Stage Play Depicts Battle of Kings Mountain, Immerses Audience in 1780 Life and War

Jul 14, 2017

The Battle of Kings Mountain took place in rural South Carolina on October 7, 1780, just nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. There, Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia during the Southern campaign of the Revolutionary War.

The battle is known as a pivotal moment in the Southern campaign. According to the National Park Service, Thomas Jefferson called it "The turn of the tide of success.” Now, over 230 years later, local author and playwright Robert Inman depicts the battle through the eyes of settlers who lived and fought during the time. 

Before the afternoon show, ticket holders begin to file into the Joy Theater in downtown Kings Mountain, NC.
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

The play opens with the battle fight scene. "It took an hour," Inman said of the battle. "There were a couple of thousand of people involved," he added.

After the last shots are fired in the play, Inman rewinds history and introduces the audience to who the fighters were.

“We have to remember that the people who populated the Carolinas were immigrants.” Many of the settlers portrayed in the play were Scots-Irish Presbyterians. “They had migrated from the lowlands of Scotland to the Northern Ireland, at the request of the King.”

The Agony of War: During a dress rehearsal, actors shoot, get shot, fall and even die during the opening fight scene of Liberty Mountain.
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio
Author and playwright Robert Inman
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

A personal connection. 

The highest-ranking officer killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain was Inman's ancestor Col. James Williams. Inman has written numerous novels, plays and screenplays for motion pictures for television. When asked what other projects he may be considering, revisiting the life of his ancestor came up.