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Index of first names

Battle of Kings Mountain

 

 

 

 

The Battle of Kings Mountain, 7th October 1780, was a decisive Patriot victory in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. Frontier militia loyal to the United States overwhelmed the Loyalist American militia led by British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot.

In The Winning of the West, Theodore Roosevelt wrote of Kings Mountain, "This brilliant victory marked the turning point of the American Revolution." Thomas Jefferson called it, "The turn of the tide of success." Herbert Hoover's address at Kings Mountain said, "This is a place of inspiring memories. Here less than a thousand men, inspired by the urge of freedom, defeated a superior force intrenched in this strategic position. This small band of patriots turned back a dangerous invasion well designed to separate and dismember the united Colonies. It was a little army and a little battle, but it was of mighty portent. History has done scant justice to its significance, which rightly should place it beside Lexington, Bunker Hill, Trenton and Yorktown."

The Battle of Kings Mountain lasted 65 minutes. The Loyalists suffered 244 killed, 163 wounded, and 668 taken prisoner. The Patriot militia suffered 29 killed and 58 wounded. The Rebels had to move out quickly for fear that Cornwallis would advance to meet them. Loyalist prisoners well enough to walk were herded to camps several miles from the battlefield. The dead were buried in shallow graves and wounded were left on the field. Both victors and vanquished came near to starvation on the march due to a lack of supplies in the hastily organized Patriot army.

On October 14, the retreating Patriot force held drumhead courtmartials of various Loyalists on various charges (treason, desertion from Patriot militias, incitement of Indian rebellion), mostly due to a desire for revenge. Thirty-six Loyalists were convicted and nine were hanged before Isaac Shelby brought an end to the proceedings. As the Patriot army dispersed, all but 130 Loyalist prisoners escaped before the column finally reached camp at Salem, North Carolina.
Kings Mountain was a pivotal moment in the history of the American Revolution. Coming after a series of disasters and humiliations in the Carolinas—the fall of Charleston and capture of the American army there, the destruction of another American army at the Battle of Camden, the Waxhaws Massacre—the surprising, decisive victory at Kings Mountain was a great boost to Patriot morale. The Tories of the Carolina Back Country were broken as a military force. Additionally, the destruction of Ferguson's command and the looming threat of Patriot militia in the mountains caused Lord Cornwallis to cancel his plans to invade North Carolina; he instead evacuated Charlotte and retreated to South Carolina. He would not return to North Carolina until early 1781, when he was chasing Nathanael Greene after the Americans had dealt British arms another devastating defeat at the Battle of Cowpens.


In 1931, the Congress of the United States created the Kings Mountain National Military Park on the site of the battle. The park headquarters is in Blacksburg, South Carolina, and hosts hundreds of thousands of people each year.

 

Amongst those who took part were:

  • Edward Douglas
  • James Douglas
  • Johnathon Douglas
  • Robert Douglas

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017