General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

George Yontz

George Yontz was born in Rowan County Nc in 1758. In 1780 Yontz joined the Nc militia. On June 20, 1780, Yontz participated in the battle of Ramsour mill at Lincolnton Nc. The Battle of Ramsour Mill was a literal battle between neighbors whose hatred of each other had started before the Revolution ever began. During the battle of Ramsour Mill, Col. Francis Locke with 400 patriot Nc militia defeated Lt. Col. John Moore and 1300 Tories.  The Nc militia had fought bravely against an army which out numbered them 3 to 1 mainly due to most of them being drunk. Col. Locke had stopped at a tavern before their arrival at the battlefield. If the men had any fear of  the upcoming battle, it was gone after leaving the tavern.
The defeat of the Tories destroyed the Tory influence in the region, and kept  the Tories from this region from participating in the battle of Kings Mountain fought in October 1780.
   On August 16, 1780, Yontz participated in the battle of Camden Sc. The Nc militia almost didnt participate in the battle of Camden. General Caswell,commander of the  Nc militia, refused to allow them to be apart any expedition under the command of General Horatio Gates,commander of the Southern Continental army. Finally on August 1,1780, Caswell agreed to to allow the nc militia to participate in any expedition under the command of Gates. 
    At the battle of Camden, The NC militia was located in the center facing the best troops the British had under the command of General Cornwallis. Most of the Nc militia was still sick from food poisioning,and were still throwing up when the battle began. The British started the battle with a bayonet charge. Since most of the Nc militia had never been in a battle,and had never witnessed a bayonet charge, they fled in terror when they saw the British coming toward them. Only one Nc militia regiment stayed to fight.Gates had fled the battle scene,and didnt stop until he arrived in Charlotte Nc,some seventy miles away.. Caswell had tried to bring control to the battlefield, but couldnt stop the fleeing Nc militia. Caswell had been right on not wanting to allow the Nc Militia to fight against the British due to their inexperience and improper training After the battle of Camden, Caswell lost his command,and the NC militia was replaced with another commander..
      For the next few months, Yontz mostly fought Tories in Rowan and Mecklenburg Counties in NC. In one skirmish,Yontz played a role in keeping the British from seizing supplies in Salisbury. In Charlotte, Yontz and the Nc militia defeated the British at Goose creek. Today Goose creek is a State park in NC.
 After the war, Yontz moved to Wythe county Va, where he lived until he died on March 5, 1839.

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