It wasn’t so much what he said, or how he said it, that led to British Colonel Patrick Ferguson’s demise.

It was WHO he said it to.

During the Revolutionary War, Ferguson was charged with flushing out unruly settlers who’d defied a royal order and settled west of the Appalachian Mountains. But when he threatened them, saying he’d “lay their country to waste with fire and sword,” the settlers in modern-day Northeast Tennessee and the surrounding area decided they weren’t going to wait for the British to come find them. They were going to handle the matter themselves.

So in September of 1780, nearly 1100 men gathered at Fort Watauga in Northeast Tennessee and marched 200 miles to Kings Mountain, South Carolina. They had no formal military training, no uniforms or provisions, and no promise of pay.

But on the morning of October 7, the “Overmountain Men” surrounded the British and decimated the redcoat army in less than an hour.

Founding fathers said the battle “turned the tide of the American Revolution.” Herbert Hoover said “It was a little army and a little battle, but it was of mighty portent.”

And you can see the dramatic re-enactment of the Battle of Kings Mountain in Act II of Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee’s Official Outdoor Drama. Now in it’s 33rd season, the production runs Thursday – Sunday during the last three weeks of July at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton. Shows start at 7:30PM.

For anyone with an interest in the history of Northeast Tennessee, or who simply wants to see a great play, Liberty! won’t disappoint.

For reservations or more information, call Sycamore Shoals at (423) 543-5808 or visit or