Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Two branches of my tree meet at the Battle of Kings Mountain

Teddy Roosevelt called the victory at Kings Mountain, Oct 7, 1780, "the turning point of the American Revolution". Historians agree that if America had lost that crucial battle, the strategic pincer movement planned by the British generals would have succeeded, and hope would have been crushed for the Patriot's cause.

The Battle of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, between about 1430 Patriots and 1200 British soldiers and Tory sympathizers was small, as battles were measured in that war. It was brief, only 65 minutes long. But the consequences for the future of two countries was huge.

Today I was astounded to learn that soldiers from two branches of my family tree fought at Kings Mountain under Col. Siever. The Sherrill company, ancestors of my father's mother including Joshua Sherrill, were there in strength. Burt Moore, ancestor of my father's father, marched over a mountain to participate.

Joshua and Burt survived the battle, and the war. Four generations later, their gr-gr-grandchildren, Charles and Clara, met in a tiny lumber town in Washington and got married. Charles and Clara are my grandparents. I doubt they ever realized that their gr-gr-grandfathers were both fighting the British at Kings Mountain.

The discovery of that neat coincidence was left to me, 233 years after the battle. Next month is the anniversary of that event, and I really must do something special to celebrate on the seventh of October.

What might you discover if you learned what your ancestors were up to, a hundred, two hundred, or five hundred years ago?

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