Cumberland County (1754)

Written By Jonathan Martin

Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, victor of the Battle of Culloden that ended the Jacobite Rising, is the namesake of the Coastal Region area known today as Cumberland County. Originally part of Bladen County, Cumberland County was drawn by the Colonial Legislature in 1754.

In 1778, Campbellton, combined with the Cross Creek district, was named the county’s original seat, but in 1783 the seat was renamed Fayetteville out of a local adulation for Marquis de LaFayette, the famous French general who fought alongside George Washington during the Revolutionary War.  Fayetteville is the largest city within Cumberland County, but there are several other communities within the county: Hope Mills, Linden, Falcon, Spring Lake, Godwin, Wade, and Stedman.

The most considerable addition to the county arrived in 1919: Camp Bragg.  Named after the famous Confederate General Braxton Bragg, Camp (eventually Fort) Bragg became a noteworthy part of the Cumberland County region.  As the military base grew, Fayetteville and the surrounding area experienced substantial economic growth; more troops meant more families and more demand for goods and services.  Today, Fort Bragg is one of the largest military bases in the United States.

There are several museums and historical sites within the county. The Averasboro Battlefield and Museum commemorates one of the last battles of the Civil War while the Museum of the Cape Fear presents a history ranging from the Paleo-Indians all the way into the early-twentieth century. Also, the Fayetteville Airborne and Special Operations Museum along with the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum provides a view into Fort Bragg’s extensive history.