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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Campbell to Arthur Campbell
Campbell, William, 1745-1781
October 20, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 126-127


Wilkes County, Camp on Brier Creek,
October 20th, 1780.

Dear Sir:

Ferguson and his party are no more in circumstances to injure the citizens of America. We came up with him in Craven County in South Carolina, posted on a height called King's Mountain, about twelve miles north of the Cherokee Ford on Broad River, about two O'clock in the evening of the 7th inst., we having marched the whole night before. Col. Shelby's regiment and mine began the attack, and sustained the whole fire of the enemy for about ten minutes, while the other troops were forming around the height upon which the enemy were posted. The firing became general, and as heavy as you can conceive for the number of men. The advantageous situation of the enemy, being the top of the steep ridge, obliged us to expose ourselves exceedingly, and the dislodging of them was almost equal to driving men from strong breastworks, though in the end we gained the point of the ridge, where my regiment fought, and drove them along the summit of it to the other end, where Col. Cleveland and his countrymen were. They were driven into a huddle, and the greatest confusion; the flag for a surrender was immediately hoisted, and as soon as our troops could be notified of it the firing ceased, and the survivors surrendered themselves prisoners at discretion.

We fought an hour and five minutes, in which time two hundred

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and twenty-five were killed of the enemy, and one hundred and thirty wounded; the rest, making about seven hundred regulars and Tories, were taken prisoners. Ferguson was killed near the close of the action. The victory was complete to a wish; and I think it was won by about seven hundred men who fought bravely. I have lost several of my brave friends, whose death I lament much. Maj. Edmonson will give you their names, though I must myself mention Capt. Edmondson, his two brothers, and Lieut Bowen. My regiment has suffered more than any other in the action. Our loss in the field was, altogether, about thirty killed and sixty wounded. I must proceed on with the prisoners untill I can in some way dispose of them. Probably I may go on to Richmond in Virginia.