Colonel Samuel Bryan

Col. Samuel Bryan, from Rowan County, North Carolina Volunteers

Like John Moore of Ramseur’s Mill, Bryan had received a lieutenant colonelcy in the Royal North Carolina
Regiment. When word became known of Moore’s gathering at Ramseur’s, in June 1780, pressure came 
down on the loyalists elsewhere in western North Carolina. It was this that prompted Bryan to call out his 
own men from the north end of Rowan County. He was able to collect some 800, and fearing he might 
share the same fate as Moore made a speedy withdrawal to unite with Cornwallis’ army -- much to Cornwallis’ 
regret for reasons of it’s being premature with respect to his lordship’s own plans. Out of Bryan’s force was 
subsequently formed the North Carolina Volunteers. Although formally a Provincial Regiment, in terms of 
training and discipline they were little better -- if at all better -- than militia. They were present at Hanging 
Rock, Camden, Wahab’s Plantation, and the Guilford Court House campaign, and finally ended up in 
Wilmington when Cornwallis came there in April 1781. Of the two actions they are known to have actually 
“fought” at (Hanging Rock and Wahab’s) their performance was very poor, being scattered or slain in both 
instances. How much this reflected on Bryan himself, however, is hard to say. In 1782, he was taken 
prisoner, and sentenced to death, but which sentence was understandably deemed impolitic and not carried
out. Although still viewed with resentment by some, he returned with his family to the Yadkin Valley after the 
war and was able to settle there peaceably. 

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