King's Mountain, a post village in Gaston co., N. 0., in the vicinity of which is an eminence of the same name, situated in York co., S. 0., about 80 m. N. by W. of Columbia, which was the scene of a memorable conflict in the revolutionary war, Oct. 7, 1780. Immediately after the battle of Camden (August, 1780), Lord Cornwallis despatched Major Pat-' rick Ferguson to scour the western part of South Carolina, and rejoin him at Charlotte, in Mecklenburg co., N. C. Ferguson's force was gradually increased by enlistments to 1,200 men, and the new recruits, mostly tory desperadoes of the worst stamp, committed frightful excesses upon the inhabitants of the country. In the latter part of September, when within a few days' march of Charlotte, he turned aside toward the mountains to disperse a small American force under Col. Clarke; but upon arriving at Gilbert Town, in what is now Rutherford co., N. C, he learned that a large body of "mountain men," as the frontiersmen of Georgia and the Carolinas were called, had assembled to oppose his progress. Breaking up his quarters, he pushed forward to join Cornwallis, sending expresses to inform the latter of his danger, all of whom, however, were intercepted. The patriot forces started immediately in pursuit.
The main body, about 900 mounted men, marching all night, came up with Ferguson at 3 P. M. on the 7th, posted on King's mountain, a narrow stony ridge elevated about 100 ft. from the neighboring ravines, and upward of a mile in length. The Americans were formed into three bodies, the centre commanded by Cols. Campbell and Shelby, the right by Cols. Sevier and McDowell, and the left by Cols. Cleveland and Williams, which moved simultaneously from different points upon the enemy. Ferguson immediately charged Sevier and McDowell, and pushed them down the hill with the bayonet, the tories using rifles and fowling pieces armed at the end with large knives. A flank fire from Cleveland and Williams caused him to turn against his new assailants; but the latter had scarcely been repulsed when he was confronted by the centre under Campbell and Shelby and the rallied troops of Sevier. In this manner the fight continued for upward of an hour, until the enemy, harassed on all sides by the fire of the riflemen, which was rapidly thinning their ranks, were thrown into confusion, and began to retreat along the ridge. Ferguson prepared for one final charge, and fell at the head of his regulars pierced by seven bullets, dying, according to tradition, by the hand of Col. Williams, who was also slain.
His men, disheartened by his fall, surrendered to the number of nearly 800, 240 having fallen. Only 200 escaped. The Americans lost only 20 men killed, although a large number were wounded. This action did much to precipitate the downfall of British power in the south.