Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVII >> Page 183

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Page 183

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
ment was made upon the eminence of a circular base,
called King's Mountain, situated on the confines of South
and North Carolina. The Americans were commanded
by colonel Arthur Campbell, but were separated into four
divisions, each under the command of its own captain.
The colonels under Campbell, were Cleveland, Shelby, Se-
vier, and Williams. These several divisions, by arrange-
ment, ascended different sides of the mountain, at the
same time, to the attack. The party led by Cleveland first
encountered the pickets of the royal army. On this oc-
casion the gallant mountaineer addressed his troops in
the simplest but most exciting language of patriotic valor.
" My brave fellows," he said, " we have beaten the
tories already, and we c.an beat them again. They are
all cowards ;�if they were not, they would support the
independence of their country. When engaged with
them, you will want no word of command from me. I
will show you how to fight by my example. I can do
no more. Every man must be his own officer, and act
from his own judgment. Fire as fast as you can, and
stand your ground as long as you can. When you can
do no better, run ; but do not run quite off. Get behind
trees and retreat. If repulsed, let us return and renew
the fight. We may have better luck the second time
than the first. If any of you are afraid, let them retire,
and I beg they may take themselves off at once."
This was a good speech, which his men could under-
stand. The effect of it was such as every commander
must desire. The battle began. The picket soon gave
way and was forced up the mountain to the main body.
Here the pursuers were met by Ferguson. They recoil-