229th Anniversary of the Battle of Kings Mountain
Blacksburg, SC – October 7, 2009
The proximity of Kings Mountain to other noted Revolutionary War Sites, including Cowpens, Ramsour’s Mill, Cowans Ford, and the Charlotte “Hornet’s Nest” makes the southeast corner of North Carolina and the northwest corner of South Carolina familiar ground to most SAR Compatriots who participate in the Historic Sites and Celebrations events held throughout the country. Kings Mountain and Cowpens stand out from the rest of most of these battles in that they represented clear-cut victories against the British Forces and their Loyalist allies.
Kings Mountain is more of a foothill than an actual mountain, located in the Piedmont District of North and South Carolina. Upon hearing that a large force of militia had gathered to confront his Loyalist followers, Major Patrick Ferguson had tried to retreat to Charlotte where Lord Cornwallis and the British Army were located. He had asked for reinforcements but the letter arrived too late. As a defensive measure, Ferguson elected the “high ground” at Kings Mountain to halt his group and confront the Overmountain Men from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. This turned out to be a mistake. Because of a quirk of ballistics, when firing downhill with a musket, soldiers tend to overshoot their targets, so the Loyalist’s fire was largely ineffective. In this case also, they were silhouetted against the skyline, making perfect targets, while the Patriots hid amongst the trees and attacked the hill from all sides. Ferguson fought bravely, directing his troops in two separate bayonet charges which repulsed the main body of the Patriot forces, but only for a while. They regrouped and came back at him. In a final charge to break free of the confines of Kings Mountain, Ferguson’s horse was shot from under him and he was brought down by enemy fire. A later count showed that he had suffered 7 bullet wounds. The Battle of Kings Mountain lasted only 65 minutes
The Marquis de Lafayette Chapter of the North Carolina Society formed a close alliance with the National Park Service at Kings Mountain National Military Park starting about 8 years ago to conduct an SAR Wreath Laying ceremony on the Anniversary date of the battle – thus, this ceremony is always held on October 7th of each year. For his role in organizing this year’s event, LTCOL Frank Horton was awarded a National Meritorious Service Award by PG Ed Butler. The South Carolina Society and the Daniel Morgan Chapter have become increasingly active in the planning cycle for future celebrations.
A complete Photo Gallery of this event can be viewed at http://ncssar.com/images/KingsMountain2009/ Photographs were taken by Compatriots LCDR Bob Yankle, Principal Photographer, NCSSAR, a member of the Historic Sites and Celebrations Committee, and Stewart Dunaway, President of the Alamance Battleground Chapter, NCSSAR. You can view a select few images from the event in the gallery below. Click on an image to enlarge it in your viewer.
For more information on the Battle of Kings Mountain, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kings_Mountain