In one hour on October 7, 1780, the tide turned for the Continental Army. America was on its way to winning its war of independence.
Like most of the armed conflicts during the Revolutionary War, the Kings Mountain battle took place in South Carolina. Nearly 900 patriots faced off against an army of more than 1,000 Loyalists. As the Loyalists charged with bayonets raised, the American troops hid and fired from behind trees and rocks.
At the end of the hour, 28 Americans and 225 Loyalists, including British Major Patrick Ferguson, lay dead. News of the victory reenergized delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson said it was “the turn of the tide of success.”
Kings Mountain National Military Park is one of only two national military parks dedicated to a Revolutionary War battle (the other is at Guilford Courthouse). It is a place of remembrance, as the soldiers who died were buried here in unmarked graves.
In the visitor center, you’ll learn about the battle from a History Channel film and creative exhibits designed to look like a forest with talking trees.
The museum includes a rare example of the “Ferguson rifle,” invented by the British major who died at Kings Mountain. Unlike the “Brown Bess,” the Ferguson rifle could be reloaded from a prone position. British soldiers often were hit when they stood up to reload.
A 1.5-mile walking trail takes you through the battlefield to the Centennial monument. Interpretive exhibits explain how the patriots outmaneuvered their foes. You can continue to hike an additional 16 miles of trails throughout the 4,000-acre park.