The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

Battle of King's Mountain
Battle of Kings Mountain

The Battle
The Over Mountain Men moved south in search of Major Patrick Ferguson. On October 6, while camped at Cowpens, South Carolina, the Over Mountain Men were joined by Colonel James Williams and 400 South Carolinians. From a Rebel spy they now learned that Ferguson was thirty miles to the north, camped at King's Mountain. The colonels wanted to catch up with Ferguson before he reached Charlotte and Lt. General Charles Cornwallis' protection, so they chose 900 of the best men and horses and quickly made their way north overnight.

The combined force of Over Mountain Men under the temporary command of Colonel William Campbell arrived at King's Mountain on the afternoon of October 7, 1780. Major Ferguson had chosen the position because he felt that no enemy could fire upon his position without showing themselves. The Patriot force deliberated and decided to surround the mountain and using continuous fire to slowly close in like an inescapable noose.

The force was divided into four columns. Colonel Isaac Shelby and Colonel Campbell led the interior columns, with Shelby on the left and Campbell on the right. The right flanking column was led by Colonel John Sevier. The left flanking column was led by Colonel Benjamin Cleveland. They moved into their respective positions and began moving toward the summit and Major Ferguson's position. The battle commenced at 3 o'clock with the middle two columns exchanging fire with Major Ferguson for fifteen minutes while the flanking columns moved into position. Ferguson used his Provincial Corps to drive back Colonels Shelby and Campbell with a bayonet charge, but then the Corps had to fall back under sharpshooter fire. Another bayonet charge repelled Shelby and Campbell.

Because of their exposed position, Major Ferguson's men were being overwhelmed. The sharpshooters were picking them off from behind the trees and brush that surrounded the summit, while their own aim was high as they shot downhill. The Over Mountain Men then gained a foothold on the summit, driving back the Loyalists. The net was now quickly closing in. Major Ferguson finally attempted to cut a path through the Patriot line so that his forces could escape, but this failed as Ferguson fell from his horse, riddled with bullets. Ferguson's second-in-command quickly raised the white flag of surrender. Following the request of surrender, it took a while for the firing to dissipate, with cries of 'Remember Waxhaws' and 'Buford's Quarter' spurring some men to continue for a time.

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