Kings Mountain National Military Park on the North Carolina/South Carolina border was quiet yesterday. Having heard so much of the Overmountain Victory Trail, it was time to visit its destination, Kings Mountain about 30 miles southwest of Charlotte.
As in most of these small national park units, the visitor center is very well done. Most visitors stop in, get their National Park passports stamped, look in the gift shop and leave. We spent almost four hours there and we didn’t begin to touch all the hiking trails.
Kings Mountain memorializes the battle between the tough Overmountain men who came down from Sycamore Shoals, now in Elizabethton, TN, to fight Maj. Patrick Ferguson and his Loyalist Tories. Unlike Guildford Courthouse, this battle was not choreographed.
“Let each of you be your own commander,” cried one of the leaders. That meant, “You’re on your own, boys. Kill as many as you can.” Guerilla warfare, as farmers and hunters brought down the Tories. Ferguson was the only Brit in the skirmish; all the others were Americans on one side or the other.
But I couldn’t get a ranger’s opinion because none were in sight. A volunteer staffed the desk and she couldn’t even answer my “test” question. “When did this become a Park unit?” 1931 was the answer.
We walked the 1.5 mile battlefield loop. Two large monuments dominated the landscape. I was pleased to see that Ferguson who is buried here got a nice grave stone.
The passage of time and our friendship with Britain means that British soldiers are recognized in American Revolutionary sites.
How long will it be until our most recent enemies will also be memorialized?