Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Lee Davidson to Jethro Sumner
Davidson, William Lee, 1746-1781
October 10, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 685-686


Camp Rocky River,
October 10th, 1780.


I have the pleasure of handing you very agreeable intelligence from the West. Ferguson, the great partisan, has miscarried; this we are assured of by Mr. Tate, Brigade Major in Genl. Sumpter's late command. The particulars from that Gentleman's mouth stand thus: That Cols. Campbell, Cleveland, Shelby, Sevier, Williams, Brandon, Lacey, &c., formed a conjunct body near Gilberttown, consisting of 3,000. From this body was selected 1,600 good horse, who immediately went in pursuit of Colo. Ferguson, who was making his way to Charlotte. Our People overtook him well posted on King's mountain, & on the Evening of the 7th instant at 4 o'Clock began the Attack, which continued 47 minutes. Colo. Ferguson fell in the action, besides 150 of his men; 810 were made prisoners, including the British; 150 of the Prisoners are wounded; 15 hundred stands of Arms fell into our hands. Colo. Ferguson had about 1,400 men; our People surrounded them & the Enemy surrendered. We lost about 20 men, among whom is Major Chronicle of Lincoln County. Colo. Williams is mortally wounded; the number of our wounded cannot be ascertained. This blow will certainly affect the British very considerably. The designs of our Conquering friends near King's mountain are not clearly known. It is most probable that they will secure their Prisoners in or over the mountains & proceed towards Charlotte. The Brigade Major who gives us this was in the action. The above is true; the blow is great. I give you joy upon the occasion.

I am &c., &c.,
The Hnble. Genl. Sumner.