Benjamin Carroll was born in 1753 in Orange county Nc. In 1780, Carroll
joined the Orange county Nc Militia. In September, 1780, Carroll
participated in a skirmish on the Catawba River called the battle of
Island Flats NC, where the patriots were defeated by the British. The
Catawba River had been the scene of many skirmishes between the settlers
and Indians and later the British army. In January 1781, Carroll was
apart of Nathaniel Greene's camp at Sherrill Ford NC.
On February 1, 1781, Carroll was apart of the 500 man militia under
General William Davidson at the battle of Cowan Ford. Here British
General Cornwallis defeated Davidson, mainly due to the patriots being
outnumbered and 250 of them had no flints to fire their muskets.
Davidson was shot in the forehead and killed. Davidson's body was later
found naked and mutilated with bayonet wounds. In 2001, Davidson's
wallet was found by a British family whose ancestor had taken the
wallet. The wallet was later returned to the United States.
The next day On February 2, 1781, Carroll participated in the battle of
Torrence Tavern. Here Tarleton of the found the Nc militia in a drunken
stupor over their defeat at Cowan Ford. One British soldier shouted"
Rember the Cowpens", and attacked. Captain Salathial Martin, tried to
rally the patriots. The Nc Militia fought back one bayonet charge, but
was later forced to retreat when Salathial Martin's horse was shot out
from under him, falling on top of Martin. Fearing Martin was dead, most
of the Nc militia began to flee. Martin was not killed, but was captured
by the British. Another reason for the militia defeat was due to the
gunpowder being wet from the torrential rain storms in the area that
occurred during those two days of fighting.
On March 15, 1781, Carroll partipcated in the Battle of
Guilford Courthouse. Carroll was part of the 1060 man NC militia
positioned on the first line of defense. Part of the NC militia
consisted of of former loyalists who were being forced to fight or
be hanged The British 71st Highlander regiment began a bayonet charge.
The NC Militia fired its first volley and over half of the British 71st
Highlander regiment was killed . the NC militia fired another volley and
fled at the on coming British army. the NC militia began to flee. Some
of the Nc militia such as Salathial Martin couldn't understand why the
NC militia was fleeing. Martin had been at Kings Mountain, and didn't
flee from the 3 bayonet charges that occurred there. The Americans lost
the battle of Guilford courthouse , but not until they killed one fourth
of the British army there that day. The Americans could have won
if American General Greene had thrown both flanks against British
Commanders, Ohare and Leslie during a moment of confusion that
occurred on the battlefield after the British attacked the Continental
On September 8, 1781, Carroll participated in the Battle of Eutaw
Springs. Carroll was apart of the first line of defense. A British
bayonet charge broke up the NC militia first line of defense causing
them to flee. The British were winning the battle until the NC
continental line brought some order to the battlefield. Eutaw Springs
ended in a tactical draw and became the bloodiest battle fought in South
Carolina. 139 patriots were killed with 375 wounded. The British had 85
killed and 351 wounded.
Carroll was sent to Charleston in 1782 where he was discharged at the
Ashley River. Carroll returned back to Orange county NC where he died
on January 31, 1846.