Liberty Hall

After the “shot heard round the world” at Lexington, Augusta Academy was renamed to Liberty Hall and the town was named Lexington, Virginia. It would become Washington and Lee University adjacent to Virginia Military Institute.

Some of the Liberty Hall boys became the men of the American Revolution. Among the distinguished list of alumni who became founders and leaders of institutions around the frontiers of the southern Appalachians, several had connections to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Arthur Campbell was a Virginia Militia Colonel at Royal Oak, Hungry Mother, now Marionin Smyth County. He gathered troops, joined the Sycamore Shoals muster on 25Sep1780, then led a company back to Blacks Fort (Abingdon) to guard the home front while the others took the over mountain trail in pursuit of Patrick Ferguson.

David Campbell was clerk of the Fincastle Resolutions in January 1775 which was signed by three brothers in law of Patrick Henry. Campbell was a soldier at the Battle of Kings Mountain. He clerked for General William Blount’s administration of US Territory South of the Ohio. He established Campbell’s Station (I-40 west Knox County, TN). Campbell was one who influenced Library Hall classmate, Samuel Carrick, to pastor First Presbyterian Church of Knoxville and begin the school which became the University of Tennessee. David Campbell was first justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

William Campbell came home to Chilhowie, Virginia from leading a militia expedition in NW North Carolina to suppress Tory attacks. With little time for rest, he received the threat from Patrick Ferguson and a plea from Colonel McDowell of Burke County for help. He mustered his Virginia militia at “Newell’s improvement” (Black’s little fort) on Wolf Creek 24Sep1780. They joined Isaac Shelby’s and John Sevier’s men and refugees from Georgia and Carolina at Sycamore Shoals (Elizabethton, TN). A thousand crossed the mountains to meet Benjamin Cleveland’s Wilkes and Surry militia at Quaker Meadows. He was selected as commander of the joint forces, led the 07Oct1780 assault upon Kings Mountain, herded the enemy prisoners to Bethabara (Winston Salem), and wrote the battle report to the governors and generals from Old Salem tavern.

Samuel Doak was the orator at Sycamore Shoals for the expedition to Kings Mountain. He married Dorcas Montgomery (her sister Jane married Liberty Hall man, Samuel Newell). Doak founded Tusculum College at Greeneville, TN.

Robert Edmondson (Edmiston) was a lieutenant of Virginia militia wounded at Kings Mountain. He moved to the North Carolina military district which became Davidson County, Tennessee. There he was wounded during an Indian attack at Neely’s bend across the Cumberland River from Opryland. In 1792, William Blount commissioned Edmondson to create station #7 on the middle Cumberland (now Ashland City, TN). North Carolina appointed him a trustee of salt licks. He used proceeds of salt production to build a jail and courthouse at Clarksville. Robert Edmondson was a Davidson County commissioner and representative to 1801 Tennessee General Assembly in Knoxville. He moved to a 640 acre tract on Mill Creek (Nolensville Road below Tusculum to Old Hickory Boulevard).where both he and his wife, Isabella Buchanan, died in January 1816. Robert Edmondson was known for agricultural crops and herds.

Samuel Greenlee was a graduate and his brother James a student of Liberty Hall. Both would become sheriffs of Burke County NC at Morganton (Quaker Meadows, Greenlee’s Ford on the Catawba River). James was a soldier at Kings Mountain. Their sister Grace (Grizzee) Greenlee married John Bowman, and three years after his death from the 1980 Battle at Ramseur’s Mill (Lincolnton) remarried Col. Charles McDowell.

Joel Lewis dropped out of school to be a militia officer in Surry County near Pilot Mountain. Joel and his brothers Micajah and James Martin Lewis were wounded at Kings Mountain and treated by Dr. Dobson near Greenlee’s Ford of the Catawba. After the war Joel moved to the military district (now Davidson County TN). His “Manchester Plantation” was at the junction of Donelson Pike and Murfreesboro Road. Joel served in first Tennessee senate session.

Samuel Newell was a Liberty Hall graduate. He was lieutenant of Virginia Militia in Captain Andrew Colville’s company wounded at Kings Mountain. He was one of the wounded who convalesced at Greenlee’s Ford after the battle. He married Jane Montgomery whose brother, John, was a tutor at Liberty Hall and whose sister, Dorcas, married Liberty Hall’s Samuel Doak. Newell was an activist for the aborted State of Franklin, founder of Seymour, Sevier County, TN, major of Knox County militia, Lt. Colonel of Sevier County militia, first sheriff of Pulaski County, KY, operator of Adair County KY lead mine, Cumberland River (Waitsboro) Ferry and Warehouse.

James Priestley was a tutor at Liberty Hall, principal of classical schools in Bardstown, KY, Georgetown, DC, Annapolis, MD, Baltimore, MD, and president of Cumberland University, Nashville, TN.

Archibald Stuart was aide-de-camp to General Nathaniel Greene at Guilford Courthouse.

James Tate was a Captain killed at Guilford Courthouse.

Alexander Tedford was a Captain killed at Guilford Courthouse.

John Wilson was a colonel of Virginia forces at Yorktown.

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