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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blue Hen's Chicks, Part 5

The "Resting Place" was a large rock jutting out of a hill to form a semi cave. Located along the Doe river, today, a bronze plaque is affixed to the rock that reads:

First Night Encampment
of
King's Mountain Men
Sept. 26, 1780
"They trusted in God
And kept their powder dry".

The next day, they pressed on up Doe Creek to the foot of Roan Mountain. Near the top, they trudged through new fallen snow. After a dress parade at the crest, a problem was discovered. Two men were missing. One was a simple youth, but James Crawford was old enough to know better. Assuming that Crawford had gone ahead to alert Ferguson, they took counsel, but came to the conclusion to continue. Colonel McDowell was dispatched with a detachment to scout ahead and bring back intelligence of Ferguson's next move. They marched on for two more miles before stopping for the night. They continued on for three more days, leaving the hills at the same time the deserters reached Ferguson's camp. The deserters informed Ferguson of the number of men marching against him.

After being joined by reinforcements, the mountain men continued, while the advance force sent out two scouts which captured the Major's cook, questioned him, then let him go. When he complained to Ferguson about being roughly handled, Ferguson concurred that for once, the barbarians had acted quite civilized.

On October 4th, the main force having arrived, a conference was held before the final approach, in which, Isaac Shelby spoke to the men: "You who desire to decline (from fighting), will, when the word is given, march three paces to the rear".
When the word was given not a man stirred, whereupon Shelby issued final instructions: "When we encounter the enemy don't wait for the word of command. Let each of you be your own officer and do the best you can. If in the woods, shelter yourself and give them indian play. The moment the enemy gives way, be on the alert and strictly obey orders."

After some maneuvering, it was discovered that Ferguson had taken a strong defensive position on the crest of a place called King's Mountain.



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