December 2007: Kings Mountain National Military Park


York, South Carolina

Thomas Jefferson called it, "The turn of the tide of success." For the British, Sir Henry Clinton called the defeat at Kings Mountain, "the first link in a chain of evils that at last ended in the total loss of America."The battle of Kings Mountain, fought October 7th, 1780, was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major patriot victory to occur after the British invasion of Charleston, SC in May 1780. The park preserves the site of this important battle.

Revolutionary War buffs will certainly want to make the effort to take your dog to Kings Mountain, site of some of the most vicious American vs. American fighting of the war. Here some 600 "backcountry" men who had marched over 200 miles attacked Carolinians loyal to the crown. The Loyalists were under the command of "Bloody" Patrick Ferguson, the only British soldier in the battle.

Ferguson chose to defend his position on traditional high ground, a rocky outcropping surrounded by a hardwood forest. The mountain men, however, worked their way up the slopes, fighting from tree to tree on their way to the summit. The high ground in this case worked against the defenders as they were unable to get clear shots at their attackers.

You can hike with your dog on an interpretive walking trail around Battlefield Ridge. Hiking on the thickly wooded mountainside provides an excellent feel for what fighting must have been like on that critical day in the American Revolution. Your canine hike will include an exploration of the spot where Ferguson was killed, marked by a monument and covered with a traditional Scottish stone cairn.

Kings Mountain NMP has the second oldest Revolutionary War Monument in the nation. It is the 1815 Chronicle Marker located on the battlefield. Several veterans of the battle dedicated it.

Kings Mountain National Military Park and be found on Route 161, 12 miles northwest of York, South Carolina.