BKM Books

Lyman Copeland Draper Kings Mountain and its Heroes 1881
The exhaustive study of BKM was published a century later. Lyman had inherited some Fincastle County papers from his grandpa, Judge Draper. He wrote to witnesses and associates of witnesses, traveled, gathered papers and testimony. From his University of Wisconsin History Department professor’s post, he began the march to a full understanding of the Battle of Kings Mountain. Sources of the voluminous Draper Papers from which he drew his information are indexed and available on microfilm in some libraries. Draper and his sources were biased toward the winners. Though he filtered out some bad information, ongoing studies continue to improve our understanding.

Bobby Gilmer Moss The Patriots of Kings Mountain 1990
The book from Dr. Moss of Blacksburg SC was the definitive attempt to identify the BKM boys in three groups. First, those who were among the 900 =/- patriots who were in the battle. Second, the patriots who answered the battle call and went part of the way, as far as Cherokee Ford, but were not in the battle. Third, the patriots who were perhaps in the “Find Ferguson” expedition and even the battle without evidence to substantiate their stories.
Bobby also wrote supplemental books about negroes and loyalists at BKM.

Randell Jones Before they were Heroes at Kings Mountain 2011
Unlike some other accounts, the more recent of BKM publications presents little for me to argue about. Randell adds some new details from the Wilkes/Surry corps. He chose to use the archaic Cleaveland spelling and the sacrilegious possessive King’s Mountain to prevent perfect praise for his fine and very readable book.

Will T Graves Backcountry Revolutionary
Will has done a great service to advance understanding of the upcountry southern campaign of the Revolution. His book is the definitive study of Col James Williams. His RevWarApps.org is the best available transcription of pension applications from the BKM soldiers and their wives and children. The mispronounced ill chosen words of illiterate soldiers written on poor paper with poor pens and poor ink were misfiled among county and War Department archives. Sifting among the pieces, Will has tried to place named soldiers on the horses of the four columns which enveloped Kings Mountain.

Fred Weyler All the King’s Horses at Kings Mountain 07Oct1780 2014
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A study of the patriot battle casualties substantially as shown in this internet site.

Samuel Newell Times and Places 1754-1841
Available through LuLu.com and SN1754.com, this is a study of one patriot from birth through burial and some next generations. Newell was but one of many diverse patriots who chose to relentlessly pursue Patrick Ferguson and his recruits for the British southern army. According to Thomas Jefferson, they turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.

Joe Epley A Passel of Hate This very readable historical novel presents a riveting account of the Kings Mountain story.

Katherine Keough White The Kings Mountain Men 1924 This East Tennessee concentric view of the Battle of Kings Mountain was an early addition to the record. Kay’s search for facts is proven in the federal pension archives. Summer’s Annals of Southwest Virginia is an obvious source, some good and some bad. Without footnotes, we cannot judge the veracity of some area traditional history.

Ricky and Bryan Every Insult and Indignity
What a show! Mr. Roberts and Mr. Brown are recommended for reading, listening, and watching. Their uniformed presentation of the Provincial Soldier’s view of the Battle of Kings Mountain is supplemented by in depth research, a mastery of the facts, and hands on visual aids of their collection of equipment and supplies. If you get the chance to visit one of their presentations of the Ferguson Rifle, go out of your way to see it. You can close your eyes and visualize the smoke on the mountain complete with the sound of firing rifles and the smell of burnt gunpowder.

J. David Dameron Kings Mountain, The defeat of the Loyalists
A recently published very quick and easy to read book, Dameron’s work is recommended to those who want a concise and accurate view of the battle.

Todd Andrlik Reporting the Revolutionary War
Todd published a coffee table quality collection of early accounts of the Revolution. The contrast of Philadelphia and London reports is quite interesting.

Lewis Preston Summers Annals of Southwest Virginia The court journals show what Washington County (when it contained several of today’s counties) did about survivors and casualties of Kings Mountain wounds. The alpha list of militia shows over 700 of the 400 Kings Mountain participants. UVa archives did not produce Summers’ original sources. Intermediate sources indicate struggles with merging names into alphabetic order. Apparent use of dittos drooled onto subsequent names. The resulting list of militiamen erroneously placed many at Kings Mountain. For example, Samuel Colville’s estate was settled earlier in 1780 and Captain Joseph Black’s company stayed to guard the women and children.

David Schenck North Carolina, 1780-81: Being A History Of The Invasion Of The Carolinas By The British Army Under Lord Cornwallis In 1780-81 (1889)

Illustrating Principally the Revolutionary Period of Mecklenburg, Rowan, Lincoln and Adjoining Counties, Accompanied with Miscellaneous Information, Much of It Never before Published

Hank Messick, 1976 Kings Mountain
Hank presents the events of the southern campaign which led up to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. His view is from Happy Valley of the upper Yadkin between Lenoir and Boone NC. Along the way he injects biographical sketches of the people. Each of the colonels and several other patriots have some facts presented. Some of the prior personal relationships which gave the patriots respect, confidence, and loyalty to each other bring the factor of personal relationships to their combat success. Consensus opinions of various historical reports are presented without detailing sources. The work is thus helpful to gain an understanding, but not for in depth research.

Bailey, Rev. JD, 1926 Commanders at Kings Mountain
From the Gaffney SC perspective, Rev Bailey was personally acquainted with the geography of Cherokee and neighboring York counties. He provides detail of the people and places which became the OVT east of Cowpens. He chose to deny the eyewitness testimony of James Crow regarding the initial Virginia assault upon Indian Knob SW end of Kings Mountain.

Senate Report, Congressional Edition Volume 5840, 1911
Excerpts from Draper’s Heroes repeat the errors of the 1881 volume.

NC Patriots 1775-1783: Their Own Words, JD Lewis, 2012
Very good source for Southern Campaign details. The Kings Mountain casualty report repeats errors from faulty sources.

NPS Suggested Readings

ALDEN, JOHN RICHARD, American Revolution 1775—1783, The New American Nation Series, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1954.

BAILEY, J. D., Commanders At Kings Mountain, Gaffney, S. C., 1926.

DRAPER, LYMAN C., Kings Mountain And Its Heroes, Peter G. Thomson, Cincinnati, 1881; Dauber and Pine Bookshops, New York, 1929.

FERGUSON, JAMES, Two Scottish Soldiers, “A Soldier of 1688 and Blenheim, A Soldier Of The American Revolution,” D. Wyllie & Son, Aberdeen, 1888.

GEORGE, J. N., English Guns and Rifles, Small Arms Technical Publishing Company, Plantersville, S. C.

SCOFIELD, JOHN, “Patrick Ferguson’s Rifle,” The American Rifleman, December, 1941.

WALLACE, WILLARD M., Appeal to Arms, “A Military History of the American Revolution,” Harper & Brothers, New York, 1951.

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