Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia

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A Few Scott County Revolutionaries

By Mrs. Anne M. Grigsby

     Ernest Charles Grigsby and I, Anne McConnell Grigsby, have many relatives who were in or closely connected to the great events in the Revolutionary War and other conflicts of our country since then.

     We are descendants of George McConnell, Sr., Charles Kilgore, Abram Compton, John Brickey, William Brickey, David A. Cox, Charles Cromwell Addington, William Addington, Captain John Lucas and others.

     The Battle of King's Mountain which was fought October 7, 1780 was one of the key victories of the American forces in their fight for independence from England and was the turning point in the Revolutionary War.

     Col. Ferguson commanded the British soldiers which numbered about 1,200 men.

     With the intention of causing fear to the men from across the mountains, Col. Patrick Ferguson sent a message to the American forces saying that he and his army would march over the mountains, capture and hang the leaders and lay waste their country with fire and sword if they did not desist from their opposition to the British arms.

     Upon receiving this message and gaining information regarding the movements and strength of· Col. Ferguson's forces, Col. Isaac Shelby immediately saddled his horse and rode some forty miles to the home of Col. John Sevier on the Nolichucky River. Here he and other leaders planned the surprise element and battle strategy later used in the coming struggle.

     The date of muster was set for September 25th at Sycamore Shoals. The majority of the men in the American forces wore fringed hunting shirts and carried their ever present tomahawk, knife, shot pouch, rifle, knapsack, and blanket.

     Col. Ferguson thought he could withstand any force the patriots could throw against him on King's Mountain.

     The mountain men were given battle directions by Col. Shelby that each man was to be his own officer and fight Indian style from tree to tree. For thirty-six hours they rode, stopping for only an hour at Cowpens to rest and feed their horses. The night was dark and stormy but the men rode on into the morning with the rain coming down in torrents.

     Nine hundred of the best mounted horsemen pushed on ahead at Col. Shelby's earnest urging, as he was determined to meet Col. Ferguson by surprise.

     As they approached King's Mountain, the rain stopped and the sun shone bright.

     Arriving at the foot of the mountain, the Americans dismounted and moved to designated positions quietly.

     The signal to begin the struggle was an Indian yell. The furious battle began about three o'clock in the afternoon and lasted nearly an hour. A desperate charge by Col. Sevier's company allowed Col. Campbell's and Col. Shelby's forces to reach and hold the crest of the mountain.

     Soon all the companies were on the summit and had the English surrounded with a wall of blazing guns.

     Col. Ferguson fell with several bullets in his body'. Captain DePeyster, next in command, soon surrendered to the American forces.

     In an old history of the Battle of King's Mountain together with the names of many of the soldiers and officers, whose daring deeds of bravery deserved special notice, the names of the five Kilgore brothers who were in this battle were given honorable mention--their lead in the last charge that won the battle.

     Charles Kilgore was shot through the body and Hiram Kilgore, his brother, was killed.

     When Charles Kilgore's wife heard he had been severely wounded, she and Mary, her fourteen year daughter, went to the battle scene and nursed him back to strength until he was able to be placed on a horse drawn sled for the long, dangerous journey home through the wild woods infested with hostile indians.

     Lord Cornwallis surrendered his English forces at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781.

     Willima Addington – Ernest's ancestor – was born in London, England about 1750, where he lived until he was about 20 years old. He came to Culpepper County in Virginia in 1774 and served in the Revolutionary War under Gen. George Washington. He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis of England to the American forces.

     Earnest C. Grigsby and I Ann McConnell Grigsby, and my parents Dr. and Mrs. John Preston McConnell of Radford attened the Sesquicentennial celebration at Yorktown of this surrender of Lord Cornwallis.

     This surrender of Lord Charles Cornwallis was on October 19, 1781, and we visited Yorktown in October, 1931.

     There were many famous world wide visitors from England, France, and other countries present for this well planned, historic, colorful event.

     Charles Kilgore was my father's (John Preston McConnell) great-great-grandfather (A. Mc.G.)

     David A. Cox, great-great-grandfather on my Grandmother McConnell's side was an officer in the Revolutionary war.

     Joseph Culbertson, son of Andrew Culbertson, died in 1805. He was in the Revolutionary War and was buried near Fort Blackmore.

     Hiram Kilgore, the son of William Kilgore, was made a colonel in the War of 1812.

     The only available record of Abraham Compton's service in the Revolutionary War is given in the court order of Botetourt County, Virginia, dated February 17, 1780 (?).  Mary Compton, wife of Abraham Compton, is to receive 100 pounds for herself and three small children for the present time for Abraham Compton's service.  He lost his life in the war.

     The Quillen Clan originated in North Ireland. Teague Quillen was transported from London to Virginia on August 21, 1635

     Among the soldiers of the American Revolutionary War from Surry and Stokes Counties, North Carolina, were several members of the Quillen family: John, James, Robert, Daniel, Teague IV and Walter.

     James Quillen finally settled in Georgia, Robert in Patrick County, Virginia, Charles in Texas, William went to Georgia, then back to Virginia, John remained in Surry County, North Carolina, Teague IV died, leaving his wife who married again, and two young sons, James and Teague V, who settled in that part of Russell County, Virginia which is now Scott County. Teague Quillen V (born 1772 in North Carolina) bought four tracts of land on the waters of Obey, Copper and Plank Creeks about five miles from the present site of Gate City. He married Peggy Nation, born 1772. Three children – John Quillen (born 1793) in North Carolina, acquired lands of his father in Scott County.

     John Quillen married Rebecca Lawson, eldest daughter of William Lawson, Jr., who was a Revolutionary soldier.

 

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