Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NC: “Fire And Be Damned”




Battle of Alamance 1771

The Regulator Movement was a mid 18th century uprising against State and County officials by farmers in the backwoods areas of NC , mostly in Anson, Orange and Granville Counties. In those days, the eastern end of the State was settled with the Capitol and Royal Governor in New Bern, western (what we would now call central) North Carolina was frontier.

The farmers who had migrated west felt they were being taxed too much for their less valuable land and were rightly upset at officials running their offices for personal gain. Frustrated at the governments refusal to hear their grievances, they formed themselves as the Regulators.

Appointed officials were targeted for threats and violence. In one instance, they seized Edmund Fanning and dragged him by his heels down some stairs, banging his head on each one. Another official’s home was raided and his belongings thrown out the window.

When William Tryon was appointed governor and built his “palace” with public money, things got worse coming to a head on 16 May, 1771. Tryon and 1000 militia soldiers met around 2000 Regulators west of Hillsboro. The Regulators attempted to talk, but Tryon would only hear them if they laid down their weapons and dispersed within the hour. When no reply came from the Regulators, the governor sent a message that he would fire on them unless they disbanded.

“Fire and be damned” was the response.

 The engagement lasted about two hours with the better trained and equipped militia claiming victory.
More at these links.


NC History Project

NC Dept Cultural Resources

Friends Of Alamance Battleground


  1. I keep seeing parallels between our history and our present. Almost like it keep repeating itself. Maybe there is something to that idea that liberty requires eternal vigilance.
    Letter I just sent to our county Sheriff;

    Dear Sheriff Harrison,
    Thank you for speaking to the citizens group tonight at Fargo Steak House in Zebulon NC.
    Several people attempted to ask the question we were all there to here your answer to. I am afraid the questions were not worded clearly. As you know there is a media and federal government movement to further expand gun-control laws and the things being proposed are blatantly in violation of the Second Amendment. If even some of those things get through Congress and become law, millions of law-abiding citizens will become criminals unless they comply. If your department is ordered to enforce unconstitutional law, will you do so? Several states and some sheriffs have informed the White house they will not enforce new gun laws and Montana passed a law which says they will arrest any federal agents who try to enforce new gun laws in Montana. Where do you stand on this?

    1. Great. Let me know his reply, please. If it isn't correct, we need to make it well known whereever we can and thanks.

    2. Yes.... I'd like hear/read the Sheriff's reply as well. ..

  2. It's probably time to start organizing a new band of Regulators, this time all across the country. The government needs to know that if they try to pass blatantly unconstitutional laws, there will be armed resistance. The very possibility of that will likely dissuade them, to everyone's benefit.

    1. The very possibility of that will likely dissuade them, to everyone's benefit.