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General History/Revolutionary War and Redcoat Prisioners


Hi! I'm writing a book and I was wondering. If a Redcoat doctor was to be taken captive in the Battle of King's Mountain, what would have he endured if he was able to convince the Americans to keep him alive if he pledged to save as many lives of theirs? And could this have actually happened?

Hi Ashley,

The Battle of King's mountain was fought between loyalist and patriot militia groups there were no British regular army troops with the traditional red coats there.  

Also, the Patriots did not massacre everyone on the other side.  When it became clear that the loyalists were going to lose, they did try to surrender, only to have patriot forces shoot them down, in revenge for earlier British massacres of patriots trying to surrender.  This resulted in more than 200 loyalists deaths.  But patriot officers soon stopped the slaughter and nearly 700 loyalists were allowed to surrender and were taken prisoner.

A doctor would likely not be right on the front line which is where the surrendering soldiers were shot.  He would likely be back at a surgical area and would be captured after the hostile fire had stopped.  At that point, prisoners were not being shot.  He would likely be permitted to tend to the wounded, especially if treating patriot wounded.

A week after the battle, the patriots tried and hanged several loyalist soldiers, mostly those who had deserted patriot militias to join the other side.  Assuming the doctor had not changed sides, he would probably be fine.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

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Michael Troy


My specialties are 17th through 19th Century history, especially in the Americas and Europe. I also have a fair knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman History, and some knowledge of Medieval European history. My expertise is focuses on Military and political history, but I`ll take a crack at anything.


I have been a guest lecturer at George Washington University. Mostly, I have just read hundreds of books about world history.


J.D. Univ. of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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