General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

John Sanders


John Sanders was born in 1753 in North Carolina. He enlisted in 1777 in Dobbs County North Carolina which today is part of the Greene county North Carolina.

 His first and only battle was at Cross creek NC located at present day Fayetteville NC in 1777. Cross Creek had its first taste of the Revolutionary war in February 1776 when the Loyalists met there to plan for the battle of Moores Creek NC fought on February 27, 1776. Cross Creek had 4 revolutionary war battles fought on its soil. The first one in 1777 in which Sanders participated was against a Tory faction in the region. Two other battles occurred in March and April 1781 when local patriots attacked Cornwallis marching on his way to Guilford Courthouse and on his return trip to Wilmington NC in April 1781.

 The fourth and final battle at Cross Creek was on August 14, 1781 when Tories under David Fanning attacked a local group of patriots. David Fanning was a notorious Tory Leader. Fanning participated in over 40 campaigns against the local patriots starting with his first battle during the Snow Campaign in Upper South Carolina on December 23, 1775 where the patriots and Tories battled for a week over Gunpowder and ammunition in 15 inches of snow.

 After the battle of Cross Creek, Sanders joined the North Carolina 10th regiment which was disbanded at Valley Forge. The North Carolina 10th regiment saw no action as a regiment.

 In 1780, Sanders moved to Surry County NC where he married Molly Stotts on August 17, 1780. They had 9 children from this Union. By 1830 Sanders had moved to Claiborne county TN. Sanders applied for his pension on January 1833. Sanders died four months later on April 8, 1833.  Molly moved to Campbell County TN. where she died in 1845.

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