The Ford at Green River
(The Midnight Ride of Edward Lacey)


At this point in the disagreement between colonels William Hill and James Williams, Hill went to Colonel Edward Lacey and implored him to ride into the night to warn the Overmountain militia that Ferguson was headed east toward Charlottetown and not toward Ninety-Six. (Hill wrote about the matter as if Williams had purposely deceived Campbell and the others. That was not likely so. Williams simply had an understanding of this last agreement with the other colonels. Hill had new information.) Hill would have gone himself, if he could have, but he was still nursing a wound in his arm received at the Battle of Hanging Rock in early August.

At eight o’clock that evening, Colonel Lacey mounted Hill’s horse, a good night traveler, and rode away with a local guide in search of the camp of the militiamen under Campbell, Shelby, Cleveland and Graham. The dark and terrain confused the guide and the two men lost the trail, but in time they regained it. Twice during the night Lacey had cocked his pistol convinced that his guide was a Tory purposely leading him astray.

After riding 20 miles through the night, Lacey reached the patriot camp at the Ford of Green River before dawn. He was stopped by the sentries, blindfolded and taken into the camp. The officers at first rebuffed him, thinking him a Tory spy; but, Colonel Lacey was able to convince through his own character and demeanor that he brought them reliable news: Ferguson was headed toward Charlottetown.

With this new information, Campbell and the others changed their plans. After a brief rest and with a fresh mount, Lacey rode back to the Flint Hills to advise the men there of the new plans. They were to meet the next evening at The Cowpens.

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Randell Jones (, “The Ford at Green River
(The Midnight Ride of Edward Lacey),” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed January 20, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​72.​
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