June 3, 2022 at 8:59 a.m.

Battle of Ramsour's Mill Weekend

Battle of Ramsour's Mill Weekend
Battle of Ramsour's Mill Weekend

Wayne Howard- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Members of the cast of the play "Thunder Over Carolina" will guide visitors on a Ghost Walk Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 - 9 PM.  On Saturday, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the mass gravesite on the hill near Battleground School where unclaimed bodies from the battle were laid to rest.  

The Battle of Ramsour's Mill wasn't fought between two opposing armies, but between people who in many cases knew each other but had differing views on loyalty to the British crown.  Those who favored maintaining the existing government were known as Loyalists or Tories.  The rebels, who wanted independence from Great Britain, called themselves Patriots and were also known as Whigs.  

The real British army, under Lord Cornwallis, was still in South Carolina, but a couple of officers decided to gather Loyalist forces as a prelude to Cornwallis's march northward after securing most of Georgia and South Carolina for the British.  

Learning of the encampment, Patriot  Gen. Griffith Rutherford sent word to Col. Francis Locke of Rowan County and Maj. Robert Wilson of Mecklenburg County to gather a force to disperse the Loyalists.  They arrived near Lincolnton on June 19th and mounted a surprise attack the following morning at daybreak.  

While the Patriots were significantly outnumbered, the battle was essentially a draw, although some consider it a Patriot victory. Both sides lost about an equal number of men.  70 were killed, 200 wounded.  The Tories, many of whom had no weapons, fled.  

Ramsour's Mill effectively disrupted Tory support for the British war effort and robbed Cornwallis of  Loyalist assistance when he later crossed into North Carolina; it served as an inspiration for the  Patriots and no doubt helped in their recruiting for soldiers who would defeat British Major Patrick Ferguson's Loyalist entourage at Kings Mountain on October 7th of that year.  Like Ramsour's Mill, the Battle of Kings Mountain was also fought between  groups of Patriots and Loyalists, not involving a regular army. Some have described it as the Revolutionary War's  "largest all-American fight."

The Ramsour's Mill campground will be open Saturday from 10 AM - 6 PM and on Sunday from 10 -2.   Guided battlefield tours are scheduled for 2:15 and 5 PM Saturday and a weapons demonstration at 3:30.  Food and other vendors will be on site throughout the day. On Sunday, the camp will open  with a welcome to visitors and a brief history followed by a church service.  A battlefield tour is scheduled for 11 AM.

The play "Thunder Over Carolina" will be presented June 23rd-25th at 7:30 nightly at WoodMill Winery in Vale.




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