served under General Gates at the ill-fated battle of Camden August 15, 1780. Though he served through the war with distinguished honor, and was promoted to rank of brigadier general, his military fame rests chiefly upon the battle of Moore's Creek.

        General Lillington remained in service to the close of the war, when he retired to his estate at Lillington Hall, where he died; near his mansion rest the remains of General Lillington and his son John, who did good service in the whole Revolutionary war as colonel.

        "General Lillington," writes one of his descendants to Lossing,*

        * Lossing, II, 385.

"was a man of Herculean frame and strength. He possessed intellectual powers of a high order, undaunted courage and of incorruptible integrity. He has left,

                         --on the footprints of Time,
                         On of those names that never die.

        General Lillington was the grandson of Major Alexander Lillington who was President of the Council, and ex officio Governor of North Carolina, in 1673. His grandmother was an Adams, from Massachusetts. One of her daughters married Governor Walker, and afterwards Edward Mosely. Another was the wife of the first Samuel Swann. General Lillington left issue at his death in 1786, one daughter, who married her cousin, Sampson Mosely, and a son George, who left a son, John Alexander, (who represented Davie County in the Senate, in 1848,-'50,-'52,) who was the last of his name, a gentleman of fine personal appearance, and talents.

        Mrs. Harden of Hickory, and Mrs. Dr. Anderson, of Wilmington, are the present representatives of the family.--(Moore, Letter of Hon. George Davis.)


        It is now just about fifty years ago when I first entered the House of Commons (as it was then called,) as a member from my native County of Hertford, and my attention was drawn on the first day of the session to one of the best expressed and best delivered speeches that I ever heard, and which made an indelible
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