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First Name: John

Last Name: Lillington

Birthplace: NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Militia - Revolutionary War

Middle Name: Alexander

Date of Birth: 1725

Date of Death: 1786


Years Served:
John Alexander Lillington

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


John Alexander Lillington
Brigadier General, North Carolina Militia

John Alexander Lillington was born in 1725 in North Carolina. Lillington was only prudently active in local and provincial affairs. However, as the Revolution approached, he was elected to the New Hanover County Safety Committee in 1775 and as one of the county's delegates to the Third Provincial Congress, which met at Hillsborough in August 1775.

He immediately joined the Patriots and began to organize a company of troops known as Minute Men of Wilmington and New Bern, of which Colonel Caswell and himself were joined by a large group of volunteers where they fought the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on 27 February 1776 playing an eminent role in the Patriot victory when they prevented the advance of the Loyalists. This was a first and important victory by the Patriots in North Carolina, thus preventing a reunion of the Scotch Tories under Gen. Donald Macdonald along with Sir Henry Clinton, who had just arrived at the Cape Fear River.

General Macdonald was taken prisoner along with several others. Colonel Lillington soon afterward received his commission as General and served through the war fending against the forays of the many Loyalists who appeared to support the king. On 15 April 1776, the Fourth Provincial Congress appointed Lillington Colonel of the Sixth Regiment of North Carolina Continentals. He resigned on 31 December 1776 and in 1777 he represented New Hanover County in the Assembly.

On 4 February 1779, he was named Brigadier General of the Militia in the Wilmington District. As the British moved south to threaten Charles Town in 1780, North Carolina militiamen commanded by Lillington were sent to aid General Benjamin Lincoln.

At the end of the war, Lillington reclaimed most of his estate that had been under British control. Lillington Hall, his impressive home, had been saved from the British torch, but much of his assets had been lost. Fortunately, his valuable library was preserved.


• A monument has been erected to the memory of General Lillington on the Moore's Creek National Battlefield.

• The town of Lillington, NC, is named for him.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General John Alexander Lillington died in 1786 in North Carolina. He is buried at Lillington Cemetery in Rocky Point, NC.

Honoree ID: 2764   Created by: MHOH




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