|Major Patrick Ferguson
Major Patrick Ferguson was a Scottish soldier in the British army during the American Revolution. He is best known for making the first practical breech loading rifle. Shortly before the Battle of Brandywine, in September 1777, he had the opportunity to shoot an American officer who was facing away from him, but deemed that to do so would be ungentlemanly, so he did not. It is possible that the American Officer was General George Washington. Asked about this later, Patrick replied that, if true, this would not have changed his actions on that day. Even though ordered by General Lord Cornwallis, commander of British troops in the South, to use all possible means to keep the citizens of these states loyal to Great Briton, on a personal level Major Ferguson was known to remain kind to all no matter what their patriotic sentiments were. He is reported to have once gifted one of his rifles to a young lad to help the boy defend his family in the wilds of the Carolinas, asking only that he not use the rifle against the Crown. Major Ferguson was killed during the Battle of Kings Mountain, NC, on October 7, 1780. He is held in such high regard that a number of Scottish American Military Society (SAMS) posts are named after him (e.g. Post 1845 (Texas); Post 1775 (North Carolina); and Post 1889 (Washington State).
To view an excellent video about the battle of Kings Mountain, go to this link