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It was after the defeat at Camden,
in the fall of 1780,
British Major Patrick Ferguson
sought to exploit Britain’s victory.
To secure South Carolina’s countryside,
he marched his loyalist forces forward,
threatened the men beyond Appalachia,
said he would lay waste with fire and sword.
He believed that with Gates fast in retreat,
resistance in the south would soon fall,
but he’d not met the Overmountain Men,
and did not understand them at all.
Living on the edge of the wilderness,
they were a hardened and seasoned crew,
who had been fighting Indians for years,
and had defeated more than a few.
Isaac Shelby and John Sevier,
fresh from a small win at Musgrove’s Mill,
were not going to just let this threat pass,
that would have been much too bitter a pill.
A call was sent out for all to muster
at a place known as the Sycamore Shoals,
fourteen hundred militiamen afoot,
they all started off after their goal.
Word was that this Major Ferguson
marched fast to rejoin the British man force,
against such an army they couldn’t stand,
so they hurriedly traced Ferguson’s course.
Even put nine hundred men on horseback
so their enemy would not slip on by,
leaving five hundred patriots behind,
across that fair country did they fly.
Ferguson knew he was being pursued,
and made his camp atop of a low peak,
three hundred feet high with broad wooded slopes,
it seemed a secure place to rest and sleep.
So strong did he feel his position was
that he proclaimed, to calm all his men’s fears,
atop the hill they could hold forever,
no force on Earth would move him form here.
Such confidence had the man in his strength
that his lookouts sadly dropped the ball,
at three o’clock the patriots attacked,
the British men had not seen them at all.
The militiamen surrounded the hill,
following a loose and pre-approved plan,
moving and shooting like the Indians,
never out in the open would they stand.
To make things worse, the British forces had
muskets, best suited for open fields,
patriots carrier Kentucky rifles,
at two hundred yards their danger was real...
CONCLUDES IN PART II.
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