There is a light on the battlefield in Kings Mountain State Park. Those who followed this light through the moutain trail tell me this light disappears at the cite of a fallen warrior, the British colonel, Patrick Ferguson.
He was the inventor of the Ferguson rifle. With this rifle, a man could reload and fire without breaking cover or while lying prone. In addition to being an excellent marksman, Ferguson was charismatic. His men joked about his tentmates, two ladies, both named Virginia. "He'll never worry about whispering the wrong name," a soldier commented.
Three years before the battle of Kings Mountain, Ferguson had the chance to shoot a senior Rebel officer, but the man's dignity and courage impressed him, and he found he couldn't shoot him in the back, as it would be dishonorable. The man was George Washington.
In 1780, there was disagreement among the colonists of South Carolina, Loyalists felt the New World belonged to England, while the Rebels were willing to fight for liberation. Tensions grew between the factions, foreshadowing another civil war in years to come.
Colonel Ferguson went door to door, hoping to inspire Loyalist sentiment, and bring the people to his side, promising if they did not desist from rebellion, that he would bring fire and sword down upon them, and hang their leaders. The Rebels vowed to target Ferguson at King's Pinnacle.
The battle of King's Mountain ended with a Rebel victory afer Colonel Ferguson was shot from his horse. His body hacked up and urinated upon. One Virginia rode from the battleground unmolested by soldiers on both sides, there is a rumor she betrayed Ferguson. The other Virginia died on the same battlefield. They are buried together.
Today, re-enactors replay the events of this battle. There are tales of hearing and smelling horses on the trails where no horses have tromped. At night, a light appears along the trail. A brave soul might follow the light to the grave of Colonel Ferguson where it will disappear. Is he looking for those who desecrated his body? Could Virginia be atoning for her betrayal? Is the light there to remind us, even among our enemies, there is honor.