Carolina Loyalist

The Revolutionary War Life of Colonel David Fanning


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About the Book

One of the most enigmatic figures of the American Revolutionary War, Colonel David Fanning is best known for his 1781 capture of Thomas Burke, the governor of North Carolina. As a Loyalist officer, Fanning fought in more than thirty minor engagements across the Carolinas, serving as commander of Loyalist forces during the Battle of Lindley’s Mill—the largest battle fought between the Whigs and Loyalists during the Tory War of 1781-82. His successes on behalf of the British government led to his being banned from North Carolina after the war. This first full-length biography chronicles Fanning’s deeds through some of the most brutal fighting in the Carolinas, and his postwar tribulations in British East Florida, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

About the Author(s)

John Hairr is a writer interested in exploring our region’s past. He has written extensively on a wide range of topics such as natural disasters, exploration and military history, especially the Revolutionary War. He lives in Lillington, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

John Hairr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8867-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4814-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
1. Hard Beginnings 5
2. War Comes to South Carolina 13
3. The Whigs Strike Back 22
4. On the Run in South Carolina 29
5. The War Resumes 39
6. The War Shifts North 50
7. Fanning Takes Command 63
8. Elizabethtown and Beatti’s Bridge 77
9. Loyalist Highwater Mark 86
10. The Dash to Wilmington 99
11. The Fall of Wilmington 108
12. Abandoned in North Carolina 116
13. The End in the Carolinas 125
14. Exile in Search of a Home 132
15. Triumph and Tragedy in New Brunswick 149
16. A Home in Nova Scotia 159
Appendix A: Sarah Fanning Petition, 1800 173
Appendix B: House in the Horseshoe Battle Damage 175
Appendix C: Places Named for Colonel David Fanning in Canada 177
Chapter Notes 179
Bibliography 189
Index 193