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The American Revolutionary War was greatly shaped by the Battle of the Kings Mountain, which was a critical war that took place between the patriot and loyalist mercenaries in the southern campaign. In 7 October 1780, the Patriot mercenaries overpowered the loyalists by capturing and murdering their leader by the name Patrick Ferguson.
Ferguson was a leader that was trusted by the British and had been given a responsibility to eliminate the opponents of British in the southern states. He had earlier warned the patriots against participating in war with the British since they could face severe consequences. The patriots did not heed to his calls but instead they decided to fight back by attacking the forces of Ferguson.
On his part, Ferguson received reports that the patriots were preparing to fight back. He retreated to safety but he was unlucky since the patriots were swift in their actions. Ferguson and his team were caught up at the Kings Mountain near South Carolina and were brutally slaughtered (Ward, 1952).
Through analysis, it is established that the victory gave the patriots moral support to continue with their campaign against racial discrimination and political oppression. The Britons treated other races unfairly. This victory was therefore needed in case the patriots were to continue fighting. The loyalists had to come up with other strategies that would guarantee their survival.
For instance, Lord Cornwallis was forced to readjust his schedule by abandoning the plans to attack North Carolina and focus on the South Carolina issue. This paper will therefore analyze the activities of the patriots before the major achievement at the Kings Mountain. The paper also discusses some of the consequences of the battle at the Kings Mountain.
Southern Campaigns before the Kings Mountain
Before the battle at the Kings Mountain, major changes had taken place within the patriot and loyalist circles. Each group was preparing to defend its interests. In the loyalist militia, Ferguson was nominated as the inspector of the militia group on 22 may 1980. Ferguson was charged with the responsibility of protecting Lord Cornwall in the state of Carolina. The leader marshaled his troops to attack the enemy at the North of Carolina.
Before he could attack, Ferguson urged the patriots to surrender in order to avoid serious casualties. However, Ferguson was unaware that the patriots had prepared for the war amicably. On their side, the patriot mercenaries led by prominent leaders such as John Sevier and Shelby Isaac convened a meeting upon realization that Ferguson was preparing to invade their territory. The patriot leaders urged other leaders with the same ambitions as theirs to join them in suppressing the enemy.
For that case, William Campbell was brought on board since his mission was to achieve the rights of the Americans. Apart from Campbell, other leaders were also requested to join the patriot militia in defending the patriot’s land. Such leaders included Benjamin Cleveland, Charles McDowell and Arthur. The five commanders led the patriot militia to demand for their rights (Dameron, 2003).
Some traitors chose to inform Ferguson about the planned battle, who chose to retreat to Lord Cornwallis backyard. Even though Ferguson requested for reinforcement from Cornwallis forces, it was too late since the patriots were swift enough to catch up with him before the letter could reach its destination. Ferguson demanded that the local militias had to join him or face the sword.
However, the local militias could not join him instead opted to be non-partisan. When the Patriot militia reached the former Ferguson’s camp at Georgia, the Georgian partisan fighters, who demanded for quick action to end Ferguson’s ambitions, joined it. On 6 October, the patriot militia managed to reach the Cowpens. As it could be observed, the place was an important historical site since a major battle took place there (Babits, 2011).
The locals detested Ferguson’s activities since they volunteered information to the patriots that was Ferguson was heading towards Lord Cornwallis palace. Patriot militias also received important information that Ferguson was with 1500 soldiers camping at the Kings Mountain.
The Kings Mountain Encounter
At the Kings Mountain, the patriots engaged in a battle with the loyalists, which only lasted for short time. The patriots had an advantage since the terrain favored them. The place was rocky and mountainous, which made it hard for the loyalists to fight effectively.
The real battle took place on 7 October 1780 just after noon. To fight effectively, each group of the patriot militia decided to attack the loyalist army separately. From what took place at the Kings Mountain, the loyalists were surprised by the attack. They had not prepared for it hence suffering heavy casualties.
Ferguson had a good-trained army that could launch a bayonet against the enemy. This is proved by the death of one of the patriot’s commander that is, Colonel Williams and the wounding of another commander by the name McDowell. The patriots employed a cover and camouflage tactic that saw them bring down the strong force of the loyalists.
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After the killing of Ferguson, the patriots refused to accept the surrender of the loyalist army since they were not willing to take up prisoners. In fact, they wanted to avenge for the Waxhaw massacre where the loyalist militia had killed the patriots even after conceding defeat. After sometime, the patriots accepted the pleas from the loyalist commanders. The war ended abruptly but Ferguson suffered a huge defeat, which cost his life (Wallace, 1964).
Consequences of the Battle at the Kings Mountain
The war at the Kings Mountain changed the politics of the US at the time. In other words, it was an important event as far as American Independent and freedoms are concerned.
The victory boosted the confidence of the freedom fighters since they had earlier been humiliated by disastrous events such as the fall of Charleston, battle of Camden and the Waxhaw annihilation. Various leaders, including President Theodore Roosevelt, commented variously on the events at the Kings Mountain.
According to Roosevelt, the battle at the Kings Mountain shaped the American Revolution. Another President, Thomas Jefferson, observed that the victory at the Kings Mountain proved that Americans could succeed in what they pursue. The leaders hailed the activities of the patriots since they conquered the army that was more sophisticated (Allen, 2010).
It can therefore be concluded that the victory at the Kings Mountain has always inspired Americans to pursue what they perceive as theirs. Many revolutions have been guided by the events of the Kings Mountain. The American congress appreciated the patriot fighters at the Kings Mountain in 1931 by constructing a museum referred to as the Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Allen, B. (2010). Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War. New York: Harper Collins.
Babits, L. (2011). A devil of a whipping, the battle of the Cowpens. Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.
Dameron, J. (2003). Kings Mountain: The Defeat of the Loyalists, October 7, 1780. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press.
Wallace, W. (1964). Appeal to Arms: A Military History of the American Revolution. Chicago: Quadrangle.
Ward, C. (1952). War of the Revolution. New York: MacMillan.