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Why Kings Mountain was significant to the Revolutionary War

Welcome to Kings Mountain
Welcome to Kings Mountain
photo by author

About 2 hours from Columbia, about 25 miles west of Rock Hill, near the North Carolina border, is Kings Mountain Military Park.Kings Mountain is one of the more significant battles of the Revolution, perhaps as significant as the battle of Saratoga in 1777. The Battle was fought on October 7,1780.

Why was it so significant?Kings Mountain is significant because it effectively stopped the British advance in the south and sealed the British fate. It was a little over a year later, October 19, 1781, when the British surrendered at Yorktown. Thomas Jefferson said of the Battle of Kings Mountain, "the turn of the tide of success." It was also the first patriot victory after the British victory in Charleston in May, 1780.

The Battle was significant also that it was primarily a battle between militias, not regular troops. According to John Hambright of the National Park Service, "the majority of those who fought here were militiamen rather than regular troops."

There also was only one native-born British regular army officer, Major Patrick Ferguson on the battlefield. Ferguson was the inventor of the breech-loading "Ferguson rifle"but, ironically, those were not available at Kings Mountain. Ferguson was killed at Kings Mountain and is buried on the battlefield. A cairn and monument marks his grave.

Kings Mountain NMP is a unit of the National Park Service. It has an excellent visitor center with a film produced by the History Channel that is one of the best films of its kind that I've seen. There is also a 1 1/2 mile trail around the battlefield. While the trail is paved, be forewarned that it is steep in spots, particularly in the first half. Also, the park is quite remote with no food in the immediate area. Ronda's Kitchen, in Grover, N.C, about 4 miles away, provides a quick sandwich, otherwise, bring your own and enjoy the large picnic area.

Kings Mountain is well worth the trip to see the site of a battle that, while not as well known as, say, Lexington & Concord or Saratoga, certainly ranks as one of the significant battles of our history. Kings Mountain is located between the towns of Clover and Blacksburg, S.C.

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