Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Battle of Kings Mountain - Blacksburg, South Carolina

Ferguson's Cairn (right) and the crest of Kings Mountain
Thomas Jefferson called the Battle of Kings Mountain the "turn of the tide of success" in the cause for American Independence.

Outraged by threats made against their lives, homes and families, a large force of "Overmountain Men" came across the Blue Ridge from Tennessee and trapped 1,100 British soldiers on the top of Kings Mountain in South Carolina. By the time the fighting was over, 225 British soldiers and Loyalist allies had been killed, 163 were wounded and 716 were prisoners of war.

Kings Mountain National Military Park
The bloody battle ended the threat of Major Patrick Ferguson and his Loyalist (Tory) Battalion to the Patriot settlers in the Carolina backcountry and the frontier families living across the mountains in what is now Tennessee. The disaster dealt to Ferguson's command also proved to the British commander, Lord Cornwallis, that he could not pacify South Carolina by force. He had hoped to suppress the Revolution there by forcing residents to either swear their loyalty to King George III or suffer the consequences.

Rocky Slopes of Kings Mountain
As Thomas Jefferson noted, the Battle of Kings Mountain was the first in a series of bloody disasters handed to Cornwallis and his army by Patriot forces in the South. It was followed three months later by Daniel Morgan's stunning victory over Banastre Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens and a few months thereafter the bloodletting at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Combined these battles put Cornwallis on the road to Yorktown, where he was trapped and defeated by George Washington.

The site of the battle is now preserved at Kings Mountain National Military Park near Blacksburg, South Carolina. The park features a paved interpretive trail that winds through key areas of the battlefield and across the crest of the mountain. It also has monuments, the stone cairn where Patrick Ferguson is buried and a recently remodeled museum that includes outstanding displays on the battle.

To learn more, please visit

No comments: