Click on the photo to read an excerpt from the 1939 book written by Dr. William Edward Fitch, MD about the First Battle of the American Revolution - the Battle of Alamance
Randolph County, North Carolina: American Revolution
The Battle of Alamance in 1771 was the first battle of the American Revolution. It is often overlooked in history books and if mentioned, it is a few lines. By 1766, North Carolina citizens began to organize against unfair taxation and the dishonesty of local officials responsible for collecting taxes. Taxes also had to be paid in hard money. Most marketing and trading of the time was done by barter. People had very little money of any kind.
The Regulator story is very much a part of the history of Randolph County even though it occurred a few years before the county was established. Herman Husband, a Quaker and citizen of the Sandy Creek area of the county, distributed pamphlets and petitions for signature to take to the Royal Governor. Beginning in 1766, the Regulators (those that wanted the unfair taxes regulated), petitioned the governor for meetings. Several Allreds were involved in the cause against the injustice. Governor William Tryon consistently refused to meet with any of the Regulator leaders.
By January of 1771, Governor Tryon decided to order his militia to put down the “rebellion” and in March he marched from New Bern to Hillsborough collecting troops along the way. When he learned that the Regulators were gathering near the Great Alamance Creek, he led his men in that direction. The Regulators were not prepared to fight. Most were unarmed, for they were writing yet another petition and were hoping to convince the governor by their show of numbers. Surely, when the Governor realized how many of his citizens wanted the Regulations changed, he would respond and agree to meet. Respond he did: on May 16, 1771, the two groups were 25 yards apart and firing began.
The Regulators lost an unknown number of men. It is estimated over 3000 Regulators were at the Battle and over 300 died. Herman Husband and other leaders left the state. After the battle, the British Army marched to the properties of the leaders, including Herman Husband. His home, buildings and crops were all destroyed by fire. Neighbors of Herman Husband were John and Thomas Allred. William Allred’s property was close by. More than likely their properties also suffered from the fires.
By mid-June, more than 3,000 Regulators either signed the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown or moved into South Carolina or what is now Eastern Tennessee. Those leaving the state were approximately 1,600. The Battle of Alamance and the unfair taxation was noted by Colonists in New England suffering from unfair taxation. The Boston Tea Party, the revolt against unfair taxes was in 1773. The Battle of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts was in 1775.
The Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and the Declaration of Independence was signed July 4, 1776. When Randolph County was formed in 1779 from Guilford County, the nation was already four years into the revolution.