General Joseph Martin Chapter
Cumberland Gap, TN
Cumberland Gap Patriot
Joshua Mullins was born on May 10; 1756.In 1781 at the age of 25, Mullins joined the Virginia continental line and fought under Nathaniel Greene, commander of the Southern Continental army.
In January 1781, Seven months after the Battle of Ramsour Mill, Cornwallis burned his baggage train and turned his entire British regiment into a Light infantry Unit in order to chase down Greene and Capture his army. The Race to the Dan River had begun.
From January 29, 1781 until February 14, 1781, a little over two weeks, Mullins would be apart of Greene’s famous Race to the Dan. Greene had developed a strategy to force Cornwallis and his British army into deeper enemy territory forcing the British to use all their resources.
Mullins would cross the Catawba, Yadkin and Dan Rivers with the British close behind. The British just missed catching the Americans at each of the rivers. Had the British captured the Americans, the Southern campaign would have been over.
On February 14, 1781, Mullins and the last American troops crossed the Dan after 9 hours and 200 boat crossings. Cornwallis arrived a few minutes later, but could do nothing except watch since the river was swollen, unnavigable and no boats could be found to transport his troops across the river.
On March 15, 1781, Mullins participated in the Battle of Guilford courthouse. Mullins was part of the Virginia second line. During the first few minutes of battle the NC militia killed half of the Highlander 71st corps. By the end of the battle one- fourth of Cornwallis Troops were killed or wounded. Cornwallis finally brought the British artillery into play forcing Greene to retreat.
On April 15, 1781, Mullins participated in the battle of Hobkirk Hill. The American army was winning the battle until the Maryland regiment located in the center gave way. An order had come down from Greene to reform their line. When the Maryland line started reforming the others thought an order of retreat had been given. This caused the line to collapse and gave the British the opportunity to out flank them.
From May 22, 1781 until June 19 1781, Mullins participated in the longest siege of the Revolutionary war at the battle of ninety six. The British wanted to retreat, but never received orders to do so from General Rawdon in Charleston because the SC militia kept capturing the couriers with a message from Rawdon to retreat. Finally on June 19, Rawdon showed up with 2500 fresh troops from the Irish brigade forcing Greene to retreat.
On September 8, 1781, Mullins participated in the battle of Eutaw Springs. This was the bloodiest battle fought in SC lasting four hours. Even though the battle was a British victory, it broke the will for the British to fight any more major battles in SC. The last battle fought in Sc was at James Island in November 1782.Over 1300 Sc militia would die in sc from 1780-1781. The British left Charleston in December 1782 with twenty thousand slaves who joined the British army in order to get their freedom.
After the war Mullins moved back to Halifax county VA. In 1786, Mullins moved back to Pittsylvania county VA where he married Bess Turley around 1790.In 1797, Mullins moved to Carter county TN. Bess died that year and was buried near the home place. In 1798, Mullins married Ann Robinson in Carter County. From this union they had 12 children. In 1829 Mullins moved to Knox county KY near present day Corbin KY. In 1832, Mullins applied for his pension. In 1851 at the age of 94 Mullins died and was buried at Lynn camp cemetery in Corbin KY.
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