Springs. This closed his military career. He returned home and renewed his classical studies. In 1787, he graduated at Mount Zion College, in Winnsboro, South Carolina. He then studied theology, under the care of the presbytry of South Carolina, and was licensed to practice. In the first years his services were confined to South Carolina. In 1805, he accepted a call from the Steel Creek church, in Mecklenburg County, and here he labored successfully and acceptably for many years, and there he died on August 21, 1827, in the peaceful hope of a glorious immortality. He left several children, one of whom, Dr. C. L. Hunter, is distinguished as an author and a gentleman. He lies in the church yard of Steel Creek church, and on his tombstone is recorded the inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of the Reverend Humphrey Hunter, who departed this life August 21, 1827, in the 73d year of his age. He was a native of Ireland and emigrated to America at an early period of his life. He was one of those who early promoted the cause of liberty in Mecklenburg County, May 20, 1775, and subsequently bore an active part in securing the independence of his country. For nearly thirty-eight years he labored as a faithful and assiduous embassador of Christ, strenuously urging the necessity of repentance, and pointing out the terms of salvation. As a parent, he was kind and affectionate; as a friend, warm and sincere; as a minister, persuasive and convincing."
On the heights of King's Mountain, in the southern part of this county, stands a plain headstone bearing these words:
"Sacred to the memory of Major William Chronicle, Captain William Mattocks, William Rabb, and John Boyd, who were killed here fighting in defense of America, on the 7th of October, 1780"
William Chronicle lived near Armstrong's ford, on the south fork of the Catawba river. His mother was first married to a Mr. McKee, and by this marriage she had one son, the late James McKee, who was a soldier of the revolution, and the ancestor of several families of that name in this neighborhood. After his death she married Mr. Chronicle, by whom she had an only son, the gallant soldier of King's Mountain. The universal testimony of all who knew Major Chronicle is, that he was an intrepid soldier and an earnest advocate of liberty. His first appearance in the war was in South Carolina in 1779, after the fall of Savannah. In the fall of 1780, a call was made for a regiment from Lincoln, (then Tryon County,) to repel the enemy marching from the south, and flushed with victory. Of this regiment William Graham was colonel, Frederick Hambright, lieutenant-colonel, William Chronicle, major. Major Chronicle was peculiarly fitted for the life of a soldier. Brave to a fault, energetic in movement, and calm in action.
Colonel Graham, on account of illness, was not at the battle of King's Mountain, and the command of the regiment devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Hambright and Major Chronicle. Onward these brave men marched with their lenders, and approached within gunshot of the enemy, when a volley was fired by the enemy, who then retreated. The brave Chronicle fell, pierced through the heart by a rifle ball. At the same time fell Captain Mattocks, William Rabb, and John Boyd.
This battle of King's Mountain, from its location and other causes, has never had the important place in history that it deserves. "There is no difficulty in declaring, that if Ferguson had not fallen at King's Mountain, Cornwallis would not have surrendered at Yorktown. It was the pivot on which the revolutionary war in the south turned."*
* University Magazine,
February, 1858, VII., p. 245.
It is in many respects, the most important, the most glorious battle fought in the great contest for liberty. It was fought on our side exclusively by volunteers, without the presence or advice of a single regular officer. It was won by raw militia, never before under fire, over trained troops, commanded by a veteran officer of approved and desperate courage, who had no superior in the English army.
* University Magazine, February, 1858, VII., p. 245.
Frederick Hambright, born 1740, died 1817, was also one of the gallant heroes of
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