Kings Mountain National Military Park Trip

On November 1st, Piedmont fourth graders visited a location that Thomas Jefferson claimed “turned the tide of success” of the Revolutionary War.  Some people might immediately think that they traveled to a far off location, but in fact they were only about 15 minutes from their school.

The battle of Kings Mountain, was fought October 7th, 1780.  Prior to this the Patriots had been wiped out consistently by the Loyalists who were moving their way through the Carolinas with a growing Loyalist army comprised of Americans.  Students learned that the Carolina mountain men, largely of Scottish heritage, had initially considered themselves neutral in the Revolutionary War. They felt like it was not their war until General Buford’s patriot army was beaten and then all the survivors murdered where they lay on the battle field. This slaughter of helpless surrendered men, outraged the Mountain Men. They suddenly found themselves picking a side, but were not yet moved to action until the British leader, Ferguson threatened to “march this army over the mountains, hang your leaders, and lay waste your country with fire and sword.”

The Mountain Men took this personally and came for Ferguson, who met them on Kings Mountain. The rugged Carolina Mountain Men were skilled riflemen who used “Buford” as their rallying call to move forward.  Though these men largely disappeared back to their mountains following, they provided 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. If you have never been to Kings Mountain Battlefield, which is a national park, go.  The leaves are changing and the talented actors on staff will help you experience history in a meaningful way.  It is quite exciting to watch the Patriot and the Loyalist firing off their different weapons. The students were surprised to learn that Ferguson was the only British soldier that day.

Students did a scavenger hunt down the trails, watched a historical documentary, and toured the museum.  This paired well with the fourth graders’ class lessons.

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