Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gen. Joseph Graham, re: Kings Mountain

"Colonel Charles McDowell, of Burke county, on the approach of Ferguson with so large a force, had gone over the mountains to obtain assistance, and was in consultation with Colonel John Sevier and Colonel Isaac Shelby what plan should be pursued, when the two paroled men spoken of arrived and delivered their message from Colonel Ferguson. It was decided that each of them should use his best efforts to raise all the men that could be enlisted, and that this force, when collected, should meet on the Wataga, on the 25th of September. It was also agreed that Colonel Shelby should give intelligence of their movements to Colonel William Campbell, of the adjoining county of Washington, in Virginia, with the hope that he would raise what force he could and co-operate with them. They met on the Wataga the day appointed, and passed the mountains on the 30th of September, where they were joined by Colonel Benjamin Cleaveland, and Major Joseph Winston, from Wilks and Surry counties, North Carolina. On examining their force, it was found to number as follows, viz:

    "From Washington county, Virginia, under Col. Wm. Campbell 400
    "From Sullivan county, North Carolina, under Col. Isaac Shelby 240
    "From Washington county, North Carolina, under Col. John Sevier 240
    "From Burke and Rutherford counties, North Carolina, under Col. Charles McDowell 160
    "From Wilks and Surry counties, North Carolina, under Col. Cleaveland and Major James Winston 350
    Total 1390
"Col. Ferguson having accurate intelligence of the force collecting against him, early on the 4th of October, ordered his men to march, and remained half an hour after they had started writing a despatch to Lord Cornwallis, no doubt informing him of his situation and soliciting aid. The letter was committed to the care of the noted Abraham Collins (him of counterfeit memory) and another person by the name of Quinn, with injunctions to deliver it as soon as possible. They set out and attempted to pass the direct road to Charlotte, but having to pass through some whig settlements, they were surprised and pursued, and being compelled to secrete themselves by day and travel by night, they did not reach Charlotte until the morning of the 7th of October, the day of the battle. Colonel Ferguson encamped the first night at the noted place called the Cowpens, about twenty miles from Gilbertstown. On the 5th of October he crossed the Broad River, at what is now called Dear's Ferry, sixteen miles. On the 6th, he marched up the Ridge Road, between the waters of King's and Buffalo creeks, until he came to the fork, turning to the right across King's Creek, and through a gap in the mountain towards Yorkville, about fourteen miles. There he encamped on the summit of that part of the mountain to the right of the road, where he remained till he was attacked on the 7th.
"When the troops from the different counties met at the head of the Catawba river, the commanding officers met, and finding that they were all of equal grade, and no general officer to command, it was decided that Col. Charles McDowell should go to headquarters, supposed to be between Charlotte and Salisbury, to obtain Gen. Sumner or Gen. Davidson to take the command. In the meantime, it was agreed that Col. William Campbell, who had the largest regiment, should take the command until the arrival of a general officer, who was to act according to the advice of the colonels commanding, and that Major McDowell should take the command of the Burke and Rutherford regiment until the return of Col. McDowell."

(Source: Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, by Rev. William Henry Foote, New York, Robert Carter, 58 Canal Street, 1846)