Lindley's Mill stands at what was once the crossroads between the east-west (through the Piedmont) trading route and the north-south (Hillsborough to Raleigh) trading route. It was one of five grist mills on Cane Creek. Thomas Lindley received 1000 acres in a Granville grant upon arriving from England. He built the mill in 1755.
Tories under the command of Colonel David Fanning and Hector McNeil captured Governor Thomas Burke and thirteen other high-ranking Whig officials at Hillsborough on 12 Sep 1781. Fanning, McNeil and 600 loyalists were escorting thier prisoners to Wilmington to be turned over to the British Army.
General Butler with 300 militia set an ambush for the Tories at Lindley's Mill the next day. McNeil was cut down early in the battle. The British could gain no ground until they forded a stream and attacked the militia in the rear. This put the militia on the defensive, although they did rally. The battle lasted for four hours, when the militia were forced to retreat.
The Tory losses were 27 killed and 90 wounded. McNeil was killed and Fanning was wounded and forced to hide in the woods when his forces moved on. The militia had 24 killed and 90 wounded. Ten were captured. The militia forces failed to release Governor Burke and he was thereafter taken to James Island where he was kept prisoner.
This was the final battle in North Carolina. Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown a month later.
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