Saturday, July 4, 2009

Remembering Kings Mountain: It's Why We are Here


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."


Overview

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kings_Mountain


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4 comments:

keyboard.jockey said...

The "Over Mountainn" were born out of the Regulator movement in the Carolinas. The Government couldn't keep up with their westward migrations:) The Seeds of American Independence run deep. The Ulster Scots started emigrating into the country as early as the 1690s. They settled along American's spine in the Appalachian Mountains. Their history goes clear back to Heridan's Wall. Where when Rome was unable to subdue the people, who were descried thus: they would paint themselves blue, throw off their clothing and fight naked to the death, with out ever retreating. Rome gave up and walled them off. These same people lived on the border of Scotland and England "The Border Reivers" I don't know if they did learn their guerrilla tactics from Native Americans or brought their skills with them from the Border Country of Northern England. SEE Rutherford's Trace NC forced the Cherokee into a Treaty in 1776. Rutherford a well known Border Reiver Surname.

Still if The Collins family of Wilkes Co.,N.C., were at the battle of Kings Mountain. Especially the family of David Collins, it means there were Indians fighting on Kings Mountain "Saponi"

keyboard.jockey said...

I Should have edited better.

The "Over Mountain Men" were born out of the Regulator movement in the Carolinas. Gideon Gibson was said to be the head of the Regulator Movement in South Carolina. Source: Famous Frontline Families, Blurred Racial lines. PBS.org

History Chasers said...

Very good comments. Yes, Martin Gambill was a regulator, joining up at age 18.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39043250

Martin was also of mixed blood according to Doc Davenport, premier researcher of the Pamunkey Davenports. Davis Davenport was on the Pamunkey reservation and there was a Davenport Landing, well before 1700. He ended up with some land there as did his son Martin, Martin Gambill was Martin Davenport's grandson. Doc Davenport believes Davis and his son both took Pamunkey wives. Very intriguing there are numerous females spread over generations bearing the given name Crotia, Crosha, etc. Crotian connection? It was the Pamunkey who lived very near Roanoke.

Anyway, I am very interested in the regulators.

And the Gambills came from Ulster (Scots-Irish) by way of England after the Linen Wars.

keyboard.jockey said...

Janet,

We know our Campbells, come from Augusta Co.,Va., we just don't which ones. Sarah Mason married David Campbell in Grainger Co.,TN., and they migrated into Knox Co.,now Bell Co.,Ky., David Campbell, was left a saddle by Alexander Campbell died circa 1810 Knox Co.,Ky., Although no relationship was stated David and Sarah named a son Alexander Campbell and a son Preston Campbell among others. There are two distinct Campbell family lines back in Augusta Co.,Va., The Black David Campbell line and The White David Campbell both go back to Ulster Plantations. The information about William Campbell stated he was from Augusta Co.,Virginia.

The other odd note on my Campbells, is the persistent family oral history, that my 3rd Great Grandmother Mary "Polly" (Campbell) Lambert, was a cousin of Abraham Lincoln. I have looked Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks has Campbell ancestry. We are only back as far as David Campbell born Virginia died Knox Co.,Ky.

I think my Campbells passed through Ft Blackmore on the way to Grainger Co.,Tn., that is speculation no proof, but David Campbell migrated in the same pattern as Col Arthur Campbell who died 1811 in Knox Co.,Ky., his son David Campbell is accounted for.

Everyone met up at Kings Mountain, even afterward when they dispersed, I doubt they forgot each other, after a battle like that took place. I understand they used the code word "Buford" because they were fighting Torys as well as Red Coats so they would need to be able to tell themselves apart from the Torys, who would be dressed similar to themselves. Perhaps this is where people from all over got acquainted with each other:) Wilkes Co.,N.C. meets the Tennesseans from Watauga ect...