The Story - Bedford Hill

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Chapter 9 - Bedford Hill
"The 1400 patriot militiamen marched out of Quaker Meadows on October 1, heading south for Pilot Mountain, a distinctive rise on the horizon separated from the South Mountains. Beyond it they would leave the Catawba River valley and descend into the Broad River valley where they expected to find Patrick Ferguson at Gilbert Town, the small frontier settlement which the loyalist leader had made his headquarters. . . . "

Music: Twilight Blue

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Marching out from Quaker Meadows

image by Randell Jones
Paddy's Creek, Lake James State Park, 2010

"The 1400 patriot militiamen marched out of Quaker Meadows on October 1, heading south for Pilot Mountain . . ." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford HIll" [View Additional File Details]

Pilot Mountain

photograph by Randell Jones

"Beyond Pilot Mountain they would leave the Catawba River valley and descend into the Broad River valley where they expected to find Patrick Ferguson at Gilbert Town, the small frontier settlement which the loyalist leader had made his headquarters." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford Hill." [View Additional File Details]

It began to rain

Photograph by Randell Jones
Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

"At mid-day, it began to rain, heavily and steadily. The patriot officers stopped the march. The militiamen made camp at Bedford Hill. As none of the men had a tent, making camp meant sheltering beneath the evergreen trees. The rain continued a second day; it was probably the remnants of a hurricane blowing through." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford Hill." [View Additional File Details]

Rain fell for two days

image by Randell Jones
OVTA march 2010

"The officers again had the men remain in camp. These were not soldiers, men with a military discipline. With time on their hands, and little to occupy their immediate attention, some became anxious about the welfare of families they had left behind. These men were ready to get on with the business at hand and then get home. Their frustration boiled over. Tempers grew short. Some came nearly to blows.." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford Hill" [View Additional File Details]

The officers conferred in council

image by Randell Jones
Fort Dobbs SHS, Statesville, NC, 2006

"The officers met that night, knowing they had to take action soon with Ferguson believed to be in Gilbert Town. They were all separate militia units and all of the leaders were colonels. They knew they would need a general commander if they were to be effective in battle." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford HIll" [View Additional File Details]

Colonel Campbell brought the most men

image by Randell Jones
Historic Brattonsville, SC, 2010

"But Isaac Shelby would have none of that. They were marching to surprise Ferguson, he reminded them, and they needed to keep moving. Even though he was the youngest of the colonels there at 29, he offered a suggestion. William Campbell, he said, had brought the most men and had come the farthest. But what Shelby knew clearly but did not say was that Campbell was the only colonel among them not from North Carolina. Selecting him would avoid the petty jealousies which would surely arise if any other colonel were given general command. The officers agreed." - from the audio file "The Story - Bedford HIll." [View Additional File Details]

All music from "Blooming", copyright 2010, The Forget-Me-Nots
Recordings used by permission

"Before They Were Heroes at King's Mountain" by Randell Jones, 2011

Before they were heroes at King's Mountain, the Overmountain Men of Carolina and Virginia frontiers were challenging the Shawnees and the Cherokees, developing the fighting skills that garnered them the fearsome appelation, "The yelling boys." Lord Dunmore's War in 1774 and the campaigns against the Cherokees in 1776 and against the Chickamaugas in 1779 developed their capacity for traversing mountainous terrain and fighting tree-to-tree in fierce, hand-to-hand battles. Renegade British Indian agents on the frontier conspired to incite the Cherokees to attack the rebel colonists to force the trespassers back across the Alleghenies, where "the Father," King Geroge III, wanted his subjects to stay. The Battle of Great Bridge in 1775 built the reputation of the "shirtmen" for their expert marksmanship. The backcountry Patriots helped best the Scots Tories at Moore's Creek Bridge and the Loyalists at Ramsour's Mill. Five years into the American Revolution, the partisan, upcountry militiamen of South Carolina harassed the advancing British Legion and set the stage for the conflict in the Carolina piedmont that would destroy one-third of Cornwallis's army and turn the tide of the American War for Independence. All these skirmishes, battles, and campaigns during the six years before the fall of 1780 prepared these backcountry frontiersmen for the challenges they would face in their relentless pursuit of Major Patrick Ferguson--and before they were heroes at King's Mountain. Available at www.danielboonefootsteps.com [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones with The Forget-Me-Nots, “The Story - Bedford Hill,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed September 17, 2019, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​48.​
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