Caswell the Soldier

Caswell's service to North Carolina also included a military career. In 1753 he enlisted in the Johnston County dragoons (cavalry) as a lieutenant. As Speaker of the House in the Colonial Assembly Caswell actively denounced the Regulators and on May 16, 1771, he put action to his words and led Gov. William Tryon's right wing at the Battle of Alamance, a victory that effectively ended the War of Regulation in North Carolina. On February 27, 1776 Caswell led Patriot forces to a decisive victory over the Loyalists at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, effectively ending British rule in North Carolina. This victory help inspire the Fourth Provincial Congress to draft the Halifax Resolves that called for independence from Great Britain, the first colony to authorize it delegates to the Second Continental Congress to do so. The first colony to authorize it delegates to the Second Continental Congress to do so. Caswell's reputation suffered from his participation under Gen. Horatio Gates' forces at the 1780 Patriot defeat in Camden, South Carolina. His active political role in North Carolina restored his reputation, however, and he was appointed again to leadership in the North Carolina war effort. When Lord Charles Cornwallis invaded the state in 1781, Caswell was appointed Major General of the State Militia and Continentals.