The Americans began the battle with 910. The enemy had 1,075. At the end of the battle, the casualties were: American dead 29, American wounded 58, American missing/captured 0, enemy dead 244, enemy wounded 163, enemy missing/captured 668. Outcome? It was "the turn of the tide of success." So said Thomas Jefferson. The date was Saturday, October 7, 1780.
While Maj. Patrick Ferguson was en route to join Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, he learned that a large group of Patriots was following him. He established his men in a defensive posture atop a ridge known locally as Kings Mountain in South Carolina. Ferguson was isolated on Kings Mountain without any chance for reinforcements. With everyone in place, he waited for the Patriots to come and attack him.
The combined Patriot militias of Cols. Issac Shelby, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell, and William Campbell came together in late September. They learned that Ferguson's Loyalist force was invading the Carolinas and threatening to hang them and burn their homes. Outraged by this, the Patriot force set out to destroy the Loyalists.
The Revolution turned families against each other. At Kings Mountain, one of my husband's direct ancestral lines had one American and three Loyalist brothers fighting. Family history states that the American brother shot his Loyalist brother at the same time that the Loyalist brother shot the American brother. The brothers knowingly killed each other, each for his own political ideology.
So as we celebrate the 233rd year of our Independence, it's good to know that the only thing we'll shoot is fireworks. And that we keep our political ideology in check and not let our emotions get the better of us when it comes to people whose views are different than our own.
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