Footsteps for Freedom

Footsteps for Freedom
A celebration of the backwoodsmen from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia who marched to Kings Mountain and defeated a Loyalist force, resulting in what Thomas Jefferson called the turning point int he American Revolution.

31 - Battle of Kings Mountain Roundtable
Oct 27, 2019 • 68 min
Join Jonathan Bennett, David Biddix, and Rhonda Gunter, three of the contributors to the Footsteps for Freedom podcast, as they hold a roundtable discussion on the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Overmountain Men. The discussion will explore topics not…
30 - In Conclusion
Oct 11, 2019 • 7 min
As we conclude our series on the Battle of Kings Mountain, we thought we would take some time to note a couple of veterans of the battle that ended up in the Toe River Valley, along with ones from other battles that are buried in our area. There will be…
29 - Robert Sevier & The Walking Wounded
Oct 10, 2019 • 7 min
Sometimes the dead are the lucky ones. The weapons each side in employed during the Battle of King’s Mountain inflicted grievous and dreadfully painful wounds that the comparatively primitive state of medicine at the time could not always heal. There was…
28 - The Aftermath
Oct 9, 2019 • 8 min
The thick clouds of black powder smoke that obscured Kings Mountain’s battlefield began to lift revealing a scene of horror. Dead and dying men littered the ground. The groans of the wounded were heard in every direction causing one of Lieutenant Colonel…
Episodes 26 & 27 - The Battle of Kings Mountain (combined)
Oct 7, 2019 • 18 min
Night had fallen at the Cowpens on October 6th, but the camp of the Patriot army bustled with activity. Scouts had finally confirmed the location of British Major Patrick Ferguson’s army. It lay on King’s Mountain roughly 35 miles away to the northeast…
25 - The Cow Pens and Prelude to the Battle of Kings Mountain
Oct 4, 2019 • 6 min
The morning of October 5, 1780 finds the Over Mountain Men breaking camp at Gilbert Town and preparing for their date with destiny. Officers and volunteers both are beginning to feel the moment. This is IT. Ferguson and his troops could appear at any time…
24 - Gilbert Town and The Broad River
Oct 3, 2019 • 6 min
During the time in camp, both Patriot and Tory forces had scouts looking for the enemy, but neither side had luck in locating the other. The rain had finally let up on October 3, 1780, and the combined army prepared to move from Bedford Hill southward…
23 - South Mountain Pass and Trouble in the Ranks
Oct 2, 2019 • 8 min
October 1, 1780, a Sunday, the combined army of Patriot militia broke camp at Quaker Meadows. We have followed and discussed the militias of McDowell, Shelby, Sevier and Campbell extensively as they made their way across the Blue Ridge Mountains to this…
22 - Down the Blue Ridge to Quaker Meadows
Oct 1, 2019 • 8 min
The Overmountain Men arose on September 29th, 1780 at Cathey’s Plantation just south of present-day Spruce Pine. They break camp and prepare for the next leg of their journey. Their leaders, William Campbell, Isaac Shelby, and John Sevier met to discuss…
21 - Grassy Creek, Gillespie Gap, and a Split of Forces
Sep 30, 2019 • 8 min
The first crisis of the Overmountain Men’s march to Kings Mountain occurred on the morning of September 28th. As the men fell in for roll call, it was discovered that two of their party, Samuel Chambers and James Crawford, were not in camp. John Sevier…
20 - Down The Yellow Mountain Road
Sep 27, 2019 • 5 min
September 27th dawned gray and cool along the Doe River. The Overmountain Men began preparations for what many consider to be the most strenuous part of their journey. On this day, they would get on the famed Yellow Mountain Road and climb the heights of…
19 - To The Doe River and the Shelving Rock
Sep 26, 2019 • 5 min
The first day of the march to Kings Mountain was fairly uneventful and surprisingly slow going considering the Overmountain Men only marched a little over three miles after leaving Sycamore Shoals. The group stops, slaughters a few animals for food, and…
18 - Sycamore Shoals and the Start of the March
Sep 25, 2019 • 6 min
Sycamore Shoals, also known as the Watauga Old Fields, had long been considered as a strategic location militarily. The land was relatively flat and cleared of trees and made for a perfect settlement location, plus the shoals made for an easy location to…
17 - Ferguson’s Challenge and Battle Preparations Begin
Sep 24, 2019 • 6 min
On September 10, 1780, Ferguson issued his fateful challenge to the Patriot forces in the region, calling for them to lay down their arms, or he would march over the mountains, hang their leaders, and “lay waste to their country with fire and sword.”…
16 - The Summer of 1780 Campaign - Part II
Sep 23, 2019 • 5 min
In the Summer of 1780, war raged in the backcountry of South Carolina. It was truly America’s first Civil War, as most men on both sides had never been to Great Britain which meant it was American fighting American, and the style of battle between them…
15 - The Summer of 1780 Campaign - Part I
Sep 20, 2019 • 6 min
We begin our look at the Battle of Kings Mountain with a review of several battles and skirmishes that took place in the summer of 1780. This is the first of a two-part episode about these battles. Today we discuss the Battles of Fort Thicketty and…
14 - Patrick Ferguson
Sep 19, 2019 • 5 min
Today’s episode is about the one individual who would be considered the villain in our story, but it is more complicated than that. Major Patrick Ferguson was a noted officer in the British army, and even invented a rifle that was named after him, but…
13 - John Sevier
Sep 18, 2019 • 6 min
Probably more than any other, John Sevier is synonymous with the Battle of Kings Mountain. A flamboyant politician, solider, and statesman, Sevier was a driving force in organizing and leading the charge against Patrick Ferguson and the Tories.
12 - Jonathan Tipton
Sep 17, 2019 • 6 min
The beauty of the virtually untouched wilderness that the Overmountain Men saw as they marched through the Toe River Valley on their way to King’s Mountain must have been quiet stunning. One of these soldiers, Major Jonathan Tipton, returned to the valley…
11 - William Campbell
Sep 16, 2019 • 5 min
William Campbell and his forces from southwestern Virginia were considered to be tough, rugged mountaineers who were perfect soldiers for a battle like Kings Mountain.
10 - Quaker Meadows Joseph McDowell
Sep 13, 2019 • 7 min
One of the more confusing aspects of American Revolutionary War History is how different individuals may have the same name and even fight in the same battle. Such is the case with “Quaker” Joseph McDowell, a major who led one of the forces at the Battle…
9 - Benjamin Cleveland
Sep 12, 2019 • 6 min
Benjamin Cleveland was one of the more colorful characters that fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain. He led forces organized in Wilkes County as part of the Patriot army gathered to battle Patrick Ferguson.
8 - Joseph Dobson
Sep 11, 2019 • 5 min
Today, we are discussing Joseph Dobson who, while not a leader of men at the Battle of Kings Mountain, had a significant role in the campaign and exerted substantial influence in the Toe River Valley after the war.
7 - Isaac Shelby
Sep 10, 2019 • 6 min
We begin preparations for the Battle of Kings Mountain by presenting brief biographies of military leaders and significant local individuals over the next few episodes. Today, we begin with one of the main organizers of the Overmountain Men: Isaac Shelby.
6 - Dragging Canoe
Sep 9, 2019 • 6 min
The name Dragging Canoe struck fear in the hearts of early settlers in what was then Western North Carolina (now Eastern Tennessee). Considered by historians to be the greatest Cherokee military mind; he led raiding parties that attacked settlements for…
5 - The Cherokee Wars
Sep 6, 2019 • 9 min
The threat of Native American attacks on the Southern Appalachian region’s settlers was of great concern as the American Revolution began. Following the Declaration of Independence in 1776, tribes began to choose sides in the conflict. The Cherokees cast…
4 - King George III
Sep 5, 2019 • 5 min
While there were many individuals, groups, and policies that led to the American Revolution, the figurehead that many pin the strife to for starting the war would be King George the Third, also known as George William Frederick. He ruled England from…
3 - The Dangerous Frontier
Sep 4, 2019 • 7 min
Life in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and Southwestern Virginia was fraught with peril in the American Colonies in the 1700s. In addition to small settlements and danger from disease, attacks on the settlers by…
2 - The Proclamation of 1763
Sep 3, 2019 • 5 min
Today, we explore the beginnings of the American Revolution by discussing King George III’s Proclamation of 1763, one of the overlooked triggers that helped provoke hostilities 12 years later.
1 - Trouble Brews in the Back Country
Sep 2, 2019 • 5 min
The Revolutionary War in the American Colonies was just over 5 years old in 1780 and things weren’t going well for the British. With the loss at Saratoga, New York and concerns with the French entering the Patriot side, the Redcoats turned their attention…
Sep 1, 2019 • 0 min
The Mitchell County, North Carolina Historical Society presents the story of a ragtag group of backwoodsmen from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia who, after threats made to their homes and livelihood by British Major Patrick…