Sunday, May 6, 2018

How the Heroes of the Past Affect the Future

How Heroes of the Past Affect the Future

Kings Mountain
If we have been taught anything from the past, it should be to follow in the footsteps of ours heroes.  

Remembering the Battle of Kings Mountain fought on October 7, 1780 between the Patriot and Loyalists militias in South Carolina during the Southern Campaign of the Revoluationary War. Some of our ancestors lost their life at Waxhaws. Is this a small event to be whisked under the table?  Or, should we try and discover the names of our forefathers who fought the battle for freedom?The British commander Patrick Ferguson issued a challenge to the rebel militias to lay down their arms or suffer the consequences. The Patriot militias were led by Benjamin Cleveland, James Johnston, William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell and Isaac Shelby who had caught up with the Loyalists at Kings Mountain near the South Carolina border. The Patriots quickly attacked and surrounded the Loyalists and after an hour or so Ferguson was fatally shot. It was said later that the Patriots sought revenge against Banastre Tarleton's slaughter of the  patriot militia during the Battle of Waxhaws. The chant was "remember Tarleton's quarter!" The revenge seemed warranted, given the fact that the patriots held the white flag of surrender.

Where ever there stood a George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, also stood lovers of freedom and believers in the Constitution.  

I discovered an old newspaper article the other day concerning the heroism Capt. Samuel C. Reid who was accredited with saving Louisiana from the British. see article Reid's father had taken his cutlass into Washington, D. C. and presented it to Congress.  The article stated that Congress turned the sword over to the National Museum (the Smithsonian Institute) and would be displayed there with a card describing the events of the battle.  I searched diligently for a record of this sword being in place, but found it not.

How many swords were lost on the battlefield of freedom?  And do we treasure the idea that our ancestors played a role?  Our family tree doubles every generation.  One should be able to locate several Revolutionary War heroes in the ancestry.  It is exciting to learn of their adventure.  This is easily done by following the battles of the officers under whom they served. A term of three months was specific to the war because it allowed soldiers to fight, then go home and plant crops.  Then re-enlist again.  The amount of acreage given as land grants was determined by how long they served.  This is also true of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War.  Thus, if one knows the enlistment date and names of the officers, acreage in the bounty grant, it is easy to calculate the battles fought.

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