The Story - Gilbert Town

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Chapter 10 - Gilbert Town
"On the morning of October 3, as the patriot militiamen prepared from their rain-soaked camp at Bedford Hill to march toward Gilbert Town, colonels Benjamin Cleveland and Isaac Shelby addressed the men. Suspecting that some of the men had become anxious about their families back home, the two officers offered those who had changed their minds about the pursuit of Patrick Ferguson the opportunity to leave. They had only to take a step back. None would be thought less of for leaving. . . ."

Music: Hold That Thought

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No change of heart

image by Randell Jones
OVTA march, 2003

"On the morning of October 3, as the patriot militiamen prepared from their rain-soaked camp at Bedford Hill to march toward Gilbert Town, colonels Benjamin Cleveland and Isaac Shelby addressed the men. Suspecting that some of the men had become anxious about their families back home, the two officers offered those who had changed their minds about the pursuit of Patrick Ferguson the opportunity to leave. They had only to take a step back. None would be thought less of for leaving. Not a man among them budged." - from the audio file "The Story - Gilbert Town" [View Additional File Details]

Marching to Gilbert Town

Image by Randell Jones
Historic Brattonsville, SC, 2010

"They then marched south down winding, wet Cane Creek reaching and camping that night outside Gilbert Town. On October 4th, the patriot militiamen entered Gilbert Town only to discover that Major Ferguson and his loyalist army was no longer there. He had fled." - from the audio file "The Story - Gilbert Town." [View Additional File Details]

Crawford and Chambers. loyalist spies

Image by Randell Jones
Martin's Station, Wilderness Road State Park, VA, 2005

"The two spies, Crawford and Chambers, who had run ahead from Yellow Mountain Gap, had indeed found the major and warned him about the horde of patriot militiaman coming after him." - from the audio file "The Story - Gilbert Town". [View Additional File Details]

Following the suspected route of Ferguson

Image by Randell Jones
Historic Brattonsville. SC, 2010

"By then Ferguson was withdrawing from Gilbert Town and his advanced position in the North Carolina piedmont, but the patriot officers did not know where he had gone. "Suspecting that Ferguson was headed to his former headquarters at Ninety Six, the patriot officers proceeded to the southwest. They followed the suspected route of Ferguson, sending scouts ahead to confirm their suspicions." - from the audio file, "The Story - Gilbert Town" [View Additional File Details]

In a sullen and somber mood

Image by Randell Jones
Historic Brattonsville, SC, 2010

""Suspecting that Ferguson was headed to his former headquarters at Ninety Six, the patriot officers proceeded to the southwest. They followed the suspected route of Ferguson, sending scouts ahead to confirm their suspicions. But late on the afternoon of October 5th after reaching the ford at Green River, the patriot militiamen realized they had lost Ferguson’s trail completely. The men made camp that night in a most sullen and somber mood. They had crossed the mountains and chased him for ten days, but Ferguson had escaped. " - from the audio file "The Story - Gilbert Town." [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]

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Randell Jones with The Forget-Me-Nots, “The Story - Gilbert Town,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed September 26, 2018, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​49.​
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