Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Battle of Kings Mountain

On the 7 of October, 1780 the Battle of Kings Mountain took place in South Carolina. In what was part of a civil war in the South, British Loyalist forces under the command of Col. Patrick Ferguson were soundly defeated by Patriot Militia. Men from "over the mountain" from as far away as Virginia had gathered in the western part of the state and surrounded the Loyalists forcing them to make a stand on top of Kings Mountain.

   Despite their best efforts, including three bayonet charges, the Loyalists were overwhelmed by the Patriot forces who advanced tree by tree up the slopes of the mountain. Col. Ferguson, along with many other Loyalists, was killed in the fighting. The rest of his force was captured. Interestingly enough Col. Ferguson was the only British Regular on Kings Mountain that day.

   In the aftermath a number of the Loyalists were summarily executed and a number escaped while being escorted as prisoners. This victory by Patriot forces, along with another at the Battle of the Cowpens, were viewed as turning points in the War in the South. Gen. Cornwallis was forced to change his strategy and ultimately Cornwallis was forced to abandon the Carolinas and retire with his small army to Yorktown, Virginia.

    The Kings Mountain National Miltary Park preserves the actual grounds of the battlefield. Allow an hour to walk the paved walking path that navigates the ridge where the fighting took place. The National Park is open year round and is located off exit #2 on Rt. 85 in North Carolina. Follow the signs back into South Carolina and the Park. (Don't be confused by the South Carolina State park with the same name). The visitors center has a short film and static display area and an excellent selection of books on the American Revolution.