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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Battle, Ephraim

by Tucker Reed Littleton, 1979

d. 1798

Ephraim Battle, farmer, patriot, and local official, was born in the part of Edgecombe County that is now Nash. He was the son of the Thomas Battle, who died in Onslow County in 1769, and a grandson of John Battle II, who died in January 1774.

He first appeared in the Onslow County records in 1769 and had evidently settled on the upper New River near the present town of Richlands. He emerged as a leader in Onslow County about the time of the Revolution and remained such until his death. On 11 June 1776, Battle was appointed the captain of a company of militia from Onslow County. On 31 July 1776 he was listed as the captain of the largest company in the camp at Wilmington in the battalion commanded by Colonel Thomas Brown and in the brigade under command of General John Ashe.

The treasurer's and comptroller's records reveal that Battle was the commissioner of Onslow County for the years 1781, 1782, and 1784. His duties as commissioner seem to have been to procure supplies for the military forces in the county and to oversee their distribution, rendering account therefore to the state treasurer/comptroller.

Following the Revolution, Battle acquired substantial landholdings in Onslow County and was evidently a prosperous farmer and businessman. In 1795, a deed giving land for public use for a "Meeting house of Religion" designated Ephraim Battle as one of four "commissioners of the town and county of Onslow." This deed apparently conveyed land at the town of Onslow Court House, the earlier name for present-day Jacksonville.

Battle died sometime between 15 Mar. and the April term of court, 1798. Reputedly married twice, he was survived by eight children: Lott, Abner, William (who died single), Thomas, Frederick (who died single), James, Sarah Williams, and Mary.


H. B. Battle et al., The Battle Book (1930).

Zae H. Gwynn, Abstracts of the Records of Onslow County, North Carolina (1961).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 10 (1890).

Sons of the American Revolution, North Carolina Society, Lineage Book of Past and Present Members (1951).

Additional Resources:

The Battle book; a genealogy of the Battle family in America, with chapters illustrating certain phases of its history. By: H B Battle; Lois Yelverton; William James Battle, Montgomery, Ala., The Paragon Press, 1930:

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 10 (1890):

Colonial and State Records Search, Documenting the American South, UNC Libraries:

Zae H. Gwynn, Abstracts of the Records of Onslow County, North Carolina (1961):

Origin - location: