This week, my youngest daughter and I visited Lindley’s Mill, North Carolina, where a small Revolutionary War battle took place. My g-g-g-g-g-g grandfather (yes, that’s 6), a Major, lost his life in that battle in September 1781.
The facts of the Battle of Lindley’s Mill are just fascinating. The Patriot governor of North Carolina, along with 200 other men, were captured by the Loyalists. While the Loyalists were marching the captured to Wilmington on foot, the Patriots set up an ambush in the area of Lindley’s Mill in order to free the governor and the other men.
The battle essentially ended in a draw, with neither side a clear victor. The governor and the captured men, however, continued on to Wilmington under the marching orders of the Loyalists.
In that sense, the Patriots certainly lost since they didn’t accomplish their mission of freeing the governor and the 200 Patriot men.
My daddy, an avid genealogist, set up this viewing of the land where the battle was fought. He was also able to arrange a stretch of time where we could learn from one of the best historians I have ever had the privilege from which to learn.
The gentleman that owns the battlefield property gave us a private tour, filled with accurate stories regarding the logistics of the battle and the men themselves.
My almost 11-year-old history buff and I have talked about this experience for days. We soaked in every word this 84-year-old gentleman uttered. We asked questions. We surveyed and pondered the land.
As we all enjoyed traipsing through this mostly untouched land, we pondered several ideas aloud:
- The Patriots and the Loyalists were every day citizens who lived in pockets within just a few miles of one another.
Did they go to church together?
Did they separate into different churches based on this fundamental belief of their country’s freedom or were they able to still worship together?
With many of the husbands and older boys off in battle, did the wives of opposing sides take care of one another?
Or was it tense since they were on opposite sides?
- There were 600 men altogether marching from where the governor was captured to Wilmington.
Was it loud when they came down the road?
Did they march 3 or 4 across? Was it that organized?
Were the governor and the 200 captured men marched in the middle of the others?
Did they stop often to rest? (Those muskets are really heavy!)
Did they have other Loyalist supporters offer them a place to sleep or food as they traveled down to Wilmington?
- My g6-grandfather that died in this battle fought alongside his son who lived.
Did my g6-grandfather’s wife honored for him to go fight? Did she give him her blessing?
Did they value their freedom so much that she willingly sent her husband and son off to battle?
How did she come to terms with that?
How did she handle not having frequent communication about her husband and son? I can’t imagine that was anything other than excruciating.
It’s good to think on questions such as this. Wrestling with these types of questions helps us to have a deeper understanding of our history.
Sure, we need the fundamental understanding of the facts – times, dates, places, settings, etc. – but trying to understand and think on these other circumstances adds a level of familiarity to the trip. I think this is especially the case since we have a direct ancestor that died for our freedom in this particular battle.
This trip to the Lindley’s Mill battleground was a marker for me. Over the past 20+ months, I have been mulling over and pondering what my job is as an American mother.
My g6-grandfather gave his life for the freedom that I enjoy today. He believed in the cause so greatly that he literally gave all that he had – his life.
What a deep sense of conviction he must have had, not to mention bravery and courage.
I’m very proud of my grandfather, and I’m proud to know about him.
I pray that in some small, yet significant way I can make my future generations proud of my efforts in the name of preserving our Freedom.
It’s imperative that we teach our children to love and appreciate our beautiful Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. You can take a look at how we cultivate a Patriotic Homeschool.
I would love to hear how you encourage a Patriotic homeschool, too! Feel free to leave a comment. ❤