After a prayer and a delicious meal of brisket and all the trimmings, Live Oak Chapter VP Charles Castellow opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to our American Flag, Pledge to the Texas Flag and our SAR Pledge. He then introduced our guest speaker, Michael Hurley.
Hurley is a regional sales manager for AFLAC Insurance Company. He is a member of the Victoria Chapter of the SAR. Hurley had done genealogy on his family for 20 years. His ancestor was a colonel in the 1st Virginia Infantry. He is also a member of the Military Stars & Bars and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. He has participated as a colonial, French and Spanish reenactor in historical ceremonies.
Hurley gave a presentation on a Revolutionary battle on Kings Mountain in South Carolina. This American victory led to the surrender of General Cornwallis nearly a year later at Yorktown, Va. in October 1781.
General Henry Clinton was the commanding general for all British forces in the Colonies. His headquarters was in New York City. His second in command, General Cornwallis, was on maneuvers in the South, by orders of Clinton, to wipe out any bands of rebel militia and gain the support of Loyalists in the South.
During the summer of 1780, General Cornwallis ordered Col. Patrick Ferguson and his provincial corps of 150 to travel through South Carolina and into North Carolina, gathering support for His Majesty’s cause. While marching through the up country of South Carolina, the Loyalists engaged in minor skirmishes with militia regiments. Some of those small battles happened at places like Wofford’s Iron Works, Musgrove’s Mill, Thicketty Fort and Cedar Spring. However, in August, after the Americans lost at the Battle of Camden, the Over Mountain Men retired to their homes in western North Carolina to rest before going after Ferguson again.
Historians consider the Battle of Kings Mountain to be the ‘turning point in the South’ in America’s War for Independence. The victory of Patriots over Loyalist troops destroyed the left wing of Cornwallis army. The battle also effectively ended, at least temporarily, the British advance into North Carolina. Lord Cornwallis was forced to retreat from Charlotte into South Carolina to wait for reinforcements. The victory of the Over Mountain Men allowed Gen. Nathaniel Greene the opportunity to reorganize the American Army.
When British General Henry Clinton learned of his men’s defeat at King’s Mountain, he is reported to have called it, ‘the first link of a chain of evils’ that he feared might lead to the collapse of the British plans to quash the Patriot rebellion. He was right. American forces went on to defeat the British at Cowpens. A little more than a year after Kings Mountain, Washington accepted Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, Va.
If you are interested in pursuing eligibility to become a member of the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution, please call 361-786-4821 or 361-449-1161.