The Battle of Kings Mountain, October 7, 1780, was a decisive Patriot victory in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. Frontier militia loyal to the United States overwhelmed the Loyalist American militia led by British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot. In The Winning of the West, Theodore Roosevelt wrote of Kings Mountain, "This brilliant victory marked the turning point of the American Revolution."
American settlers of largely Scotch-Irish descent settled west of, or "over," the Appalachians, and were thus known as the "Overmountain Men." They united into a semi-autonomous government called the Watauga Association in 1772, about four years before the United States Declaration of Independence.
These Scotch-Irish Patriots (Whigs) were entirely volunteer forces who fought under men that they chose to follow: William Campbell, John Sevier, Frederick Hambright (Hambrecht), Joseph McDowell, Benjamin Cleveland, James Williams, Zachariah Isbill, John McKissack, Isaac Shelby and James Johnston (Colonel) who was in command of the rear guard, led their militia units as Colonels, while Captain Joseph Winston and Edward Lacey commanded the other mostly autonomous units. Captain Espey, and Captain John Mattocks were both killed during the battle while leading their units. Also Major William Chronicle was also killed leading his men, during hand to hand combat.
After the defeat of Horatio Gates's army at the Battle of Camden, British General Cornwallis was convinced that Georgia and South Carolina were under British control, and he began plans to move into North Carolina. However, a brutal civil war between colonists continued to rage in South Carolina. The Whig frontiersmen, led by a group of self-proclaimed colonels of the rebellion—Isaac Shelby, Elijah Clarke, and Charles McDowell—conducted hit-and-run raids on Loyalist outposts. To protect his western flank, Cornwallis gave Major Patrick Ferguson command of the Loyalist militia.
Cornwallis invaded North Carolina on September 9, 1780, and reached Charlotte on September 26. Ferguson followed and established a base camp at Gilbertown and issued a challenge to the Patriot leaders to lay down their arms or he would, "Lay waste to their country with fire and sword." The words outraged the Appalachian frontiersmen who rallied at Sycamore Shoals and acted to bring the battle to Ferguson rather than wait for him to come to them.
Having learned of the Colonial approach from a captured deserter, Ferguson withdrew eastwards towards Cornwallis's main body at Charlotte, but at King's Mountain, he turned to face his pursuers. King's Mountain was one of many rocky forested hills in the upper Piedmont near the border between North and South Carolina. It is shaped like a footprint with the highest point at the heel, a narrow instep, and a broad rounded toe.Source: Wikipedia
Read the rest here:
© Janet Crain
Click here to view all recent Sarah Palin in 2012 posts