MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Two hundred and thirty-five years ago a key battle in the Revolutionary War took place at Moores Creek, located along the southeastern North Carolina coast. Sunday, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band found itself at the same place proudly performing on the historic battlefield to celebrate the 235th Anniversary of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge.
The year was 1776 and the Revolutionary War continued to unravel along the colonies of America. A patriot militia strategically entrenched itself in a field near Moores Creek, anticipating a loyalist army to come across the Moores Creek Bridge. Surely enough, the loyalist army proceeded across the bridge and found itself immediately engaged in musket fire. The patriot militia’s ambush caught it off guard and was too strong.
The patriot militia defeated the loyalist army, and the battle is known today as a significant victory for the patriots.
“The victory inspired many locals up and down the coast to join the patriot effort and ultimately to vote for independence,” said Terry Mitchell, a Moores Creek park ranger.
The anniversary of the battle actually took place on Feb. 26, but the celebration lasted the entire weekend. The 2nd MAW Band, among several key note speakers and historical displays, entertained an enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 Sunday.
Dressed in dress blue bravo uniforms, the band began its performance with the national anthem in which the audience stood up proudly to honor the historical significance of the anniversary and the nation.
“I think it’s really important to be mindful of our history and where we came from,” said Staff Sgt. Colin Martin, a trombone player for the band. “I’m proud to play for this audience, and I think they appreciated us too.”
After a dozen classical tunes, the band picked up the tempo and jumpstarted the crowd. The crowd clapped and sang as soon as Staff Sgt. Santwan C. Odom, the small-ensemble leader, encouraged it to participate in the party band’s upbeat performance.
After a few songs the party band retired and the concert band continued. As the performance wrapped up, each military service’s hymn was played and, in doing so, anyone with a family member in military service, including retirees stood up when their respective service hymn was played while the rest of the audience applauded their service.
“I really hope the Marines come back next year,” Mitchell said. “Having them here in their uniforms performing great music means a lot to us here at the park and is significant to the military history of this battlefield.”
For more information about the Moores Creek National Battlefield, call 910-283-5591.