The Battle of Kings Mountain

Edited by Bernie Becker

Three of John Beattie’s sons and a son-in-law were veterans of a Revolutionary War battle known simply as “Kings Mountain.”  This famous battle, fought on a mountaintop in northwestern South Carolina, about forty miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina, was a major blow to the better-equipped and professionally trained troops under the command of British General Cornwallis.

The battle, fought October 7th, 1780, proved to be the turning point in the British Southern campaign. The American Continental army suffered successive defeats at Charleston, Waxhaws, and Camden, South Carolina, in the summer of 1780. By the fall, only the voluntary militia units remained in the field to oppose the armies of Cornwallis.

To recruit and equip militia loyal to the British cause, Cornwallis sent Major Patrick Ferguson into the western Carolinas. He was to raise a loyal militia army and suppress the remaining Patriot militia. Intending to cow the Patriots, in September he sent a proclamation to the mountain settlements, telling them to lay down their arms, or he would march his army west, and "lay waste the countryside with fire and sword."

The result was the march of the famous Overmountain men from the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River across the mountains in search of Ferguson. Overcoming hunger, weather, wrangling, and intrigue, the Patriots attacked and destroyed Ferguson's Loyalists at Kings Mountain.

The Patriot army, nominally under the command of William Campbell* from Virginia, contained strong leaders who managed to combine their efforts. 

by John Robertson, National Military Park

* Col. William Campbell was commander of the county militia in Washington County, Virginia,

 

Beatties at the Battle of Kings Mountain

 

WILLIAM BEATTIE

b. 05 June 1760, Rockbridge County, Virginia ,
d. 04 April 1860, Washington County, Virginia
m. Mary Allison, c.1783

William Beattie, son of John Beattie of Virginia and Fount Beattie's grandfather, served under Col. William Campbell in the battle at Kings Mountain with his brothers, Capt. David Beattie and Ensign John Beattie. William's brother-in-law, Col. James Dysart, also fought at Kings Mountain.

Pictured at right, we see him as an old man. However, William was 20 years old at the time of the battle

His older brother, John, 28, was killed in the battle but William Beattie lived on to be 100 and became the last survivor of Campbell's Kings Mountain Men. William's wife, Mary, died on 16 March 1830. 

William's son, Robert 1787-1870 was Fount Beattie's father.

Sources: 
DAR XCVII, 30, LXIV, 289; 
Draper, p.405; (Beattie, John); 
Annals of Southwest Virginia, p.1381; 
Roster and Soldiers, p.258.
Moss, Bobby Gilmer, The Patroits at Kings Mountain, Scotia-Hibernia Press, Blacksburg, SC: 1990-1999, p.14, p.73

 

Col. ROBERT BEATTIE 1787-1870, son of William (also Fount Beattie's father).

 

Col. Robert's grave at Westwood Manor Cemetery.
Photo courtesy of Larry Hakel

 

MADISON BEATTIE 1811-1885, Robert's brother, documented the early Beattie family history.  We have him to thank for preserving our heritage. See:  Beattie_history_by_Madison_Beattie.htm

 

Madison's grave at Old Glade Springs Cemetery
Photo courtesy of Larry Hakel

 

Additional Beatties at the Battle of Kings Mountain

Source: Draper, Lyman, Dr., Kings Mountain and its Heroes

DAVID BEATTIE (BEATY, BEATIE), Capt., brother of William Beattie.

b. 1744/1752, Carr's Creek, Rockbridge County, Virginia
d. 25 April 1814
m. Mary Beattie (A cousin)

David Beattie, oldest son of John Beattie [William's older brother], moved in 1772 to what is now Washington County, Virginia. He forted [fought?] against the Indians at Glade Springs. Beattie served on the expedition to Kings Mountain under Col. Campbell. His brothers, John and William, were with him and John was killed in the battle. David commanded a company of militia of about one hundred men in a subsequent battle at Cowpens. Col Samuel Hammond, a veteran of Kings Mountain, said Beattie commanded a company of South Carolina militia at Cowpens. Another writer (?) says that "a small party of Georgians under Maj. Beatie" was on Tate's and Triplett's outer right flank at Cowpens.

Sources:
Historical. Statement, p.64; 
Greene, p.23; 
Burgess, III, 1241; Hammond, p.528; 
Schenck, p.209; 
Yearbook, 1893; 
Heitman, p.94. 
Draper, Lyman, Dr., Kings Mountain and its Heroes, pp.287, 405, 581, 583; 
Logan, II, 67; 
DAR, LXIV, 289; (Beattie, William); (Craig, John, S16740); (Edmondson, SamueI) " (Edmondson, Robert, Jr.); (Keys, James, S15907); (Logan, William, S18955); (Willoughby, William); 
Annals of Southwest Virginia
, p.1381; PI; 8DD18.,:"

 

JOHN BEATTIE, Ensign (Lt.?)

John Beattie, [another older brother of William] of Washington County, Virginia, served as an ensign under Capt. Andrew Colvill and Col. Campbell and was killed in the battle at Kings Mountain. (Heitman says he was wounded at Kings Mountain and died in 1814.)

Sources: Draper, Lyman, Dr., Kings Mountain and its Heroes, pp.248, 304, 405; 
Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, p.94; (Beattie, William); 
Annals of Southwest Virginia
, p.1381; 
History of Southwest Virginia
, pp.327, 856; 
Campbell-Prestoni Papers, #789; 3DD231; 8DD18, 58b; 
1880 Monument; 
1909 Monument.

 

JAMES DYSART, JAMES, Capt. [William Beattie's brother-in-law]

b.1744, County Donegal, Ireland

d. 26 May 1818, Rockcastle County, Kentucky

m. Nancy (Agnes) Beattie, 1775

James Dysart's parents died while he was an infant and he was raised by his grandfather, who gave him an education. In 1761 he landed in Philadelphia. From there he gradually worked his way to the south-east and settled in the Holston Valley. In 1770 he joined James Knox and others in exploring Tennessee and Kentucky. He married the sister of Capt. David Beattie and settled on the Little Holston River. While serving as a captain under Maj. William Edmondson and Col. Campbell he received a wound (which crippled him for life) in his left hand during the battle at Kings Mountain. In 1781 he was made a major and subsequently a colonel and once represented Washington County in the Virginia Legislature. In his old age, broken up by surety debts, he moved to Rockcastle County, Kentucky, with his wife, three sons, and three daughters. He was placed on the invalid pension list on 18 December 1806 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

Sources: Draper, Lyman, Dr., Kings Mountain and its Heroes, p.304, 384, 404; 
Heitman, p,209; Logan, II, 67; DAR, XXXIll, 56; (Boyers, Michael, S3022); 
(Caswell, Andrew, S1848); 
(Clarke, John, R1990); 
(Elder, Robert, S12865); 
(Fisher, Frederick, S20364); 
(Hice, Leonard, S8713); 
(Meek, Alexander, S7218); 
(Reed, Abraham, S4052); 
(Scott, John, S32509); 
(Scott, Samuel, R9307); 
Annals of Southwest Virginia
, p.1388; 
Virginia Soldiers of 1776
, p.1252; 
DAR Magazine, 1914; PI; 1909 Monument; 8DD18.

Major Sources:
Moss, Bobby Gilmer, The Patroits at Kings Mountain, Scotia-Hibernia Press, Blacksburg, SC: 1990-1999, p.14, p.73
Internet: National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/ovvi/battle.htm

Last updated on December 13, 2006 by BDB.