Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"The Battle Ground of Kings Mountain"

    There never has been any uncertainty as to the actual location of the ground on which the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought, but due to the defects and limitations in early maps, the battle has frequently been described as occurring in North Carolina. Many of the early maps show "King Mountain" north of the boundary line, with none of the mountain symbols extending into South Carolina. As a result the battle was accredited to North Carolina.
    In 1772 a portion of the boundary between the two Carolinas was surveyed from the Catawba River westwardly. The origin of this portion of the boundary was the center of the junction of the Catawba and the South Fork of the Catawba. From this junction the line was to run due west to the mountains and there connect with the boundary of the Cherokee Nation.
    The Price and Strother map, engraved in 1808, which purports to be "The First Actual Survey of the State of North Carolina," shows the 1772 line crossing the Broad River 1¼ miles south of the east and west line through the junction of the Broad and the First Broad. This corresponds with the distance on the Gaffney quadrangle of the United States Geological Survey. By other checks of the 1772 line where it crosses streams, with the United States Geological Survey of the line, it is evident that both lines are one and the same.
    On the Price and Strother map, and on all other maps subsequent to 1772 for many years, the boundary line from the junction of the branches of the Catawba is shown as running due west. It was later discovered that due to magnetic errors the line was run north of west. The United States Geological Survey maps show that this deviation is about 2½º. The 1772 line has been resurveyed and confirmed, but never has it been changed between the Catawba and the mountains, 68 miles west. The latitude of the 1772 line near its initial point is 35º 09' 01.5". An inspection of the Kings Mountain quadrangle will show that the battle ground is much farther south, hence had the line been run due west, as was intended, the battle ground would nevertheless be within the borders of South Carolina.
Source: publication of the Historical Section of the Army War College, 1928, excerpt, as requested...
"70th Congress, 1st Session, House Resolution No. 230, presented by Mr. [William] Stevenson:
Resolved, That the historical statements concerning the Battle of the Cowpens, South Carolina, of January 17, 1781, and the Battle of Kings Mountain, South Carolina, October 7, 1780, both prepared by the Historical Section of the Army War College, be printed, with illustrations, as a document.
William Tyler Page, Clerk"