Patrick Ferguson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1744. At age 15, Patrick Ferguson joined the British Army. When he was 17, while serving in Germany, he contracted an illness that left him with a slightly lame leg. In 1768, he served in the West Indies. He contracted fever and returned to England in 1774. Ferguson attended camp in Salisbury in 1775, where he first attracted the attention of Maj. General William Howe. In 1776, he worked on developing a breech-loading rifle, which he demonstrated to King George III.
In 1777, Patrick Ferguson was given command of an experimental unit and sent to America.He saw action at the Battle of Brandywine where he was wounded. He spent eight months recovering from his wounds. He then led raids and gathered intelligence earning the respect of Lt. General Henry Clinton. In 1779, he was given command of Stony Point. Several months later, he sailed south with Clinton.
Major Ferguson and his cavalry was used to support General Clinton's siege of Charleston. He was next charged with raising Tory militia in the Carolinas. In September, Lt. General Charles Cornwallis ordered Ferguson into the countryside to guard his western flank. Ferguson's tactics of intimidation only angered the local mountain men who came together and pursued him to King's Mountain, when they defeated his unit and Ferguson himself was killed.
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