On the evening of October 5, 1780, the patriot militiamen reached the Green River but had lost the trail for Patrick Ferguson's retreating army. Nevertheless, good fortune intervened. A large band of South Carolina militia had withdrawn into North Carolina as Cornwallis' army continued its advance northward after the ignominious defeat of the re-constituted Southern Department of the Continental Army under General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden on August 16. These South Carolina militia refugees had been raised and trained by Colonel Thomas Sumter but were currently under the command of colonels William Hill and Edward Lacey. Colonel Lacey had word of this large band of overmountain militia headed into the Carolina piedmont. Seeking them out, he rode some 20 miles through the night of October 5 to find the patriot militia at the Green River. Convincing them that he brought reliable word from his own scouts of Ferguson's movement toward Charlotte, the two groups agreed to meet at The Cowpens on the evening of October 6. Colonel Campbell and the officers divided their forces, telling all who had horses or who could get them to be ready to ride in the morning. The foot soldiers would follow as best they could. On the morning of October 6, the two groups rode south and out of the Broad River basin to a ridge line road which led toward The Cowpens.
Cite this Page
Randell Jones, A Guide to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, “Ford at Green River (Alexander's Ford),” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed January 16, 2019, http://bythewaywebf.webfactional.com/omvt/items/show/10.