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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Isaac Shelby to Evan Shelby [as printed in the Virginia Gazette]
Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826
October 1780
Volume 15, Pages 141-142

[From Virginia Gazette, November 4th, 1780.]

I have herewith the pleasure to acquaint you that on Saturday, the 7th inst., in the afternoon, we came up with Ferguson and his crew, who lay encamped on top of King's Mountain. The day was wet, and that Providence who always rules and governs all things for the best, so ordered it that we were close around them before we were discovered, and formed in such position so as to fire on them nearly about the same time, though they heard us in time to form, and stood ready. The battle continued warm for an hour; the enemy, finding themselves so embarrassed on all sides, surrendered themselves to us prisoners at discretion. They had taken post at that place with the confidence that no force could rout them. The mountain was high and exceedingly steep, so that their situation gave them greatly the advantage; indeed, it was almost equal to storming a battery. In most places we could not see them till we were in twenty yards of them. They repelled us three times with charged bayonets, but being determined to conquer or die, we came up a fourth time and fairly got possession of the top of the eminence. Our loss I have not exactly collected, as the camp has been in such disorder but believe the killed to be about thirty-five men, and between fifty and sixty wounded.

A list of the killed, wounded and prisoners of the British: Killed, Maj. Ferguson, one Captain, two Surgeons and twentysix privates; Wounded, one Lieutenant and twenty-seven privates; Prisoners, one Captain, five Lieutenants, one Surgeon and fifty privates.

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Tories Killed: Two Colonels, two Captains and one hundred and twenty-five privates. Wounded: One hundred and twenty-five; Prisoners, one Colonel, one Major and twelve Captains, eleven Lieutenants, two Ensigns, two Adjutants, one Commissary, one Quarter Master, eighteen Sergeants and six hundred privates. Total, one thousand and sixteen; and seventeen baggage waggons and twelve hundred stand of arms taken.

Our loss of killed and wounded: Col. Williams, of South Carolina, Capt. Edmonson and five Lieutenants of Virginia and twenty-three privates of the different States. Wounded fifty-four of the different States.