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The Actions at the South

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

December 5.—A letter of this date from Charlotte, in North Carolina, says:—”Although some pains have been taken to asperse the militia of this, as well as our sister States, on account of what happened on the memorable 16th and 18th of August, yet I hope that an impartial world will not lose sight of those striking marks of heroism displayed at Ramsour’s, on the 20th of June, where Colonel Locke commanded; at Packolet in the night of the 15th of July, where Colonel McDowel commanded; at Cole-son’s, the mouth of Rocky River, on the 21st of July, where Colonel, now General Davidson commanded, and in which he was wounded; at Rocky Mount, on the 23d of July, where the heroic General Sumpter commanded; at Hanging Rock, on the 6th of August, where General Sumpter commanded; at Enoree, the 19th of August, where the late intrepid Colonel Williams commanded; at Augusta, in Georgia, on the 12th of September, where Colonel Clarke commanded; at King’s Mountain, on the 7th of October, where Colonel Campbell commanded; at Broad River, on the 9th of November, where General Sumpter commanded, and where Major Weymss was made prisoner; at Black Stocks, on Tygar River, on the 20th of November, where General Sumpter commanded, and was unfortunately wounded; besides several other rencounters. Such, a train of important victories, obtained by raw militia, has no parallel in history.

“The firmness of the people in Mecklenburg and Rowan counties, when the enemy advanced to Charlotte, evince that they possess the most genuine principles; they were left to defend themselves against the whole force of the enemy. His lordship took post at Charlotte with amazing pomp. Proclamations were issued, peace and protection were offered to all returning and penitent rebels, and death, with all its terrors, threatened to the obstinate and impenitent. Governor Martin with great solemnity assumed the Government, and conceived himself reinstated. The people generally abandoned their habitations, some fled with such of their property as they could carry, others took the field, determined to dispute every foot of ground, and some assembled in small parties, in their respective neighborhoods, determined to harass the enemy’s foraging parties. His lordship soon, discovered that he was in an enemy’s country, without provisions, without forage, without friends, without intelligence, without a single humble servant except Peter Johnston and McCafferty, who at last deserted him in the night, and came to make peace with us; his communication, with Camden cut off, and his despatches intercepted; in the mean time our friends joined issue with Ferguson at King’s Mountain.

“These are stubborn facts, and will do immortal honor to the militia. Lord Cornwallis’ aid, in a letter to Colonel Balfour, which was intercepted, says:—’ Charlotte is an agreeable village, but in a d——d rebellious country.’ Oh! had we a well-appointed, well-disciplined, permanent force, what a delightful back country dance we should have led his lordship at Charlotte.”1


1 New Jersey Gazette, January 31, 1781.