The term first was used in the U.S. by Benjamin Franklin in a 1773 letter. It referred to people who stood in opposition of those pledged to the British Crown -- the Tories aka loyalists.
On Oct. 7, 1780, American patriots prevailed against loyalists in the Carolinas and won their first Southern battle. The Battle of Kings Mountain is a victory not often highlighted today but was a critical win nonetheless. It shows the importance of patriots everywhere persevering in every battle against adversarial forces -- even against those born on American soil.
The cable network History documented how a loyalist militia under Maj. Patrick Ferguson, largely made up of South Carolina frontiersmen, was defeated by a patriot militia under Col. William Campbell at the Battle of Kings Mountain in North Carolina near the South Carolina border.
Ferguson warned the patriots to lay down their arms or watch the loyalists "lay waste" to their country "with fire and sword." But 1,000 patriot militiamen, including Davy Crockett's father, John, courageously confronted Ferguson's loyalists, who were positioned on the rocky ridge of Kings Mountain.
Losing the upper hand to what he called the "band of banditti," Ferguson tried to intimidate the patriots by sending a wall of loyalists blitzing down the mountain, but they were cut down in a hail of patriot bullets.
Ferguson soon followed a similar fate.
As History explained, "the patriot success was the first against the British in the South and convinced Gen. (Charles) Cornwallis to stop his march through the territory."
The toll on the loyalist militia at Kings Mountain was 157 killed, 163 wounded and 698 captured, while the patriot militia only suffered 28 killed and 60 wounded. Of the 2,000 total militiamen in battle for both sides, 1,900 were born on American soil. Only Ferguson and 100 of his redcoats, whom he had trained personally, were Britons.
Feels a lot like how we patriots are often outnumbered in modern cultural and political wars and elections, doesn't it? Surrounded by bands of adversaries born on American soil?
Nevertheless, like the patriots who fought at Kings Mountain in that distant October, more than 230 years ago, we must not shrink back by the intimidation of others.
Gone are the days when patriots such as Isaac Shelby, Charles McDowell and Elijah Clark led attacks against loyalist posts during the Revolutionary War. But present today are many other great patriots, aside from the one in the presidential race -- such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.; Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, R-Texas; Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.; Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, "Joe the Plumber," R-Ohio; and Judge Roy Moore, R-Ala. -- who are fighting worthy battles in state election arenas at this very moment.
What's critical for victory in each of these political rings is that every one of us patriots gets out of the bleachers and onto the battlefield, too.
My wife, Gena, and I might not be running for public office, but we always give our patriotic best to fight for God and country, locally and nationally. That is why we produced our recent political video, titled "God & Country," which has gone viral and become one of the top political videos in this presidential race. In the public service announcement, we remind people of faith everywhere that Barack Obama won his first election in 2008 by 10 million votes when 30 million evangelicals stayed home on Election Day.
We patriots, Christian and otherwise, must not allow that to happen Nov. 6, 2012! As the adage goes, "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
It's time for patriots everywhere to rally together again and take back America. As patriots did in the battle on Kings Mountain, we must take a stand in local and national elections and wage war again for our republic. And as our adversaries charge us descending down the hill, we will barrage them with a hail of votes.
As Thomas Jefferson declared, "should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights."
This is our solemn duty and the sacred path to America's reformation and restoration.
Alexander Hamilton explained it this way: "A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law."
So as you cast your ballot this November, remember the words of Samuel Adams: "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."