King’s Mountain: A Ballad Novel, by Sharyn McCrumb was this month’s selection for discussion by Rocky River Readers Book Club. I looked forward to reading it. I even checked it out from the library, but I didn’t get it read. After sitting in on the discussion a couple of hours ago, though, I will definitely read it. After all, historical fiction is my first love, and I had ancestors who took part in the Battle of King’s Mountain on October 7, 1780. In fact, they lived within shouting distance of the battle.
Sharyn McCrumb is meticulous when it comes to doing the historical research to back up her novels. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak in Wilkesboro, North Carolina several years ago, and I was tremendously impressed with the depth of her research. She sets the bar high for would-be historical fiction writers like me.
The majority of King’s Mountain: A Ballad Novel gives the history of what led up to this battle of the American Revolution and personal stories of people who actually participated in the battle or supported those people. The Americans who took part in the battle were farmers who made up various companies of militia. They were up against Gen. Patrick Ferguson and his British troops under the command of General Cornwallis. Ferguson is remembered for his harsh treatment of American patriots.
Although the Redcoats took a position on the mountain, the militiamen won the battle and set things in motion for another Cornwallis defeat at Guilford Courthouse the following spring and the surrender of the British at Yorktown.
The discussion at the book club meeting really piqued my interest in the book for all the interesting personal stories about the participants in the Battle of King’s Mountain, such as Mary Patton making gunpowder; Ferguson having a chance to shoot George Washington but, thinking he would have a chance on the battlefield, deciding to wait; and Davy Crockett’s connection with Gov. John Sevier of Tennessee. The discussion also makes me want to visit the King’s Mountain National Battlefield again.
On another note, everything I read about blogging tells me that I need to do it on a schedule, as in at the same time on the same day(s) of the week. I’m making an effort to blog on Mondays and Fridays. Doing it at the same time? That will be a work in progress!