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Friday, April 12, 2013

With Fire and Sword







With Fire and Sword – The Battle of King’s Mountain 1780 was written by Wilma Dykeman for the National Park Service. (approx. 82 pgs.)
           


           “Wilma Dykeman is a novelist, historian, and chronicler of the south-eastern mountain country. Among her books are The French Broad (in the Rivers of America series), The Border States, and Tennessee: A Bicentennial History, all dealing with the land and people for which the Battle of King’s Mountain was fought.” So states the foreward for this booklet, probably published as a handbook for museums located in the areas discussed throughout this compelling non-fiction story.     
Dykeman, an accomplished author, begins her tale of the Battle of King’s Mountain by lulling us into a sense of serenity as she describes the lovely mid-autumn harvest time of the southern highlands, the Cumberland Gap, and the lives of the “overmountain” people. All the while, she builds an underlying tension as she discusses the characters of men who will clash, claiming a harvest of lives on both sides of the battle.
          It’s about the strengths and weaknesses of both Patriot and British alike; in those character flaws that the battle will be won or lost. It is in the misguided decisions of Cornwallis, Gates and Tarleton that build the foundation for the battle to come, where lesser-known, but courageous men like Ferguson, the British soldier-prodigy, meets the fiercely independent patriot militias of Shelby, Chronicle and McDowell.  
The characters discussed and the decisions they made which inexorably led to the events on King’s Mountain in the autumn of 1780 will make for riveting reading, whether you’re a writer, student, history buff, or just enjoy a good adventure story. This booklet can be found on Amazon. 
I don’t know how it happened to end up in a book sale in northern New York, but I saw it on the shelf of my local library and had to have it!
My rating: 4 ½ Stars out of 5.  (Why not five? It’s too short!)

12 comments:

  1. Great post, sounds like a very interesting book. A lot of action going on in that book cover.

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  2. I'm a North Carolinian and from Wilmington, NC so replete with history from the early settlers through current (especially WWII). Kings Mountain is another North Carolina location so packed with history. Our forefathers fought so valiantly for this scrabble land because they valued the taste of freedom so highly. I know wikipedia isn't THE source to go to for information, but it is quick. So here is a quick link http://www.ask.com/wiki/Battle_of_Kings_Mountain?o=2800&qsrc=999

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    1. Vera - I know little to nothing of the history of King's Mountain. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Oh, don't you love a find like this?

    I think we go into book sales and yard sales on out of the way places just hoping something will be there... a resource to expand our knowledge and intimacy of a setting or period.

    Good for you Pat!

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  4. Hi Everyone--

    Thanks for being here to both Debs! :). I worked all day yesterday (a change in schedule) came home, and needed to go out for the evening (a vet emergency). So glad you all found this helpful. Vera, thank you so much for stopping in and giving us a kind of "first hand account" and a huzzah for someone who knows the area! This is all precious information about our country that is needed today. Blessings, ladies!

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  5. I have a great admiration for Wilma Dykeman. She actually spoke at one of my daughter's graduations years ago. What a privilege to hear her in person!
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  6. What a find, Pat! I love it when I stumble on a terrific resource like that and I love to collect books! I'll be keeping my eyes open for Wilma Dykeman's work. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Sweet!! Sounds like I could have used this book before writing my novella. :-) (Which is coming out in September, so research is moot on that one ...) But since I'm seriously addicted to SE RevWar history, I'll have to find it anyway!

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  8. I live in Georgia but once my husband and I went to the Outer Banks and we ended up camping at King's Mountain. It was such a lovely area and I have wanted to go back there but never have. It was special to see I could at least get this fascinating booklet about it. Thanks.

    JaniceG

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  9. My husband's ancestors settled in the Kings Mountain area of York, South Carolina in the 1700's. A couple of them saw action with the Patriot army at the battle of Kings Mountain which was fought on the South Carolina side of the NC/SC state line. Several years ago we visited the battlefield. It's smaller than it looks in the Mel Gibson movie. So exciting to have that personal connection to a part of our history.

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  10. Great post, PAT! Makes me want to buy that book.

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  11. Hi Ladies! I appreciate all these great comments; especially from those of you who either live near or who have visited the King's Mountain area. Thank you!

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