Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Cowpens and Kings Mountain
We went to Cowpens and Kings Mountain National Battles fields on this cold SC day. I went out with my wife, our children, and my good friend and fellow history nut to walk the battlefields. Walking the actual sites of where battles took place is the only real way to see how and why actions took place if the battle sites are intact. I am very proud to say that these two battle sites fit the mold for this. We walked both of the battle fields for over two hours each. Of course this is not enough time to fully understand what took place at the battle fields but it did help us to better understand the placement of troops and their actions in each of the battles. The downside of course is that each battle field opened up more questions for us to now tackle. As we start to go over these questions I will start to post them here. The first question we will be working on is why did Major Ferguson of the 71st Highland Regiment on assigment as inspector of militia choose Kings Mountain to make his last stand on? Over 1000 troops "commanded by Ferguson were Americans, or persons who had come to the Provinces prior to the Revolution. His command consisted of about 125 picked officers and men, taken from several regular battalions raised in New York and New Jersey, and formed into a temporary Provincial Corps. These men were Loyalists, and they gave their services to the Crown with the same high sense of duty which prompted their brothers and neighbors to rebel against further domination by Great Britain. Supplementing the Provincial Corps was a greater number of Tory militia, enrolled in the Carolinas." Even if 90% were Tory militia why did he decide to make a stand instead of trying to make it back to Cornwallis and Tarleton? We will look at terrain, troop abilities, and possible information that he had to make his stand on Kings Mountain.