Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Overmountain Men, September 1780

From Historical Handbook Number Twenty-Two, 1955, Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C., excerpts:

"Despite fears of a possible ambush, the patriots crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains safely on September 29. The two units, into which the volunteer army was divided, passed, respectively, through Gillespie Gap and what is believed to have been McKinney's Gap. Shortly afterwards, they were reunited at Col. Charles McDowell's plantation, at Quaker Meadows, near the present site of Morganton, N. C. Here they rested during the evening of September 30. ...
The arrival of [Benjamin] Cleveland and [Joseph] Winston on September 30 and the night of pleasant relaxation at the McDowell home raised the spirits of the mountain men. The following day, October 1, they continued their southward march to a gap of South Mountain near the headwaters of Cane Creek. Here they camped during inclement weather through October 2.
While the men rested, the leaders of the expedition met in an evening council to review the progress of the march. First, measures were adopted to correct disorders in the columns resulting from the weariness of the march. More important, however, was the election of Col. William Campbell to serve as temporary commander of the combined volunteer units. In recognition of Col. Charles McDowell's seniority, he was entrusted on October 1 with a mission to General Gates' headquarters to request a permanent commander. He was instructed to ask for the assignment of either Gen. Daniel Morgan or Gen. William Davidson of the American Continental Army. McDowell's regiment was turned over to his brother, Maj. Joseph McDowell."