Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"... the transmontane men..."

From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, pp. 234-235:

    On the 29th of August, 1780, Colonel Ferguson moved into Troy (now Rutherford County) and camped, first at Gilberttown, three miles north of Rutherfordton, with the purpose of capturing Charles McDowell and destroying his command, and ultimately crossing into Washington and Sullivan counties (now Tennessee) and dealing with Shelby and Sevier of the Watauga settlement. Ferguson left Gilberttown with a detachment in search of Charles McDowell, but McDowell laid in ambush at Bedford Hill, on Crane [sic, Cane] Creek, and fired upon his forces while crossing the creek at Cowan's Ford. Major Dunlap was wounded and Ferguson was forced to retire to Gilberttown.
    After this affair, Charles McDowell retreated across the mountains to warn Shelby and Sevier of the threatened desolation of their country, and to invite their co-operation in an attack on Ferguson. It was agreed that the transmontane men should be gathered as expeditiously as possible, while McDowell should send messengers to Colonels Cleveland and Hernando, of Wilkes County, and Major Joseph Winston, of Surrey. The energies of Shelby, of Sullivan and Sevier, of Washington County, N. C., then embracing the present State of Tennessee, were quickened by the message which Ferguson had released a prisoner to convey, to the effect that he would soon cross the mountains, hang the leaders and lay that country waste with fire and sword.
    The clans were summoned to meet at Quaker Meadows on the 30th of September, 1780. Meantime Charles McDowell returned to watch Ferguson, protect cattle by assailing foraging parties, and give information to Shelby and Sevier of Ferguson's movements.
    Rev. Samuel Doak invoked the blessings of God upon the Watauga men, as they left for King's Mountain to meet Ferguson, whose blasphemous boast had been that God Almighty could not drive him from his position. Those trustful old Scotchmen afterwards believed in their hearts that the hand of God was in the movement which cost him his life and destroyed his force.