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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Report by William Campbell et al. concerning the Battle of King's Mountain [as printed in the Virginia Gazette and the Massachusetts Spy]
Campbell, William, 1745-1781; Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826; Cleveland, Benjamin, 1738-1806
October 1780
Volume 15, Pages 163-165

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[From the Virginia Gazette, November 18th, and Massachusetts Spy, November 30th, 1780.]

A state of the proceedings of the Western Army, from the 25th of September, 1780, to the reduction of Major Ferguson and the army under his command.

On receiving intelligence that Maj. Ferguson had advanced as high up as Gilbert Town, in Rutherford County, and threatened to cross the mountains to the western waters, Col. William Campbell, with four hundred men from Washington County, Virginia, Col. Isaac Shelby, with two hundred and forty from Sullivan County of North Carolina, and Lieut. Col. John Sevier, with two hundred and forty men of Washington County, assembled at Watauga, on the 25th of September, where they were joined by Col. Charles McDowell, with one hundred and sixty men from the Counties of Burke and Rutherford, who had fled before the enemy to the western waters.

We began our march on the 26th, and on the 30th we were joined by Col. Cleveland, on the Catawba River, with three hundred and fifty men from the Counties of Wilkes and Surry. No one officer having properly a right to command in chief, on the 1st of October we dispatched an express to Maj. Gen. Gates, informiug him of our situation, and requesting him to send a general officer to take the command of the whole. In the meantime Col. Campbell was chosen to act as commandant till such general officer should arive. We marched to the Cowpens, on Broad River in South Carolna, where we were joined by Col. James Williams, with four hundred men, on the evening of the 6th of October, who informed us that the enemy lay encamped somewhere near the Cherokee Ford of Broad River, about thirty miles distant from us.

By a council of the principal officers, it was then thought advisable to pursue the enemy that night with nine hundred of the best horsemen, and leave the weak horsemen and foot-men to follow as fast as possible. We began our march with nine hundred of the best men, about eight O'clock the same evening, and marching all night, came up with the enemy about three

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O'clock P. M. of the 7th, who lay encamped on the top of King's Mountain, twelve miles North of the Cherokee Ford, in the confidence that they could not be forced from so advantageous a post. Previous to the attack, on the march, the following disposition was made: Col. Shelby's regiment formed a column in the centre, on the left Col. Campbell's regiment, another on the right, with part of Col. Cleveland's regiment, headed in front by Maj. Winston and Col. Sevier's regiment, formed a large column on the right wing. The other part of Cleveland's regiment, headed by Col. Cleveland himself, and Col. Williams' regiment, composed the left wing. In this order we advanced, and got within a quarter of a mile of the enemy before we were discovered. Col. Shelby's and Col. Campbell's regiments began the attack, and kept up a fire on the enemy, while the right and left wings were advancing to surround them, which was done in about five minutes, and the fire became general all around. The engagement lasted an hour and five minutes, the greater part of which time a heavy and incessant fire was kept up on both sides. Our men in some parts, where the regulars fought, were obliged to give way a small distance, two or three times, but rallied and returned with additional ardor to the attack. The troops upon the right having gained the summit of the eminence, obliged the enemy to retreat along the top of the ridge to where Col. Cleveland commanded, and were there stoped by his brave men. A flag was immediately hoisted by Capt. DePeyster, the commanding officer, (Maj. Ferguson having been killed a little before,) for a surrender. Our fire immediately ceased, and the enemy laid down their arms, the greatest part of them charged, and surrendered themselves to us prisoners at discretion.

It appears from their own provision returns for that day, found in their camp, that their whole force consisted of eleven hundred and twenty-five men, out of which they sustained the following loss: Of the regulars, one Major, one Captain, two Sergeants and fifteen privates killed, thirty-five privates wounded, left on the ground, not able to march, two Captains, four Lieutenants, three Ensigns, one Surgeon, five Sergeants, three Corporals and one Drummer, and forty-nine privates taken prisoners. Loss of the Tories, two Colonels, three Captains, and two hundred and one privates killed; one Major, and one hundred and twenty

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seven privates wounded and left on the ground, not able to march, one Colonel, twelve Captains, eleven Lieutenants, two Ensigns, one Quarter-master, one Adjutant, two Commissaries, eighteen Sergeants, and six hundred privates taken prisoners. Total loss of the enemy, eleven hundred and five men at King's Mountain.

Given under our hand at camp,

The losses on our side were, one Colonel, one Major, one Captain, two Lieutenants, Four Ensigns, nineteen privates killed; total, twenty-eight killed; one Major, three Captains, three Lieutenants and fifty-five privates wounded; total, sixty-two wounded.

Published by order of Congress.