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Barreldriver
Saturday, January 7th, 2012, 02:30 AM
Howdy folks, I would like to discuss the Overmountain Men this time around.

As a descendant of a family that was East of Appalachia in Clarksville, Virginia during the American Revolution my family is disconnected from the aspect of Appalachian history that is centered around the legacy of the Overmountain Men (we not arriving in Appalachia until the early 1800's). As such I have never fully understood the legacy of these men.

A lil background on the Overmountain Men:


The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War. While they were present at multiple engagements in the war's southern campaign, they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The term "overmountain" refers to the fact that their settlements were west of, or "over", the Appalachians —the range being the primary geographical boundary dividing the 13 American colonies from the western frontier. The Overmountain Men hailed from parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and what is now Tennessee.[1]


It is my understanding that the Overmountain Men were hostile against British forces because the British authorities would not allow these settlers to keep their illegally established settlements West of the Appalachian Mountains in land that was still protected by treaties with the previous Native Americans. The British sent numerous warnings to these settlers that if they did not cease violating the treaties with the Injuns that forceful measures would be taken against them resulting in conflicts between the Overmountain Men, British Loyalists, and the Cherokee.

Once the revolt against Britain began the Overmountain Men were involved in the Battle of Kings Mountain where they defeated the forces of Patrick Ferguson. The Overmountain Men later hailed by Patriots and later Americans for their role in securing independence from Britain.

I am curious how the members of the board view these Overmountain Men. Are they men worthy of praise? Or are they men who are wrongly given praise?

I personally have mixed feelings about them in that yes they were crucial in securing lands for future Anglo-Saxon settlers of Appalachia, however they were blatantly violating treaties and were hostile against the forces that took measures to preserve those treaties so they seem to be in the wrong in some degree.

Another thing that I have to consider is that the forces of Ferguson threatened to lay waste with fire and sword the settlements of the region if the Overmountain Men did not lay down their arms, as a Confederate sympathizer I recognize that this sort of language is similar to that used by men like General Sherman and Abraham Lincoln who not only made such threats but enacted laying waste with fire and sword to civilian settlements, however the Overmountain Men scenario I believe to be different in that the Overmountain Men only created a semi-autonomous government under the Watauga Petition which did not entirely absolve them from obliging the policies of British North Carolina and as such they were in the wrong, whereas the Confederate States seceded completely and were 100% autonomous and thus outside the political control of their neighbors.