Shallow Ford

Imagine a rest area by the Interstate filled with tourists awaiting the road crew to clear a rock slide so that they can proceed. Between Winston Salem and Wilkesboro, the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin was the 1780 equivalent of the 1980 rest area. Camp grounds on either side could be filled by travelers awaiting river conditions to reach the level at which they dared to cross. Gatherings of Tories and of Whigs from time to time occupied the area.

In September 1780, Colonel William Preston’s Montgomery County militia was last to get the word of Patrick Ferguson’s threat. Preston dispatched Major Joseph Cloyd to muster five companies for the “find Ferguson” expedition which became the battle of Kings Mountain. The hen scratching of archived manuscripts create confusion between Majors Joseph Cloud of Surry County NC and Joseph Cloyd of Montgomery County VA. Cloyd mustered Captain Henry Frances, Pearis, Abraham Trigg, ____ to Inglis Ferry (Radford VA) and moved through Flower Gap (I77 in Wythe County) across the Blue Ridge. Perhaps they picked up some Bedford County militia on the way.

Confusing testimony among the veterans suggests that after they crossed the Yadkin, Cloyd’s brigade heard of a Tory gathering at Shallow Ford and most of them returned northeast to deal with the Tory threat. A few speak of being near, even within earshot of the Kings Mountain battle. A few even deposed that they were in the battle at Kings Mountain. Most spoke of the battle at Shallow Ford. The Forks of the Yadkin was known as a community of Loyalists.

On 07Nov1780 in Montgomery County court, William Preston (also a magistrate James Newell, cousin of BKM Samuel Newell) dealt with the estate of militia Captain Henry Francis, killed at Shallow Ford.

Related place names are Mulberry Fields (North Wilkesboro) and Krider’s (Crider’s or Grider’s) Fort (Lenoir NC).

Shallow Ford area map.
Kings Mountain 07Oct1780 Overmountain Victory trail National Park History Battle Casualties Patriots