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