The Western North Carolina Historical Association will sponsor a bus trip to King’s Mountain National Military Park and to Cowpens National Battlefield on October 1, 2011. The tour meets at Smith McDowell House (283 Victoria Rd, Asheville) at 7:30 am and returns by 5:30 pm. A box lunch is included in the price of $55.00 for non-members and $35.00 for WNC Historical Association members. Seating is limited so call for reservations by a week in advance (September 24). 828-253-9231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Along the route, historical interpreters will highlight sites of historical importance on the tour route and visits at King’s Mountain and Cowpens will include park ranger guides, films, short walking trails and monuments.
On Oct. 7, 1780, militiamen from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia under Col. William Campbell of Virginia divided into two columns, and encircled the steep slopes of King’s Mountain on the top of which Maj. Patrick Ferguson had placed his trained Loyalist troops. Although outnumbered by the Loyalists, the mountain men advanced steadily against repeated bayonet charges and took the summit. Ferguson, who had threatened to lay their country waste with fire and sword, was killed. British General Clinton calls the battle, “the first link in a chain of evils that … ended in the total loss of America.”
On Jan. 17, 1781, Patriot forces under Gen. Daniel Morgan outfought a more experienced British force under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Morgan, a brilliant strategist, divided his troops into three consecutive lines; the first two were meant to engage and slow the enemy and then fall back, leaving the brunt of the fighting to his more seasoned troops in the rear. The plan worked. Within an hour the Colonials sent the British regulars into a disorderly retreat. Morgan’s losses were light; Tarleton lost 75% of his command.
The Western North Carolina Historical Association is located at the Smith McDowell House Museum at 283 Victoria Rd. on the AB Tech Campus. The museum is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $8 for adults, with reduced pricing for students, children and group tours. Call the Museum at (828) 253-9231 and visit our website at www.wnchistory.org for more information