north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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     James Hogun, a native of Ireland, settled in Halifax County near Hobgood around 1751. Not much is known of his first twenty-three years in North Carolina other than that, on October 3, 1751, he married Ruth Norfleet, and they had a son, Lemuel. Hogun’s first known entry into public service came in 1774 when he became a member of the Halifax County Committee of Safety. He then represented Halifax County in the Provincial Congresses of August 1775, April 1776, and November 1776. Because of his interest in military affairs, Hogun was appointed the first major of the Halifax militia on April 22, 1776. In this capacity he served on a committee to reorganize the militia. Later that year he was promoted to the position of colonel of the Seventh North Carolina Continental Regiment. He led the Seventh to serve under George Washington at the Battles of Brandywine and Georgetown during July 1777.

     In 1778, the Continental Congress called for the creation of four new North Carolina regiments. Hogun returned to North Carolina to help recruit the men for the new units. By August 1778, the first new brigade was full, and, taking command of it, Hogun marched all the way to White Plains, New York, where Washington was camped. From there they traveled to West Point to reinforce the poorly equipped fortifications. On January 9, 1779, the Continental Congress chose Hogun as a brigadier general for the North Carolina Line. Thomas Clark actually received more votes for the position, but ultimately Hogun was chosen because of his higher rank and his performance at Germantown. Hogun was one of five North Carolina Generals to serve in the Revolution. Others were Generals Robert Howe, James Moore, Abner Nash, and Jethro Sumner. On March 19, 1779, Hogun succeeded Benedict Arnold as commandant of Philadelphia.

     In November 1779, General Hogun marched the North Carolina brigade down South Carolina to defend Charles Town. He became a prisoner of war when Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered to the British on May 12, 1780. As a prisoner at Haddrel’s Point on Sullivan’s Island he declined parole and chose to endure the same hardships of the men of his brigade. During the winter of 1780 his health began to fail. He died at Haddrel’s Point on January 4, 1781.


References:
Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography, IV, 123
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, III, 163—sketch by Hugh F. Rankin
Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical Dictionary of North Carolina, IV, 196
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