The fifth of five scheduled NC
MRF History Tours for 2005 was held on August 27th. The tour started
in Garner, NC and traveled to Tory Hole Park where the Battle of Elizabethtown
took place in 1781. Ten riders toured this historic battlefield. Riders
from the Raleigh CBA, Chatham
CBA, and Heartland
Wings, along with several independent riders attended.
At the start, Bruce Harris, our Tour Director told the riders about
what they would see at the Tory Hole to give the riders a primer on
the historical significance of our ride destination. Before we departed,
Bruce reviewed the proposed route and held a brief safety meeting.
The 82 mile ride to the Tory Hole was beautiful. Highway 242 is a
beautiful country road and we all really enjoyed the trip. Once at
Tory Hole Park, Bruce gave us a narrative about the freedom fighters
(Whigs) who planned and executed a raid on the Tories stationed in
Elizabethtown. The Tories were the soldiers who were loyal to King
George. From there we rode a short distance to the actual Tory Hole
and saw where 400+ Tories were attacked by 71 very battle savvy Whigs.
The Whigs managed to make themselves appear to be over 1000 soldiers,
scaring the Tories into retreating by jumping into a ravine (Tory
Hole) and scurrying off into the woods. After viewing the Tory Hole,
we all headed to the Front Porch Restaurant for a country buffet that
is unmatched anywhere.
The weather was clear and we all had a safe ride. We made new friends,
had a good meal, and learned more about North Carolina's history.
A total of $115 was raised for the MRF. $25 in memberships and $90
in donations were collected. A $90 Freedom Fighter donation was made
to the MRF this afternoon online and that donation will go directly
towards our fight at the federal level for fair motorcycle related
During the tour, Don Starkey joined the Motorcycle
Riders Foundation. Don understands the importance of protecting the
things he loves. Riding our motorcycles is important to all of us
and Don has shown his love for motorcycling by joining an organization
that is completely focused on preserving our riding freedoms.
To view the MRF's legislative agenda, go HERE.
If you are not already a MRF member, please consider joining. The
MRF is completely focused on supporting street motorcycling.
Join online HERE
During the lunch stop, David Williams was honored with a
certificate thanking him for his support of the MRF. David was the
only North Carolina rider to attend all five of the History Tours
this year. David also joined the MRF and made a Freedom Fighter donation
on every tour.
We would like to thank long-time MRF Individual Sustaining Member
Bruce Harris for his dedication to the MRF, his time and effort in
organizing and planning these History Tours, and his enthusiasm for
creating fun, alternate riding opportunities for North Carolina's
riders. During the lunch stop, Bruce was awarded a certificate to
thank him. Bruce had spent literally hundreds of hours in learning
the history behind these sites, creating professional ride maps, and
testing the routes before each tour. Since Bruce is very detailed
oriented, he made each tour enjoyable.
This was the fifth and final NC MRF History Tour of 2005. Please watch
NCRider.com for next year's NC
MRF History Tour schedule. During the five 2005 Tours, 10 riders
joined the MRF and a total of $535 was raised for the MRF. A special
thanks goes out to all the riders who supported the MRF in 2005.
of The Battle of Elizabethtown
During the American Revolution, irregular warfare was being
waged in the backcountry of North Carolina by groups of citizen-soldiers:
the Whigs (revolutionists/patriots/rebels/freedom fighters), and the
Tories--who were still loyal to the King of England.
The Tories, had driven the Whigs from their homes and even out of
the county. They ravaged the county in every direction, insulting
and plundering the most respectable families, burning private dwellings
and destroying a great amount of valuable property.
It was only a little band of patriots (Whigs) that struck the blow
of liberty at Elizabethtown. The scantly clothed and half perished
patriots set out on their march toward Elizabethtown, under a hot
sun in August of 1781. The next day they arrived on the east bank
of the Cape Fear River. They had not eaten anything except berries
and had only stopped to catch a few hours of sleep while their horses
Colonel Thomas Robeson, the commander of the Whigs, knew that everything
depended upon the success of this battle. He was unwilling to risk
his 71 men against 400+ Tory enemies until he found out the exact
situation in the opposing camp.
As in many great events in history, a woman was to play an important
part in the Battle of Elizabethtown. Sallie Salter, of one of the
most influential families in the Cape Fear section of Bladen County,
volunteered to enter the Tory Camp as a spy. Fetching a basket of
eggs and socks to sell, she walked down to the ferry and called to
the sentry on the other side to row her over. After some delay, he
complied with her request and she entered the camp and sold her eggs
- all the while collecting as much information as possible. It never
entered the minds of the Tories that she was a spy. Returning safely
with the needed information, Colonel Robeson could now begin planning
the battle. The smallest details were reviewed over and over, until
each man knew what part he was to perform.
Around midnight, the Whigs marched to a point about one mile below
the Tories, where they all crossed the Cape Fear River successfully.
Colonel Robeson formed his troops and led them into battle. Advancing
rapidly and keeping up a well directed fire until they were soon in
the midst of the enemy. Colonel Robeson and six of his Whig officers
took a central position. The main body of men rushed to a point at
a distance on his right - fired and reloaded with almost inconceivable
rapidity and then rushed to a point on his left and repeated the procedure.
They repeated this procedure many times, until the Tories were convinced
they were being attacked by a thousand men or more.
Most of the Tory officers were killed or badly wounded and, after
their leaders fell, men scattered in every direction. A great number
of them jumped into a deep ravine which has since become to be known
as the Tory Hole, and there, they met their defeat, and the Tory power
The effects of this battle were substantial. The Tories held a great
number of patriot prisoners at Elizabethtown, who regained their freedom
after the battle. Perhaps more importantly, the guns, ammunition and
provisions stockpiled by the Tories became property of the rebels
(Whigs), materials desperately needed in the war effort at the time.
After Elizabethtown, Tories were never again much of a problem in
The ravine (Tory Hole) runs from the main street of Elizabethtown
to the Cape Fear River. The citizens of Elizabethtown built a recreation
center at the Tory Hole site, for the enjoyment of their residents,
visitors and tourists.