Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Kings Mountain Surrender, per Col. Sawyers

Colonel John Sawyers' Certificate. 
I, John Sawyers, of the County of Knox, and State of Tennessee, do certify, that Isaac Shelby, late Governor of Kentucky, held the command of Colonel at the battle of King's Mountain—that I was a captain in his regiment, and know that he first planned the expedition with John Sevier, who then held a similar commission—that said Shelby went courageously into the action—was the commander who rallied the Sullivan troops when broken—that I saw him and received directions from him frequently on the mountain in the heat of the action, and heard him animating his men to victory. He was also among the first at the surrender. I saw him and Col. Sevier when the enemy laid down their arms but did not see Colonel Campbell for some minutes afterwards. I also state, that Major Evan Shelby, brother of Isaac and not Isaac Shelby, Sevier or Campbell, as I have heard that some now state, received the flag and sword. I also state that from this circumstance I was led to think of Campbell at the time, looked for him amongst the other officers, and do believe that if he had been there, I should have seen him; and that he did not come up for fifteen or twenty minutes after the enemy had laid down their arms and been placed under guard. I also know that it was the general talk at the time, and that I have frequently since heard it spoken of by men who were in the action, as an indisputable fact, that he was not in the latter part of the action or at the surrender. I also recollect distinctly to have heard it said amongst the officers before we left the mountain, as well as on the way home and since, that Campbell himself admitted it, and in a private conversation with Colonel Shelby on the mountain had said that he could not account for it. I remember to have intended to have asked Shelby if this was so, but it so happened that I have never since named this subject to him or him to me. Given under my hand, 16th Feby., 1823.
(Source: The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries, by John Austin Stevens, Benjamin Franklin DeCosta, Martha Joanna Lamb, Henry Phelps Johnston, Nathan Gilbert Pond, William Abbatt; Compiled by William Abbatt, Published 1880, A.S. Barnes )