DescriptionDuring the morning of October 7, 1780, the 900 mounted patriot militiamen who had left The Cowpens late at night, arrived at the Broad River. Believing that Ferguson might well have set an ambush for them across the river, they rode downstream to the Cherokee Ford. Scout Enoch Gilmer, one of Major Chronicle's South Fork Boys, crossed first and alone so he could fashion some ruse to explain away his presence should he encounter any loyalist. When he returned to the east bank of the river singing a jolly tune, "Barney O'Lynn." that was the signal it was safe for the others to cross. Although the current was strong from the recent rains, all the men made it across safely .
After the men crossed and rode on for a while, some of the officers conferred from their saddles about the need to stop and rest. Some of the men had not eaten since the day before and the horses were tired. Colonel Isaac Shelby, age 29, rode up to hear what they were discussing and then erupted, "I will not stop until night if I have to follow Ferguson into Cornwallis' lines." No other officer protested and the men rode on.