Elkin in Surry County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Surry County Muster Site
The grassy area in front of you is the easternmost point on the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Near this spot on September 27th, 1780, Patriot militiamen from Surry County under the command of Major Joseph Winston mustered to join the main force of militia coming from over the mountains. The reason for this angry gathering was a message issued by the Royal Inspector of Militia in the Southern Colonies, Major Patrick Ferguson, threatening to "lay waste the country with fire and sword" and hang the leaders for taking part in the rebellion.
After catching and soundly defeating Ferguson and his army at Kings Mountain, the militia from Surry County returned home in the command of the many prisoners captured at the battle.
Loyalist captives passed through this area on the morning of October 21st moving east under guard. These prisoners were held at the the Moravian settlement and stockade of Bethabara, within present day Winston-Salem.
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is one of only a few National Historic Trails in the United States. It was created in 1980 by an act of Congress to memorialize the route taken by the army of Patriot militia to the Battle of Kings Mountain and the turning point achieved there. Today, the trail is administered by the National Park Service in
Caption for lower left illustration:
The majority of Patriot forces traveled primarily by horseback during the campaign. The horses gave them significant advantages in speed and ability to travel long distances, since the Loyalists under Ferguson were mostly on foot.
Captions for lower right portraits:
Colonel William Campbell
Leading the largest contingent of of Patriot militia, Virginian Campbell was chosen by his fellow colonels to command American forces during the Kings Mountain campaign. Campbell died in 1781, just before the final victory at Yorktown.
Major Patrick Ferguson
A native of Scotland, British commander Ferguson was considered intelligent, brave, charming, and headstrong. He invented a breech loading rifle and organized the southern Loyalist militias to fight for Great Britain. He was killed during the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Major Joseph Winston
In command of the Surry county militia, Winston was awarded a sword by the North Carolina legislature for his service. He also commanded troops at Guilford Courthouse, and other battles. Present day Winston-Salem is named in his honor.
Location. 36° 15.18′ N, 80° 51.71′ W. Marker is in Elkin, North Carolina, in Surry County. Marker is on Elkin Highway (North Carolina Route 268), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elkin NC 28621, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Surry Muster Field (a few steps from this marker); The Kings Mountain Campaign of 1780 (a few steps from this marker); Elkin Manufacturing Company (approx. 0.8 miles away); Jonesville (approx. 2.2 miles away); Benjamin Cleveland (approx. 5.2 miles away); Richard Allen, Sr. (approx. 8.5 miles away); North Wilkesboro Speedway (approx. 11.2 miles away); Flat Rock Baptist Church (approx. 11.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Elkin.
Also see . . . National Park Service page. (Submitted on June 30, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.)
Categories. • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 395 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.