Historic Halifax: The Road to Yorktown

Event Description

"Road to Yorktown" explores how American Independence was challenged by the British Army's occupation of Halifax in the spring of 1781. Costumed reenactors, military camps and historic weapons demonstrations bring this period of North Carolina's history to life.

In the spring of 1781, British Forces under General Cornwallis had abandoned Wilmington, North Carolina and were on the march north to rendezvous with British Forces under the command of general Philips in Petersburg in an effort to maintain control of Virginia. The infamous Colonel "Bloody" Banastre Tarleton led an advance guard of Loyalist Dragoons and British Light Infantry into the town of Halifax where they fought a skirmish with North Carolina militia in and around the town.

The North Carolina militia were pushed across the river and the main army under Cornwallis reached Halifax several days later. Homes were plundered of valuables and the people insulted. At onetime the situation was so much out of control that Cornwallis court-martialed and executed a sergeant and a dragoon for outrages against the town and citizens of Halifax. During British occupation, the courthouse records of Halifax were packed and hidden in the swamps outside of town. Cornwallis's Army would continue north to Virginia only to be defeated by allied French and Continental forces under the command of General George Washington.


Visitors may also enjoy the Morattico Artisan Fair along King Street, adjacent to the historic site.  Sponsored by the Town of Halifax, this family-friendly event will feature handmade craft items, art, music, food and more from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.