|Sycamore Shoals Monument -- thanks to dmott9|
There is a back story to this battle involving about 1000 over-the-mountain men from Tennessee and Virginia. At that time the Tennessee settlements were consider a part of North Carolina's Washington County. Earlier in 1780 a contingent of men from that region had gone to fight a harassing campaign against the British and their Loyalist partners in the upcountry of South Carolina. They became a nuisance for British General Cornwallis. For that reason he dispatched British Major Ferguson to deal with them. In one battle in South Carolina Ferguson routed the Patriot forces and took one of the men prisoner. He released him with a message to
|thanks to Drstevo|
Soon the word was spread and a general call to arms issued. Frontiersmen from southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee came to a meeting place called Sycamore Shoals (today: Elizabethton, TN). It was late September 1780. They were inspired by the preaching of Rev. Samuel Doak. His preaching encouraged them in their endeavor to defend their freedom. That very day, September 26th, they set out in pursuit of Major Ferguson. You can follow their trail for almost a week on horseback each fall if you want to reenact the experience.
If you want you can hit a whole chain of Over the Mountain theme caches in Elizabethton. It not, start with geocache OverMountain Man (GC3RQ8T) and get a good view of the city where it all started. They made camp near Roan Mountain and continued on the next day to what along the North Toe River to what is now Spruce Pine, North Carolina. You won't find any theme related caches along the "victory trail" but there are a few caches not related to the Over-the-Mountain men and their march. The forces split up only to rejoin at Quaker Meadows, now called Morganton, NC. There they met up with more North Carolina and South Carolina patriots and reached a force of close to 1000 men. News of Ferguson's movements called them further southwest. They reached modern day Rutherfordton by October 4th. It was then called Gilbert Town and had been the base for operations for Ferguson. The enemy was not there as they had evacuated in order to get closer to the main British force. Rutherfordton has its share of caches for you to find. You'll have to go south into South Carolina to reach the Cowpens, the sight of a subsequent Patriot victory the following year, in order to pick up the trail to Kings Mountain again. Be sure to visit Cowpens National Battlefield Trailhead Cache (GC2DZ70). While at Cowpens on
|Ferguson's Grave at Kings Mountain|
I'm proud to be the descendant of Martin Luther Roller. I'm proud of his participation in this march and the subsequent battle. The bravery of these frontier men and their unwillingness to allow violence from the British to arrive at their door inspires me. I'm proud that they took the fight to the British instead! While retracing this trip won't get you a lot of theme related caches, you'll get your fair share of caches along the way.