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Harnett County was founded in 1855 from a portion of Cumberland County. The county covers an area of 601 square miles with 6 square miles being water. Harnett County was named for Cornelius Harnett who was an American Revolutionary and delegate in the Continental Congress. The county seat of Harnett County is Lillington.

Harnett County is made up of five cities and towns, which include Angier, Coats, Dunn, Erwin and Lillington. There are sixteen townships located in Harnett County which include Anderson Creek, Averasboro, Barbecue, Black River, Buckhorn, Duke, Grove, Hectors Creek, Johnsonville, Lillington, Nellis Creek, Stewarts Creek and finally Upper Little River.

The only U.S.Naval vessel to bear the Harnett County name was the USS Harnett County (LST-821), which was a LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War ll. She was named after Harnett County, North Carolina. During the Vietnam War era from 1967-1970, The USS Harnet County (AGP-821) set in the South Vietnamese water. It was not unusual to see a Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopter and a Navy Attack Helicopter Seawolf, UH-1B Huey gunship on board the USS Harnett County.

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