Plaque organization

Alphabetical

When searching for who might be in a list, the phone company knew to put names in alphabetical order. Yellow pages and other tools are appropriate for additional information beyond the basic function of finding a name and the link to a number. A plaque in anything other than alphabetical order degrades to resemble a phone book by street, not too much worse if you know there is a street, you know its name, and you can spell it. We reject the misordered rank and casualty category approach on the 1909 plaque. We believe that we can correct some names and fill in some blanks shown on the 1909 obelisk plaque.

Rank

The War Department is structured from General of the Army to Private Soldier and all ranks, units, and specialties between. The War Department had twice been wiped from the map of the south before Kings Mountain 07Oct1780. The patriots had no regimental numbers and no commanding general. Loosely organized local militia units were joined by refugee groups and stragglers focused upon the task of eliminating the threat from Patrick Ferguson to “March the army over the mountains, hang the leaders, and lay waste with fire and the sword.” Militias had a few officers commisssioned by the several states. Their mission was to maintain local defense and order as needed. If needed too much, their herds would wander and their crops would nott grow to use in barns and pantries. For a day or two here and there, perhaps up to three months committment for available young men, the militia was mission specific.

People referred to soldiers with respect using their highest known rank. We thus see references to multiple generals, colonels, majors, and captains in pension declarations five decades after the battle. There were no generals at BKM. James Crabtree was captain of a company which Col Arthur Campbell needed to protect lead, salt, and gunpowder sources at home. James insisted on going to BKM as a sergeant orderly for Col William Campbell. Soldiers knew James Curry as a militia sergeant. The war department showed him as Private James Corry. John Beattie was a commisssioned militia ensign. Second lietenant was not in the vocabulary of Black’s Fort.

We leave the rank of a soldier, where known, as the subject of his individual biographical sketch instead og the group plaque.

Commander

Leaders from the county miltias who fought at Kings Mountain range from clear to obscure. William Campbell of Washington Co VA, John Sevier of Washington Co NC, Isaac Shelby of Sullivan Co NC, and Benjamin Cleveland of Wilkes Co NC were the clear leaders who answered the alarm of Charles McDowell of Burke Co NC. Col James Williams was gathering remnants from Sumter’s SC militia and some NC recruits who joined the overmountain volunteers at Cowpens. Major Joseph Winston of Surry County NC reinforced Cleveland. Brandon, Lacey, and Graham (Hambright) rallied parts of their militias from Union Disctrict, York District and Old Tryon County. Some of Col Elijah Clarke’s Georgia refugee militia joined the fight. North Carolina lists so many officers at BKM that Cornwallis could have been overwhlemed and the war ended on 08Oct1780. For 900 soldiers, we limit the commanders to the ten most conspicuous and lump stragglers in with them. Where obvious, some majors and captains names are shown. Cammander has some geographical connotation though various individuals joined diffenerent units farther from home.

Evidence

A souce of evidence for calling a person a casualty of the Battle of Kings Mountain is shown. Federal Pension Application (FPA) file numbers, South Carolina audited accounts provided by Bobby Moss, Draper’s, White’s, and Summers’ books are a starting point. The FPA, for those who had them is the nearest to a serial number and DD214 which has been passed along to us. Much of the evidence is conflicting. We honor the reader’s opinion to refute the dominant conclusion regarding any individual.