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March 23, 2017 The Battle of Kings Mountain, October 7, 1780 Revolutionary War
Overmountain people were descendants of immigrants from an Irish territory known as Ulster Plantation, though they themselves had never seen Scotland or Ireland. These were people known as “low, lazy, sluttish, heathenish, hellish life” that shocked missionaries and defied the King of England, George III, by building prohibited settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains “building dirt-floor log cabins, growing what they needed and living as they pleased—a people apart”. They were also referred to later by a patriot general and governor of Virginia as “a hardy race of men, who were familiar with the horse and rifle, were stout, active, patient, under privation, and brave. Irregular in their movements [as opposed to the marches and maneuvers of regular units] and unaccustomed to restraint, they delighted in the fury of action, but struggled under the servitude and inactivity of camp.”
The Overmountain Men formed a nucleus of other men gathered from North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and southwest Virginia that fought at Kings Mountain. Thomas Jefferson stated that the Battle of Kings Mountain was the turning point of the war and caused the British to acknowledge that patriots couldn’t be conquered in such a vast territory or wilderness. The Rebel Yell of the Civil War is also attributed to the Overmountain Men who had picked it up from the Indians in the Cherokee War.
Of these Overmountain Men, I have found records showing my direct ancestors who were counted among their 1,000+ ranks. They were: Samuel Evans, John McAdoo, and Southy Nelson. Samuel Evans was a private in the Virginia Cont’l Line. John McAdoo was from North Carolina, I am still researching the McAdoo line.
The accounts of The Battle of Kings Mountain are vary lengthy and indepth so I will not go into all of the particulars of the Battle. It would be a great disservice for me to “water down” each of the accounts and would not give a true rendering of the events. I do strongly encourage you to go to each of the websites listed in my sources to read about what each has to say about the mustering of men to fight, the battle itself, and the outcome. They are not the usual dry facts, etc. that are usually associated with military battles, I know I found them fascinating and a great way to see inside the lives of my ancestors and a source of pride in family and country.
Sources: (click on title of each to visit web page)
Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
Revolution: Battle of King's Mountain (1780) Geni.com
Overmountain Men Battle for the Carolinas
NC: UNC School of Education
American Revolution in South Carolina
of Kings Mountain Patriot Roster
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