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PREFACE IN the year 1780 the battle of King's Mountain was won by colonial backwoodsmen in the midst of con- ditions not unlike those of 1813, when Kentuckians won the battle of the Thames. The disasters which befell the Americans before both of these battles filled the public mind with a despondency which hung like a funeral pall over sorrowing patriotism. Isaac Shelby, the first and the sixth governor of Kentucky, was a leader in both of these battles, and the antecedents, the surroundings, and the consequences of each of them were as like as his com- manding person in both. Before the battle of King's Mountain the outlook for the Americans, especially in the South, was through thick gloom. Gates, with the glory of Saratoga blazing upon him, had suffered a disastrous defeat at Camden. Sevier, who was supposed to be always upon his guard, was sur- prised at Fishing Creek. But worst of all Lincoln, after failing to recover Savannah, had lost Charleston at the end of a long and distressful siege. Ferguson, the able model in the South for the weak Proctor in the North, flushed