When we encounter the enemy, don't wait for a word of command. Let each of you be your own officer, and do the very best you can....If in the woods, shelter yourselves and give them Indian play; advance from tree to tree...and killing and disabling all you can....
Isaac Shelby, Tennessee patriot leader
One by one, rough woodsmen from beyond the Blue Ridge plunged through the forest and up the slope you see before you as the shooting started. Life on the frontier and long experience in Indian warfare had hardened them into fierce individual fighters, not much prone to take directions from others. And like Indians, they hollered out loud as they aimed and fired, dashed and ducked.
Although their tiny farms were far away, seemingly deep in mountain strongholds, these Whigs took seriously Major Ferguson's threat to cross the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay waste their country with fire and sword-enough to tramp over the Blue Ridge twice to stop him.
Colonel Shelby's militia - Watauga River Valley, eastern Tennessee
The Crown forces atop Kings Mountain knew this regiment of frontiersmen. Six weeks earlier, Shelby's men had ambushed and bloodied Ferguson's troops at Musgroves Mill.